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Today Joe Lieberman told us that he doesn't believe the Bill of Rights prevents the torture of American citizens. Yesterday he kissed George Bush.

Joe Lieberman had our support for the Vice Presidency in 2000. He ran for President against George W. Bush in 2003 and 2004. Now he is not fit to represent our party or the people of Connecticut in the US Senate.

Here's how to beat him.

Joe has one very powerful leg to stand on in a  Democratic primary. That is a party machine that can be made to turn out if need be, with sufficient money. Joe has that money, and he (currently) has the support of all of the local elected Democrats in Connecticut. We cannot beat that machine by overcoming it with Dean voters or netroots activists or whatever. But I believe we can go for Lieberman's jugular by taking on the machine directly.

That machine does not love Joe Lieberman--they believe that he is honest (which, in a way, he is), but their feelings for him end there. Ultimately, they are more loyal to the Democratic party and its values, and they know that George Bush is the biggest threat to those two things. So here are the ingredients of the frontal assault on Joe's support:

  1. Find a candidate. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't matter who. Someone with their own support base would be nice, but this is a risky move for a Connecticut politician, so many will probably demur. It doesn't matter whether this person is 'credible' on national security or some such nonsense--the race is about Joe. The only requirement for the candidate is that he or she spends a large amount of time driving around Connecticut and meeting people. With the ultimate prize of a US Senate seat, that's not too much to ask.

  2. Get Al Gore to come to Connecticut and endorse the candidate. At that point, the support base of loyal Democrats starts to wobble.

  3. The Kiss. As in, that picture is the ONLY thing that matters. There is no need to make complicated examples of Joe going on cable TV and undercutting the particular talking point John Kerry was using that day. All you need to know is that Joe Lieberman LOVES George Bush.

  4. Beyond the Kiss, the anti-Lieberman campaign should focus on Lieberman's record as Attorney General in the 1980s and exactly how he has sold out those principles during Bush's presidency. For instance, Joe got lots of credit at the time for an activist environmental record. They say he has a decent environmental record in the Senate, but I'm 100% certain you can find one single example of him voting against the environment. That's enough for a devastating commercial.

  5. As I said, the candidate should travel around a lot. It's not too much to ask the candidate to meet literally every Democrat, or active Democrat, in Connecticut. Just so that the electorate gets used to replacing someone *THEY THINK* they know well with a newcomer.

  6. As for money, Joe will have plenty, but money won't win this for him so long as the challenger is credibly funded. We can do that, easily. Joe will distribute funds liberally to the elected officials in his camp; he will get those funds from the DLC and the tide of corporate donations they can command. As long as our guy is funded enough so that the locals don't think the gravy train will run out when Joe's gone, we're fine.

I will probably pay close attention to any anti-Lieberman campaign. I'll post more on this in the future.

Originally posted to Marshall on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 03:58 PM PST.

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