It really is too bad that after a thirty-five year career in state and national politics Joe Lieberman has earned himself the reputation of a sore loser.

Last night in his, well, you can’t really call it a concession speech, he said that he was going to run in the general as an “Independent Democrat”. There’s no such thing.

Joementum not withstanding, Connecticut Democrats chose another man to represent them in the General Election and Joe couldn’t muster the grace to sit out one cylcle before launching a “comeback run”.

But, as I wrote yesterday, that’s how Lieberman’s operated during his entire career. Hedge the bets, stay in power.

This is a man who likes to play the embodiment of all moral virtue on the public stage even though he made his fortune as a beer distributor. He’ll wear his Orthodox Judaism on his sleeve if it’ll shore up his credentials; but he never met an abortion procedure that he didn’t love.

The immediate analysis chalked up his loss to his support of the Iraq war – with a barely discernible undercurrent of dissatisfaction because he’d lost touch with Connecticut during his heady sojourn in the national limelight. I think that analysis is dead on.

Of course, the victor in yesterday’s primary won’t woo over many Independents of my stripe when he’s crowded out by the usual suspects at his first post-election appearance:

There’s Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women on the candidate’s immediate left. (As if it were possible to be left of the candidate!) NOW’s webpage bills the organization as. “[…] a non-profit, tax-exempt membership organization working politically and legislatively to advance women’s rights.”

Directly behind the queen of the abortionistas is Jesse Jackson. Let’s face it, no democratic campaign would be complete without him. And rounding out the Unholy Trinity, there’s a barely visible Al Sharpton to Jesse’s right. (Just over Ned’s right shoulder).

We all know that these are the movers and shakers of Democratic politics and it certainly comes as no suprise that they were involved in the campaign of a card-carrying liberal. But, my gosh, was it necessary to put them on prominant display at a victory speech? It’s like hauling out Ken Lay’s corpse to sit in the First Lady’s box at the next State of the Union.

Lamont’s acceptance speech attacked “Washington special interests” but he was (literally) surrounded by some of the most powerful special interest lobbyists in America. The irony was lost on the TV commentators.

This sort of thing will do zero damage to a Democratic campaign in New England, but it’s handing the national Republicans a gift more precious than gold.

Here’s how the fallout is being analyzed in the Hartford Courant: Connecticut Sounds a Warning