It finally happened. Hillary Clinton has finally made her first tepid step towards anti-war leftism by endorsing the anti-war leftism of the Democratic leadership. Even James Woolsey’s other favorite Democrat, Jane Harman, signed off on the letter. But, according to one of Kos’s sources in Harry Reid’s office, Lieberman is furious that this letter was released at all.

A source in Harry Reid’s office told me leadership decided that their joint letter calling for withdrawal was a better gambit [than a proposed amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill], and that given the press coverage it received (and it did get wide notice), that it was far more effective than introducing another amendment.

But did it need to be an “either/or” proposition?

Indeed, the truth of the matter is a bit more complicated, and runs right through the Connecticut primary. A top Senate aide privy to the situation told me that Lieberman didn’t want to remind voters back in Connecticut that he was so wrong-headed in Iraq (or “principled”, I’m sure he’d say) by having to vote against the withdrawal amendment. In fact, he was furious at the Senate leadership for merely issuing their joint letter.

It’s very ironic to see the Democratic leadership getting all worried about Joe Lieberman losing his primary. We keep hearing how they don’t want the anti-war left to get a victory. Isn’t it obvious, given their letter to the President, that their real concern is incumbent protection?

Go below the fold to see what the party leadership thinks about the PEOPLE picking the candidates.
For an audiotape recording of Chuck Schumer at an August 2, 2005 private party in Georgia.

“Let me tell you one other thing we did. We are no longer letting Democrats get in a circle and shoot each other. I was just in Tennessee with Harry and with (…) and we have a primary and I stood up there Harold Ford is running and he can become the first African-American elected in the south to the Senate since reconstruction which would be a great thing for America. There is this young woman whose… not so young… but a nice woman running against him but everyone says she is going to attack him.”

“…(unintelligible) we are going to intervene if anyone one democrat attacks another, we’re doing that in states where there are primaries. We can’t afford to do it anymore. This always happens in the primaries, we would throw up the cards and see where they landed. No more, we are finding the best candidate in every one of the seats where a Republican is vulnerable.”

“So I called up Governor…our number one target is Rick Santorum…let him go back to wherever he lives, Maryland, you know you heard about it, he is Pennsylvania but he tried to get exempt from the school tax there cause he lives in Maryland even though he is a registered citizen of Pennsylvania. In any case I called up the Governor of Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell, I said who is the best candidate to beat Santorum. He said there is only one person who could beat him but A he won’t run and B you wouldn’t want him to run. I said why wouldn’t we want him to run, he said he’s pro-life. He’s a deeply religious Catholic man. Bob Casey.”

“I said, those days are over Ed. Yes I’m pro-choice, but we need the best candidate. We can’t insist that every democrat check off 18 different issues before they get (unintelligible) we could do that, we can’t anymore. And so, we persuaded, Harry using his very…Harry has amazing insights into people…and we together persuaded Bob Casey to run. A poll yesterday…national…all the polls they did…Casey 51 Santorum 40. You should see Santorum nervous and walkin on the floor.”

(unintelligible)

“And we’re doing this in the other states.”

They “intervened” with Paul Hackett in Ohio. The Democratic leadership is now officially part of the anti-war left, but that doesn’t keep them from wanting to protect their own members. If Lamont wins, we might just get into our little plebian minds that we can stand up to Chuck Schumer and select our own candidates who are willing to “check off 18 different issues” before they get our support. Issues like a women’s right to choose and opposition to starting land wars in Asia.

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