Sunday, July 02, 2006

The World Comes to Connecticut

I was reading the British newsweekly The Economist on Saturday when I saw something very, very familiar: one of those famous kiss buttons right above a short article about the race. Media interest in this campaign is only going to grow as August approaches--especially if Lamont remains close in the polls.

In fact, there very well may be more people outside Connecticut paying attention to this race than inside. Take the two editorials that appeared in the Hartford Courant this morning. The first, a pro-Lieberman piece called "No Conservative: Lieberman's A JFK Democrat" was written by Marshall Wittman, a DLC fellow and creator of the Bull Moose Blog, and Steven J. Nider of the DLC's Progressive Policy Institute. Both are based out of Washington, DC, and do not live in Connecticut.

The other, an anti-Lieberman piece entitled "Who's Lieberman Represent? Not You" was written by David Sirota. On his blog, Sirota rails against those out-of-staters who would tell Connecticut Democrats what to do:
They predictably regurgitate the fallacy that Lieberman is a “centrist” - and then these two well-known right-wingers from Washington, D.C. proceed to try to lecture Connecticut Democratic primary voters about how Joe Lieberman is supposedly the reincarnation of John F. Kennedy.

I swear - sometimes it is really just incredibly amazing how arrogant these out-of-touch, Beltway-insulated Establishment apologists are, how stupid they think the public is... (Sirota)

Which is fine, except that Lieberman doesn't represent Sirota, either. According to his biography (.pdf), Sirota currently lives in Montana.

This primary was never ours. We have to accept it. National and international media, blogs and pundits have taken Connecticut's affair and infused it with symbolism and meaning that transcends the petty concerns of Democrats in Rocky Hill or Groton. Right now, this primary is about the future of the Democratic Party, the growth of the liberal netroots, opposition to the war in Iraq, and President Bush. We've been drawn into the orbit of these huge, national issues--they dwarf us.

On primary day, though, it'll be about one Connecticut Democrat after another, alone in a booth, looking at two rows of levers. On that day, all the self-important national pundits won't matter a single bit, and the political world will revolve around Connecticut instead.

Sources

Sirota, David. "Who's Lieberman Represent? Not You." Hartford Courant 2 July, 2006.

Wittman, Marshall and Steven J. Nidler. "No Conservative: Lieberman's A JFK Democrat." Hartford Courant 2 July, 2006.

32 comments:

TrueBlueCT said...

Genghis--
Are you going to matter on Primary Day? Why don't you make like Ray Hackett and register as a Democrat. (and unlike Ray, I'd reckon you'd vote against Bush's favorite Democrat.)

And Sirota is a good guy regardless of which side of the aisle you're on. His central theme is that we've got to take back our government from the Big Money interests that currently own it.

TrueBlueCT said...

Some Links about Marshall Wittman, the smug bastard of a Republican, who resides comfortably within the upper echelons of the Democratic Leadership Council.

One.
Two.
Three.

Chris MC said...

I'm not involving myself here, I just want to acknowledge that GC made me laugh:
Which is fine, except that Lieberman doesn't represent Sirota, either.
Good line GC, LOL.

Ebpie said...

I'm very sorry to go off topic here, but I think people should know that "AG to be Bob Farr" has released two radio ads. Check them out at www.borfarr.com.

Ebpie said...

That's www.bobfarr.com. Excuse me.

TrueBlueCT said...

Much better article about Marshall Wittman from the WaPo. Does everyone know that in 1988, Wittman formed "Jews for George", and after victory was rewarded with a job in the Bush Sr. administration.

ctkeith said...

This Primary is Totally Home Grown GC.

I MADE AND PAID FOR THOSE KISS BUTTONS.

Just Because you were asleep over the last 18 months and never understood the CT. DUMP JOE MOVEMENT or how big and how Viral it was doesn't mean it wasn't happenig right under your nose.

Maybe if you went to more than 1 Democratic Party event (Convention) over the las 2 yrs. you'd have understood just how big it was but instead you chose to read our 2 Ct. papers like always and think you knew something.

The biggest story in the country happened right under your nose,GC, and because of your arrogance and ignorance you missed it.

TrueBlueCT said...

psssst...Keith,

I was trying to get Genghis to register as a "D" and vote with us against Lieberman. Honest I was.

LOL

Chris MC said...

aw Keith, do ya havta do that?

And, credit where it is due, you were out front on it.

Will you lighten up (mostly on GC) if everyone acknowledges you for it? Everyone, acknowledge Keith please! (you too, if you don't mind, GC).

