To the Editor:

In his column this week, Noah Lawrence made some claims about the party system and Ned Lamont’s challenge to Joe Lieberman that were highly questionable at best (“Voters must lessen reliance on party affiliations,” 3/22).

Lawrence attempts to illustrate Lieberman’s qualifications for Senate by listing positions he held there and by citing that he was a vice presidential nominee. By that logic, George Bush ’68 is qualified to be president, and I would agree with Trent Lott that it’s too bad Strom Thurmond never became president.

Lawrence also says, “Even those who disagree with Lieberman’s opinions must agree that his judgment and qualifications are sound.” The point of this challenge is that his judgments are not sound. With Iraq, Terri Schiavo and the Energy Bill, Lieberman made precisely the wrong judgments.

Politics are based on ideology. While Israel’s system has its benefits, it’s silly to pontificate about the advantages were ours to mirror it. In our system, the person who would have been a centrist Democrat 10 years ago is now an unhinged lunatic-lefty thanks to “centrists” like Lieberman and McCain. I will not vote for a senator simply because he has already been a senator. I will vote for him if he is fights for the values I hold dear. Not only does Lieberman not fight for many of those values, he also weakens the primary vehicle we have to strengthen them: the Democratic Party. By constantly criticizing Democrats and reinforcing negative images of them, Lieberman substantially undermines the party’s message and ability to achieve anything against the incumbent Republican machine.

Benjamin Simon ’07

March 23, 2006

The writer is president of Yale Students for Lamont.