It’s rare that Bob Hayes and I agree, but both of us are pleased by the results in the Connecticut primary.
Even if the result is that Lieberman keeps his seat but becomes a de facto Republican, I’d consider that an improvement over the status quo. Right now, Lieberman is enormously useful to Bush and the Republicans, because he provides cover for their positions; “even a Democrat like Joe Liberman agrees…” and so forth. As an independent, he won’t be as effective at providing cover for Bush and the Republicans.
Nor do I think Democrats have lost a swing vote in a hypothetical future fight over control of the Senate; if such a fight had come up while he was a Democrat, Lieberman probably would have switched parties rather than give control of the Senate to the Democratic party. His decision to run as an independent has demonstrated beyond question Lieberman’s complete lack of loyalty to the Democratic party.
As for if Lieberman is a “centrist,” please spare me from hard-line Republicans who feel they can tell Democrats who is and isn’t a centrist Democrat. This comment-writer at the Moderate Voice got it right:
Joe Lieberman has supported George Bush on domestic spying, suspension of due process, creation of an extra-judicial prison system, the conduct of the war in Iraq, the threat of war against Iran, downplayed the use of torture at Abu Ghraib, praised Alberto Gonzales in his nomination proceedings and suggested that those who disagree publicly with the administration are endangering the country. On the most important issues of the day he is securely in George Bush’s camp. How is he a centrist?
(I’d also add that Lieberman’s “rape victims can just walk to the next hospital” take on emergency contraception didn’t exactly endear him to me.)
And also at The Moderate Voice, Joe’s comment that “Lieberman represents and defines all centrists just as accurately as Britney Spears represents and defines all singers throughout show business history” is pretty on-target.