Lieberman's rise as a national politician coincided with the Democratic Party's refashioning as full-time corporate whore-without-shame in the late 1980s. This was when the Democratic Leadership Council was ramping up, with denunciations of the Democratic Party as a sinkhole of old liberals in the mold of George McGovern or Walter Mondale. Lieberman, a former prosecutor, berserk Zionist, cultural conservative and race-baiter was exactly what they were looking for.
In his ensuing three terms as senator, Lieberman never deviated from servility to Connecticut's arms and pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and financial sector overall. He did the heavy lifting on the bankruptcy bill so eagerly sought by the banks and credit card companies. He was among the most vigorous advocates of telecommunications "reform" in the mid-'90s, which made instant millionaires of men like Ned Lamont, who amassed the fortune in cable TV that enabled him to spend $4 million of his own money to beat Lieberman.
Today the press is agog at what the political pundits are calling an exhibition of the power of the bloggers. Not so. Four million in greenbacks carries a lot more clout than electronic drizzle from the blathersphere. Hillary Clinton has now hired a "blog outreach adviser," but her husband is no doubt reminding her that elections are won by promising the Fortune 500 and the National Association of Manufacturers everything they want.
Sweet, too, was the humiliation of Bill Clinton, whose campaigning with Lieberman seems to have precipitated the final collapse of the senator's campaign. All those who tied themselves to Lieberman, like Democratic senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Barbara Boxer have been bruized by the admirable good sense of the Connecticut voters.
The simplest message of all that comes out of Connecticut is that the war in Iraq is hugely unpopular, and since that war was supported by about 90 percent of the U.S. Congress, all its members have something to fear from the voters, which is why many of them are redeploying as advocates of withdrawal.
But the question remains whether there is any home in the Democratic Party for a true progressive. Lamont's victory in the primary certainly doesn't answer that question. On most issues he's almost indistinguishable from Lieberman. On Tuesday you had only to travel down Interstate 95 to Georgia to see what happens to real progressives, where the Democratic Party conspired with Fox News and the rest of the press to try to destroy Cynthia McKinney's political career for the second time.
The Democratic Party won't tolerate any outspoken dissent. It is a cheerleader for Israel's destruction of Lebanon. Just listen to Jerry Nadler, a New York congressman identified as among the most progressive in the Democratic congressional caucus. In a pro-Israel rally on July 18, Nadler asked the crowd, "Since when should a response to aggression and murder be proportionate?" In other words, a green light for war crimes, such as Israel has been committing every day. Despite all the schedules for withdrawal suddenly offered by candidates such as Hillary Clinton, or Maria Cantwell, it's still a Party of War in the service of Empire. Who is the leading mainstream political voice calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon? The Republican senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel. The Democrats rushed to attack him, with Joe Biden winning by a nose, from Charles Schumer and the rest of the pack.
© Creators Syndicate
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August 10, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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