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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Chuck Schumer Hearts Joe Lieberman Against Democrats

chuck schumer dscc

In today's New York Times, there is some contrast opening up between the DNC and DSCC, between the base and the beltway:
A Lieberman loss in the Democratic primary would put national Democrats in a bind. Many of them are longtime colleagues and friends of Mr. Lieberman's, and he has said he will vote with the Democrats if he is re-elected as an independent. Democrats are trying to hold onto all of their seats and pick up six Republican seats to regain control of the Senate.

Senator Schumer, a strong supporter of Mr. Lieberman's, has been careful in recent days to limit his endorsement of his colleague to the primary race. "We are supporting Joe Lieberman in the primary, and we're not going to speculate about things afterwards because that undermines your candidate," Mr. Schumer said on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We're supporting Joe. He's going to win."

Karen Finney, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said the party would support its nominee this fall, whether it is Mr. Lieberman or Mr. Lamont.
Why is it so difficult for the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to pledge support for the Democratic Party nominee? The DSCC had the same message in the Washington Post:
"Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and the DSCC are supporting Joe Lieberman in the primary," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its chairman, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.). "We aren't going to speculate about what happens next because that would undermine our candidate."
Atrios cuts right to the subject at hand:
Sure Lieberman has the right to become an independent or join the Bullshit Moose party or whatever he wants to do. But his latest actions demonstrate a contempt for the Democratic primary process put into place in Connecticut, and threatens the integrity of the whole system. Lieberman's setting a precedent which should probably lead to a revision of Connecticut's ballot access laws to prevent such a thing from happening. You shouldn't be allowed to simultaneously run on a primary ballot and pull petitions to put yourself on the general ballot under the Bullshit Moose party. It makes a mockery of the primary system, and will make the already-almost-impossible task of removing an incumbent in a political primary that much more difficult.

If Lieberman was a noble man, he'd have made his choice: run in the primary or run as an independent. Instead, he's decided that all incumbents in Connecticut should leave themselves the opportunity for a "do over." Pathetic.
The notion of a "do over" is easy to mock:
  • England loses to Portugal on penalites in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup, but coach Sven-Goran Eriksson pledges that his team will play France on Wednesday anyway as a "petitioning semifinalist."

  • Andy Roddick loses in the third round at Wimbledon in straight sets to an upstart challenger, but reserves the right to play in the fourth round so that "all the Wimbledon fans can see him play."

  • The Kansas City Royals, 28 games out of first place in the American League Central, announced today that they are "taking out an insurance policy" to ensure that they will be able to play in the World Series if they happen to miss the playoffs.
This whole do-over idea and the notion that the DSCC won't promise to support the nominee puts Chuck Schumer in a helluva conflict of interest. As DSCC chair, he needs to support the nominee. But an aspiring political boss, he wants to be able and decide who to support without giving the base a voice, like he did in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Virginia. Will Schumer waste DSCC money in Connecticut instead of pick-up opportunities because Shumer's conflict of interest was decided by incumbent protection? People want to know. Right now, the DSCC is looking like as much of a problem as Joe Lieberman and the DLC.

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