Kathleen Parker

Forget the war in Iraq, the war on terror, or any other war against which Connecticut citizens are said to have voted by defeating Joe Lieberman and nominating Ned Lamont for the U.S. Senate.

The operative war for American citizens is something closer to home -- a war of independence from the bickering partisans who have made political life in America a childish and tedious exercise.

Democrats aren't wrong when they say that the Lamont victory was a defining moment. It defined the Democratic Party as a vigorous, motivated, organized force that is ... completely out of touch with mainstream America.

Don't get me wrong. Lamont is a perfectly respectable candidate -- well-spoken, attractive, gracious and rich. What's not to like? And millions of Americans of every political stripe are disgusted with the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War.

But what happened in Connecticut allowed the rest of the country a close glimpse of what the Democratic Party has become -- a ruthless machine of the far left, fueled by left-wing blogs and personified by the stubbornly adolescent Michael Moore.

Their triumph in bringing down Lieberman may prove to be their undoing in November, as well as in the 2008 presidential election. Here's why: Americans may not like the war, or the deficit, or the Bush administration's immigration stance, or pick-your-grievance. We enjoy a surfeit of issues to divide us. But Americans also share a reflexive resistance to Stalinist tactics.

What else can one call the message now being telegraphed to Democratic leaders? You either stand with us against the war in Iraq, or we take you down.

The morning after Lamont's victory, for instance, Moore posted a note on his Web site to Democratic candidates that is a threat without the veil. He specifically targeted Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards, all likely presidential candidates in '08.

Noting that nearly every Democrat planning to run for president had voted for or supported the war, Moore said, ``we are going to make sure they pay for that mistake. Payback time started last night.''

Even though both Kerry and Edwards have changed their minds and are now anti-war, that's too late for Moore, who wrote: ``Their massive error in judgment is, sadly, proof that they are not fit for the job. They sided with Bush, and for that, they may never enter the promised land.''

To Clinton, he spoke directly: ``I'm here to tell you that you will never make it through the Democratic primaries unless you start now by strongly opposing the war. It is your only hope.''

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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