Friday, July 07, 2006

Representative government anyone?

Three term Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman has a little problem. The good people from the state of Connecticut that he represents in the Senate want a better plan for Iraq, whether it be an immediate pull-out, a timetable of some sort or a redeployment on the 'horizon' as Jack Murtha has proposed. On the Iraq issue however, Lieberman wants to do whatever George Bush thinks we should do. The way our government is supposed to work (and sometimes does), when the people don't like how they're being mis-represented they will seek an alternative candidate, even within the same party.

Enter Ned Lamont. Lamont is a multi-millionaire cable TV businessman, local Greenwich town politician and a Democratic alternative to Lieberman. A Quinnipiac University poll from June 8 showed Lieberman's lead slip to 57% from 62% in May. On July 6, the two engaged in a relatively fiery debate, that showed Lamont to be an able debater and speaker, despite his deficit of debate experience to the veteran Lieberman.

Let's face it: With the exception of the one issue of Iraq and in a general sense, all foreign policy issues, Joe Lieberman is a moderate Democrat. On domestic issues: healthcare, tax policy, the environment, etc. his policies are solidly Democratic.

My big problem with Lieberman (a Senator from my home state) and Clinton by the way (a senator from my current state), is that they are not representing the wishes of their constituents on the issue of Iraq. The entire Congress, not just the House, is supposed to be beholden to the voters that sent them there, not just to exclusively vote according to their own beliefs or to position themselves for a run at a higher office (listening Hillary?).

This goes to the big knock that many registered Democrats have against their own party. That too many times, they will pull the "D" lever, but have to hold their nose while doing so. I experienced this first hand when I voted for Mark Green for mayor in NYC in 2001, but was kind of glad that Bloomberg won anyway. Green was clearly lacking in the integrity department. The next time, instead of voting for Ferrer, I just stayed home. Ferrer was clearly lacking in the competency department.

Maybe having Lamont on the Democratic ticket in Connecticut will actually help take back the vulnerable House seats there. Instead of staying home or having to 'hold their noses', registered Democrats and independents will actually get out and vote because they'll have something to vote FOR.

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