Wednesday, August 09, 2006

No shelter for hawks under the shrinking Democratic tent

Joe Lieberman was defeated last night in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, thus proving (as if it needed any proving) that the Democratic Party has veered to the left.

The Democrats seem to have abandoned the "big tent" concept--the idea that a party shouldn't position itself so far to either side that it becomes marginal and exclusive.

Who is Ned Lamont? A deep-pocketed novice--very deep-pocketed indeed. We'll see what happens in the statewide election. I haven't yet been able to locate what the polls say at this point on Lieberman's chances of winning as an Independent--only this:

It will be days before the polls can measure a three-way race with accuracy. A Quinnipiac survey in mid-July suggested Lieberman would head into the campaign in a strong position, finding 51 percent support for him, 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for the Republican.

With his primary victory, Lamont almost certainly will gain support, at least intially, in a three-way matchup. In defeat, Lieberman will lose it, and the next poll could produce far different results than the last.

If Lieberman does go on to win as an Independent, the Democratic Party will have shot itself in the foot. And if Lamont wins? Will the Party go the way it did post-Vietnam, perceived as soft on security issues? Or will antiwar sentiment trump that perception?

And now for some good news: Cynthia McKinney is toast. You know you're in trouble when even a supporter says, "She makes us look bad."

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