Thursday, September 07, 2006

GOP Secretly Channeled Millions to Lieberman Before the Democrats' Primary in Connecticut

And Lieberman took it.

Insight Magazine reports:
The White House funneled millions of dollars through major Republican Party contributors to Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s primary campaign in a failed effort to ensure the support of the former Democrat for the Bush administration.

A senior GOP source said the money was part of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove's strategy to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate in November. The source said Mr. Rove, together with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, directed leading pro-Bush contributors to donate millions of dollars to Mr. Lieberman's campaign for re-election in Connecticut in an attempt that he would be a "Republican-leaning" senator.


In July, the Republican National Committee provided the Republican Party in Connecticut with $120,900, the eighth largest contribution that month. The RNC has raised $70 million, with a special fund designated to help keep its congressional majority.

"I'm staying out of Connecticut because, you know, that's what the party suggested, the Republican Party of Connecticut," President Bush said on Aug. 21. "And, plus, there's a better place to spend our money, time and resources."

Mr. Lieberman has raised most of his money from outside Connecticut. The veteran senator has turned his re-election campaign into a test of patriotism and support for the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

The source said that under Mr. Rove's plan, Mr. Lieberman would vote with the GOP on national security issues and help provide the party with a 50-50 split on major legislation. The deciding vote would then be cast by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Republican Party leaders plan to make national security the leading issue on the agenda in Congress when members return from the August recess. GOP leaders intend to vote on issues that relate to counterterrorism, border and port security, and national security.

"Republican leaders will be more than happy if their Democratic colleagues erect procedural hurdles against these efforts to fight terrorist organizations," Mike Franc, vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in an analysis. "The best floor strategy would be to give all of these anti-terrorism initiatives a unique identity by bundling them together into one robust legislative package. Call it Patriot Act II. There's no better way to give the voters a single opportunity to assess the anti-terrorist agenda and judge their elected officials accordingly."

"Joe [Lieberman] took the money but said he would not play ball," the source said. "That doesn't mean that this was a wasted investment."

The source said that under Mr. Rove's direction, the GOP has abandoned its Senate candidate in Connecticut, Alan Schlesinger, who has dropped to about five percent in the polls. Mr. Schlesinger has failed to win the support of any national Republican and has virtually no contact with the White House.

Maybe ActBlue should start a page for Alan Schlesinger.
"The more he [Lieberman] spits, the more that he [Bush] kisses," Mr. Schlesinger said.

What does that mean?

Lieberman will caucus with whichever party is in his immediate best interest to caucus. He's already broken with the Democratic party, not only by staying in the race after he lost the Democratic primary, but oh-so-many-times in the past - when he's voted with Republicans, or, when he's voted with Democrats after he's voted for cloture on some piece of legislation that Democrats would have been able to filibuster, or, when he's failed to show up for a vote that Democrats needed, and, of course, joining the Gang of 14, which was the most 'in your face' move by all of the Democrats who are part of it (Bob Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar).

Democratic leadership is worthless as far as representing the rank-and-file's interests. They've certainly been successful at keeping themselves in power over the adverse Rove-machine that chews up Democrats' careers. But as far as banding together and becoming a force in Congress for blocking the opposition (or just doing it to stand on principle, even if the effort is doomed to fail), no. They don't do that. This is a Democratic leadership that signs Bush's Patriot Act without reading it, and says to the rank-and-file who don't like it, "Elections have consequences." As if that's the liberal base's fault, that the Democratic leadership failed to spark the interest in others to vote for them. Or even vote at all.

Can you imagine any Republican in the House or Senate breaking ranks with their leadership? The only power that Democrats wield is when they stick together. If individual lawmakers are peeling off from the party, they're out for their own self-interest and not the Democratic people's interest.

Lieberman is playing this one step at a time and it looks to me as if he's cut a deal with the Democrats:

1.) He'll take the Republicans' money.

2.) He'll state publicly that he'll caucus with Democrats if he wins, which only means anything if the November elections produce a tie in the number of Senate seats held by Democrats and Republicans. And won't Lieberman then be in the catbird seat!

3.) The Democratic leadership (Senate Democrats, the DLC, et al) will publicly support the Democratic primary winner, Ned Lamont, in empty gesture only. [Hillary didn't go to Ned; she made Ned schlep to Chappaqua. Hillary throw A fundraiser for Ned? Big whoop. She's already given Lieberman the limit of $10,000 . . . before the primary yet. She's only given Ned Lamont $5,000, on the night of the win - that way, she got it out of the way and over with, reported in the election night coverage and off the radar. Ms. Rodham Clinton lends Lamont her top aide . . . . isn't she clever, placing a spy in his camp to 'advise' the contender.]

The Democratic party has moved to the right, and have been marginalizing the liberal base since they took over in the late 1980s. The DLC has been trying to entice moderate Republicans (more their korporate kindred spirits than the liberal base ever was) since the Christian Coalition's takeover of the Republican party has meant weekly church attendance (in Washington, too, and not just back at home during campaign season). The DLC would get to push liberals to the side ["Sure, go ahead, vote for Nader, waste your vote. You'll only succeed in getting Dole Bush elected."]

With moderate Republicans on board (Republicans like Colin Powell, and Christine Todd Whitman) the DLC believes that they'll get the registered independents (conservative independents), so their need for liberals' votes continues to diminish. Unless, of course, liberals can get it together, shake off the Clinton spell and beat the bushes for real candidates who represent our interests and reclaim the once great Democratic party and represent the people of the United States. [No, Barack Obama ain't the real thing. And neither is Ned Lamont.]

Maybe even, stop looking for others to save us and run for office ourselves.

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