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Recently, I've discussed with a number of people whom I know whether being a liberal or a conservative Democrat matters in getting elected. And I've mentioned that this misses the point. Well, let me elaborate.

I'm an Authentic Democrat (with a capital A). What does that mean, you may ask? First, it means standing up for Democrats, the Democratic party, and Democratic values. There are issues of conscience and there are issues of preference in politics, and when conscience is involved, you have an obligation to speak out, especially if your party is wrong on this issue. But on an issue of preference, where you merely prefer one policy or plan over another, shut up and sit back and don't condemn the rest of your political party for their views.

I am principally talking about Joseph I. Lieberman, Senator of Connecticut. Senator Lieberman, while not the most conservative Democrat in our caucus by far, is the best when it comes to bashing the Democratic party on right-wing noise machines like FAUX News and talk (stupid) radio. When the media looks for a story about Democratic discombobulation on Iraq policy, all they need to do is source Joe Lieberman as example of a wing of the party that supports the President's stay-the-course strategy in Iraq. Except that Joe Lieberman is the only guy in this wing of the party. No other Senate or House Democrat has publicly stated that they agree with the President's strategy on Iraq. Not only have these members not done this because the President's strategy is most certainly failing, but because they do not want to undermine the consistency and unity of the Democratic message. Just as liberal Democrats who want to cut off funding for the war do not talk about it openly in public because they do not want to destroy the Democratic message, conservatives like Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who probably agrees with the President, do not chastise other Democrats because they know it would hurt the party.

A lot of the cheap political hacks (they're sometimes called consultants and campaign staffers) in Washington who keep on losing elections say that this "attack" on Joe Lieberman is a "despicable" effort by "leftists" to defeat a "great" Senator. These people somehow believe that the primary process is merely symbolic; being renominated by your party if you're an incumbent Senator is an afterthought, voters should just fall in line. But they're wrong. The Democrats of Connecticut are tired of Joe Lieberman's undermining of the party message and his fantasyworld of Iraq that he's living in. Joe Lieberman is now being challenged by Ned Lamont because people are fed up and Joe Lieberman needs to hear the concerns of his constituents, whom he rarely sees because he spends the vast majority of his time in Washington. And we in the blogosphere don't just support Ned Lamont because we're anti-Lieberman, but because we're pro-Lamont. Ned Lamont will make a great US Senator, and I'm proud to support him.

This brings me to my second point about being an Authentic Democrat. Americans like politicians who stand for something, who have conviction, who argue their position of conscience, who mean what they say and say what they mean, and who tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God. I'm one of those, and I only feel comfortable supporting candidates who are like this too.

Americans have a bullshit meter. They can detect a load of poll and focus group tested language a mile away. When a politician filters their views, an alarm goes off in people's heads. It's no wonder that everyone I talk to thinks that politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths, lie, cheat, steal, don't keep promises, and are corrupt. And no wonder that George W. Bush won.

In 2004, the country thought the US was off on the wrong track, Bush's approval ratings were 50-50, the country agreed with John Kerry's positions on almost every issue, and he still lost. Why? Because when John Kerry spoke, a bullshit meter nearly exploded in every voter's head. We need to stop picking candidates on so-called "electability," especially when there's no clear formula for winning an election in this country, and start supporting the Authentic Democrats in the race.

Montana Democrats did this last week when they picked straight-shooter Jon Tester over DLC hack and lying, scandal-ridden John Morrison. Virginia Democrats did it tonight when they picked veteran, former Navy Secretary, former Republican, truth-teller, and anti-Iraq war candidate Jim Webb over wishy-washy lobbyist, try to be everything to everybody Harris Miller.

And I believe that in Connecticut on August 8th, Democrats will pick the honest and straightforward and authentic Ned Lamont over Lieberman, who equivocates in the worst and most cynical type of way to win favor on the far right.

In the 2008 primaries for our Democratic nominee, vote for Authentic Democrats. If you're a moderate, vote for the candidate you think is honest and best represents your views. If you're a liberal, vote for the candidate who says what's on their mind and who believes in what you believe. And if you're a just like me, and while you proudly love calling yourself a liberal, you have a bunch of views that don't fit nicely in a box, then vote for the person you think will make the best President, because after all, that's what we're voting for in the first place.