Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lieberman-Lamont: Rock & Roll, Baby!!

A Date with Destiny?

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Lamont leading Lieberman 54% to 41% among Democrats likely to vote Tuesday. Lamont had trailed Lieberman 40% to 55% in the survey released June 8. Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia commented:
A Lamont victory will embolden Democratic candidates elsewhere to become even more stridently antiwar in the fall campaign. A Lamont victory will make the Iraq war the only cutting issue in the midterm elections -- and probably the 2008 presidential campaign as well.
A Lamont victory also would deal a setback to President George W. Bush because Lieberman has been his most prominent crossover Democratic ally on the war issue. And Lamont's victory would accelerate Progressives' growing efforts to cast the Nov. 7 midterm congressional elections as a national referendum on the war, rather than as a patchwork of local races about local issues favored by Republican strategists.

The Lieberman-Lamont contest is a classic intraparty clash with echoes of the titanic 1968 Democratic primary. Hubert Horatio Humphrey was wrapped in the cloak of Democratic entitlement and liberal orthodoxy. But his dirty underwear represented the epitome of fawning obsequious, and sycophantic servility to LBJ's Vietnam war. Humphrey then, as with Lieberman today, represented the cork in the bottleneck of democracy which prevented our form of government from rescuing our nation from further self-mutilation.

By my reckoning, we are now crossing the same cusp or tipping point we crossed when Robert Kennedy won the California primary in 1968. All the arguments pro and con the war have been settled and the national consensus - as we circle our wagons in Baghdad - is that the un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) has been an unmitigable bust.

Not that some bitter-enders (Rumsfeld's misapplied term) don't want to engage in mitigation, damage control and historical alibis. You can identify them because they all want to blame Rumsfeld.

Blaming Rumsfeld for Iraq is as lame as blaming Vietnam on McNamara. Secretaries of Defense are what the word says they are: Secretaries. Secretaries are not responsible to us. They're responsible to their boss the POTUS, the CIC, the guy who sits at the desk where Harry Truman had his plaque that said the "Buck Stops Here". (Admittedly, a long time ago.)

The demand for Rumsfeld's head represents the last desperate bastion of scoundrels seeking to cover their complicit asses from the unmistakably deepest debacle in American foreign policy in history. These scoundrels range all the way from Hillary Clinton to David Brooks. They are also identifiable as the people who are whispering the old Vietnam War refrain,
'Send more troops.
Send more troops!'
That's why getting Momentum Joe's head on the platter is more important than Rumsfeld's. And more appropriate because Joe's scalp represents all of the compliant enablers of Bush and Cheney's UULUIUOI. If Joe gets buried in this Connecticut Primary, the war party and its fellow travelers will be served a notice written on the wall. They're all going to be wondering, 'Who's next'?

Lieberman-Lamont is comparable to the moment Robert Kennedy gave us by winning the California Primary. This is the moment when our once great country most needs to rock. And to roll out a robust opposition to the disaster that is the Bush Presidency. And to offer a party and candidates capable of blowing the cork out of the bottle neck of obfuscations and stagnation.

In 1968 the voters of California responded to their challenge and offered an electable nominee to demobilize their generation's unnecessary and unwinnable war. Next Tuesday, Democrats in Connecticut have a comparable date with destiny.