Apropos of the Dana Milbank column on Joe Lieberman I discussed in this afternoon’s Campaign Desk piece, the poli-sci blogger Jonathan Bernstein recently offered some more interesting thoughts about Lieberman’s complicated relationship with the Democratic leadership (see here and here). Basically, for all the grief the Connecticut independent causes Reid, et al on high-profile issues, he provides essential support on a lot of Democratic policy priorities—a fact that often gets obscured in the discussion about whether Democrats can, or should, “punish” him.
But if you follow the link to Bernstein’s blog, don’t stop with the Lieberman items. Over the weekend, Bernstein also wrote a very thoughtful post on the difficulty, and necessity, of coalition politics. This passage is simultaneously a corrective to disappointed liberal activists, and a reminder to the media that political outcomes don’t hinge on one person, or one election:
Because you didn’t elect Barack Obama; you and millions of other people did, and some of them really, honestly, had different goals in mind than you did. And you (collectively) didn’t just elect Barack Obama; you also elected Bart Stupak, and Ben Nelson, and Jim Webb, and Blanche Lincoln, and you lost some too, so all of us collectively also elected Judd Gregg and Mitch McConnell and Michele Bachmann. And Joe Lieberman. Those elections were just as real as the ones that produced Obama (and Schumer, and Harkin). And you have to deal with the results of all of those elections.