GC's post is on target in the present milieu, IMO. Even as Keith was a seminal influence.

ctkeith said...

Looks to me like GC is trying to say this Primary is being foisted on CT When nothing could be farther from the truth.

This Primary was totally Home Grown and when it's over everyone is going to see just how little support Joe Lieberman has even amongst those at the very top of CTs political Foodchain.

Lieberman EARNED this Primary and his coming retirement.

TrueBlueCT said...

Genghis wasn't the only one who missed the underlying wave. If I had had my way, we'd be talking about Senator Blumenthal, Senator DeLauro, or Senator DeStefano right now.

For the record, Shonu Gandhi called me an idiot when I suggested DeStefano should think about jumping in against Joe. Rob Smuts too. Well, in this case I hate to have been proven right.

And I'm still out $20 on Little Dick Blumenthal's account. (yep, I paid for www.draftdick.com .)

TrueBlueCT said...

Super K--
It's funny that folks like Genghis don't understand this is still a Democratic affair only.

Dems and only Dems will get to decide who runs against Schlesinger. Unless Joe does the unthinkable.

Genghis--
The primary isn't about Iraq, the netroots, or the future of the Dem Party. That's all just hoopla. What we are having is a rare moment of accountability.

If you'll notice, not many other politicians are playing Joe's games. It'd be easy for someone like Chafee, or Jodi Rell, to play publicly towards the other side, a la Lieberman. But they don't and won't, 'cause chickens come home to roost. Joe is having to answer for his own arrogance. That's the over-arching storyline.

Chris MC said...

Well, TrueBlue, you can always submit a voucher to the AG's campaign. ;-)

Anyway, GC can speak for himself, but I didn't read it that way at all. My take was that all of a sudden it seems like a lot of outsiders are trying to make this into something other than a home-grown thing, but on election day it is going to be between Connecticut's Democrats and the two candidates in the voting booth.

But GC can clarify for us if he chooses to.

Chris MC said...

But it has gotten to be a national MSM subject. Matthews, MTP, etceteras, no?

I'd think you'd have some pride that your offspring had grown up and got famous, Keith?

ctkeith said...

I have Plenty of Pride,

And was smart enough and in touch enough with the people of this state to know they yearned for a choice other than Lieberman to represent them in the Senate.

The fact that you,Chris McC and GC , weren't in fact in touch proves you make be great Bloggers(whatever the hell that means) but neither of you have any feel for the political tides in this State.

Run along now,you both have to go read the Sunday papers to know what the people of this state are thinking since it's much to much work to ask them yourselves.

Chris MC said...

tsch, tsch Keith, such unnecessary snark.

It makes you sound like you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

TrueBlueCT said...

Keith, you are somewhat on with your CW criticisms of Genghis, but I've got to differ and suggest he's been doing a pretty good job covering Lieberman/Lamont.

I understand the current diary lends itself to a bogus "repel the invaders" reading, (when we all know it's really a "hang the traitorous S.O.B." story happening here in CT.) But I think what GC was really trying to do was comment on how cool it is to have the 2006's biggest race happening right here in CT.

I wish GC would give more time to Sirota's piece however. Sirota suggests that this is very much a battle against corporate-owned politicians, and the corrupt DC establishment. Certainly Joe's donor list deserves much more attention.

I do hope that everyone here might understand that the real beauty of Ned is that he would go to Washington wholly un-owned, and wouldn't that be nice for a change?

Chris MC said...

Huh. That is one of the arguments for Malloy also, TB.

Genghis Conn said...

Keith,

This whole thing started here. In a very real way, it started with you and DumpJoe.

But what I see is a lot of people coming in from other places and trying to tell Connecticut Democrats what to do. They all have their reasons and agendas, and they're bending and twisting the shape of the race to fit them.

In the end, though, it's going to depend on how Democrats in New London, Torrington, Norwalk, Newington and Branford are feeling on August 8th. If Lamont wins, it won't be because of all the big national issues and causes--it'll be because Democrats in this state actually want change for once. Who can blame them?

Connecticut loves incumbents, but only up to a certain point. Lieberman dethroning Weicker in 1988 proves that if Connecticut voters get grumpy enough, they'll throw their leaders overboard.

Genghis Conn said...

More disturbing for some Democrats might be the fact that I have been talking to run-of-the-mill Democrats in Connecticut... and hardly any of them have heard of Lamont. Or DeStefano or Malloy, for that matter.

They have heard of Lieberman and Rell, though.

TrueBlueCT said...

