Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Thursday, November 09, 2006


More Post-Game

Good pieces today in the Norwich Bulletin:

But Lamont may have gotten more bang for his bucks than any other candidate in a political season in which more than $2 billion was spent. And in the end, his losing candidacy was a winner for many Americans.

From his surprise showing at the Democratic convention in May to his stunning victory in the party primary in August -- and right up to Election Day -- Lamont caught and kept the national spotlight as a lightning rod of opposition to the war in Iraq. He was among the first to speak out loudly and clearly about the obvious failed war policy of the Bush administration, and he was emblematic of a freshness of perspective that caught the attention of voters nationally.

It is not unreasonable to think Lamont's candidacy triggered a national firestorm of anger and introspection about a war that shows no end. If Lamont was a one-issue candidate, it was a doozy of an issue.

Connecticut and America responded. For months, there was more dialogue and constructive criticism about the war and other issues -- including the corruption of absolute power, as shown in recent years by some Republicans. In defeating Lieberman in the primary, Lamont made clear no office holder was safe.

And by Greg Sargent:

Early on, anyone who suggested that Dems shouldn't be afraid to call for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or to oppose President Bush on wiretapping or torture was subjected to a steady stream of withering scorn from allegedly in-the-know pundits. Those who backed Ned Lamont's antiwar candidacy were dismissed by David Broder and others in the D.C. opinionmakers guild as crazy, extreme, beneath contempt. In one typical example last February, Marshall Wittman charged that opposition to Bush's warrantless wiretapping program showed that "the Democratic Party is increasingly under the influence of modern day McGovernites," warning: "Let's get serious."

It's a good thing indeed that Dems didn't heed the advice from Wittman and others that they get "serious," now isn't it....

What of Lieberman? The Wittmanites, predictably, are trying to spin Lieberman's victory as a sign that the mainstream prevailed over the extremes. But this isn't what happened at all. A key reason Lieberman won was because he successfully confused the electorate about his actual foreign positions, which are well to the right of majority opinion, while successfully mischaracterizing Lamont's as extreme, when it fact Lamont's were the ones genuinely in tune with those of the majority. Lieberman's victory was actually the opposite of what the Wittmanites claim: It as really a victory of the extreme over the mainstream.

Recalling all this is much more than I-told-you-so post-election handicapping. It's critical to the battles ahead, because at the center of them will be a fight over what actually constitues majority opinion on Iraq and the war on terror. At yesterday's press conference, Bush fired the opening shot in these coming wars, saying that Americans won't "accept defeat" in Iraq -- an effort to position himself, incredibly, as still representing mainstream opinion. But Dems should never again let the likes of Wittman, Broder, Lieberman, Bush or anyone else dictate what majority opionion is. Rather, they should listen to what the majority has to say about it. That's what Dems did in the last election, and they were rewarded rather handsomely for it.

Locally, Ned got 45.8%, Alan got 12.4% and Mr. Seniority got 41.8%. This with 68.4% turnout.

In fact, Mr. Seniority got only 48 more votes than the losing Republican General Assembly candidate and she only got 33 more votes than DeStefano.

Statewide, Mr. Seniority, with the help of the media sucessfully muddied the information the voters got.

However, if we need another 10% statewide, we'll get it.

Sooner or later.
Not with a candidate like Ned
@m-palmer -- you are right -- this fight to get our democracy back isn't over and I think once the folks who stuck with Joe out of old loyalty will see in the next six years that they made a huge mistake. Ned had great courage -- and those who followed this race and others will hold everyone accountable.

energybanalist -- just go back to whatever it is you actually do. You have not offered one scintilla of intelligent discourse here. You are like a gnat up the nose of life.
@chaucer -- those who are stuck on Joe out of some misguided loyalty will find out. The Republicans who are stuck on Joe will find out. Just as the grass roots Democrats found out, that Joe only does what's good for Joe.

Joe asked Democrats to vote for him to keep his seniority. Then when enough Democrats didn't vote for him, he became Mr. "Bipartisan, Unity and Principles" and he asked Republicans to vote for him, to keep his seniority.

And right now it looks like Mr. Principles will say anything to keep his seniority.

Sorry analyst, it looks like now that Joe got your vote, he doesn't need you either. Now you know what we've been talking about. Don'tcha. You can keep Joe.

I'm with Ned.
First of all, welcome back AH good to read your "wit". Is scintilla the same as chincilla? Did you catch the ambulance?

Palmer, I voted for one liberal who was right on the most important issue to keep another liberal who was wrong on everything from getting the seat because the republicans were too stupid to actually choose someone who was electable to try for the seat.

