Monday, August 21, 2006

A Minor Row

Over the weekend, TPM contributor DK set off a minor row in Left Blogistan by writing this:

Should progressives shift their money and attention from the Connecticut Senate race to more important contests? Absolutely.

Atrios and Armando at Kos both let loose on the guy with Atrios writing this:

But, anyway, this race is about more than Lamont now, it's about 3 important House races that Lieberman's going to ratfuck with all of his Republican pals. Attention must be paid by time wasters like myself because too many of the powers that be have apparently forgotten that they do, indeed, have a Lieberman Problem. It' not a circular firing squad, it's the implicit Republican candidate (Lieberman) versus the explicit Democratic one (Lamont). Joe's going to try to win by bringing Republicans to the polls, and when he does it won't be the fault of Lamont supporters, it'll be the fault of Lieberman and Dems who failed to confront him.

There is some truth in what both say. Look, the Lieberman / Lamont primary was a mid-season playoff game, one that for all intents and purposes ended in a tie due to the fact that Lieberman is such a shithead. While it's true that people should continue to support Lamont, it's going to be up to Connecticut progressive activists, bloggers, etc. to push him over the top.

Out of state activists poured into Connecticut to help Lamont win the primary mainly for the fact that it was the only game in town at the time. A lot of those people have tight races in their own back yards that they will be returning to in order to help out with so no, Lamont will not have their same level of support in the general election.

While it is important to continue to support Lamont, it's not nearly as important as supporting a Sherrod Brown in Ohio, or say a Bob Casey Jr in Pennsylvania. I'm just saying.

Now, as for what Lamont needs to do to win the general election, he obviously needs to consolidate Democratic support, and he is probably going to have to drive up Lieberman's negatives to do so. Ads portraying Cheney and Bush supporting Lieberman will surely help, but I have a couple of other ideas as well.

I'd like to see Lieberman asked if he intends to fulfill the entire term since republican Jodi Rell is almost certain to retain the Governor's office and would appoint Lieberman's replacement. I ask this for two reasons.

First, Lieberman is going to be almost 71 years old by the time the term finishes. While there are older Senators, I think most people agree that at best it's a fifty fifty shot due to age alone.

Secondly, there have been rumors that Bush is finally fed up enough with Donald Rumsfeld to replace him. It's no secret that Lieberman covets the job. I'd paint this as the ultimate Rovian bait and switch. If you vote for Lieberman, Bush will simply appoint him to a cabinet position shortly after the election, Joe will accept and Connecticut voters will be left with a republican Senator. Judging by the anemic 4% the republican candidate is polling, I doubt that they want such a thing.

If not nominated, Joe will run. But if elected, will Joe serve? And who will Joe serve?

I've changed my mind, this race is as important as the others I've mentioned.

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