Like the lady herself once said: you don’t have to fall in love, you just have to fall in line.

“I’ve known Joe Lieberman for more than 30 years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for re-election, and hope that he is our party’s nominee,” the former first lady said in a statement issued by aides.

“But I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary,” the New York Democrat added. “I believe in the Democratic Party, and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters.”

She needs the crazies in ’08 and they already dislike her for not supporting abject defeatism in Iraq. This is probably as far as she can go while staying viable for the nomination. It’s also a clever way of heading off nutroots support for third-party runs against her should she, in fact, end up as the nominee.

If they’re all such big populists, why are they opposed to a candidate who stands a chance of winning the general election running as an independent? Criticizing Nader when all he does is siphon off a few percentage points from the Democrat is one thing, but if there’s reason to believe a plurality of a state’s voters prefers an unaffiliated candidate to anyone else, by what logic shouldn’t they have the option of voting for him? Call it people-powered politics, with Liebs crashing the gates of the two-party system.

Or, call him a “traitor.” But if you do, ask yourself this: if, hypothetically, Hillary won the nomination with the support of the DLC and opinion polls at the time showed that Russ Feingold would draw ~35% as a third-party candidate in the general election, how strong would their party loyalties be then?

We’re heading towards a scenario where a significant minority of Connecticut Republicans crosses the aisle in November and votes for Lieberman. Kos will spin that as proof that Lieberman’s true constituency is conservatives, but what it will really represent is a protest vote against his own vileness and the pernicious influence of the nutroots. And it’ll cause some major headaches for Reid and Schumer in the process. Makes you wonder why they chose this as their signature campaign instead of some other race where the Democrat trails the Republican but is within striking distance. There’s less of a gate-crashing appeal to a case like that, but if you’re trying to cast yourself as a king-maker, it’s a smarter bet than an election you’re destined to lose one way or another.

The New Haven Independent reports that Jane Hamsher has decamped in Meriden with her three no-doubt-purebred poodles with plans to stay until the primary because there’s history being made here. They also catch her doing 90 mph while talking on her cel, which they call lawbreaking and I call busy people doing important things. I’ll leave you with the following; bear it in mind the next time they whine about righty bloggers supposedly colluding to “get their message out.”

Watching Hamsher work, I got a taste of what this emergent national political blogging is all about. Tidbits, encouragement, mounting outrage and excitement all flowed like adrenaline over the wireless connections between her and the editors of influential national political sites like Eschaton and Crooks and Liars. With one notable exception (Daily Kos), they’re uninterested in gaining consulting contracts from candidates or becoming operatives. In fact, they raise money for the campaigns through their sites; Hamsher said Firedoglake has raised over $30,000 from small donors for the Lamont campaign. They also keep each other abreast of the latest TV appearances, video availabilities, and gossip. They’re not competing; they link to each other.

They also tap into the Lamont campaign for info. Lamont’s staffers recognized the value of the blogs early. They realized they can’t control them, but they can feed them information and make use of their energy and independent video reporting and commentary…

“Nobody,” Hamsher declared, more than once, “interfaces with the blogs like the Lamont people.”