Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Democrats Prepare for Civil War

"I don’t believe every public official is going to come out and support Ned Lamont. But I believe in the voting booth they will."
Rep. David McCluskey, in the NH Register today.

Ugly. It's going to be ugly.

How can it not? There's already so much hate and bile in the Democratic Senate race, which officially is just a few days old, that it's almost impossible to rise above it. I'm not talking about the candidates, who have mostly been cordial (so far--expect that to change), but their supporters, staff and partisans. If their behavior is any indication, this could be an excruciating campaign.

Joe Lieberman: The Shame of a Nation
Story title at MyLeftNutmeg

There's no reason why it wouldn't be ugly. To many on both sides, this is a fight for the heart and soul of the party, a fight over ideology and values, and a fight over the course the national Democratic Party should take as it seeks some way to be an effective counter to the Republicans. These aren't little issues.

You don't need to ... do anything to encourage the Kos folks to get involved in this campaign, as unfortunately they are already going nuts about this. I say "unfortunately" because I'm a Democrat who sees them as perhaps the most destructive force in my party right now.
Comment by dastrong at RedState

Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a pure liberal sword, with which they might slay the dragon of neoconservatism. Lieberman, perhaps even more than George W. Bush, represents everything that's wrong with America. To them, Lieberman supporters are no better than pro-torture, pro-war, pro-Bush, FOX News watching, gay-bashing, money-grubbing no-good Republicans. They're in the way of change and progress--they need to be cleared aside.

Do we need any more evidence of how important Lieberman is to the Connecticut Republican Party? Lieberman provides them cover. They'd wither and die without him around.

Support Ned.

Posted by kos at Daily Kos

Lieberman supporters see their man as a figure of moderation, common sense, compromise and values in a sea of seething partisanship. Some Democrats may not agree with Lieberman on every issue, but he's served the party and the state very well for a long time--flaws can be overlooked for unity's sake. For others, Lieberman is a brave man who is willing to stand up to his own party's rather dimwitted leadership on issues of principle. To most Lieberman supporters, Lamont's supporters are nothing but a small group of whiny, wild eyed, anti-war, party-smashing loudmouthed ultraliberal nuts. They're a threat to their man and to the unity of the party; they need to be taught a lesson.

“Quite frankly, it angers me that some in our party have such short memories about this man and his record in the U.S. Senate... Re-electing Joe Lieberman to the Senate should be a no-brainer.”

Speaker of the House Jim Amman, in a Lieberman press release

Generalizations, yes. But at the heart of each campaign and each support base, you'll find these opinions and motivations. Is there room in the Democratic Party for both men? More importantly, is there room in the party for the supporters of both men?

So it's going to get ugly. Actually, it already is ugly.

73 comments:

turfgrrl said...

Maybe online it will get ugly, but the people who show up and vote are not the same people who rant online. Caveat emptor.

Genghis Conn said...

It's going to be a bloodbath online, no doubt. I have a feeling that it's going to migrate offline at some point, though, especially as money keeps flowing into the both the Lieberman and Lamont campaigns from out of state. There will be some nasty TV ads this summer.

tparty said...

Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a pure liberal sword, with which they might slay the dragon of neoconservatism

Wrong. Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a Democratic party. One which will stand up to GOP policies - foreign and domestic - that are destructive to both Connecticut and the nation.

Lieberman, perhaps even more than George W. Bush, represents everything that's wrong with America.

Wrong. Lieberman represents everything that's wrong with Joe Lieberman. Part of what's wrong with Joe Lieberman is that he endorses Bush's tax cuts, social security privatization, and monumentally botched foreign policy.

To them, Lieberman supporters are no better than pro-torture, pro-war, pro-Bush, FOX News watching, gay-bashing, money-grubbing no-good Republicans. They're in the way of change and progress--they need to be cleared aside.

Absolutely, utterly wrong. Lamont supporters by and large have no qualms with Lieberman supporters. We want to convince them! We have qualms with Joe Lieberman.

Re-read the shameful words of Joe Lieberman on Abu Ghraib that you linked to. How can you not have serious issues with a man who equivocates on such a basic fundamental American value. Especially a man who claims the moral high ground on so many issues.

As Ned Lamont put it so plainly, all we want is a "dinner table conversation" to debate the issues. Democrats in Connecticut deserve that. They have not had the chance to do that with Joe for over thirty years.

Is that a "civil war"? Hardly.

ctblogger said...

Perfect comment third party.

Genghis Conn said...

Thirdparty,

Really...? All right, then. Looking forward to a nice, clean campaign with no name-calling.

How many times have I seen this happen: someone pipes up here with a smidgen of support for Lieberman, only to be shouted down with accusations that the commenter is a) a Lieberman staffer b) a Republican or c) an idiot who doesn't see the truth -- fifty examples of truth to follow.

There's so much emotion and frustration swirling around this one that it can't fail to get really amazingly nasty. Just watch.

Anonymous said...

The die is cast....let the war begin.

Genghis Conn said...

Wrong. Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a Democratic party. One which will stand up to GOP policies - foreign and domestic - that are destructive to both Connecticut and the nation.

Isn't that what I said? I just said it in a pretty way, with metaphors.

What is the Democratic Party? Isn't that the question on the table, here?

turfgrrl said...

