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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Run Lowell, run

Keith Burris wrote an interesting piece today in which he careflully outlines why he thinks Lowell Weicker should challenge Joe Lieberman next year. His piece is honest as well as compelling as he points to things he liked and disliked about Weicker (I happen to agree with all of his points) but ultimately comes to the conclusion if Weickermakes this election about the war in Iraq, then maybe he has a chance.

From The New London Day

Like many people in Connecticut, I suppose, I have profoundly ambivalent feelings about Lowell P. Weicker Jr.

What I like about him is guts — a willingness to speak his mind and go against the tide. Weicker has backbone.

What I don't like is the bluster, the ever-congratulatory self-righteousness, the occasional bullying.

Weicker looks his best at a distance: “Nobody's man but yours”; the Republican senator on the Watergate Committee who cared more about the rule of law than loyalty to his party's president; the man who won a governorship without a major political party backing him.

[...]

Two things are true about this man, and they are probably indivisible. Lowell P. Weicker is a natural leader and a man of real courage. (Both rare in politics.) He is also a man in a perpetual state of pique and bluster.

Another thing: Weicker actually has some core beliefs. He knows a lot about health care and has really worked to democratize if not universalize it. And he truly loves the Constitution. That takes us back to Nixon and Watergate. Weicker was appalled at a White House gang who thought the rules applied to everyone but them.

You can forgive a man a lot if he loves the Constitution. Even Connecticut's state income tax.

[...]

Could Weicker, running as an independent again, pull off a political third coming — rising from the crypt once again to reclaim his old post from the man who took it from him?

The experts have already pronounced this impossible. And, as Weicker himself said, it would be hard.

Lieberman would have a lot more campaign money. He'd have the structure, such as it is, of the Demo-cratic Party. Strangely, Lieberman's base would include Republicans who hate Weicker. There are still more than a few.

But Weicker would have some assets too: his experience, his clarity, his outrage, and the disgust of voters with the war in Iraq.

Weicker's base would be Demo-crats fed up with the war and Lieberman's support for it.

Weicker would run as an independent and Lieberman as a Democrat. But actually, Lowell would be the Democrat and Joe the Republican.

[...]

What are Weicker's chances if he does run? Who knows?

But this may be an election in which an angry man has a chance.

And he should. Because this time Weicker is angry about the right thing — this war, and the incompetence and abuse of power and abuse of the Constitution that led to this war.

Congress does not declare war anymore. It just plays along.

That's not what the Founders had in mind. And once again the Founders have been proved right.

Weicker might be just the man to point this out.

Weicker says that, if he runs, he will run on the issue of the war.

Someone should.

The man, like all men, may be flawed, but the message is right-on.