Republican Ned becomes Red Ned
During the primary, Lieberman frequently accused Ned Lamont of being a closet Republican. Lieberman had to blunt the criticism he was receiving for being to close to Bush. How to do this? Suggest that it was Lamont, not Lieberman, who was the real Republican in the race! A popular talking point was the claim that Lamont, while a city councilman, had sided with Republican coleagues 80% of the time.
Lieberman lost. And now he is running as an independent. In order to win in the general election, Lieberman has to get a significant share of the Republican vote. He can't do that by accusing Lamont of being a closet Republican. So what to do?
Accuse Lamont of being a closet Communist!
Gerstein had associated Lamont with three figures on the left: Sanders, the self-described socialist congressman from Vermont who caucuses with the House Democrats; the Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York civil rights advocate and former Democratic presidential candidate; and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos, one of the liberals' most popular political weblogs.
The Lieberman aide's e-mail came the same day the Waterbury Republican-American editorialized about "Ned's true colors," describing the candidate's great-grandfather, Thomas W. Lamont, as not only chairman of J.P. Morgan but "the sugar daddy for the American Communist Party," and his uncle, Corliss Lamont, as "an unapologetic Stalinist and atheist."
The newspaper also suggested that Lamont has "surrounded himself with people who may be characterized fairly as dedicated socialists and borderline communists," and noted that "race hustlers Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton" had stumped for his victory.
Hey! Whatever works!