Primarily Joe


The not-entirely-unexpected primary loss of Sen. Joe’mentum’ Lieberman to insurgent Ned Lamont, demonstrates the Democrats are not having any more ‘business as usual’ this election season. Voters are motivated to make a change, as evidenced by the unprecedented 50%+ turnout in the Nutmeg State. I don’t expect such turnout to be the norm, but it shows that participation will be higher than normal this year where there are strongly contested races.

Here in Southern Arizona, this likely means high turnouts in the highly contested Congressional races in CD 8, CD 5, CD 1, and state-wide for Janent and Jim, for both the contested primaries and the general election. Incumbents who are strongly associated with Bush and the Congressional GOP caucus had best watch out, and challengers wishing to overcome incumbent advantage need to make use of Lamont’s strategy of tying their opponents to the overwhelmingly despised Bush. Strangely, this will be hardest to do in CD 8 where there is an open seat, and the big money Republican candidate, Steve Huffman, is associated most with Jim Kolbe, not Bush’s favorite Republican, and the early-polling front-runner, Randy Graf, draws his popularity from rejecting Bush’s policies on immigration.

In a more long-term perspective, Joe’s demise (only the fourth incumbent Senator unseated in a primary contest since 1980) is a rallying cry warning all Democrats that there is no longer any safe middle ground on which it is safe for ‘moderates’ to stand aloof from the struggle with the Bush Administration and the Right Wing of the GOP for the future of America. Democrats are demanding confrontation, not with the GOP in general, nor with conservatives, but with Bush and the radical Republicans who are trying to remake our institutions and politics in ways that the majority of Americans are not at all comfortable with. It is no longer acceptable to be tolerant of the forces of fundie-corporatist fascism.

Joe also demonstrates that Democrats cannot be fear-mongers and get away with it among their own. The ‘Scoop Jackson’ Democrat, ready to attack other Demcrats as ‘weak’ on national defense for not toeing some belligerent ‘cold war’ line on defense policy, has been repudiated. We Democrats don’t want our politicians to undercut our party’s efforts to offer Americans a rational, non-fear-based alternative to the mindlessly violent, chauvinistic foriegn policy of the GOP. If national polling on support for immediate troop withdrawals from Iraq of 60% can be relied on, independents as well as Democrats will respond to the Democrats’ message in November. The Iraq war will be front and center in every election this year, and Democrats will win that debate if they stay united.

More than anything else, Joe’s and Cynthia McKinney’s primary defeats demonstrate that Democrats are ready and willing to purge the ranks of our office-holders who embarrass us, either by being insufficiently partisan in order to aggrandize himself, or by just being annoying and embarrassing generally. We are serious about backing people who are willing to stand up for Democratic values, who are capable of carrying our standard to the voters, and who are capable of making us feel proud of being Democrats again.

Joe has already filed to make an independent run for Senate in Connecticut. The fact that Joe would even consider doing this is a central reason why he lost in the first place. When asked about the result of the primary and his independent bid, Lieberman said, "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand." So he’s running an independent campaign for the sake of the Democratic party? He won’t let the judgment of the democratic process stand after the highest turnout primary in Connecticut history? That is what the ancients termed hubris. If Joe continues with this vain and arrogant attitude, by the time this election is over, he may well have made the transition from being one of the most recognized and respected politicians in the country, to one of the most despised and derided.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which he curates.


  1. As for my coming to The Shanty a 4th Ave Bar with 100 different types of Beer for the College aged crowd with Pool Tables; I do NOT drink period and never have; I also never smoked a cigarrette or Pot! I own property on 6th Ave. and shopped on 4th Ave in thwe 1950’s when It was “THE SHOPPING HUB of TUCSON.” All Local auto dealerships, bussiness stores and car repair shops from Firestone to Goodyear were between 4th and 6th ave. I was not awara that “The Shanty” was were the Democratic Party Regulars met to discuss Internal Party Matters.


    As for your coment about me being DRUNK; I think you need to read my web-site personal history. I am a victim of a DUI driver and was disabled for life by a woman who was drunk driving in the Blockbuster Video parking lot at Roger and Oracle in 1996;with NO Drivers License;Not her car;No Insurance;and learning how to drive when she Crushed me between the Van rear doors on my 1996 GMC Safari as I bent forward to pick up a return video. I could not see her coming from the right side as the right rear cargo door blocked my view. All I flet was tremendous pressure and tried to push back! My legs went under the Van,my left shoulder was crushed betwen the doors as they slammed shut,my body was twisted 180 degrees around,and my head hit the windshield. People who saw the accident said they thought I was dead because no one could have survived that direct hit and being pinned. I vowed to the Woman NOTHING would happen to her as my Lawyer wanted to take her trailer and personal belongings. It was a huge personal loss financially for me and my family that I will not go into here as you say my stories are too long and boring!


