The New York Times endorsed Connecticut's rebel Democrat, the Greenwich millionaire and anti-war campaigner, Ned Lamont, over Connecticut's three term Senator and the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman.
The Washington Post says Senator Lieberman is being challenged in Connecticut for something that in Washington is a rare asset - his ability to work with Republicans and get things done in Washington:
This is a talent and temperament that is helpful to the Democrats in the minority but will be needed even more if there's a change in power in one or both houses of Congress or, in 2008, in the White House. Then, more than ever, the Democratic Party, if it hopes to accomplish anything, will need people such as Mr. Lieberman who bring some civility to an increasingly uncivil capital -- who can accept the idea that opponents may disagree in good faith and who can then work to find areas of agreement and assemble working majorities of 60 senators. His ability to do so is a strength, not a weakness, for the party as well as the nation.
The Hartford Courant agrees, calling Senator Lieberman the antacid for today's exceptionally corrosive politics:
We endorse U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary for his skill in bridging the partisan abyss in Washington - a valuable asset.
This veteran of Capitol wars is adept among Democrats when it comes to working across the aisle on threats facing America, from greenhouse gases to intelligence failures.
[. . .]
His specialty is working with Republican moderates - and sometimes conservatives - to craft bills that can pass the most divided, least civil Congress in memory.
As head of the Governmental Affairs Committee in 2002, he wrote the Senate's version of the homeland security bill. With Republican Sen. John McCain and the 9/11 families, he forced President Bush to accept a bipartisan commission to investigate the intelligence failures leading to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The commission's riveting report sold more than a million copies, and some of its most important recommendations were embraced.
The list goes on.
Mr. Lieberman's rectitude, though it strikes some as self-righteous, is principled. He led the charge to tone down sex and violence in video games for more than a decade. His denunciation of President Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct helped make him Al Gore's choice as running mate in 2000.
As a champion of conservation and a protector of Long Island Sound and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he disappointed many when he alone among Northeast Senate Democrats voted for the 2005 energy bill that did nothing to curb the nation's oil addiction or protect the environment.
The Connecticut Post also looks at the Lieberman record:
It spans more than 35 years of elected public service starting in 1970 when he was first elected to the state Senate, continuing in 1982 with his election as state attorney general, one of the first "activist" attorney generals in the nation and then moving on to three terms in the U.S. Senate.
There have been many times when we've disagreed with the senator, but his overall record is commendable and the record of a fighter who has been there for Connecticut in the areas of defense
contracts, the environment, education, health care, civil rights, and transportation.
The New York Times is correct in saying the Lieberman primary challenge would never have happened absent Iraq and that the primary has become a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party. As the Times puts it, this Democratic primary is about Senator Lieberman's moderate fair-mindedness against a partisan radicalism that alienates most Americans.
The Times endorsement of the Greenwich millionaire and anti-war campaigner over Senator Lieberman, like the paper's revelation of secret intelligence programs is more evidence that the Times is suffering from Bush derangement syndrome.