Josh Marshall

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I think Ryan Lizza's on to something. Lamont has a very brief window of time to shut down Lieberman's indie bid. And he's off to a slow start.

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In the column I wrote for last night I said the Lieberman flame-out was part of a larger disconnect growing between Washington and the rest of the country, almost in the way tectonic plates grind against each other with mounting tension until the pressure is cut loose in a massive earthquake. I don't think it's ideological in the narrow sense, or at least not unidirectionally ideological. But given the Republican dominance of the federal government, it's really bad news for the GOP.

And look at yesterday's election. Joe wasn't the only incumbent to go down. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Joe Schwarz (R-MI) both went down too. Schwarz, significantly, went down to a challenger on the right.

Each went down in their own way. And it's difficult to imagine a more inverted image than Lieberman and McKinney both getting whacked. But any pol watching this knows they're each a chapter of the same story. For three incumbents to go down in party primaries on one day when not that many elections were even held is close to unheard of.

Justin Rood debriefs the LieberWebHeads on just what their story is about what happened to the site. And well ...

So Karl Rove puts in a courtesy call to Joe Lieberman. And tonight RNC Chair Ken Mehlman is refusing to endorse the GOP nominee in the race, politician-cum-casino denizen, Alan Schlesinger. Does this mean Joe is now the de facto Republican in the race?

I found this clip on Atrios's site from this morning's Today Show ...

LAUER: Senator, is there any phone call you could receive? Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?

LIEBERMAN: Respectfully, no. I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters to the mainstream, and for doing something for the people of Connecticut. That's what this is all about: which one of us, Lamont or me, can do more for the future of our people here in Connecticut. And on that basis, I'm going forward with confidence, purpose and some real optimism.

Maxine Waters isn't really my kind of Democrat. But then, if I understand what's happened in the last 36 hours, Joe Lieberman isn't a Democrat at all anymore.

But more to the point. This isn't just inaccurate, it's pathetic. I'ts a like a mini-version of the Iraq War or the War on Terror. You're either with Joe or you're with the extremists. Apparently half of Connecticut Democrats are outside the mainstream.

This is really the attitude that got poor Joe into this bind.

The mainstream is Joe Lieberman, along with possibly Sean Hannity and Bill Kristol. If you disagree with Joe Lieberman, a disagreement about policy is the least of it. It's a major existential crisis for the Democratic party which risks conquest by unreconstructed leftists, extremists and miscellaneous other freaks.

The idea that Ned Lamont is 'outside the mainstream' on any issue I'm aware of is laughable.

As a matter of civics, if Joe Lieberman wants to run as an independent, good for him. If 51% of Connecticut voters want to vote for him, that's democracy. As a Democrat, he should get out of the race now. And every Democrat should tell him to.

If he wants to run as an independent he should and could go to Connecticut voters and say, "A lot of people in my own party disagree with me on this or that issue. But I've served all of Connecticut's citizens for 18 years. And I still think I can be the best senator. So vote for me."

I wouldn't agree with that. But I could respect it.

But he's not. It's all about him and stabbing his own party in the back while he disingenuously pleads that he's trying to save it. He can't admit or realize or get his head around the idea that his denial about Iraq and his obliviousness to his own constituents got him into this mess.

In the end, he just won't come clean. Forget about being a Democrat. Just be a man. It's time.

So Lamont won. But it was pretty close. The final spread was 52% to 48%. Actually a hair's breadth less than 52%.

And that makes me think back to Joe Lieberman's disastrous and highly revealing decision to hedge his bets by running in the Democratic primary and opting to run as an independent if he didn't win the primary.

Given the narrow margin, what do you think would have happened yesterday if Lieberman would have made a bold and clear decision to fight for the support of and abide by the decision of Connecticut Democrats?