    I discussed your comments with my Father Donald C. Leister and he laughed saying oh its one of those “Anti Fear Monger” students he taught at The University who could not take hearing about the second world war!

    He said; He told alot of his Students and employees at Hughes-Raytheon “If you don’t like working in Tucson, or living here why don’t you leave?

  4. Senator Lieberman’s conduct makes for an unflattering comparison with President Johnson’s decision to withdraw from all the 1968 Democratic party primaries after he had defeated Senator McCarthy in New Hampshire, but with only a little over 50% of his party’s endorsement for re-election. Then also it was growing opposition to an ill-conceived war that aroused voters.

    Had Johnson run, undoubtedly he would have been renominated, and more than likely he would have edged out Nixon. He knew he had been on wrong side of history, so he surrendered the Presidency. By contrast, Holy Joe, without a single major legislative accomplishment after 18 years in the Senate, believes that history can’t go on without him, whether his party wants him or not.

    Poor flawed LBJ, but here his example nicely underlines just how embarrassing Lieberman’s behavior is.

  5. Dwight

    Re: Raytheon and other topics of which you are ignorant.

    Are you drunk or just totally enamored of your nonsensical ramblings?

  6. Dwight

    Re: Raytheon and other topics of which you are ignorant.

    Are you drunk or just totally enamored of your nonsensical ramblings?

  7. I have family who also lives in C.T. and works for The Electric Boat Division Department of The Navy; Intel Div. Democratic Party Politics about Iraq has nothing to do with Lieberman being able to stop the closure of the C.T. Sub Boat Yard! Thousands of jobs in C.t. were saved because of seniority. Ned Lamont will have No seniority and will loose jobs for the workers of C.T. in the first year in Office if he wins in November! The “CABLE GUY” Lamont made millions from government contracts now a conflict of interest and will not be chairing important committees in the Senate. If Russ Fiengold and Move wanted a poster child for his running for President in 2008 this is it;but the Democratic Party will loose in the long run support because of job losses by defense department contract shut downs nation wide! I grew up in a family that lived one Defense Contract to the next;and it is not funny! Hughes -Raytheon moved from C.T. to Tucson so it could shed the high paid jobs in C.T. and layed off tens of thousands of Defense workers in C.T. to move to Tucson for its LOW wages. What comes around goes around and while Russ Fiengold may have gained the upper hand in Politics the workers of C.T. have lost an important advocate. As for stripping Lieberman of Democratic committees as was stated by Francie Schacter that will probably be automatic in some cases,but if he wins as an Independent Russ Losses!

  8. While we are at it lets talk about a “PHONEY DANCE TRIO” Gabrielle Giffords;Sheriff Clarence Dupnik; Raul Grijalvia; and Dr. Richard (shoot-em-dead on broadway) Carmona! This buch is as phoney as a three dollar Bill;although I do have a stack of “Bill Clinton” three dollar “BILLS”;here in my desk! The JOKE of PIMA COUNTY Law Enforcement and a Doctor who sued his way into the White House!

  9. Mike;

    I consider myself as much a Democrat an even more than ; Former Senator Dennis DeConcini who was just appointed to the Arizona State Board of Regents by another Democrat I align myself with Gov. Janet Napolitano! Also Mo Udall as a “Very Good Friend” of many many years another Democrat! Mike I was around and front and center with more people than you can shake a stick at that put Tucson and Arizona on the Map and made it what it is today;short of Raul Grijalvia!

  10. Francine:
    The good news is the voter turnout in Connecticut, almost 50%. I hope David Gergen is right when he says Joe might reconsider according to the polls with a three way race. Also, Gergen says Gore comes out smelling like a rose for the 2008 presidentail race! I would love to see him run!

  11. Very sad! But my take on it is that as soon as Lieberman files as an independent, he has effectively resigned from the Democratic party and should be removed from all of his committee assignments. Since I’m a big worrier, I only hope this will not affect other races where a disgruntled Democrat looses in the primary and decides to run as an independent, a progressive, whatever.

    It is imperative that the Democrats regain control in the Congress to control the excesses of the Republican party. This Republican president has thumbed his nose at the rule of law, by signing 750 bills – and appending a “signing statement” saying he will not abide by the contents “asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.” (Quote from Boston Globe article, April 30, 2006).