GC,
For all the noise online, I have yet to see where lefty angst translates into voting activity. For example Howard Dean raised a ton of money, most from grass roots support, yet it did not translate into votes. Did any Democracy For America candidates win anything this last election cycle here? Sure some people are motivated to get engaged, but at a 100 a clip, the clock runs out pretty fast.

Genghis Conn said...

You're probably right, tuffgirl, but even a 60-40 or 65-35 split can make for a real furball.

Anonymous said...

Lieberwhore is one of those mainly responsible for the almost 2500 american soldier deaths, let alone the 20,000 iraq deaths and the destruction of that country.

He shouldnt lose only his Senator seat..he should be tried as a war criminal..

He also is taking the lead in making sure we have less civil liberties by his strident and fierce backing of the Patriot Act.

I for one will not give a dime to those congressional and constitutional cowards who when Lieberwhore called..came running to endorse him.If they lose...its on them...

Anonymous said...

I'm not talking about the candidates, who have mostly been cordial (so far--expect that to change), but their supporters, staff and partisans. If their behavior is any indication, this could be an excruciating campaign.

Sean Smith:

"Attacking Sen. Lieberman's character and integrity was a predictable but dishonorable way to begin this campaign," said Sean Smith, Lieberman's campaign manager. "Mr. Lamont is clearly going to run a very negative and angry campaign where the truth doesn't get in the way."

Tom Swan:

"That's what their focus groups tell them they have do, portray Ned as angry. That's asinine," Swan said. "We're going to talk about Lieberman's record. It would be a good record - for a Republican from Mississippi."

An outright lie and misrepresentation versus what? Exaggeration? Score it for Swan by a decision.

It's my understanding Mr Lieberman went out of state to hire his campaign manager. Could he not find someone from Connecticut? Or am I mistaken on this point.

TrueBlueCT said...

GC--
Hopefully you are not hypingsaid "civil war"?

The name-calling I've done is generally targeted at Lieberman. And, as a Democrat, why shouldn't I have a genuine problem with a Party member who so routinely plays to the other side? Frankly, when Joe scores better amongst Republicans than Democrats, it says something. CLEAR AND LOUD.

In terms of the venom towards the Lieberman supporters, (staffers), that post here, most of it comes from the frustrating fact that they are lurking in the shadows. Are they really Democrats? Are they Republicans? (who generally adore Joe!). And yes, Are they amongst the group of staffers that frequently come here to play the role of anonymous spin-meisters.

Personally, I don't think there will be much of a war, because beyond the Party's position-holders, I can't find many people, (besides Republicans), that actually like him. So maybe the war isn't between supporters, but between rank-and-file Democrats, and those who think they own their positions of power.

Finally, there is a whole class of Democrats who haven't been paying attention. These people haven't tuned in, and don't know well enough to be disaffected with Lieberman. In the end, will the majority of them be in Lamont's column? If the campaign does its communications well, I'd suspect so. A heck of an indictment is available against not just the "Bush-kisser", but also an inside-the-Beltway politician whose own campaign manager admits has lost touch with Connecticut.

tparty said...

Isn't that what I said? I just said it in a pretty way, with metaphors.

No, that's not what you said, even metaphorically (although I was impressed with your flowery prose). What you said was "Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a pure liberal sword." The vast majority of Lamont supporters, the issue isn't purity. There is room for all varieities of Democrats in this party. I strongly support Jim Webb in VA, for instance. The issue is whether the party remains Democratic, that is, whether the opposition acts like an opposition party, whether we have pride in our party's fundamental values, or whether our M.O. is to cut down our party's leaders for our own gain. This doesn't have as much to do with ideology as it has to do with partisanship.

What is the Democratic Party? Isn't that the question on the table, here?

Yes, in many ways, it is. That's why this race will garner national attention and stoke strong emotions.

That's not necesarily a bad thing, is it? One could just as easily frame it as a "dinner table discussion" (if heated) as a "civil war." You are choosing to frame it as the latter. There's zero reason to do so at this point, other than to provide Lieberman with cover for when he decides to go negative.

TrueBlueCT said...

turfgrrl--

Please quit with the stereotypical thinking. Fact is DFA scored many victories last cycle.

If I introduce you to a CT DFA winner, will you buy me lunch?

Really, you ought not be so dismissive of Deaniacs.

Anonymous said...

We are running for the heart and soul of the Democratic party; we're showing the country that we can win as proud Democrats fueled by your grassroots support and energy and passion; and on August 9 the pundits will be shaking their heads and noting: here come the Democrats.
--Ned Lamont

Colin said...

You know, when I read that press release in which Amann, Sullivan, Wyman, Dodd and the others are cited, I am reminded of what puny spirits fill the raks of the Democratic leadership in this state. These are the same people who were afraid to stand up to Rowland, who let others do it while they cowered. They dragged their feet on camaign finance reform at a historic moment for our state. And now, when a U.S. Senator is so obviously wrong on the major issue of our time, they are angered and troubled by any show of legitimate dissent. They are shocked that rank and file Democrats won't join them in their sniveling appeasement. I can't say I'm surprised. Most of them don't deserve their jobs. I'm still not sure I'll be voting for Lamont. I have a column about that this coming Sunday, but I do resent being lectured about it by a bunch of second-rate politicians.

WaveRider said...

The Problem with Ned:

1). He's honest.
2). He's smart.
3). He hasn't sold his soul.
4). He is fiscally conservative.
5). He is a rousing moderate.

