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Rob W

Um the latest polls show that in a three-way, Lamont and Lieberman are in a dead heat. If Lamont wins, its going to be really hard for Lieberman to win. Where is he going to get his support? From the NRSCC? Shumer's earlier equivocations aside, these poll numbers show that if Lamont gets the win, the DSCC is going to support him.

Scott Tribe

I was going to point out the same thing, but Rob beat me to it. Rasmussen's latest poll (as hilighted on Kos - reported by Political Wire) has Lamont up by 10 in the primary and in a tie in the main election, but it seems most "mainstream" commentators havent bothered to comment about this - as if they refuse to believe it, or need another poll from a different source to confirm it.

David Thomson

Joseph Lieberman will defeat Ned Lamont. The Israeli conflict with Hezbollah changes everything. Too many voters subconsciously perceive Lamont as a utopian Democrat who prefers living in la-la Land. A left-wing Democrat is doomed when the central issue becomes the preserving the safety of loved ones.

David Thomson

“I probably shouldn’t be so obsessed with the Lieberman-Lamont race, but I can’t help it.”

On the contrary, you should be very “obsessed” with this political race. It is a logical response on your part. The Lieberman-Lamont race could be the straw that broke the camel’s back forevermore dooming the Democratic Party as a viable national force.


I agree with your sentiments, but I would note that it is not just right-wing Republicans like Kondracke, Caldwell, and Brooks who have missed the story in the Lieberman-Lamont race, all the established "mainstream" media have trouble understanding what is really happening in the nutmeg state and what it is about.

As a general rule, the media have portrayed this election as being a bunch of left-wing anti-war activists supported by nefarious out-of-state “bloggers” who, by their very use of the Internet as a means of communication and organizing, are presumed to be involved in underhanded shady activities of some kind. Framed this way, Connecticut’s Democratic primary mirrors the standard story line for Lebanon, Iraq, and numerous other foreign crisis. A militant, fundamentalist, extremist sect sets out to bring down the moderate, legitimate, peace loving government with the covert aid of brutal rogue regimes and shadowy world networks of armed nutcases.

It seems almost gratuitous to point out the many ways this frame does not fit the facts on the ground in Connecticut, but I will impose on you for the two points most obvious to anyone who has actually talked to potential primary voters and new Lamont supporters.

Firstly, while the Lamont challenge would never have gotten off the ground without the war, it is not all about Iraq and would not be possible against any Democrat other than Lieberman. Hillary Clinton has annoyed and enraged key elements of the Democratic base in neighboring (and more liberal) New York on the same issue, but how often do you hear about Jonathan Tasini, her anti-war primary challenger? Separation of church and state, school vouchers, CEO compensation, taxes, Clinton’s private behavior, Dean’s fitness for office, Terri Shiavo’s right to die; Lieberman has made a career of elevating his public prominence by strategically rebuking the values and attitudes of his party’s base. Is it so surprising that many of them have run out of patience with him? The war is just the catalyst for a reaction waiting to happen.

Secondly, the “blogosphere” has not been driving the Lamont campaign. Some of them cheer it on and a few may have helped raise his profile or bring support, but the amount of out of state money has been fairly insignificant (compare it with, for instance, the Dean campaign) and the on-the-ground organizing is being done by Lamont’s campaign (headed by Tom Swann, an experienced Connecticut politico renowned for his grassroots prowess) not by MeetUp.com. In short, it is a grassroots campaign, not a “netroots” campaign and Lieberman’s refusal to believe this is a key reason he has been slow to react.

It is very unclear right now what will happen next week. Lieberman has Bill Clinton’s endorsement, a huge funding advantage, and the Lebanon situation (which has dampened news coverage of Iraq and potentially scrambled the issues foremost in the minds of many voters as they make their final decisions) going for him, as well as a quite supportive media (the New York Times, surprisingly, excepted) and top Democratic operatives like Tom Lindenfeld have arrived to reorganize the GOTV machinery. Lamont has anti-war sentiment, a rush of African-American support (Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are both expected this week. When this is paired with the Lebanon development it makes Jewish voters the most interesting sub-group to watch next Tuesday.), the New York Times endorsement, and momentum which is now being reinforced by the kind of tide that comes when people start think you can actually pull it off. But in a very real sense it almost doesn’t matter if Lieberman survives or not. He has already lost. For a three-term incumbent and former VP nominee who is lionized by the national press, holds a massive fundraising advantage, and has the solid support of the entire Democratic establishment nationally and in Connecticut to end up in this situation is a spanking that Lieberman and other Democratic leaders forget at their peril.



Excellent analysis.

All the way.

I'd only add that the stark contradiction between Lieberman's 1998 speech presuming to scold Bill Clinton on the eve of impeachment (in its timing, moralism, condescension, etc) and Lieberman's refusal to utter one word about Bush's abuse of power told the whole story, at least it did for me.

