• No Labels Lieberman

    November 30, 2023
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    Former U.S. Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman, a bit like the eupeptic Hubert Humphrey, is a happy political warrior, gleefully defending a vanishing middle ground among his fellow Democrats and so called MAGA Republicans.

    He is a man of what used to be called “the vital center” in American politics, and his natural optimism is deeply engrafted on his character.

    In the view of moderate Democrats -- a very thin residue within the party of Jackson, Jefferson and (John) Bailey, Connecticut’s last Democrat political boss, the hard right and left now bracket American politics, which, some have argued, has become Hobbesian in its passions.

    A remedy for extreme measures and bad political manners embraced by the Democrat and Republican brackets is the elixir now being sold by Lieberman’s “No Labels” party.

    Lieberman probably will recall Barry Goldwater’s quip – if you cut off California and New England, you’ve got a pretty good country. Goldwater was describing the Democrat Party’s lurch leftward. Lieberman has been in politics for quite some time, and his memory, unlike that of President Joe Biden, is in good repair.

    Goldwater saw the neo-progressive takeover of President John F. Kennedy’s liberal Democrat Party steaming down the track long before Governor of California Gavin Newsom was permitted by the California electorate to make a mess of his state.

    Lieberman was challenged in a Democrat primary by now Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont – and lost the primary. In the general election that followed, Lieberman ran as an independent and, much to the chagrin of neo-progressive Democrats, won reelection, after which he decided to leave the U.S. Senate.

    Connecticut’s Attorney General for six years, Lieberman first ran for the U.S. Senate against Lowell Weicker, who accurately described himself as “the turd in the Republican Party punchbowl.” Unamused, Connecticut Republicans joined with Connecticut Democrats in showing Weicker the door.

    Weicker later ran for governor of the state on his own independent party line and won, leaving Connecticut after a single term in office with a Weicker produced state income tax. Weicker died five months ago fully locked and loaded with neo-progressive encomiums.

    And now, Lieberman, with some help from traditional Democrat Party liberals disenchanted with the severe neo-progressive left turn taken by the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Bailey, has undertaken the formation of a new centrist “No Labels” party.

    Not yet a political party, “No Labels” is a consummation devoutly to be wished whose mission it is to support bipartisanship and centrism through appeals to what it calls a "commonsense majority.”

    “There is nothing so uncommon,” a wit once said, “as common sense.”

    The Republican Party had been trending conservative long before Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory in January 1981. Neo-progressivism, substantially different than progressivism, is the new kid on the political block, and this effort – essentially to move President John Kennedy’s liberal party towards a post-Marxian, Antonio Gramsci vision of socialist/communist governance – has been far more successful than its most passionate proponents in the United States may have anticipated. Gramsci’s revised Marxian vision of the future was discussed here, by yours truly, in a Connecticut Commentary post: “Connecting The Dots: Critical Race Theory And Gramsci Marxism.”

    The open question is: Has the bottom fallen out of the common sense, bipartisan, Jefferson, Jackson and Bailey liberal political party?

    Recent voter polling that gives Donald Trump a significant edge over Joe Biden, an ardent neo-progressive president, suggests that intensely practical Americans are decidedly unwilling to surrender essential constitutional liberties for a mess of neo-progressive porridge.

    The latest “ask” from Connecticut’s neo-progressives, led by presumptive “moderate” Governor Ned Lamont – that the sale of gas powered vehicles in the state should end within a few years -- was recently shelved as a serious policy proposal, but several Democrat leaders in the state were brought forward to quell the tattered nerves of electric car proponents.

    The internal combustion engine assassins told us that they were not abandoning a measure that would allow neo-progressive Democrat politicians to muscle the 99% of Nutmeggers who own gas powered cars in favor of the 1% who own electric vehicles. The policy choice would be adjusted, not abandoned, by a closed-door conventicle of neo-progressive Democrats and taken up in the near future to be used as political wedge issue to haul in votes from the one-percenters.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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