Lieberman & Co. should have propped up a fringe liberal to run against him. Now they are in real trouble, because Ned isn't a fringe candidate! Not only does Joe have to fight the anti-war crowd, he also has to fight everyone who is disgusted with DC in general.

Isn't it time to throw the bums out?

Genghis Conn said...

thirdparty--

You're shifting your ground a bit. You said originally: Lamont supporters want to reforge the Democratic Party into a Democratic party. One which will stand up to GOP policies - foreign and domestic - that are destructive to both Connecticut and the nation.

Isn't Lieberman's conservatism exactly the problem, then? Aren't his positions (and his ass-kissing) the trouble? Don't you want your party to take liberal/progressive stands on the great issues of our day and MEAN it?

It's okay to want this. A Democratic Party which acted with a single, strong, liberal voice would be a lot better for the country than what's there now. But it's still seeking purity.

Anonymous said...

@waverider

Excellent points.

It's an awkward spot for Lieberman's campaign and they're obviously uncomfortable with it already, trying to shape the perception that Lamont is some crazed anti-war liberal, instead of the millionaire businessman from upscale Greenwich with a decidedly boomer bent to him. That tactic will backfire.

Right now Lieberman's camp have a minor brush fire on their hands and they're trying to stamp it out, but not so smartly. Should the wind pick up they'll have a real problem on their hands. They may have already. Should be interesting to watch.

tparty said...

GC-

I'm surprised at your apparent contention that "liberal" and "Democratic" mean the same thing. They don't, of course. One is ideological, the other is partisan.

I never claimed ideology doesn't play a part in the opposition to Lieberman. But it's clear to me that partisanship (or more accurately the complete lackthereof) is by far the bigger issue with Lieberman.

To spell it out: It's not as much the positions he takes as the way he goes about raising his own profile by slamming other Democrats on those issues. It's not the voting record, it's the FOX News and Hannity interviews. It's not his support for the Iraq War (many Senate Democrats supported the IWR), it's his seeminly pathological inability to criticize or question the failed policy of this Administration at all (he could learn a lesson from his mentor William F. Buckley on that).

This is nothing new. Lieberman has not been forced to have a discussion with the voters in his party in a campaign for over 30 years. It's almost as if he's forgotten that he is a member of a political party. In 1988, he ran from the right to beat Weicker. In 2000, he went along for the ride with Gore, agreeing with Cheney on most issues. In 2004, he ran from the right again, demonizing Howard Dean along the way. Those are the last three serious campaigns he's run.

I think he's forgotten that he's a Democrat.

Genghis Conn said...

Thirdparty said:

I'm surprised at your apparent contention that "liberal" and "Democratic" mean the same thing. They don't, of course. One is ideological, the other is partisan.

Wait. What? Hang on. So you're pissed at him because he doesn't play the faction game? It's not the war, the morality, the censorship of music, or the vote for cloture on Alito?

And yet, with a few notable exceptions, would you not suggest that "Republican" and "conservative" are the same? Aren't the Republicans the conservative party? You can't tell me they're not. Ideology plays a huge part in what makes up the GOP: either fiscal or social conservatism. In fact, there's a fight in their party over which should be more important.

You say:

To spell it out: It's not as much the positions he takes as the way he goes about raising his own profile by slamming other Democrats on those issues.

Then you say:

It's almost as if he's forgotten that he is a member of a political party. In 1988, he ran from the right to beat Weicker. In 2000, he went along for the ride with Gore, agreeing with Cheney on most issues. In 2004, he ran from the right again, demonizing Howard Dean along the way. Those are the last three serious campaigns he's run.

I think he's forgotten that he's a Democrat.


So where are Democrats? Isn't it ideological? Center-left? Are you the Labour Party? Social Democrats? Are you Canada's Liberal Party (they, at least, admit it--it's in their actual name!). If you have a party without some kind of underpinning ideology, you get a great big silly ineffective mess. Hey! I think we've got one of those.

If the problem is that he was running from the right, aren't you the Left? Is that an ideological designation, or just a term to let you know where to sit?

Of course it's ideological. It has to be! Otherwise, what was the point? You want a senator who thinks the way you do and represents your interests. That's ideological. Partisanship without ideology is just factionalism--let's avoid that, shall we?

If you're going to start a fight for the ideological soul of your party, the least you could do is ADMIT IT! Stop waffling, go out there and kick the butts of your enemies. If you want to win, go fight. If not, go home.

Anonymous said...

Damn well said thirdparty!

Joe wishes this primary was about ideology. Unfortunately for him, it isn't. Lieberman hasn't been a team player, and the chickens have come home to roost.

terhuxtim said...

The problem with Lieberman is far deeper then what side of the politial landscape you are on.
Lieberman, Im sure is a nice guy.
However, he is wrong on the big issues. To this day, he still supports this war, which is now clearly a huge foreign policy blunder. He also has tried to stifle debate about the war, saying that those who question the Presidents policies are putting the country in danger. What he said was down right UN-AMERICAN, be you a Democrat or republican.

He also defended Bush torture policy, which is DAM UN-AMERICAN
Gengis, please don't cast this primary as a "crazy liberal" fight.
This is not only a fight for the soul of the Democraric party, it is a fight for the soul and conscience of America.

Anonymous said...

Who are you Lamont people fooling....

I think this is because Lieberman is Jewish -- and his support for Israel.

tparty said...

