Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This is a crack-up, Al Sharpton on Ned Lamont, Lieberman and the future of the Democratic Party:
“Ned Lamont is an unlikely vehicle. It’s always unlikely people who turn history. It must be God has a funny sense of humor. In my imagination, I see the meeting in heaven when they say it’s time to really deal with this war: ‘We need a messenger to send to the Democratic Party.’ And an angel says, ‘I got this guy in Connecticut, a real goofy, rich Greenwich, Connecticut, white guy who in Harlem would be like Gomer Pyle. Let’s make him the candidate.’ I can see everyone falling down laughing. And look where we are this morning. I tell you one thing: I don’t think Joe Lieberman is laughing. No matter how this night ends, he ain’t laughing. They’re gonna have to rethink the whole centrist strategy. Democrats everywhere are going to have to rethink their strategy. It’s just amazing.”

Al’s growing more expansive about the coalition that formed around Ned, of antiwar liberals, scared soccer moms, disaffected union members, and mobilized blacks—how they’re not only going to put Ned over the top here but they’re also going to change the direction of Democratic politics. “This is the beginning of the end of the right-wing takeover of the Democratic party,” he says. “This is a whole different kind of people comin’ together out of mutual interest and mutual respect. And the people that have the courage to stand up are gonna be the ones that usher in a new movement. Sometimes in life, you gotta make the decision to do what you think is right, and out of it something grows. I think Ned Lamont made the right decision.”
PS: the title of this post is the title of the excepted article, which refers to the kiss that Bush gave Lieberman after his 2005 State of the Union address. I guess it could also stand for Lieberman's 'embrace' of neoconservatism. It is in no way a comment on Sharpton's analysis, which I think is spot on.

Wouldn't it be ironic, after the divisiveness of the Vietnam war - which split the Democratic party - if a second divisive 'war of choice' were to lead the Democrats back to their roots and help them find their voice again, pushing them to articulate liberalism as an attractive governing philosophy in a way that it has not been for 35 years? I think this war of Bush's might just push the Democrats - despite themselves - to actually fight back! And it is long past time.