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Liberals eating their own? Environmentalists go after Arkansas' endangered incumbent Blanche Lincoln

Blanche Lincoln is one of the most endangered Democrats on the political landscape this year.

The two-term Arkansas moderate is getting only about 38% or 39% against any of her little-known Republican opponents, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. Politico is putting her "at the top of the list of vulnerable Democrats." And providing President Obama with his 60th vote for healthcare reform in the Senate isn't helping in a state where public opinion is running strongly against it.

To stretch a metaphor, she's more endangered than that infamous snail darter that delayed Tennessee's Tellico Dam.

Now, the League of Conservation Voters is going after Lincoln for her opposition to a climate change bill. Putting her on its "Dirty Dozen" list of prime targets, the league -- which in last cycle spent $1.5 million battling opponents -- is vowing to put up mega-bucks to defeat her.

“Most regrettable is the fact that Sen. Lincoln is walking away from her previous support for climate legislation -- and given the scope, urgency and magnitude of this issue, she has more than earned a spot on LCV’s Dirty Dozen,” said Gene Karpinski, the group's president.

Asked whether the organization isn't in danger of hurting Obama's agenda by robbing the Senate of another Democratic vote, Karpinksi told The Ticket that the league is not a democratic organization. "We are not a Democratic organization, we are a nonpartisan issues-based organization, and our issue is the environment."

He added: "The fact of the matter is that we support the president's agenda that he reiterated in the State of the Union -- passing bipartisan comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation -- and unfortunately Sen. Lincoln does not."

-- Johanna Neuman

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The story is factual but the headline is about as misleading as it can get. Blanche Lincoln is no liberal. She is a corporate Democrat. She has no allegiance to core Democratic voters such as poor people and unions.

Blanche Lincoln a liberal?! That's the funniest thing I've read all day. She's a total corporatist Dem, protecting insurance industry and Wall Mart aristrocracy over her constituents. Deserves to get primaried and lose.

Calling Blanche Lincoln a liberal is laughable or pathetic, depending on your cynicism or concern for educational levels in this country.

Everybody knows the LA Times has lost most intellectual heft in the turmoil of recent years, but this "Blanche Lincoln is a liberal" argument establishes a new low for ignorance at the paper.

The Democrats really need to make climate change a litmus test. If a politician doesn't want to do something about it, that politician is not one of us. Democrats believe that this planet is worth protecting; we need to stand by our beliefs.

Nobody has any allegiance to poor people, Darling. That's why they're poor. And the only "union" job really worth a darn in the 21st century is employment with the government. The reality is the Democratic party wears like a potato sack for people in Arkansas at present. Are you from Arkansas? Have you spent any years there lately? Or, for you, is it just a small shape on a map of the U.S. ?

What is so shortsighted is that if they end up with a Republican in office this person will be completely against climate change issues. It makes zero sense to remove Senator Lincoln for these issues to elect someone that will be worse. Remember, to be supported by the GOP senators must adhere to their code and that includes being against climate control. Really, not thinking.

And the League of Conservation voters is just a clever Republican front that snipes opposition party members struggling out of electoral quick sand.

Progressives would rather have an honest opponent than a backstabber who claims to be on their side.

Instead of running a corporate democrat against a corporate republican, let's run a progressive democrat against the corporate republican.

The LCV is right to oppose Blanche Lincoln. Even though she's a Democrat, if she doesn't vote with us, she is a obstacle to the movement calling for clean energy, a healthy planet and independence from foreign oil. Just the fact of being a Dem does not make you inherently better on the environment.

The Eco-Terrorist are more then happy to eat their own when it suits their narrow agenda.

I don't understand your logic. If she's against environmental reform and a environmental reform organization is against that, how is that going after your own? You should post at Fox News [sic].

allaire8 has got it right. Better to have a lukewarm Democrat than a piranha Republican. Is the Democratic Party afraid to deal with south of the Mason-Dixon?

Some of those "conservationists" may be phony.

The senator from Nebraska is just like any other politician, no more nor less. They are elected by voters, but once elected they become slaves to special interests and only look out after themselves. I feel that democrats should learn from republicans. They supported Bush every time, even when it was to exile our Constitution never to be heard from again. Even Obama has become another Bush and by trying to be bipartisan, he has become the anathema of the democratic party. I believe that they losses that democrats have suffered since Obama took office have been due Obama's broken promises and not just one or two, but all promises. From Guantanamo to the wars; from waterboarding to renditions; from black boxes to murder of prisoners; from promises to end the wars to drone attacks that kill more innocent civilians than terrorists. That's not change I voted for. I voted, as candidate Obama promised, to end Bush's many failures, but in reality he has become another Bush. Maybe on the lite side, but nevertheless, another Bush. I hope Mr Obama has learned his lesson, otherwise, be prepared to vacate the WH. We voted to get rid of Bush, not to keep him on trucking.

Who cares if she's a liberal or not. I'm an independent who voted democrat before, but I'm sure voting against democrats these midterm elections. I think the democratic party is taking this country is the wrong direction, but come midterm elections it will be stop for good. It'll start here with Boxer and Feinstein, two people who have done nothing for the people of this state.

She's against health-insurance reform - they haven't even *started* on health-care reform yet - and she's supporting an anti-EPA bill put forward by a senator from Alaska, which loves the oil companies. I think she's against unions, too, as she's one of the senators from W*lM*rt.

Why shouldn't she be kicked out?

Larry when you say progressive please tell it like it is COMMUNIST!

She's more of a corporate right winger than George Bush. She is toxic to working people AND the earth.

Not only does she need to go...she needs to go to the party of her ilk...and it ain't Democrat.

With 42% of the worlds electricity coming from coal, we have the uneducated liberals to thank for much of the carbon in the atmosphere. People who don't know the first thing about nuclear physics or technology earnestly acted as the fossil fuel dupes to impose their disapproval of nuclear technology in favor of coal or gas. Now, with over 13000 reactor years of operation, it is clear that those who understood the technology were right. Now the uneducated liberals again attempt to impose their will but this time by insisting that wind and solar are the solution. Tell you what, I'll agree to let you buy your power from solar and wind facilities if you let me buy mine from nuclear plants. That way we can both have clean energy only I won't have to pay three or five times as much for my electricity as you are trying to force me to do.

If she's truly unredeemably wounded, she should step aside like Chris Dodd did and give someone else a chance. On the other hand, it doesn't surprise me that the Liberal Democrats are as stupid as the Conservative Republicans at enforcing ideological purity, even when it costs them the other 99% of what they want.

Democrats don't do guns, so they don't have circular firing squads. They'd rather claw and whine each other down to defeat.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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