Have the Republicans or the Democrats ever truly been parties of the "open tent?" Count me unsure. Nevertheless, sometimes it does appear that the parties morph more and more into straightjackets where little or no deviation from the holy grail is acceptable.
Witness what is happening to Joe Lieberman today in Connecticut. But a few short years ago, Lieberman was touted as the party's pick for the second most powerful post in our nation: vice president. Today? More Democrats than not seem willing to retire this three term senator to the golf course.
David Greenberg highlights how a man who listens to his conscience - and acts upon it - has become politician non-grata in the Democrat party.
Lieberman draws praise from Washington sages for taking ``principled" and ``independent" stands. Yet it's precisely this contrarian streak that has made him so vulnerable today, and his plight reveals the increasing untenability of bucking the party line in an age of polarization. If Lieberman does bolt the party after Aug. 8, then, his departure won't be a historical fluke. It will, rather, reflect the new normal state of the relationship between Democrats and a senator who, having hewed to political convictions at odds with mainstream liberalism, has rendered himself a party of one.