OK

Before I get started here's a grain of salt: I didn't give much, my soapbox is only $10 tall. But this was my first political contribution and it comes at a time when I don't have a lot of money.

I wanted to share with you why I decided to give to Ned Lamont.

First, I believe very strongly that politics is about representation. Politicians have a duty to represent the views of their state on key votes in the house and senate. In my view, no Democrat has been so tin-eared to the heartbeat of his constituents than Joe Lieberman.

Secondly, I am strongly against the war, and I know Connecticut is solidly against it too. From the way Lieberman behaves, you would think CT was the state that had the idea to invade. There are many issues that I can tolerate dissidence from my politician on, but at this moment being realistic about the situation in Iraq is the kind of wisdom that saves lives. Instead of demonstrating this wisdom, Lieberman sounds like a DoD spokesman, eagerly singing the most supportive rhetoric of a dangerously failed policy. The situation in Iraq is not one that can justify Lieberman's blind loyalty, yet he remains blind.

So I'm no fan of Lieberman, but that doesn't explain why I chose to contribute. It was this article that convinced me. It showed me that Lamont was running a serious campaign, and serious about winning. The author makes an good point that I'll cite here:

One sign of his maturity as a candidate is that Lamont does not sound desperate for votes. When one caller, proclaiming the virtue of her own candor, started what sounded like an anti-Semitic rant against Lieberman, Lamont quickly dissociated himself from his ugly-minded supporter and launched into a paean to Lieberman's patriotism. In this era of brutal political combat, it was a rare moment. It sounded like the sort of exchange that, if repeated in enough forums, will transform the race for the nomination from interesting to close, maybe even stunning.

I couldn't agree more. I don't need politicians to represent my hostility towards Bush or his policies, I do need them to represent my views. Speaking of which, here's the words of Lamont himself from his website:

I am running for the US Senate because we deserve a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut and stand up for our progressive democratic values. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day in Iraq, it is time for America to refocus on issues back home: fixing our healthcare system, upgrading our schools, and rebuilding our aging infrastructure. We will start winning in Iraq as the Iraqis take control of their own destiny, just as America has to start investing again in our own future.

Lamont speaks against Iraq in reasonable terms, in doing so he is making argument on the issue acceptable. It is clear that he puts a premium on crafting an acceptable progressive message to match CT's blend of red and blue.

I think a lot of people mistake the desires of liberals and believe we want our politicians to be hostile for us when we simply want them to represent our concerns and stand solidly in opposition to things that we are solidly against. But on the other side of the coin, I feel that many folks believe that simply being hostile will cause political change.

I wanted to make at least a symbolic contribution to Lamont so I could speak against Lieberman as an actual supporter of alternative. And I wanted to write about my support here to encourage others to take the plunge and donate even a small amount to their home state alternative to our corrupt government. This way we can both vocalize our criticisms and be known for our support.

There are many races happening this year. I happen to think that Lamont vs. Lieberman is more about the soul of the Democratic party than any other race. But seeing as my soapbox is only $10 tall, I'll step down now.

Thanks for listening!

Originally posted to KingJames on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:12 PM PDT.

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