Talking about out-of-staters, I heard that Lieberman is trying to get Barbara Boxer, Ken Salazar, and Barack Obama to come to Connecticut and stump for him. And oh yeah, Evan Bayh to cover the redneck constituency.

The question is, "Will any big name Dem come to his defense?"

Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

ctkeith said...

GC,

Then Draw a big Black line across this Paragraph

This primary was never ours. We have to accept it. National and international media, blogs and pundits have taken Connecticut's affair and infused it with symbolism and meaning that transcends the petty concerns of Democrats in Rocky Hill or Groton. Right now, this primary is about the future of the Democratic Party, the growth of the liberal netroots, opposition to the war in Iraq, and President Bush. We've been drawn into the orbit of these huge, national issues--they dwarf us.

This was started By Nutmeggers and will be finished by Nutmeggers.Contrary to what Sean Smith thinks CT voters ARE NOT LOW INFORMATION VOTERS and although many will read Sirota,Wittman,Kos,the NYT,WSJ and hundreds of other outside of connecticut opinions those who go to the polls are going because they feel strongly that either they were or weren't represented well by Joe Lieberman.

Liebermans pollster has already told him he is losing amongst Most Likely and Likely voters. Outsiders didn't make that happen and will have little effect on the Aug. 8th vote.They're here because the story is here not to create a story.

laborguy said...

Lieberman must go! He is not a real Democrat. Down with Joe!

HealthcareNOW said...

If I'm not mistaken, this time last year national figures expected Lieberman to coast, despite his gross differences with real Democrats on issues such as Iraq, energy, etc...

They wrote off a competitive race a long time ago. It was the grassroots and netroots that began to make this race intersting. It was Ned Lamont who decided to jump in and have national syndicates like MSNBC and CNN write stories about how much of a long shot he is in the beginning. We were the ones that destroyed national expectations by getting more than TWICE the needed delegates for a primary at the convention.

For sure, people outside of this state are watching this race closely. But it's people like the liberal blogosphere that made the dynamic the way it is today. We're out there raising money from the netroots, we're out there calling Sean Smith out on all the bogus crap he pulls. It takes people like Keith who made DumpJoe a brand name on Kos LONG BEFORE we even had a candidate, and we need to recognize that.

BRubenstein said...

For the record...progressives in CT have been talking about taking on Lieberman for years..

Chris MC said...

I can confirm that, Bruce. But Keith has been hard at it for at least three years, that grassroots thing. Credit where it is due, it is one thing to talk about it....

cgg said...

I don't see this as a national race, but then I don't read KOS and I rarely watch TV news. My news about the primary comes entirely from blogs and the local papers.

I do hope that the Senate primary will have national implications. If Lieberman falls, than any Senator that voted yes in the Iraq resolution could also fall. A Lamont victory could send shock waves through the Democratic party, and I think it's neat to be in the center of that.

MikeCT said...

GC,
But what I see is a lot of people coming in from other places and trying to tell Connecticut Democrats what to do.

That's ridiculous and sounds like a Sean Smith soundbite (and no, I don't think you work for the campaign). You don't get a third of delegates and 45% (as I recall) in a poll without strong homegrown support.

It's hardly surprising that this race is gaining national attention, given Lieberman's record and the general lack of competitive challenges to incumbents. Because some pundits and bloggers comment on the race doesn't mean it isn't organic to the state. It's the other way around.

As to whether CT Dems know Lamont - it's all going to be about voter ID and turnout, and Lamont's campaign has been active for weeks doing phone banks.

No one has commented on the new Lamont ad yet. It's smart, but the timing is weird - why release it on a holiday weekend?

TrueBlue,

It can be about Iraq, the netroots, the future of the Dem Party and accountability. No big deal.

Patricia Rice said...

A lieberman victory in the primary will show that the Democratic party is alive and well and we will not be distracted by the extreme left.

Everybody is entitled to voice their opinion but the majority of Democrats are moderates to slightly liberal and open-minded.

We already know the left wingers (who should really be with the Green party) are going to come out in support of the Greenwich Multi-Millionaire...We need to be sure that reasonable thinking Democrats come out in this primary and fight for the heart and soul of the party.

A victory for Millionaire Ned would be a great victory for the Republican’s and they know that. WE CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN!

bluecoat said...

Ned Lamont is from the extreme left???

MikeCT said...

Lamont is an extreme leftist, I mean a Republican. Oh, Joe gets me so confused.

TrueBlueCT said...

Is Pat Rice like the dumbest blogger ever? I'd respond to her, but I wouldn't know where to begin.