Tuesday, November 14, 2006

About the Standing O

The story of the Lieberman Standing Ovation was posted on the Talking Points Memo Cafe and naturally there were bitter whiny comments about Lieberman, the Democrats, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. I think. Anyway, here is my response:
First of all, because it bears repeating: yay we won!!

Second of all, after we noticed we won, the two sides of the Democratic party tried to claim the credit. The two sides don't really agree that much and given a chance would destroy the other.

This Democratic party civil war can be seen in three examples:

1. Rahm vs. Netroots
2. Dean vs. Ford
3. Lieberman vs. Lamont

1. Rahm vs. Netroots - who gets credit? The answer is both, but the partisans on either side (Right Wing Democrats, RWD, say Rahm, Left Wing Democrats, LWD, say the Netroots) try to exclude the other as a matter of rheroric and positioning.

2. Dean vs. Ford - who should be the head of the DNC? When replacing Dean with Harold Ford Jr. was brought up on the New Republic blog I saw some vicious comments about Ford from, what I assume are, LWD who know that attacking Dean is attacking them.

3. Lieberman vs. Lamont. The biggie. Lieberman has been demonized to a level that I've only seen applied to the State of Israel. He's accused of being a closet Republican and in favor of rape, among other things. To RWD, he's a hero. To LWD he's the devil.

To many of the congressional leaders, the Lamont/Lieberman battle was the civil war of the Democratic party writ large and they were quite worried about the outcome. I would assume that if Lamont had won he too would have received a standing-O because he embodies the LWD. Either way, the senators would be clapping for the wing of the Democratic party that became ascendant.

I'm not sure what to do about the civil war in the Democratic party. I don't see it going away and I hope we can attack the real enemies (Bush, Cheney) and not our own party-members… then again, I think the Lamont-Democrats, in their demonizing of Lieberman, don't think that the Right Wing Democrats really *are* in the party, so that allows the LWD to attack attack attack. Sigh.
As a postscript for the Styx: I do think that the 2006 election may have been the death-knell for two political movements:

(1) the Regan Democrats who left for the GOP in 1980 (and re-solidified in 1994) have now returned. Thus endeth the Reagan Revolution (and the Gingrich Burp)

(2) the McGovern Democrats who ruled the party since 1968 have now been routed. They were defeated on the fields of Connecticut and buried by the massive moderate vote-tally in this midterm election.

Both are very good signs for Moderate Democrats like myself. Long live Truman, JFK, Scoop Jackson, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Joe Lieberman.

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