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Sunday, July 23, 2006

About the Lamont race

Once more unto the breach, dear friends,
once more,
Or close the wall up with our
Blood Angel dead

In Connecticut, Another Poll Shows Lamont Ahead
A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Ned Lamont (D) beating Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) in the primary, 51% to 41%.

Here's the stunning finding: In the general election, Lieberman and Lamont are tied with 40% with Alan Schlesinger (R) trailing behind with 13%.
Why so much attention to the Ct. Senate race? Why is every iteration of the contest bloggable?

There are a couple of reasons and the blogs are the smallest part of it.

The first thing is that polling cannot be ignored forever. Polls since last year have wanted a more active, anti-Bush Congress. The Beltway is way out of step with America, and Democratic voters. This should have been seen coming from a mile away. Lieberman wasn't seen as particularly vunerable, but he was hit with a perfect storm of events.

Combine a bad campaign, diverging from issues with the voters, and longtime resentment against poor consitutent service, any Dem could have stepped in and challenged Lieberman and gained ground. He's been in trouble far longer than anyone realized. That kiss and his blind support of the war were noted.

Washington insiders act like bloggers are Martians on temporary duty on earth and not concerned citizens. They have spoken for us for so long that they think they know what we think when they have no idea. Blogs can only reflect discontent or support, they can't create it. But it can reflect it in a way that the cossetted Washington Dems haven't seen before. They didn't get that Howard Dean winning the chair of the DNC meant business as usual was over.

Now they act like Joe Lieberman, who defends Bush in a state where only 26 percent of the people support him, is being lynched. No, he's beoing held accountable.

What is so interesting about this race is how Lieberman is losing ground and the powerlessness of the DC crowd to stop it.

They never seem to realize that they live in the only Western country where the national capital is openly disdained. As races go, Lamont is running like he was an established pol, not a newcomer to statewide politics. This is no Hackett or Webb, this is a statewide race with an unknown who is managing to gain nationwide support.

What is even more astonishing is the inability of Lieberman to rally people around him. The state party is walking away from him and leaving him without bodies, which is unheard of.

This could be a sea change election, like 1980 in New York, when the aging Jacob Javits tried to hang on to his seat and lost to Al D'amato, who kept it for 18 years. This could signal a change in the party from the center to the center left. What people didn't want to get back then was that people were tired of Rockefeller Republicans and were embracing Reaganism.

People forget how the Dems didn't adapt to Reagan, didn't challenge him, while his wing of the GOP turned into the definers of the party.

Now, in their most desperate moments, after years of veiled hostility, he reaches out to the black community, almost seemingly unaware that they hate the war and have litte good to say about Bush, who is regarded as more of an enemy than Clinton is a friend.

This is a fascinating race in the end, because it's like what people have expected from their politics, a movement of ordinary people to make change against entrenched power, and that is not because people write on their computers.

posted by Steve @ 3:35:00 AM

3:35:00 AM

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