GC-

I gave you three examples of how partisanship differs from ideology, and how the former is more salient than the latter in this campaign. Frankly, it is the type of thing someone like you who is well-versed in politics should be able to comprehend without me having to provide examples.

Of course you can't completely seperate political ideology from partisanship. But they remain two very different things.

Of course progressives want a candidate who is ideologically similar to their views. But that doesn't mean every politician who isn't will be targeted the way Lieberman has been.

Just read this.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: David Cappiello will be GOP candidate for US Senate.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

GC:

A long post, for which I apologize in advance ... but your orginal post was excellent.

I think you have hit upon the appropriate metaphor. And not only a civil war, but an American Civil War.

Remember that the war of 1861-1865 began -- for all the underlying strife over the "peculiar institution" -- as a war for the the "Union." Frederick Douglass was bitterly critical of Lincoln, from the moment of his inaugural through the early part of the war, for Lincoln's refusal to change that.

It was only in the latter years, when issues such as "contrabands" converged with Lincoln's conscious choice to embrace emancipation (and even then, only in the "rebellion" states!), that slavery per se became a war issue. (And -- as noted below -- it's worth remembering that many Union soldiers were unhappy that it did.)

Here we have Lamont supporters who say their issue is Lieberman himself -- his stance on Iraq, The Kiss, Abu Grahib, his appearances on Fox, whatever. He's out of touch, they say. Arrogant, Colin said on the radio yesterday.

But beneath it all is the left's utter hatred of -- their caustic contempt and loathing for -- the Bush Administration, compounded by their abject failure (so far) to have any real success in challenging it.

Their solution: Beat Bush by proxy. A public clubbing of Lieberman -- and never mind his voting record, never mind he was the party's VP nominee a few years ago. He's almost a Republican! He's practically a Bush lackey!

Over and over on this blog, the Lieberman Indictment is repeated: Traitor ... He's forgotten he's a Democrat ... He goes on Fox News (gasp!).

At the same time, Lamont supporters insist he's a moderate, a fiscal conservative. He's not a wild-eyed liberal, they say.

Maybe not. But at some point these two groups -- call them unionists, who want their party to stand together, and abolitionists, who want George W. Bush and his ilk gone -- may well realize they're fighting for two entirely different causes.

What will really be interesting then is to see whether the Civil War analogy holds: Will those who support Lamont because they feel Lieberman is out of touch stay in the ranks with those who want to turn this into ideological holy war?

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: David Cappiello will NOT be GOP candidate for US Senate.

Genghis Conn said...

I read it. I still don't buy it. Democrats need to define who they are, ideologically speaking. When they hang together--why do they do it?

If that isn't what you're doing--then what are you doing? The "not a real Democrat" thing doesn't work for people who voted for him six years ago--and are pretty sure his name was on the "Democrat" line. Twice.

If it's not ideological (what is a real Democrat? Where is the party going? How will it govern? What does it stand for?) then it's nothing but smoke.

Different Anonymous:

Yes! That's it exactly. There are two of them, aren't there? Maybe that's where I'm getting my wires crossed.

Anonymous said...

So far this has actually been a very civil civil war. We're still talking about issues, not slinging mud at character, not going after scandals, slurs, and rumors. While Lieberman's staff has immediately attempted to cast Lamont's challenge in a savage light, I think Lamont if anything has been too deferential to Leiberman.

Online, loud voices are par for the course. My take on the recent Six Questions for Lieberman on CLP was that the rudest comments were from the Republicans. The Democrats are passionate, true, but at least they are still based in reality. Their complaints with Lieberman are based on facts, not fantasies.

Given the problems with Connecticut's Democratic party (a minority of House seats in a blue state? The most popular Republican Governor in the country?), it may be time for rocking the boat. Some people may get thrown overboard.

As a DTC member in my town, I would say that so far there has been only grumbling and silence. Anger at Lieberman is there, but he has a lot of favors he can call in, and a lot of friends he has made over the years. So far, at least on my DTC, there is no open civil war at all. But we'll see what happens to me when I advocate for Lamont at the upcoming caucus....

bluecoat said...

From now to the fall is a lifetime in politics as Joe Bide would say; so I wonder what the real issues will be then - not the war in Iraq.

tparty said...

GC-

Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that you have such a hard time understanding internal Democratic party dynamics. I can see why a self-described independent would scorn the very notion of partisanship by calling it "factionalism." You obviously disdain parties and partisanship. But this is a closed primary. And Democrats love their party and want to see it succeed.

You keep on returning to ideology as if that's the only lens through which one can view politics. It isn't. Certainly not for many Democrats, who care first and foremost about building and defining the party. Joe Lieberman makes this all but impossible on any number of issues.

Take social security. This is not an ideological issue. Every Democrat since FDR has been in favor of it. President Bush wanted to create a false sense of crisis and use his personal political capital to privatize Social Security. Many Republicans were jittery. The most important thing for Democrats to do was stick together and make the political costs of privatizaion solely the ownership of Republicans. And who was threatining to break ranks and support Bush on this? Joe Lieberman.

On National Security, Joe's constant unquestioning support of Administration policy has made it much more difficult for Democrats to define themselves on the issue in any positive way.

And this same story can be repeated over and over on any number of issues.

Partisanship matters.

CGG said...

I see your point GC. Lamont supporters are pissed off with our party. We feel neglected, and are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. Long time residents may see this as a statewide debate, but I see it as a symbol of what needs to be happening nationally.

disgruntled_republican said...

