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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Graber Calls out WaPo

Mark Graber nails the major problems with the laments of supposed moderates about Lieberman's defeat. Highlights:
On issues as diverse as Iraq, the environment, and federal judicial selection, Mr. Lieberman was consistently unable to form a coalition of the center against the wings, largely because Republican moderates preferred to ally with Frist....

bipartisanship requires senators of both parties to cooperate, not simply senators of one party to weaken their party's capacity to oppose the other. Those who want bipartisan centrism need to promote independent candidates from all parties and expose Republican moderates who too often cave to their extremist leadership. A good case can be made that in the present political environment, centrism is more likely to be promoted by a Democratic party that uses every parliamentary tool in the books to oppose Republican initiatives until they are moderated, then by Democrats who when pronouncing a plague on extremists in both parties, make no actual contribution to diffusing the extremist policies of the right.
Graber also points out that while the Washington Post editorial he criticizes laments both Lieberman's loss and that of Joe Schwarz (a reportedly moderate Republican House member from Michigan who was beaten after an extensive campaign by the antitax-faith-and-wealth-based Club for Growth), the WaPo editorial promotes an independent run only by Lieberman. This is a very good point. I have seen no one suggest that Schwarz should run an indy campaign against his right-wing primary vanquisher. And I'm unaware of any lament about Schwarz's loss from the same GOP voices so sad about Lieberman's loss (e.g., Karl Rove, Dick "Lamont encourages bin Laden" Cheney, Tony Snow, and
Bu$h Ate My Baby
). A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but sometimes a principled one ought to be demanded .


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