My interview with The New Republic’s editor-in-chief last week foreshadowed his Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning. Key graphs from today’s broadside against the Democratic Party’s ascendant left:
If Mr. Lieberman goes down, the thought-enforcers of the left will target other centrists as if the center was the locus of a terrible heresy, an emphasis on national strength. Of course, they cannot touch Hillary Clinton, who lists rightward and then leftward so dexterously that she eludes positioning. Not so Mr. Lieberman. He does not camouflage his opinions. He does not play for safety, which is why he is now unsafe….
The Lamont ascendancy, if that is what it is, means nothing other than that the left is trying, and in places succeeding, to take back the Democratic Party. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters have stumped for Mr. Lamont. As I say, we have been here before. Ned Lamont is Karl Rove’s dream come true. If he, and others of his stripe, carry the day, the Democratic party will lose the future, and deservedly.
Some of this comes down to historical perspective. Liberals who encountered Hubert Humphrey in 1948, when he defended civil rights at the Democratic convention, generally admired him in a way that liberals who encountered him in 1968, when he defended the Vietnam war, never did. So it is with Joe Lieberman today. I understand why liberal activists cannot forgive him for being defiantly wrong on Iraq. But I will always remember him as the man whose house was picketed by liberal activists during another Iraq war, and who stood defiant and isolated and right.
The lfety blog barbarians are at the gate, and some in the Democratic Party are feeling very quesy as a result.