I am not sure what is going to be more exciting' Lieberman v. Lamont GC v. 3rd party!

A couple of things:

First, I am with GC on this. I think 3rd is talking out opf both sides of his mouth.

A question for 3rd...you say "You keep on returning to ideology as if that's the only lens through which one can view politics. It isn't. Certainly not for many Democrats, who care first and foremost about building and defining the party"

Can you please do us all a favor and give your definition of the Democrat party in 5 sentances or less. I am curious to know what it is so I can try and better understand your arguements.

By the way, not all Republicans like Lieberman. I am still disgusted by his flip-flopping on everyhting he beleived in when he ran for VP (and Senate in the same year.).

TrueBlueCT said...

Wow, Genghis went off!

GC, maybeyou should step away from the computer for a while. Sometimes the forest is hidden by the trees.

Honestly, the anti-Lieberman campaign is about factionalism more than issues. In the face of the Radical Right and Bushco, all we want is for Democrats to stand, together, in opposition to their disastrous policies. We want a unified opposition party.

Lieberman is a Bush apologist, and an enabler of the Republicans. That and that alone is why he is being primaried.

So please don't be confused by the myriad of things (issues) that will be thrown at him.

Genghis Conn said...

Thirdparty,

It occurs to me that you have some other definition of "ideology" than is usual:

From Merriam-Webster:

Ideology

2 a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture b : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture c : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program

The examples you mention mostly have to do with sense b: "a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group or culture," in which the group is the Democratic Party. In essence, an ideology is a consistent set of beliefs held by a culture, group or individual.

Lieberman, you seem to be saying, is out of step with the party because he breaks (or threatens to break) with those beliefs. You'd rather a party that was more consistent. What am I missing, here?

Partisanship with nothing behind it except the drive for power is factionalism. Put that systematic body of concepts behind it, and you've got something. It doesn't have to be strict, but in fact should be quite basic. The Republicans can all (mostly) agree on a few basic principles, which they identify with being a Republican.

Social security (i.e., the existence of a public, government-sponsered social safety net) is part of Democratic ideology. Same for civil rights. Both of these things are part of the liberal constellation of ideas.

I see your point about Lieberman undermining the Dem leadership. But that's ideological, too. He undermines them because he believes differently.

Anonymous said...

And of course the WAR is what he is "apologizing" for.

Anonymous said...

good thing the lieberma/lamont primary isnt taking away attention from the governor and congresional races....

Anonymous said...

"Honestly, the anti-Lieberman campaign is about factionalism more than issues. In the face of the Radical Right and Bushco, all we want is for Democrats to stand, together, in opposition to their disastrous policies. We want a unified opposition party."

Disastrous policies = the war.

I don't understand why you all can't say that you're opposed to the war and that the primary is an effort to elect someone who also opposes the war. There are alot of people who feel the same way but to say the primary is about universal health care and social security etc. is a lie. It's about the war, period.

Anonymous said...

anon 200

there is no primary in those races (at least not one that matters). This is the election for senate since no R is going to win.

Anonymous said...

GC,

I agree that this race will get nasty, but not quite on the scale that you suggest. Given the size of the electorate here, I dont think we will see too much on television - mail is clearly the best medium here. The Lieberman campaign can afford to spend $20 per voter and all of those folks who complain and whine and say things like ,"The problem with politicians these days..." BUT DONT VOTE wont hear word one.
I think that the convention will be a clear indicator of the vistor because on the scale of a statewide primary, it will be many of the TC's that are doing heavy lifting. Labor will either sit out or join Lieberman and work hard and they will be big factors as well if that is the case.

And for those who want to be overly-dramatic and say that this is a battle for the heart and soul of the party, go watch the Lifetime Channel and get your drama there. This is a single race in a single state and it is politics and good campaigning. Will pundits, bloggers, and insiders talk this to death? Absolutely. But it will not change the platform of all the local Board of Education candidates or the Mayors or State Reps. or Constitutional officers in this state at all - let alone anywhere else in the country.

Let's assume for argument's sake that Lamont does pull this off AND WIN IN NOVEMBER based on netroots (which NO ONE has done in America)and by energizing an otherwise sleeping electorate. Are those masses of volunteers, donors and activists going to remain active during the municipals? the next year? The next? Assuming the win, the need to make long-term change in the party has only just begun.

Remember - the Democratic Party is the big tent party. I dont agree with everyone in my party, but I welcome them in this tent of ours.

Anonymous said...

Big Tent Party? Why becuase you guys run a 3 ring circus?

ctblogger said...

GC versus Thirdparty

This is better than a wrestling match. Forget about a civil war between the Democrats, the civil war among these two bloggers is a classic.

tparty said...

GC-

I am obviously referring specifically to political ideologies, the liberal-->conservative spectrum, and not the more general definition you provided.

There are Conservative Democrats. There are Liberal Republicans.

What drives people to join parties - which are really all coalitions of voters on both multi-issue and single-issue ideologies - should be the subject of books, not blog posts.

But when you decide to join a party, there needs to be some minimal effort to adhere to the widely accepted goals of that party.

I was not always as strong a proponent of partisanship as I am these days. I have often voted for third-party and independent candidates. (John Kerry was the first Democrat for whom I ever voted for president.) But for an opposition party, with a federal government completely controlled by the other party at all levels, partisanship is our only hope.

