EDITOR'S NOTE: On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today, there is a complete re-write of the section of Friday's MULLINGS regarding the way men and women deal with colds. Please check it out and then come back.
Yesterday, the NY Times editorially endorsed the opponent of Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont, in the Democratic primary to be held in Connecticut on August 8.
The Times makes it abundantly clear they are not angry with Lieberman for his support of the Iraq war. They are angry with Lieberman for his not being angry enough with President Bush.
In the editorial, the Times goes to great lengths to point out the occasions when Lieberman could have broken with the President but chose not to:
"Mr. Bush continually tries to undermine restraints on the executive branch: the system of checks and balances, international accords on the treatment of prisoners, the nation's longtime principles of justice …"
The Times' also takes a gratuitous slap at his "pomposity" writing:
"Mr. Lieberman has fallen in love with his image as the national's moral compass."
On the Pomposity Front MULLINGS believes the New York Times knows what it is talking about. No newspaper is more guilty of being consistently, unabashedly pompous than the Times. "Think Like Us or You Aren't Thinking at All" should replace that "All the News…" business on in the box on the front page.
I hope the good Democrats in Connecticut take the New York Times' advice and vote for Lamont. And I hope that Lieberman makes good his promise to run as an independent if he loses the primary (as my Connecticut political buddies say is likely).
There are two reasons for my glee.
First: On the tactical level, about half the voters in Connecticut do not register as a member of any party. And, Connecticut as a history of supporting independent candidates. Former Republican Senator Lowell Weicker won election as Governor in 1990 as an independent in Connecticut.
The Greenwich Time newspaper wrote over the weekend "Lowell Weicker Jr. will return to Greenwich, the town where the political maverick began his life in public service, next Friday for a campaign rally supporting Senate hopeful Ned Lamont."
Why? Because Weicker was defeated in his bid for a fourth term in the US Senate in 1988 by a guy named: Joe Lieberman.
My theory is this:
An independent voter who votes for Lieberman running AS an independent is far less likely to go back to the Democratic side of the ballot after voting in the race for US Senate.
An independent voter who votes for Lieberman running as the Democratic nominee, is far more likely to stay on that side of the ballot and vote for the Democrats for other offices - especially Congress.
Thus, if Lieberman runs as an Independent, it will have a significant positive effect on the campaigns of Republicans Rob Simmons (2nd Congressional District); Chris Shays (4th CD); and, Nancy Johnson (5th CD), because the Independent/Democratic vote will be depressed.
Second, on the strategic level: If Lamont wins the primary next week then the Howard Dean/MoveOn/Nancy Pelosi wing of the Democratic party will use it as proof that running on a anti-Bush, anti-War platform a sure ticket to Swearing-in Day next January.
That might work, if the Democratic Left had any capacity for nuance, which it does not.
The Movie/Music/Publishing axis will become so agitated over the chance to stick it to President Bush, it will make a Crystal Meth Rave look like a bingo game at the K of C hall in Marietta, Ohio 45750.
Republicans running for reelection will only have to point to Harry Belafonte, or Alex Baldwin, or Rosie O'Donnell, or whomever and say: If that's who you want sitting in the corridors of the Capitol Building charting the future of America, then vote for the Democrat.
Otherwise, vote for me.
Thank you, New York Times. I believe you've done America a great service.
On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: A link to the NY Times editorial (Reg. Req.); the MASSIVE CORRECTION to Friday's Mullings; a link to the Mullings Archives, a Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.