So Lamont beats Lieberman, but not with as wide a margin as the previous week’s polls suggested, and so… what? We’re supposed to think that the defeat of a three-term senator who carried the party’s banner on the national ticket in 2000 is not significant? Is tomorrow morning’s spin going to be, “Hey, Joe caught up to within 3 points! It wasn’t so bad!” Sorry, that won’t wash.
This is a 1968 moment. By which I mean it is a revolt of the people against a Democratic party leadership that hasn’t quite kept up with the depth of anger felt by voters about a terrible war. In 1968 the final outcome was fragmentation of the party followed by national defeat. The defeat that year was helped along by sundry assassinations and other schisms, like the Wallace candidacy. It doesn’t have to happen again this time around.
In order for it not to happen, the Democratic leadership needs to do something simple: accept the verdict of its own voters. In Connecticut, this means that Ned Lamont is now the Democratic candidate. If Joe Lieberman insists on the divine right to senatorship and runs as an independent spoiler, the party ought to shun him; given the closeness of the battle for the Senate, where every seat counts, a third-party run on his part says to the world, “I don’t care who controls the Senate as long as I get my revenge.”
On the wider national stage, the Connecticut results send a simple message to the Democratic leadership: Bush’s deceptively launched and incompetently prosecuted war is a disaster of such colossal proportions — such unconscionable cost in human lives, dollars, and lost opportunities — that it looms over everything this year. The Democrats must unite around a simple platform — throw out the liars, the war profiteers, the fanatics and the idiots who have led us into this mess. Bipartisanship is folly in today’s climate. The other guys don’t play that game. (See Paul Krugman, “Centrism is for Suckers.”)
[tags]Democratic Party, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont[/tags]
There are no revisions for this post.