Maybe Democrats could have afforded a Joe Lieberman in 1988, or even in 1998. We can't afford him in 2006.

disgruntled_republican said...

Third Party:

Thats one way of looking at I guess. I see it a different way; perhaps if the Democrat party allowed more Joe Liebermans an active role then they federal democrats would not have to rely on partisanship. You see, this is where the party has missed the boat and is way out of the mainsteam. I listen to "liberal" bloggers and I feel comfortable the governemtn is no going to change because they, as a generalization, still don't get that.

Oh, btw, I am still waiting for your definition of a Democrat.

TrueBlueCT said...

Heh!

MyLeftNutmeg's BranfordBoy joins the fray, "The Civil War Is In Iraq. There's a Primary in Connecticut."

GC posts: "You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find pro-Lieberman or anti-Lamont quotes from Democrats. :)"

OrangeTownBlueDem posts: "Our greatest hatred is for those who betray us. Weren't the bulk of the attacks by the French Resistance against collaborators? They killed each other even during the Occupation - though the true enemy was Germany."

malcom left of middle said...

What I don't understand from most of the rants on here is why other Senators get a pass. Guys like Dodd, Biden, Kerry, and others all casted votes for the war and have pulled back. Lieberman stood by his position, which is one apprarently he has had since that resolution he and McCain authored back when Clinton was in office.

Does that make his position right? No, it doesn't. But to call him a war criminal for casting a vote and sticking with it seems like something the majority of Americans wouldn't welcome.

My problem with the far left and far right is that I always feel like I'm being told what to do, and what to feel. Over and over again Democrats lose elections because of the its us or them mentality and being portrayed as out of touch...so why do we keep going back to it.

Its not as simple as Lieberman Bad, Lamont Good. Lamont hasn't been vetted by the press yet, and I'm sure he has skeletons in his closet


In short, you can disagree with someone and still think they are a good person.

Finally, The problem with blogs is that while occassionally there is a high level of discussion, things like this get broken down into name calling and simplistic facts. Calling people a "Lieberwhore" is rediculous. Plus some of the stuff on here that is boarderline anti-semetic like calling Lieberman a rat, a common image used in Nazi propoganda.


The thing is, I think Lamont could be an attractive candidate if he wasn't a rich guy from greenwich. I mean didn't he support Lieberman during the 2004 presidential race? Lieberman already voted for the war by then. But with Lamont, I feel like he has a chance to make a case that needs to be made, but anyone who looks online and sees stuff about Lieberman eating babies and drowing kittens written by Lamont supporters probably says "this aint for me".

In the end, for me this just seems like Nader in 2000 all over again. Lets sacrifice a Dem to make a point. To win a moral victory. In politics, the only one who wins a moral victory is the guy who gets elected.

Also I am a Democrat and I'm not a Lieberman or anyone's staffer.

Anonymous said...

Audrey Blondin's name for Lt. Governor is not a rumor as posted yesterday. There's a lot of courting going on behind the scenes that most people don't realize. It would be the best thing that could happen to either of the Gubentorial campaigns. Both campaigns need the gentle touch of a woman and the 5th CD needs to be represented on the ticket for once.
She has been a strong player in Democratic party for over 30 years, there is no place that she can go in Connecticut without someone knowing her. She would be a great asset to either one of the campaigns. However, it has been posted that she is a supporter of Lamont, being at an event with Lamont doesn't mean you are a supporter. She hasn't endorsed Lamont or anyone else
(don't expect an endorsement) Might I add that that Joe Lieberman and crew were invited to the Dos Amigos event and fail to show up. Just shows you the level of attention Joe gives to the voting public.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mrs. Blondin. I'm sure your daughter is a lovely woman. But she's not going to be Lt. Gov.

Genghis Conn said...

I do see what you mean, Thirdparty. However, those sorts of "canned ideologies" always seemed a little false to me.

What I'm talking about is that support for Lamont and dislike of Lieberman is based in the point of view that Lieberman, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to share those common, basic beliefs you spoke of that most Democrats have anymore. To me, that's an ideological point of view, based in a certain ideology that trends toward the liberal. You see ideologies as rather more fixed and narrow than I do.

At this point, I think what we're talking about is close enough to call it a day. Can we agree that a lot of Lamont's support comes from the fact that Democrats feel he's betrayed those basic, common ideas by not supporting party leadership? I'll call it ideology, you can call it what you like. Sorry for snapping back there, I apparently need to have more happy pills today.

bluecoat said...

Demonstarting his talking point mentality malcom left of middle said...
"What I don't understand from most of the rants on here is why other Senators get a pass. Guys like Dodd, Biden, Kerry, and others all casted votes for the war and have pulled back." These guys did not vote for a war they voted for the use of necessary force to disarm Saddam. Chaeck out COBRA II just out from Beranrd Trainor (Gen USMC retired) and another guy whose name escapes me from the New York Times to get your answer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:11

I just about killed myself when I read your post, because I laughed so hard I got Pepsi in my nose and couldn't breathe!

"on the scale of a statewide primary, it will be many of the TC's that are doing heavy lifting."

Oh my. Town Committees doing heavy lifting -- THAT is funny!!!

9 out of 10 Town Committees don't do any lifting, heavy or otherwise. A candidate who wants to win, in the primary or general, has to build his own operation.

turfgrrl said...