I know exactly what I got, and I know exactly what I would have gotten. It wasnt a perfect choice, it was the lesser of the 2 (or 3) evils. But I must admit, I really dont know what you mean by "now that Joe got your vote, he doesn't need you either" He is a politician, that is what they do. They are the most wretched creatures on the earth, but voting for him helped assure that we didnt end up with one of the world's great lightweights in the senate.
I really think analenergy has hit the nail on the head with his last comment. The people who are most cynical about politics and the political process, yet still go out to vote, do so out of their own self-interest and voted for Joe Lieberman.

Fearful of getting another empty bag of promises from a political neophyte whose intentions may have been good they opted instead to stay with the guy who knew the system in DC, be it completely corrupt, their guy could at least navigate the waters.
energyanalyst, when are you being deployed to Iraq? Now that Lieberman is backtracking on his pre-election statement that he wanted the troops home, it's time you get your behind over to that hell hole Bush, Cheney, and Lieberman helped create.
Next up on Iraq is the Baker-Hamilton report and how Bush and the neocons react to it. That'll be interesting. From what I'm reading, its expected to be a plan to bug out of Iraq without the SOB (Bush) admitting he's bugging out. Pretty hard to finesse that even if Bush wasn't the insecure bully that he is. The neocons like Lieberman who for so many years wanted to invade Iraq for reasons they have never been open about are going to be at odds with everyone, Bush, the Republican politicians and the Democrats.
What you voted for analyst is a guarantee that the Democrats will now choose committee chairmanships, and the agenda in congress, in the House and Senate, for the next two years.

That is what your vote for Joe got you. You could have gotten the same thing, but possibly more to your liking, honestly, with Ned.

The "cynical" vote for the "lesser of two evils" is a canard. All you have is the "known" and the "unknown."

Joe Lieberman lies to everyone. He lies to himself. He even believes some of his own lies at this point. He's a classic. All you did was buy the latest lie. You put down good money on Lieberman and this is all you got.

You believed Rowland when he said he would eliminate the state income tax. And then after he didn't, you voted for him two more times. The carney barkers can spot you coming from a mile away. The sideshow snake oil salesman knows that once you've been taken, you'll continue to spend good money after bad in the belief that eventually you'll get it back. You never get it back. You can only cut bait and cut losses.

Voting a belief system and self interest gets you a Rowland, it gets you a Lieberman.

Every time you're given the option of cutting bait, you plunk down more good money.

Of course you're jaded.
Here you go analyst:

Wake Up Call (from the National Review Online):

The veteran GOP pollster says he has "never seen anything like it." Asked who is more likely to cut taxes for the middle class - 42 percent said Democrats, 29 picked Republicans. Who is more likely to reduce the deficit? 47 - Democrats, 22 - Republicans. And, who is more likely to control spending? Democrats - 38, Republicans - 21. In the past, even if Republicans didn't win some race or another, they were more trusted on taxes and spending issues.

The buy-in cost to cutting bait? It's cheaper than Staying The Course.

But none of this is about taxes, the budget, the deficit or spending, is it.
David Sirota wraps it up succinctly:

Learning From Lamont

Lieberman won the election not by defending the Iraq War, but by successfully convincing a key segment of voters that he was anti-war. That is, he won not by embracing faux “centrism” but by pretending to be a progressive.

The idea that running the entire primary was a mistake because Lieberman is supposedly more powerful now is laughable. Lieberman is a politician who drew most of his power not from his committee assignments or legislative prowess, but from his position as a media-ordained spokesman for the Democratic Party who had the “conscience” to attack Democrats with Republican talking points. This is why President Bush and Vice President Cheney so aggressively backed Lieberman. He wasn’t any old Iraq War promoter, he was crucial to pro-war conservatives because he was seen as a Democratic mouthpiece pushing the war and undermining the most credible war critics on the left.

Now, after the primary, Lieberman does not have this special platform anymore. He can never again purport to speak for the Democratic Party, because he no longer even has a nominal claim to actually being a Democrat. He officially left the Democratic Party when he ran under his own party in the general election, and his candidacy relied primarily on Republican votes, money and institutional support. That means while he can still be a gadfly and still draw attention to himself, his days of being able to fundamentally damage the image of the national Democratic Party are over.

In other words, Lieberman is damaged goods, not a Republican, not a Democrat, just a sad little whining petulant complainer that will try to sell himself to anybody, cheap.
I can't agree with Sirota on this one. Lieberman was the Democratic VP nominee in 2000, not some run of the mill Senator. And as Chairman of the committe on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs he won't exactly sink into obscurity any time soon.
Looks like Lieberman's seniority and experience did a lot to save jobs at Bayer and a contract for Sikorsky. Interesting that the announcements happened after the election. Oh, well, I guess we'll just watch the Senator during the next six years and see how long it takes him to start flipping on his promises.

Ned will always be a voice of reason for me -- and I doubt if he is going away. I'll be sorry to lose this blogsite -- Thanks again Charles for a job well done.
nice post and thanks for sharing....

Entertainment at one stop
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