Microcosmic Connecticut

According to Glenn Reynolds, much of the "netroots" is alive today with talk about an ill-mannered Joe Lieberman in last night's debate with the liberal candidate Ned Lamont. It seems the Kos Kids are pained because their man Lamont took some serious body blows from the normally milquetoast Lieberman. Centrist Connecticut blogger Terry Cowgill, (no fan of Liebernan's) notes the senator's "hard hands".

In marked contrast to his tepid performance in the vice presidential debate of 2000, Connecticut’s junior senator looked more like Joe Frazier than Joe Lieberman in last night’s debate against challenger Ned Lamont.

But apparently it was not all Lieberman all the time.

... Joe appeared tired, looked like he hated being held accountable for his vote on the war and resented the effrontery of having to share the stage with someone who hand’t been in the Senate for 18 years.

Whether you saw a tough new bruiser or the senator acting like his discredited friends in the White House, the fact that people are paying so much attention to the Connecticut primary is most telling.

Ostensibly all the smoke is about Lieberman's ongoing support for the War in Iraq. But more fundamental is the question of how the Democrats will run in November, and whether they will tear themselves apart over security policy.

Despite what the media likes to promote in its ubiquitous push polls, the majority of Americans believe that Iraq is part of the Global War on Terror and that leaving prematurely would constitute defeat. Yet the base of the Democrat Party is anti-war, making it difficult to run as a pro-war candidate in any Democrat primary.

This puts the "netroots" wing (the base) of the Democrat Party in a tough position. They claim to be all about "winning", but their acolytes are motivated primarily by anti-war sentiments and Bush hatred. Unfortunately, "winning" and "cutting and running" are pretty much mutually exclusive. And when the majority of people are against your plan, you can't win elections.

The liberal leaning media hasn't helped these political neophytes by convinsing them that the majority of Americans are against the war. And the Democrat leadership in Washington have been strategically inept, to say the least. Their election strategy document didn't even mention the war.

So that leaves folks like Lieberman and Lamont pummelling each other in the primaries and the "netroots" folks gasping for air. The situation is pretty bleak for Democrats, and for Republicans, a dream come true. Until the Democrat Party figures out how to address violence and conflict in the 21st century, the Republicans are going to continue to stumble to victory with their present strategy for making middle America feel safe.



9:50 PM

Thanks for the link to my blog. I tend to agree with most everything in your post. The netroots types are in a bind. Of course, since I am not a Dem, it would not bother me in the least if Lieberman's independent candidacy cleared the way for Alan Schlesinger. It might actually do CT some good to have a real Republican in the senate (as opposed to Weicker, a lib Republican, or Joe). But I'm not sure the majority of Americans support the war. From what I've seen the majority now think it is a mistake but that to leave before the job is done would be equally disastrous (a view I share BTW).