Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stu Rothenberg Just Doesn't Get It

In his guest appearnace at Political Wire today, Rothenberg rolls out the usual tripe from the Beltway about the Lamont-Lieberman race. Oh, and he even refers to Lamont supporters and (presumably) the netroots as "the crazies in the party." Below is my email to Stu.

Dear Mr. Rothenberg-
Although I have been an admirer of your work for many years, your coverage of the Lieberman-Lamont primary has made me seriously question your understanding of the political climate in the nation and within the Democratic Party. Although I live in Atlanta (and was raised in Massachusetts), I have followed this race for several months via blogs and traditional media. It seems to me that you have, like many other members of the Beltway media, seriously misread Ned Lamont's support.

There are many people like me, who are self-described moderates who enthusiastically support Lamont. My own personal history is as a Republican operative and office-holder, having become a Democrat in the mid-90's. I am certainly not part of the Democratic Party's left-wing (unless one defines that solely on the issue of marriage equality). In fact, as an analyst for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee I was viewed as the "conservative one."

This race is NOT about what you term the "crazies in the party" (which itself is a rather unfortunate and unprofessional way of labeling the Left Wing; one wonders if you believe that the folks who watch Fox News and support the GOP are the crazies of the GOP). What this race highlights is the contrast between those who fail to acknowledge the current political reality- one where a disabled veteran (Max Cleland) can have his patriotism challenged and mocked by someone who never served; where someone who volunteered for Vietnam (John Kerry) has his patriotism questioned by someone who failed to serve; where to question or challenge the administration is met with calls for sedition trials; etc.- and those of us who believe in fighting fire with fire.

Many Democrats, like myself, have tired of a Party leadership unwilling to fight back. Joe Lieberman is even worse than that, though. He has tried to squelch Democratic criticism of the President, and has supplied numerous other figleafs for Bush's agenda.

Democrats who chose to stand up and fight come from all wings of the Party. We are not simply "crazies of the party". Instead we are committed activists who are taking the Democratic Party back from its milquetoast leaders and members. People like me would prefer a conservative Democrat who fights for the Party to a liberal who turns her tail and hides. This is not some ideological purge of the Democratic Party, despite what you and others in the commentariat would like to believe. This is a battle over tactics and strategy, the means to securing power. The sooner you and others in the Beltway chattering class understand this, the better.


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