E.J. Dionne, via Digby:
A Lieberman loss next week could also create distracting problems for Democrats. Lieberman has said he would run as an independent if he lost the primary. This would divert national attention from the Democrats' central goal of making this fall's elections a referendum on Bush and the Republican Congress.
What in the hell is wrong with these people? Uh, duh. A Lieberman loss is part of the referendum on Bush and the Republican Congress. That’s the big reason he’s going down. Iraq was just a symptom of it, but the big problem is that he’s so chummy with Bush and the other dangerous nutjobs on the right. And so if Lieberman is taken down, then it’s a complete blast against them. And that includes the idea of Lieberman losing as an independent, because it shows that Bush is such a lead weight that his friends have to create their own party to lose in.
And the GOP leadership knows that, which is why they keep pimping the opposite message to the Beltway pundits. Which gets us back to the question: What the hell is wrong with these people? Dionne’s column is largely about this being a referendum on Bush, so why the hell does he puss-out at the end and make it seem as if everything changes with the Lieberman independent run? And falling for the typical gimmick of blaming Lamont for Lieberman’s potential tantrum?
Because the real truth is that it’s too late for Joe. Much too late. June would have been a fine-time to be a Johnny Come Lately to the anit-Bush crowd; but you don’t do it after you win the primary. And so if Lieberman’s primary challenge is a referendum on Bush and everything else that Dionne says, then a Lieberman win is a win for Bush.