new york times endorses ned lamont

And Diane Farrell (that quote is on the jump page).

About Ned Lamont, in “The Senate Race in Connecticut,” the editors wrote:

The Congressional elections are very much about America’s problems in Iraq ... Ned Lamont and Joseph Lieberman, have clear disagreements over whether invading Iraq was a good idea in the first place, but grow much fuzzier when the question of future strategy comes up.

Mr. Lieberman ... talks about the threat of Islamic terrorism. Mr. Lamont ... reminds voters what a mess the invasion created. When it comes to the next step, Mr. Lieberman seems to mimic the Bush administration’s proposal to stay the course ... with new tactics. Mr. Lamont is close to the Senate Democrats (minus Mr. Lieberman) who demanded a timetable for withdrawal without being too firm on what that ought to entail.

No one expects legislators to dictate military tactics. But what we need from the next crop of elected officials in Washington is a willingness to face reality, to choose from among difficult options and have the courage to be honest with the public about the consequences. On those points, Mr. Lamont is by far the better candidate. [emphasis added]

... Connecticut’s Democratic voters sent Mr. Lieberman what should have been a jarring wake-up call when they rejected him for Mr. Lamont ... We have been waiting to see what lessons the state’s best-known politician took from his defeat, and from the daily evidence of the deterioration of the situation in Iraq.

We wanted to see a capacity for growth and change in Mr. Lieberman. The country is full of Republicans who now realize the Iraq invasion was a disaster, either in its basic concept or in its execution. The most honorable of them are in agony over what has happened. Mr. Lieberman, who had not only continually defended the administration’s Iraq policy but also attacked Democrats who criticized the president, had more cause for soul-searching than most.

But instead of re-evaluating his own positions, Mr. Lieberman blamed his constituents for failing to notice that he had offered some negative comments about the conduct of the war [emphasis added], too, mainly when he was running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. He did not protest when Dick Cheney said that people who voted for Mr. Lamont were giving comfort to “Al Qaeda types.” His only reflection seemed devoted to a re-examination of the rules for getting back on the ballot.

Since his primary defeat, Mr. Lieberman has run a well-packaged campaign built around his self-assigned bipartisan image — “It’s not about politics,” say his ads. But it is very much about politics — from the flood of special interest campaign donations that has been running Mr. Lieberman’s way to the old Karl Rove lesson that political winners never admit to error.

... Being able to work with the opposition party — Mr. Lieberman’s claim to fame — is hardly a sign of moral courage when the opposition party controls the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. President Bush did not need Mr. Lieberman’s persistent support on Iraq when he had the deference of his own party members in Congress. What the country needed — and what Connecticut had the right to expect — was for Mr. Lieberman to risk some of his bipartisan clout to call attention to the way Iraq was spiraling out of control [emphasis added].

The fatal problem with Mr. Lieberman’s candidacy is not that he was wrong about the invasion, but that he has not shown any capacity to grow and change ...

Mr. Lieberman has changed his tone but not his underlying conviction that he has been right all along. He and Mr. Bush are still on the very same page, encouraging the American people to believe that there is a happy ending for American involvement in Iraq, and that all it takes is the perseverance to keep marching toward the end of the rainbow.

Ned Lamont has run a far less polished campaign than Mr. Lieberman, but the more we see of him, the more impressed we are by his intelligence and his growing sophistication about the issues facing the nation. He is very much in the Connecticut mold of basically moderate, principled politicians, and his willingness to take on Mr. Lieberman when no one else dared to do it showed real courage and conviction. He would make a good senator. More important, he has the capacity to continually become a better one. We endorse Ned Lamont for Senate.

It’s about time someone called Lieberman’s “I’m bipartisan” slogan for what it is: morally bankrupt bullshit. He stopped doing what the voters here hired him to so, so it’s time to show him the door. The NYT has this to say about Diane Farrell, in “A Congressional Endoresement:”

The most fundamental rule of democracy is that when elected officials fail repeatedly, voters throw them out of office. If the polls are anywhere near accurate, most Americans have concluded that the Republican Party — particularly the Republican majority in the House of Representatives — has failed egregiously. On Iraq. On ethics. On oversight of a reckless White House. But that conviction sometimes comes into conflict with the feeling that a good representative should be rewarded with re-election, without regard to party. All of that brings us to Representative Christopher Shays, a Republican from Connecticut’s Fourth District. Mr. Shays has been in office for nearly 20 years, during which his state has grown increasingly Democratic. This year his race with Diane Farrell, a former first selectwoman of Westport, is regarded as one of the tightest in the nation. The Times has endorsed Mr. Shays in every race in which he has faced a serious opponent. While this page has disagreed with him on many issues — from tax cuts for the wealthy to warrantless wiretapping — we have admired his independence and respected his leadership on issues like campaign finance reform. Still, as his party has moved to the right, Mr. Shays has taken more and more stands with which we have profound disagreement. His position on immigration reform is far closer to the crabbed, xenophobic stance of the House Republicans than the fairer, bipartisan approach of the Senate. During the campaign, his remarks about the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison — which he minimized as “something less than torture” — were disturbing. Ms. Farrell, Mr. Shays’s opponent, is an excellent candidate. After eight years as first selectwoman, she has a better understanding than most legislators of the impact of federal mandates and tax policy on local government. She is smart and articulate, and her positions on the issues are extremely well thought-out. When Ms. Farrell first challenged Mr. Shays two years ago, The Times chose to endorse him as a rare voice for moderation within a Republican caucus that seemed bent on distracting the electorate with assaults on gay marriage, flag burning and abortion while running up the deficit, encouraging a ruinous war in Iraq and supporting a White House bent on exalting the power of the president at the expense of the Constitution. Now it is time to draw the line. Mr. Shays may be a beacon of integrity, but if he is re-elected, he will vote to continue House control by a party that has repeatedly sold out the country to special-interest lobbyists. His position on Iraq, which has gone through tortuous re-evaluations, now seems basically sensible. But if he is re-elected, he will support a Republican leadership that has refused to question even the most ruinous decisions by George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld about the conduct of American foreign policy. Mr. Shays has been a good congressman, but not good enough to overcome the fact that his re-election would help empower a party that is long overdue for a shakeup. This decision is painful, but not difficult, given the high caliber of his opponent. With due respect for Mr. Shays’s service, we strongly endorse Diane Farrell for Congress.

And maybe Diane Farrell will make transportation one of her priorities, unlike Chris Shays.

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