TrueBlueCT,

Who said I was being dismissive? To paraphrase Jerry McGuire "show me the turnout".

Really, the dialog that followed touched on two components of politics, ideology and partisanship. DFA is a subset of the Democratic party, I call it as I see it.

TrueBlueCT said...

Turf--
For the record, Dean people played a big part in getting Deb Heinrich, Ed Meyer, and Gayle Slossberg elected last cycle.

It is also common knowledge that Lieberman would have lost to Dean, here in CT, if not for the Iowa take-down. (or melt-down, if you see it that way.) Plus the sheer fact that a no-name candidate from VT was propelled to the top of the heap is very much to our credit.

GC--
The problem with Joe is not over issues or ideology. It's about Joe's huge ego, and his very selfish modus operandi. Joe is not a team player, and Lieberman's expressed disdain for the liberal left is beyond belief.

And to think that I voted for the jerk!

Anonymous said...

audrey blondin would be able to helo with fundraising because she raised like 100k in her race for sec of state isn't that a good reason to pick her for lt gov?

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

TrueBlue:

It is also common knowledge that Lieberman would have lost to Dean, here in CT, if not for the Iowa take-down. (or melt-down, if you see it that way.)

It is? That's not quite how I remember it, but OK, if you say so.

Plus the sheer fact that a no-name candidate from VT was propelled to the top of the heap is very much to our credit.

Then you must also take the credit, as it were, for the no-name candidate coming apart like a Yugo trying to run the Indy 500. (Or cracking like an egg under the pressure of a "take down," if you prefer the conspiracy theory version.)

Say what you will, this is the bottom line: The real problem for the left-most wing of the Democratic Party is the same one that they have always had: There just aren't enough people buying what they're selling.

The closest the far left has ever come was a brief national flirtation with peace, love and rock 'n' roll in the 1960s ... which begat Bill and Hill, ironically enough the poster children for today's DLC.

Ever since, the influence and relevance of the far left has steadily dwindled (and its stridence correspondingly increased).

Yeaaaaaaaagh, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me???

Can you enlighten this political activist (albeit a Republican) -- who is Audrey Blondin??

Has she ever held state elected office? Local?

I've never heard of her -- her name isn't even familiar except on this blog.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Audrey Blondin is a lawyer from Litchfield. She ran for Secretary of the State last year for a while. She's not going to be anybody's Lt. Gov., so you can stop worrying about who she is.

Oh, and for the anonymous who asked about her fundraising skills, I am pretty sure that all that money she "raised" was actually a loan to her campaign from herself. So, not sure that is going to help Destefano or Malloy much.

Anonymous said...

boy this is gonna be fun for Republicans like me to watch

tparty said...

Can we agree that a lot of Lamont's support comes from the fact that Democrats feel he's betrayed those basic, common ideas by not supporting party leadership?

Sure. That's a far cry from your characterization of Lamont supporters in the original post though.

TrueBlueCT said...

DiffAnon--

Will you ever quit with your stereotyping?
I don't label CT Republicans as bible-thumping Nascar hayseeds. (although I have called some of you lazy and ignorant.)

Look, there is nothing wrong with the Democratic message. The problem is with the messengers! (who have joined the Republicans' country clubs). How can you successfully sell your ideas, when a good third of your team apologizes for them?

The Dem message:
Health Care for all? You bet.
Good Wages for Americans? Yep.
Affordable Education? No-brainer.
Sustaining our Environment.
A sane Foreign Policy?
Keeping the Govt out of our personal lives?

Conversely, the Republican message sucks. But the GOP machine is simply brilliant. Dems just need a better machine, and Dem Senators who are proud to be Democrats.

P.S. polling data from November 2004. Notice who Lieberman's numbers tank after the exposure of multiple televised debates. Dean had Lieberman's lead down to 5% points, and this was three and a half months before the CT primary.

Anonymous said...

"The Dem message"--are you running Lamont or Pollyanna?

FYI. The rest of the world is not going to stop its economic and militaristic competition while you guys all sit around the campfire and sing protest songs aided and abetted by taxpayer funded drugs.

Genghis Conn said...

Thirdparty,

I stand by that, still. You can't deny there's an air of righteousness about a LOT of Lamont supporters.

MikeCT said...

I have no problem with acknowledging that this primary is about ideology. Here's another dictionary definition:
1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

Based on this definition, I think all elections should be about ideology - ie, articulating and debating a coherent set of ideas and a vision of what we want for our future. Parties create platforms that are endorsed by their members and set out this vision. Candidates should (but often don't) pursue this agreed-upon agenda. Sounds like a healthy representative democracy to me! Much better than voting on the basis of name recognition, bumper stickers, a single issue, looks, pork projects, etc. (I would not advise any candidate to use the term "ideology," because it often has negative connotations, but that doesn't mean that it is, in reality, a bad thing.)

It think it's fine that there is a party dedicated to promoting narrow corporate interests through an imperalistic foreign policy, eroding Constitutional rights, transferring wealth to the wealthy, controlling women's bodies, etc. I just don't think that there needs to be two such parties. If there are Democrats who agree with Republican ideology, then the GOP is ready to welcome them with open arms - no political orphanage required. If Joe does not represent the views of Democrats, there is no reason on earth that he should be entitled to an automatic coronation by those Democrats until retirement. (He's out of touch with non-Dems too, but that's another story.)

