Lamont's victory isn't just a win for the antiwar wing of the party. It's a victory for Americans who fear the recklessness of the Bush administration, who feel the wheels are falling off the truck, and who want Democrats to fix it. Mainstream Democrats who can't see that political reality are a threat to the party. The charge of "liberal McCarthyism" against Lamont voters and their lefty blogger backers by some Beltway voices, including Beltway Democrats -- based mainly on the words of anonymous posters in comments threads, by the way, Lanny Davis -– is far worse for Democratic prospects than the random excesses of the antiwar left. (Imagine a GOP in which Karl Rove penned Op-Eds in the New York Times savaging the Christian right.) The notion that Lamont supporters are somehow "destroying the center" or killing bipartisanism is fiction; George W. Bush did that. Lieberman is suffering the consequences.
-Joan Walsh, Salon
You see, despite what Joe Lieberman believes, invading Iraq and diverting our attention away from Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden is not being strong on national security. Blind allegiance to George W. Bush and his failed "stay the course" strategy is not being strong on national security. And no, Senator Lieberman, no matter how you demonize your opponents, there is no "antisecurity wing" of the Democratic Party.
-Gen. Wesley Clark
The man whose (largely Republican) media supporters glorified him as one of the few "men of principle" left in Washington has revealed himself to be bereft of all principles save one -- the "principle" that Joe Lieberman's Senate seat belongs to him personally and that no mere voters, those silly, unenlightened masses, have the right to take that away from him. In the face of this rare testament to true democracy -- the decisive rejection of Lieberman by Connecticut voters in defiance of virtually the entire national political establishment -- Lieberman had nothing but scorn, contempt and defiance for their decision.
He thus intoned: "I am disappointed not just because I lost, but because the old politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand." This man of principle "will not let that result stand" -- "that result" being the considered decision of the voters whom he has claimed to represent for the last 18 years.A more selfish and craven act is difficult to imagine.
-Glenn Greenwald, Salon's War Room
Lieberman finished his campaign on a desperate note, proclaiming his purity of heart as a Democrat and assailing Bush on Iraq blunders, even as he announced in losing that he would not abide by his party's verdict and instead run as an independent. The man of faith is now running on bad faith. Self-righteousness fostered self-delusion, leading to self-destruction. Lieberman's fall is a cautionary tale not limited to Connecticut.
-Sidney Blumenthal, Salon
Now Lieberman has the stink of loser on him. His concession speech was the last gasp of the man with cement shoes sinking into Long Island Sound, vowing impotent vengeance on those who did him in. Accusing someone of "partisan politics" in a party's primary is not unlike accusing a marathon runner of running a marathon. And sure, sure, Republicans and some Democrats will attempt to prop him up in his doomed "independent" run, but he's got no party machine behind him, only the hope that a three-term Senator can run as a heroic underdog rather than some pathetic figure who wasn't even good enough for his own party. Goddamn, it'll be sad. One hopes, desperately, that Bill Clinton'll show up on Lieberman's doorstep and get him to agree that the most noble thing is for a man to fall on his sword.
Lieberman lost because he was wrong, on the war, on indecency, on torture, on Social Security, and more, more, more. He lost not because he said he was right, but because he tried to say that wrong was right.