The political year is almost over so this is our last edition of The 1966 Game. (Next year we'll play The 1967 Game, and won't that be fun!)
The last game piece offered was backwards, and a poser. Who was Joe Lieberman then?
We know who Joe Lieberman is now. He's the most controversial figure within the Democratic Party -- assuming he's in it at all. Having been spat on by true believers from coast-to-coast, he seems poised to win election anyway.
Why? Because he represents part of the dying Anti-Thesis that Open Source Democrats wish to bury. He leans against the Bush-Reagan-Nixon Thesis of Conflict. He assumes its truth. He uses it as a sailor does the wind, to power his own boat and tack his own course. Without that Thesis he does not exist.
All of which proves to Democrats how dependent their party is on the old Thesis. This is always true. Even out of power, political parties rely on the myths and values which are believed by their followers in order to maintain power.
So who was Joe Lieberman then? Who was the Joe Lieberman of 1966?
Maddox reminded Democrats back in 1966 of something they didn't want to know, that their party had for a century been based on white racism. Just as, starting on December 7, 1941, the Thesis of Democrats was based on Conflict -- against Germany, against the Soviet Union, against whomever.
Most Democratic Presidents of the century before 1966 -- especially Cleveland, Wilson, and Roosevelt -- had depended upon the Solid South as a political power base. It was the Democrats' rejection of that base that would prove the party's undoing. First Strom Thurmond, then George Wallace, rejected their party leaders, ran against their party leaders, and achieved power.
Lester Maddox was the last representative of this dying power within the Democratic Party. And Democrats wanted badly to beat him.
Unfortunately, by October Maddox was his party's official nominee. He had beaten the liberals' choice, Ellis Arnall, in the primary run-off. His only opponent was the Republican, Howard "Bo" Calloway, a representative of the party's emerging Southern Strategy, the new Thesis that would (in time) sweep all (including Georgia) before it.