Monday, June 26, 2006

Joe Lieberman provides classic demonstration that senators who lose touch with their constituents risk losing touch with reality itself

Inside the D.C. Beltway, there’s so much helium puffing up the egos of incumbent U.S. senators that they are always at risk of floating away and losing all touch with the ground, or what’s commonly called reality.

That’s why keeping in touch with constituents is so important. It’s just about the only force with the power to keep a senator grounded and down-to-earth. And keeping in touch with constituents -- as Russ Feingold constantly demonstrates -- is about more than providing them contrived, manipulative gimmicks.

I’ve never been a big fan of Joe Lieberman. You name it: The way he won office in the first place by running against liberal Republican Lowell Weicker from the right. The way he sandbagged Clinton. The way he prematurely caved in Florida in 2000. And, of course, his position on the Iraq war and Bush’s handling of it. Gore’s having selected him as a running mate is the main reason I still have doubts about Gore’s judgment.

Still, there’s something sad about seeing an incumbent who’s been in office too long lose touch as dramatically as Lieberman is now doing. I don’t know what else to call it when “the Republicans’ favorite Democrat” has even Ann Althouse calling his little gimmick “pathetic.”

Note to Joe: There’s a war on. People don’t like it. What are you going to do about it? Ignore it? Blame Ned Lamont?

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