Lieberman this morning:

I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party.

And I want to talk about this for a second, because wasn’t too long ago Kos was castigating Republicans for putting the Elephant above the Stars and Stripes, so if you’re just skimming the surface here, and especially if you’re a wingnut or a New Republic-style “centrist,” you might get confused.

Every politician should have loyalties more important than party. We applaud those politicians who broke with the Republican party, for example, over the Iraq war or who buck the RNC talking points on some issue important to us. We expect our leaders to act based on principles and those principles need not always be those of the party with which they’re affiliated.

Joe has bucked the Democratic party in the past based on his stances on issues and I’ve strenuously disagreed with him every time he’s done it. Just as I disagree with Harry Reid and Ben Nelson on abortion and John Kerry on gay marriage. But Joe isn’t standing up and leaving the Democratic party because he can no longer find room for his stance on the war within that party. If he was, I’d be mad at him and call him a coward and a lot of other names, and accuse him of being complicit in this ongoing clusterfuck that kills more Americans and Iraqis every day, but I wouldn’t view him with the amount of contempt I feel for him today.

Joe’s party-bolting is not about loyalty to an issue. If it was, Joe would have left the party years ago, or he’d just up and up leave it now. He wouldn’t have announced he was gathering signatures, he’d have announced that he was dropping his party affiliation entirely.

And it’s not about loyalty to the voters. If the Democratic voters of Connecticut want Joe Lieberman, they’ll have a chance to show that with their votes. If they clearly state that they would rather have another Democrat in Joe’s chair, if Joe is truly loyal to the voters, he will respect their wishes.

It’s not about loyalty at all. It’s about Joe throwing a hissy, pure and simple. Despite what those screaming about “blogofascism” like to think, this is the process. This is in fact how it works. Nobody’s resorting to violence, nobody’s fucking with the votes, nobody’s barricading polling places and setting off smoke bombs. People are freaked out by a contentious primary and an unpopular incumbent? Voting and campaigning = fascism? Man, doesn’t that say something about the state of things, and the pitiful inadequacy of high school civics classes.

Joe has greater loyalties than those to his party? Joe should have greater loyalties. They should be to the integrity of the democratic process that is the foundation of this great nation. They should be to the democracy he swore to uphold. And taking part in that democracy might involve taking a loss in a few weeks. If Joe’s loyalties were greater than those to his party, he’d stand it like a grown-up, sack up, and move on after thanking the party that supported him all these years.

Instead, he talks about greater loyalties and I’m not sure what they are, exactly, and I hope people are asking him, because I’d really like to know what’s more important to Joe than that.