In a post I could have written, had I been a better writer, better educated of the facts, and not a half-drunk weirdo named “Doctor Biobrain”; Mark Schmitt of TPM Café explained how the “netroots” are not actually responsible for Lieberman’s failures or Lamont’s success. He points out that while they’ve certainly helped, the main credit goes to Lamont, who has wise staffers helping him, and not half-drunk weirdo bloggers like myself; and how that has led to Lieberman self-destructing. But he didn’t really explain why Lieberman self-destructed; so I’ll use that as my opening to one-up him.
And the reason is simple: Lieberman really believes that crap that he’s attacking us with. Just as Bush is the Deceiver-in-Chief, with himself as his primary victim; Lieberman really does believe that he’s being attacked by a small, but vocal minority who doesn’t represent true Democrats. And while repeating that is certainly part of his strategy and helps him in some circles, the fact that he picked that strategy is evidence that he believes it; because it totally undermines the strategies he should be taking. But more importantly, is that he continues to act it out; and thus, marginalizing himself and making him campaign like a small-time nobody rather than a bigtime Senator.
Like too many longtime politicians with mucho media access, he’s fallen victim to the Inside Beltway Bubble and the media chattering class. And while that certainly helps him get the prime media access he desires, it totally insulates him from what’s going on around him. Because his arguments aren’t designed for mass consumption, but to woo them; his media enablers. They’re the ones who hate bloggers and the netroots. They’re the ones who are threatened by my voice and the fact that they have no control over any of us. Screaming about crazy liberal bloggers might get you heartfelt sympathy and chuckles at a cocktail party; but they’re not going to sell to the typical Democrat.
And while your typical conservative is largely inoculated against liberal blogger arguments; those people aren’t going to be persuaded about anything anyway. But despite their vocal status, they don’t represent most Americans. Particularly not Connecticutians (or whatever they might be called). While they might not read blogs themselves, most Americans don’t have any real problem with bloggers; assuming they even care about what we’re doing. But the authoritarian conservative elite does, as does the liberal media types who insist on cornering the “liberal” message. Those are the people who instinctively hate bloggers; and those are the people influencing Joe.
And there can be no doubt that many of these “liberal” elites would much rather see Democrats lose to the macho Republicans than for them to lose their seat at the table. That’s exactly what the conservatives have been training them for, to not even realize how they’ve been breed into docility. People who see Alan Colmes as being a feisty liberal counterpart; and CNN as a Fox News alternative.
And that’s exactly what’s got the liberal bloggers so upset. As others keep saying, we’re not looking for ideologues or strict party-liners. This isn’t a purge. We just want strong Dems who stand-up for something. Something besides docility to Republicans and people who denounce us.
But Joe doesn’t get that. Instead, Joe has totally embraced the very people who are misleading him in the first place. And so he’s decided to bunker with the people who got him into this mess; constantly whining about the treacherous outsiders to the zombies he needs to avoid. And while a weak primary challenge couldn’t have made this so apparent, Lamont’s strong challenge has certainly brought this out. If anything, it has made Lieberman openly pick sides and announce where he stands. And it’s obviously not on our side. He’s not just against liberal bloggers. He’s against the people he took for granted; and that includes the mainstream Democrats he needs to win.
As Schmitt said, it wouldn’t have been hard for Lieberman to change tack slightly and wooed Democrats to counter this attack on his Democratic-status; but he would have first needed to understand why that was necessary. Instead, he’ll keep impressing them on the news shows while losing them on the street. And that’s the exact reason we need to get rid of him.