August 10, 2006


The Last Hawkish Democrat Leaves the Building: Democrats trade the 21st-century Scoop Jackson for the ghost of McGovernism past (Jonah Goldberg, August 10, 2006, LA Times)

Looking at the dozen election cycles prior to 2006, political scientist Larry Sabato points out that among about 400 separate Senate races, only three incumbents were felled by primary challenges. That one of them was the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee just six years ago is amazing. But Lieberman's loss is a bit less dramatic given the Democratic Party's evolution over the last quarter of a century. Lieberman was always sui generis — a hawkish, culturally right-of-center Democrat from a blue state.

As many have noted, the only reason he could get away with his Bill Bennett-esque sermonizing is that he's an Orthodox Jew. For many liberals, when white Christian politicians talk about God, it's scary. When Jews do it, it's quaint. No Christian national Democrat has talked so openly and sincerely about God and traditional values in decades (a point acknowledged by the Democrats' so far insufficient efforts to re-energize their evangelical outreach). President Clinton came the closest, but liberals could overlook it because they suspected that he really didn't mean it. [...]

Today, the Democratic Party is, simply, a McGovernite party. That is where the passion and the money are. But, nedrenaline addicts beware: That is not necessarily where the voters are. If the Connecticut contest was a referendum on the war, as many claim, it should tell us something that 48% of voters supported Lieberman. But obviously, the election wasn't solely a referendum on the war because there's no way 48% of Connecticut Democrats are pro-war.

What Lieberman's showing really reveals are the limits of the supposedly "people-powered movement" behind Lamont. According to initial reports, Lieberman was strongest in Connecticut's vestigial blue-collar areas. Lamont, a multimillionaire limousine liberal, represents the modern McGovernite rank-and-file of the Democratic Party. His most ardent supporters are more likely to carry a laptop than a lunch bucket, and they are still inclined to blame America first.

Political parties that ignore demographic realities aren't generally stable.

Conn. Senate Campaign Could Be 4-Way Race (WNBC, August 10, 2006)

The Connecticut U.S. Senate race could become a four-way fight with the Green Party saying it has submitted enough signatures to place a candidate on the ballot in November.

Ned Lamont is the Democratic candidate after beating Sen. Joe Lieberman in the party's primary Tuesday. Lieberman is mounting an independent campaign and Alan Schlesinger is the Republican candidate.

The Green Party of Connecticut submitted 13,000 signatures Wednesday on behalf of Ralph Ferrucci, the party's candidate for the U.S. Senate.

And the tent gets smaller....

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2006 11:32 PM

What the heck did Ned Lamont do to get the Green Party angry at him?

Posted by: John at August 11, 2006 12:20 AM

The Green Party hates the Democrats. It doesn't matter how much of a wingnut moonbat the Democrat in question is, the Green Party hates them. The Democrats have political power (such as it is) and the Green Party has none at all and probably will never have any in this country. So they get all bent about how the Democrats have "sold out to the corporate interests, man" just because the Democrats have a grasp, however tenuous, of modern politcal realities. As Orrin delights in pointing out, they're both fighting over an ever-dwindling slice of the pie.

Posted by: Bryan at August 11, 2006 7:44 AM

Best.Lamont.Spin.Ever. (per NRO - The Corner)

What does it tell you when the pro-Bush candidate gets 48% of Connecticut's Democratic Primary??

Big heh.

Posted by: Andrew X at August 11, 2006 8:05 AM

Not collapsed yet. I would guess the Dems have a pretty good chance of re-taking the house in November. Maybe not a long-term thing, but vexing enough.

Posted by: Twn at August 11, 2006 10:38 AM

but wouldn't be able to do anything with W in the White House and then face annihilation when McCain buries Hillary.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2006 10:42 AM

Or rather, face annihilation after their inevitable impeachment attempt against W.

House Democrats aren't a very bright lot, and have even more difficulty with strategic foresight than does the DNC.

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at August 11, 2006 11:41 AM