Much like the upperclassmen who have bagged young, impressionable freshmen with astronomically high BACs these past few weeks, so are many of the nation’s liberals taking great pride in the victory of left-leaning Ned Lamont, who won the primary over Joe Lieberman in the even more left-leaning Connecticut.
Any progressive who thinks that this resounding victory indicates a shift in the mentality of the American voter is guilty of self-deception – Connecticut gave its electoral votes to John Kerry the moment he was born.
Lieberman’s defeat only demonstrates the Democrats’ sole platform as being anti-Bush. Had they been less myopic, the left should have respected the leadership of a well-established senator who provided a pretty solid liberal vote on most economic and social issues. His divergence from the party on national security toward the side of George W. Bush – though a major issue – should not have led the grassroots, progressive types – especially those on the blogosphere – to heap support on Ned Lamont.
Despite liberals’ attacks on Republicans who vote too much on the president’s side, the episode in Connecticut demonstrates that they hypocritically squash dissent with the fanaticism of even the most fervent religious zealots.
To more accurately assess political trends, more attention should be paid to what’s going on south and west of the Hudson River.
Notwithstanding the fact that a few big Democrats wax conservative on a couple issues – namely Senate minority leader Harry Reid and young, energetic firebrand Tim Ryan – many Senate races are competitive because Democrats are fielding conservative-to-moderate candidates. Examples include former Reagan cabinet member James Webb in Virginia and the pro-life, anti-anti-war Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.
Party bosses need to realize that this new breed of democratic congressmen – though critical of the president – will put precedence on the conservative to moderate value system of their constituents, eschewing the reckless progressivism that has become en vogue for many Democrats.
Though they may be disaffected with the Bush administration, these congressmen will preclude Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and their ilk from being able to enact their liberal orthodoxy into law. Imagine Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice – felling one broom only results in making two more. Liberals will find that slaying Lieberman – a supposedly conservative Democrat – will cause many more to rise in his stead.
Admittedly, Ned Lamont’s victory will induce both Republicans and Democrats to remove support for the president. Mindful that the president has only two years left on his term, though, emasculating the president by taking the House with a cadre of conservative Democrats will stand as a pyrrhic victory for America’s left.
Scott can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.