Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


A "New Moral Center"

That's what Lamont's victory represents, according to a great op-ed piece from longtime progressive strategist Robert Borosage in today's Connecticut Post. I came close to excerpting the entire thing:

...Lamont represents a new moral center in American politics — a challenge to the failed status quo and a demand for a new direction that a growing majority of Americans are searching for.

Bring an end to the disastrous occupation in Iraq and bring the troops home with honor. Change priorities to invest in our schools, in universal pre-kindergarten, in modern infrastructure. Champion affordable national health care for all.

These are not issues from the "edges of our politics," as Lieberman suggests, but ideas whose time has come.

Lieberman, in a classic sore-loser posture, refuses to accept the verdict of the voters. The man who spent the last weeks of his campaign boasting that he was a good Democrat now announces he'll form his own party and denounces partisan politics. The man who last week said he had gotten the message and would go to Washington to challenge the president's policies now says he'll go to Washington to make common cause with Republicans to "get things done."

But his brand of "getting things done" is exactly what Americans are turning against.

He joined with the president in championing the war in Iraq — got that done.

He joined with Republicans and corporate lobbies in passing corporate trade deals that have destroyed American manufacturing and undermined wages in America — got that done.

He joined with conservatives in championing the privatization of Social Security — at least he was blocked there.

He joined with CEOs in defending off the books, stock options that gave CEOs a multimillion-dollar personal incentive to cook the books and raid pension funds — got that done.

Lieberman doesn't get it. The problem isn't that things aren't getting done — the problem is that the things he was helped to produce are weakening this country abroad and undermining workers and middle-class families at home.

It's the policies, stupid.

Update: Matt Browner-Hamiln has some very insightful reactions to Borosage's piece over at Emboldened:

Rather than conceding progressive values, as Lieberman has, as a precondition to bipartisanship, we must demand leaders who will play the bipartisanship game from a position of firm conviction of their beliefs and knowledge that the weight of the party stands behind them. That is, someone like Ned Lamont is better prepared to engage in bipartisan efforts than Joe Lieberman by virtue of the fact that Lamont, unlike Lieberman, stands for something before he stands for bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship is not a political belief, it’s a political method. I’m going to continue to look for morality and principle in politicians who espouse strong political beliefs first and then seek to find the methods that will best enact our shared beliefs. That’s why Ned Lamont and the voters who elected him the Democratic nominee for Senate are the new moral center in American politics.

Borosage's article is pretty incredible. I gave it a once over if you're interested.

--Matt Browner-Hamlin
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