It was a great night and I hope a harbinger of things to come. Perhaps we really can turn back from the precipice. American politics have always swung like a pendulum between ideological philosophies and I've always thought that the real genius to Karl Rove (despite his complete amorality) is that he recognized this long ago and set about trying to find artificial ways to keep that pendulum from swinging back. Perpetual war seemed to be an answer to his prayers.
Now we have Ned Lamont and a whole host of progressive bloggers and activists standing on the arm of that pendulum jumping up and down and just trying to get it moving again.
I almost feel sorry for Lieberman. Atrios has bit up from a Matt Lauer interview this morning in which Droopy Dog says the following:
Well, I think it's time for somebody to break through the dominance of both parties by the margins of the parties, which happens in primaries. I think it's time for somebody to break through and say, Hey, let's cut out the partisan nonsense.
Is it Joe's intention to vindicate all those that spent the last six months screaming that he's out of touch?
He just ran in a primary for the nomination to the Senate for the Democratic party. It doesn't get any more partisan than that. The time to pull this "I'm an independent and I'm holier than thou" bullshit was years ago not on his political deathbed. That just looks pathetic.
Joe isn't alone in his delusion. Jane Hamsher has a terrific post-mortem up where she points out that the DLC deadenders will be egging Joe on in his run as an independent-
I know Joe has vocal support from DLCers and so-called "centrists" who see themselves next in line if Lieberman falls. They want Joe to hold back the barbarian horde for all of them. ItÂs a stupid, shortsighted and solipsistic construct. The self-righteous indignation of people like Lanny Davis and Martin Peretz are buoying Lieberman into a wholesale purchase of the myth that he is a great man and a great wrong has been done to him. Here on planet earth we call it a primary challenge, an integral part of the Democratic process. It's time for Joe to realize that in their own blindness they may be preparing him as the sacrificial lamb.
But what of Joe's true friends; the conservative Republicans? I spent a good portion of last night on Fark.com reveling in the shrieks of the conservative hordes and their "we'll-show-you" petty threats. The rank and file initial, pre-talking points reaction seemed to be somewhere between that of a slug after you've just poured salt on it and a bully who just got socked in the nose by the fat kid he's been taking the lunch money from for months.
Today the message coming from the Right can pretty much be summed up as "We told you this would happen and it's good for Republicans." Redstate tries the ho-hum approach by dismissing the results and saying Joe will win easily as an independent. Paul at Powerline tries to spin it as a victory for John McCain because it takes Lieberman off the presidential stage but at least he recognizes the war is unpopular, even if he does trip up during this part of the analysis:
To be sure, Connecticut independents are more likely to agree with Lamont than with Lieberman on the major issue of the campaign -- the war in Iraq. But last night proved that, even among many Democrats, support for the war is not a deal-breaker.
I don't think that's entirely true. Paul's completely underestimating the power of machine politics the kind of which supported Lieberman and kept the race as close as it was. But more importantly the war in Iraq is only the most visible gauge of where a candidate stands on supporting George W. Bush. Support for Bush will be very much a deal-breaker in the general election with Democratic voters. Candidates who haven't sufficiently distanced themselves from the President, on the war and a host of other issues, won't be returning to Washington.