Not Your Average Anti-War Lefty

The origins of Ned Lamont’s opposition to the War in Iraq can be found in his Calvinist roots and family genes.

That’s the case Jim Sleeper tries to make here and here.

He cites “Calvinist currents of public obligation and individual conscience” in Lamont country and finds a correlation in his opposition to the war in Iraq with his uncle Thomas W. Lamont II’s support of American involvement in WWII. As a 17-year-old Exeter student, “Tommy” Lamont spoke out against European Fascism and argued that Americans had a responsibility to stamp it out. He saw WWII as a “Good Fight” (and he died fighting it.) According to Sleeper, the War in Iraq is no such thing.

“Had Tommy survived, he’d be 82 years old now, and had he opposed the Iraq war in any highly public way, conservative political operatives and their writerly fellow travelers and apologists would be sliming him as shamelessly as they did such veterans as John Kerry, Max Cleland, John Murtha, and even John McCain.”

As for Tommy’s nephew Ned:

“He has told anyone who’ll listen that he became Lieberman’s challenger because he couldn’t convince anyone else to make the race. But his courage in doing that reminds me of the uncle he never knew: Both have risen to a civic-republican standard which too many others have forsaken.”

Joe Lieberman, one would imagine, would argue that his support for the war would make him Thomas Lamont’s true intellectual descendant. But there it is.

– Jason Horowitz