HAWK REVISIONISM.

HAWK REVISIONISM. It's pretty disappointing to see the genuinely estimable Thomas Edsall trying to cram the Connecticut primary into a very clich´┐Ż tale about how Democrats lose elections because primary electorates are "dominated by an upscale, socially (and culturally) liberal elite." For one thing, the image of Joe Lieberman as a scion of working class populism ill-fits his actual political profile. Indeed, as he himself took to emphasizing during the primary, he's generally loyal to all the key planks of the liberal interest group checklist, including, say, support for legal late-term abortions. The issue area where Lieberman is most progressive is the environment where, to his credit, he's done more than most Democrats to try to put global warming on the congressional agenda. Conversely, on economic issues he's a strong supporter of multilateral trade agreements, supported the horrible bankruptcy bill, has backed capital gains tax cuts, etc.

All this is more-or-less to be expected. Connecticut is a highly educated, socially liberal northeastern state that also happens to be the wealthiest in the nation and whose working-class population is heavily non-white. Lieberman, Ned Lamont, and pretty much anyone who's going to be successful in statewide Connecticut politics is going to wind up with a reasonable "upscale" political persona simply because it's literally the most upscale state out there.

Meanwhile, this whole thing strikes me as part of a longstanding and weird effort to try to pin Democrats' recent political problems on the faction of the party opposed to the Iraq War. It's worth recalling, however, that in 2004 there was a candidate best known for his anti-war views and association with gay rights and he . . . didn't get the nomination. Instead, John Kerry won. The hawks, in other words, got there way, and when it looked like Kerry was going to win they were happy to claim him as one of their own. But he lost the general election, just as the hawk-led Democrats badly lost the 2002 election.

--Matthew Yglesias

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