The narrow primary defeat of veteran senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary is more than a loss for one man. It is a loss for his party and for the country. It completes the capture of the Democratic Party by its Taliban wing.
They used to be "San Francisco Democrats," a phrase coined by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick to describe the party's 1984 convention. But they have now morphed into Taliban Democrats because they are willing to "kill" one of their own, if he does not conform to the narrow and rigid agenda of the party's kook fringe.
Lieberman's one "sin," in the eyes of the Taliban Democrats, was that he supported the effort to defeat the insurgent-terrorists in Iraq. As a Jew, Lieberman is particularly sensitive to those who have targeted the Jewish people for extinction. But even if he weren't Jewish, he would still "get it," because he understands what's at stake in the region and has correctly concluded that the consequences of American failure in Iraq would be catastrophic.
His detractors, who brought him down in the primary with a one-issue, inexperienced and unqualified candidate, Ned Lamont, hate President Bush so much that their judgment has been distorted. Former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis, in a recent column for The Wall Street Journal titled "Liberal McCarthyism," printed a sample of the incendiary rhetoric directed toward Lieberman. There is thinly-veiled anti-Semitism ("As everybody knows, Jews ONLY care about the welfare of other JewsŠ" posted on Daily Kos); irrationality ("Joe Lieberman is a racist and a religious bigot." Daily Kos) and personal attack ("Lieberman cannot escape the religious bond he represents. Hell, his wife's name is Haggadah or Muffeletta or Diaspora or something you eat at Passover." Posted on the Huffington Post blog).
It didn't matter that Lieberman, whose wife's name, by the way, is Hadassah, ran as the vice presidential candidate with Al Gore in 2000, or that he has voted against most of President Bush's domestic agenda. The Taliban wing of the Democratic Party cannot countenance any "heretics" who do not toe their line.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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