Incumbents who dismiss any challenge to them and their ideas as inherently negative, angry, divisive, etc. are behaving in a manner that is cowardly, anti-democratic, and/or crassly manipulative. It's an old excuse to avoid debate, accountability, and, ultimately, any meaningful elections.

Of course, no one should make personal attacks on Joe and his family. I don't care who they marry, if he got drunk at a party last weekend, etc. Those are personal and irrelevant attacks. Challenging Joe's policies is not personal, it's not "negative," and it's not "ugly."

Even if you believe the "it's about loyalty, not ideology" arguments, I don't believe it will be decisive for the public. Voters will boot him because he is out of touch, arrogant, harmful, flat-out wrong and doesn't represent them, not because he criticizes Democrats and appears on the Sean Hannity show. (In addition, when taken simplistically, it can backfire - is Lamont "disloyal" because he criticizes a Dem senator and the Dem leadership? We need more "disloyal" Dems, as Colin suggests, to challenge a flaccid leadership.)

What is really important is not these blogs but what the broader public hears. I think the Lamont campaign will have no problem keeping this campaign to the issues. He has worked through the rough edges of his presentation, and has become an excellent speaker. Here's Lamont's simple and brilliant answer (mp3 file) to a question whether he is a "one issue" candidate (also addresses other topics, including Joe's "integrity" and "sincerity"). Other candidates should be half as positive and substantive as Lamont.

Genghis Conn said...

MikeCT,

Agreed that elections should be about this definition of ideology. There are, of course, elections that aren't. Municipal elections, for example, can be about who a candidates knows instead of what they believe. The 2004 Democratic primary started out being about ideology (thanks to Dean) but ended up being about the elusive quality of "electability," which eventually backfired in the general election. I have a sense that the Democratic primary for governor is less about ideology than it is about... I'm not sure what. Persistance? Fundraising? Connections?

Lamont/Lieberman is one of those few primaries where there's a sharp, clear choice, ideologically speaking.

Don Pesci said...

On the difference between ideology and partisanship, both GC and Thirdparty are right. An ideology is simply a coherent body of ideas – in the political realm, a political philosophy. Can people who have different political philosophies work together under the same political tent (party)? Sure, if they are partisans; that is, only if they are willing to subordinate their principles for the sake of unity. The Kossacks here are arguing, somewhat disingenuously, that it is not Lieberman’s political ideas that matter. Lieberman, they say, is simply unwilling to fight in the same political trench and sling grenades at the enemy. And why not? Because he is an idea man – as are people addicted to Daily Kos. It’s the ideas that rub, not simply Lieberman’s lack of fidelity to the Democrat Party.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

TrueBlue:

It certainly wasn't my intention to stereotype. My point was quite the opposite: There aren't any stereotypical Dems these days.

The problem, to paraphrase you, TrueBlue, is the message, not the messengers. This is the very point Genghis has been trying mightily to make all afternoon.

The Democratic Party is all over the map on the message, and right now one extreme -- the left -- is staging its own Inquisition of the right. Repent or die, Joe Lieberman!

(I thought it was time to leave the Civil War metaphor behind for a while. And here let me say that yes, I know Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew; I know Jews were often the target of the Inquisition; and yes, I used the metaphor deliberately but not in any religious sense. I'm sorry if someone is offended.)

P.S.: Trailing by 5 percentage points several months out from a favorite son primary is not, in my mind, especially persuasive evidence "Lieberman would have lost to Dean here in CT."

Anonymous said...

"For the record, Dean people played a big part in getting Deb Heinrich, Ed Meyer, and Gayle Slossberg elected last cycle."

To someone who thinks Howard Dean is the savior of our country, maybe. But lets not allow the facts to get in the way of the truth. Bill Aniskovich's relentless defense of the constitutional process in CT to take its course (and inability to politically disassociate himself from John Rowland) is why he lost. And Gayle Slossberg's made up anti-semetic, woe is me, campaign beat Win Smith. Oh yea.. and turn out didn't help either. As for where Howard Dean or his "people" played big parts? And by the way Gayle Slossberg is a one term wonder.

As for this primary, Ned Lamont is going to get his ass kicked and if i hear this primary is about idealogy one more time. This primary is about the war. The War, the war, the war. And it just goes to show you how politically inept you people are, the number one issue on people's mind is the war. That's the only issue Lamont can run on. So why do you run away from it and say its about idealogy and its about Alito and his ego. Like Ned Lamont doesn't have an ego. Like "True blue CT" doesn't have an ego.

Anonymous said...

Colin Mac is a phony balony. He rants and raves on this blog but then kisses John Larson's azz when he is on his show. Larson is against the war but for Lieberman. Mac does a lot of tough talk here but not on his lame show. What a putz!

Anonymous said...

Dean's people did not play a big role in either Meyer or Slossberg races last cycle. They played A role in the Meyer race, but no more than over a dozen other groups. That's a fact. They played almost NO role in the Slossberg race, certainly less than labor, women's groups, GLBT groups, environmentalists, PTA's and newcomers.
And anon 9:18, you will certainly be eating your "oneterm wonder" words in November. The R's cant even field a candidate.

Anonymous said...

If you had a clue as to what you were talking about... you'd know that wasn't true.

Anonymous said...

I do know what Im talking about, I volunteered extensively for both of them - made hundreds of phone calls for both of them.

Anonymous said...

Slossberg may be targeted by the GOP, so I guess we will see if she has staying power or not.