The inversion of Constitutional principle in either case, and the upside-down application of moral values vividly illustrate the Parable of Joe Lieberman.

America rejected a Scarlet Letter society 200+ years ago - yet Lieberman feigned offense and embraced the pretense that Clinton's lies about sex were a matter of state. But Bush's lies about the obscenity of war in Iraq don't prick Lieberman's conscience. Not only does Lieberman offer no constructive counsel, no dissent -- but he actually lies about the reality of that conflict. And it's not ONLY the obscenity of war that Mr. Moral Conscience has no problem with -- the real issue is the anti-Constitutional WAY we went to war. That breach of trust was also an obscenity; the lies about the evidence, about the situation at hand which didn't constitute a threat, damn well arise to the level of "high crimes & misdemeanors." Yet that amoral exploitation of our men & women & friends & neighbors in uniform doesn't bother Lieberman a bit. The reckless cost to national security, blood, treasure, stature? Not a problem.

Sen. Lieberman willingly capitulated his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, eagerly facilitating usurpation of Power by the Executive Branch & by George Bush. There was no Declaration of War: a "Resolution" is by definition insufficient, and in substance defies the very meaning of the word, for it practices an IRResolution, in which Congress indecisively refuses to act. They refrain from accepting their birthright, refuse to uphold the Constitution, and dither on both destiny and any form of responsible leadership. That decision, to go to war, belongs to Congress, which has no right to give away its Constitutionally mandated Powers.

A plainer example: With the PMRC, Lieberman pandered to moral sensibilities to exploit the fears of scared parents -- at the expense of some of America's characterisic values. Why defend the free market or free expression when you can harvest votes and contributions by scapegoating the likes of Frank Zappa & Jello Biafra? What's a little censorship when you're only shutting up the artists with something to say, rather than your mainstream corporate Rambo/Arnold flick?

Thing is, exploiting moral values and throwing aside core American principles -- it had to be a conscious choice. There's nothing moral or principled about that.

Worth noting: Lieberman supported questionable accounting in the financial industry -- post-Enron. Silent on voting rights and attempts within the past month to attack the Voting Rights Act itself. Supported Bush's energy policy -- and quiet as a mouse on overall enivro issues. Takes contributions from Big Pharma and votes for 'em -- while Haddassah's a lobbyist for pharmaceutical corporations. Bankruptcy bill. And finally, any Lieberman complaints ab out the NewYorkTimes' endorsement of Lamont should invite this retort: New York City is "only a short car ride away." A reference to his statement that rape victims could receive treatment at the next hospital over.

Lieberman prefers the Scarlet Letter Society over a Good Samaritan Nation.

But that's not what this country's ever been about.

Framed this way, Connecticut’s Democratic primary mirrors the standard story line for Lebanon, Iraq, and numerous other foreign crisis. A militant, fundamentalist, extremist sect sets out to bring down the moderate, legitimate, peace loving government with the covert aid of brutal rogue regimes and shadowy world networks of armed nutcases.


Also note:

There is an intrinsic irresponsibility in the "Stay the Course" path adopted by Lieberman, Dem/DLC hawks, and Republicans. Colin Powell famously advised Bush that if he invaded Iraq and things went south, 'you broke it, you bought it.' The Pottery Barn Rule. But the Pottery Barn rule is a Lie.

Problem is, it ignores any Realpolitik strategy. It ignores the open incompetence in administering the occupation. If 'staying the course' were about responsibility, rational and effective governance would be clearly obvious. But neither "fixing things" nor Realpolitik involve alienating the Iraqi populace and then outraging them, the failure to win hearts and minds, the eagerness to repeat every mistake made in Vietnam -- right down to Tiger Force policies (see Toledo Blade 2004 Pulitzer) repeated in this week's testimony that soldiers were ordered to kill every male of fighting age (8-80) in specific cities/areas.

Why's the Pottery Barn rule a Lie? If you break a vase in some store -- you don't get to stay. You don't get to say 'I'll fix it' while ya keep on smashing all the vases you can find. And keep on, until whole inventories are gone, the employees are fighting, and the store splits apart. In the real world, you can not crow that it wasn't really a store in the first place.

Sovereignty means never being able to say it's your responsibity to put the country back together again. It dictates that "you break it" can never mean "you own it."

Sovereignty means that any judicious American leadership will fix its own broken country, and return to adhering to our Constitutional form of governance. The first job of any responsible or patriotic public official --Senator, Justice, or POTUS -- is to repair the gaping breach of trust with the American People, the rent in the fabric of governance, and the unaccountability before the law. Those 'mistakes' and transgressions must be answered for.

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