In the past few weeks, and I would expect this to continue until August 8, we have heard from blog commenters, Op-Ed writers, a former state party chairman, sitting Senators, and the chairman of the electoral group pledged to electing Democratic Seantors the idea, in some cases explicit and in some implied, that the primary challenge to Senator Lieberman is in some way illegitimate - a product of left-wing nuts, 60s re-enactors, out-of-state meddlers, and [GASP] bloggers.
We Are Your Neighbors
This goes without saying (or at least it should) - Only Connecticut residents, registered to vote as Democrats, are eligible to vote in the Connecticut Democratic primary for the Senate. That would exclude Kos, Atrios, David Sirota, Chuck Schumer, Marshall Whitman (who would be excluded even if he were Joe Lieberman's neighbor because you have to be, umm, a Democrat), and Steven J. Nider.
Unfortunately for the Senator, it would include the 40% of a too-small sample of Connecticut Democrats that said they would vote for Lamont (within the absurdly large margin of error) in the last Rasmussen poll, the 50% of Connecticut Democrats who disapproved of the Senator in the last SUSA poll, and the 1/3 of Connecticut Democratic Party insiders who voted for Lamont at the convention.
It also includes the four houses on my block and the roughly 20 in my neighborhood that are sporting Lamont yard signs. If the primary were held today, based on yard signs, and had a run-off, the run-off would be between Lamont and Coldwell Banker.
There has been some noise among the Senator's supporters that the "weirdos" and "kooks" are not exactly welcome voting in the same primary that they do. With respect, their only option then is to change parties, because the weirdos and kooks, aka Connecticut Democrats who disagree with them, are going to vote in the Democratic primary, as is their right.
"But only the left-wing fringe shows up at primaries!" Not so. Only the motivated show up at primaries. The fact that the challenger's supporters' level of motivation is higher than the incumbent's should explain something about the dynamics of this primary. This is a democracy - if you want your guy to win, agitate, organize, and motivate until more people vote for him - calling your fellow voters names probably isn't going to help your cause (unless your cause is to look like a spoiled child who finds someone else playing with their favorite toy).
IS anyone else turned off by the undertone that the Senate seat belongs to Lieberman and that the Democratic party in Connecticut belongs to the Connecticut Democratic party machinery? I think, and I may be misreading over 225 years of the evolving history of the American Democracy, that the seat belongs to the people of Connecticut and the party belongs to the voters who register and show up. Regardless of their ideology. No?
One final note on the primary before I recharge my rant batteries:
The argument about where the Senator's opposition is coming from (in-state or out-of-state, moderates or wild-eyed leftists, people angry about the war or people angry about closeness to President Bush and the Republicans or people angry about the energy bill or people angry about the bankruptcy bill or people angry about Alito or people angry about Gonzalez or people angry about Vouchers or people angry about Social Security, etc.) is largely irrelevant. The fact is, the rank and file of the Connecticut Democratic Party are unhappy enough with a sitting Senator with a ~$6,000,000 fundraising advantage that a primary challenger is within 6 MoE points in a poll a month before the election. Likewise the discussion of whether Lieberman and Dodd are actually seperated at birth twins when it comes to their voting records. Something is causing this unhappiness and it isn't a blogger sitting in Northern California.
Disclosure: I stole and then paraphrased the title of this post from Julius Lester's Look Out Whitey! Black Power Gon' Get Your Mama! Go read it so no one sues me...