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July 31, 2006

The Importance of Lieberman vs. Lamont

The battle lines are starkly drawn in this key primary race for the Senate in Connecticut.   Everyone who pays attention to politics understands that the outcome is critical to the future of the Democratic Party and therefore to the country.  This is a battle between the establishment and the progressive movement.   Chris Bowers of MyDD says:

Within the Democratic Party, the stakes could hardly be higher, as this campaign has become a symbol of what the progressive movement can (or can't) accomplish. This is why the establishment has now thrown everything it has behind the Lieberman campaign, whether it is the political establishment (almost every major Democrat both in and out of office has endorsed Lamont, plus every major progressive advocacy organization), the media establishment (the Lamont endorsement from the New York Times was a breakthrough, but the national punditry has lined up behind Lieberman, even in the pages of the New York Times) or the corporate establishment. Now, in the closing days of the campaign, Joe Lieberman's establishment backers are in a frenzy:

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Lieberman's campaign is now raising over $100K every day from the same people who funded Democratic campaigns from the late-1980's all the way until the netroots small donor revolution: "members of Congress, Fortune 500 executives and well-connected Washington big shots." These are the same people ineffective people who kept losing and losing to Republicans and thus from whom the progressive movement was thus started to take over the party.

A diarist at DailyKos, DemFromCT, adds:

And for those who do not understand the significance of a Lamont challenge, the point is that win or lose, the issue of the Iraq War and its descent into chaos, and the enablers in DC who refuse to deal with its reality, become front and center in a political campaign. That's where it has always belonged. Lieberman's eroding base is the war's eroding base. Finally, we may get to have the debate on the war we never had... and it's not going to be pretty for the people that took us there.

Here's the core of what the NYT said when they endorsed Lamont:

If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.

I got to have lunch with David Sirota, along with a few other local bloggers, last week when he was in town.  (See shoephone's thoughts on Sirota's talk at Town Hall).  We talked as much about the establishment Democrats who represent us in this state as we did about the corrupt Republicans.  Sirota says he thinks that we probably want to spend about 1/4 of our time trying to influence and eventually replace the Democrats who are too close to the corporations themselves and/or too far removed from the needs and desires of the people they serve.  They are a part of the problem; it's just that it tends to be secondary to the larger problem of the abject corruption and greed of the Republicans. 

I increasingly find myself talking about "transformative" candidates, those progressive Democrats who will truly represent the people they serve over the interests of the big donors.  Those are the candidates, like Lamont, who raise money from small donors (and, to be fair in his case, from himself), and who in turn seem unlikely to fall under the sway of the entitlement bug that seems to grip most elected politicians of either persuasion as they enter the hallowed halls.  In this state, Darcy fits that definition.  I think that one of our primary jobs will be to identify and support the transformative Democrats over and above anything else.  The future of our country depends on it.

Posted by Lynn Allen on July 31, 2006 at 10:08 AM in Candidate Races, Strategery | Permalink

Comments

entitlement bug - Thats the only thing thats now a days running the whole politics, and somewhat ruining the true meaning of it. Anyone gets the power, should definitely identify the goals, plan a stratergy, and accomplish them right on.

Posted by: Conservative News | Apr 19, 2007 4:50:23 AM

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