Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dirty tricks
I believe it was Kos himself who first came upon this: an e-mail, supposedly from the College Republicans, organizing canvassers to travel to Connecticut to work for Joe Lieberman. This kind of strategic voting--or encouraging--in a primary isn't that unusual. What is unusual is this line:
People interested in campaigning for Lieberman in the Democratic Primary will have lodging accommodations paid for (by his campaign), as well as food and transportation.

I have never seen a candidate so desperate and so unscrupulous that they would pay activists from the other party to work for him.

Atrios thinks its a great joke. Digby thinks it's deadly serious and hopes it isn't true. I'm with Digby. Till now, Lieberman's misguided positions and egoism have been forgivable on the assumption that, in the end, he will still be a marginal Democrat. This, if true, takes him beyond the pale (as a Jew, he knows what that expression means; it means deserting your community). The College Republicans are not a group of idealistic young campaigners. Even if it was, it would be contemptible to employ them. The College Republicans border on a criminal conspiracy. The College Republicans are a well-funded organization whose former leaders include Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist. The College Republicans are a school for dirty tricks and corrupt politics. If Alberto Gonzales wasn't the Attorney General, they would long ago have been indicted on RICO charges and closed down.

This brings up another question that I haven't seen any of the professional strategists ask. If we take power in one of the houses by a narrow margin, which Democrats will the Republicans try to get to change parties in order to reverse the electoral decision? I believe that playing hardball in the primaries is the right and duty of genuine liberals. However, when we do the electoral math, we need to consider just how many we have driven out of the party. If Lieberman is signaling his intention to jump ship by spending funds on the worst of the other side, then we need to make this fact clear to the Democratic voters of Connecticut.

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