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August 10, 2006

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The pundits are really going to piss off a lot of independents if they keep calling Lamont voters "the far-left flank of the Democratic Party". My parents voted for Lamont and they are as far from the far-left flank as any Democrat can be. In fact I was shocked to learn they had voted for Lamont - I just assumed that they would vote for Lieberman. If the pundits continue to disparage people like my parents, I think they'll turn off a lot of independents. And that's fine by me.

In fact, that would be a good TV commercial. Showing people like my folks who voted for Lamont to dispel this notion that all Lamont voters are wild-eyed hippies who compulsively read blogs all day.

Critiquing the Davids is like shooting fish in a barrel, but a few (probably obvious points):

1) Brooks (and, in general, Broder) had no problem with the radicalism of the GOP from 1980 on -- Brooks undoubtedly voted that way without complaint; Broder may have split his ballots, but he certainly has never complained about Republicans the way he has about Dems. The shock and horror only emerged when Democrats found their aggressive voices.

2) This whole idea of a magical center is, as James Carville says, a fantasy of taking the politics out of politics (a fantasy Perot exploited with his "just get under the hood and fix the problem"). When one side advocates invading unthreatening countries or cutting taxes on wealth as the solution to all problems, how does the side that wants intelligent diplomacy and tax equity "work with them"? The saddest thing: this irrational idea of compromise between mutually exclusive ideas is the govering philosophy of the DC pundit class.

3) Lamont has no "urgent need" to "moderate" his stances -- they reflect about 2/3 of the country (and a far greater percentage of Dems and independents). (Even if they were, the same advice was foisted on Reagan in 1980; he politely ignored this, and carried 44 states) So, let's see: Lamont's got a position that thrills his base and appeals to over 60% of the electorate. Wow; he'd better drop that fast.

4) To cite one media non-atrocity, however: I was pleasantly surprised by the Hardball discussion last night. Matthews, Chuck Todd and Fineman all agreed, after hearing Lamont talk, there wasn't a chance in hell he could be characterized as a wild-eyed lefty.

5) Contrarily, what's the deal with Mark Halperin (on Charlie Rose). He just bought lock-stock-barrel into the idea that the GOP is going to run successfully on "the Dems are surender monkeys"; took for granted that the Lieberman defeat was "great news" for Republicans. Is he always as right-leaning as he appeared last night?

6) If this terror plot announcement hadn't come from British intelligence, I'd be very skeptical of it -- coming, as these things always do, right in the midst of a bad news cycle for the GOP.

demtom, I don't know if I'd trust British intelligence 100%. They've done their share of politicizing intelligence, ie. Iraq.

Actually, the sharp Brits were initially very skeptical about it, coming as it does as the Blair government seeks to erode civil liberties further.

Even given that the plot existed, the timing of the announcement is suspicious, given both British politics and the Bush-Cheneyites' need to hype people up now that they've trapped themselves into supporting a long Israeli war on Lebanon.

real or not, the country has lost faith in Bush. The message isn't that there's not threat. It's that these are not the people who can handle it becuase they make things worse.

I'm getting tired of morons like Brooks comparing Schwarz and Lieberman's defeat. Schwarz's defeat was directly attributed to the radicalization of the GOP... his district was "gerrymandered" to make a "safe Republican" seat. This left him vulnerable to a challenge from the far right. (This actually makes the seat "vulnerable", but its unlikely that the Dems have bothered to put up a viable candidate because they assumed that Schwatz would be the candidate, and not some GOP extremist...)

Lamont, of course, didn't win in a "gerrymandered" congressional district, he won in a STATEWIDE primary. The idea that Lamont represents some kind of "fringe" is ridiculous.

yes, Halperin and the Note swallows everything his masters give him to feed on.

The Schwartz defeat is of a piece with the results of the GOP primary in CO-05, where the Dobson candidate (Lamborn) won with 27% of the vote. Other right-wingers won elsewhere in CO.

It is also analogous to the upcoming GOP Sen primary in RI, against Chafee. Where are the armies of pundits decrying the potential Club for Growth-led GOP purge of Chafee? That will be the tell.

Here's an eye-opener:

A poll of voters in 68 of the most competitive congressional districts found that Iraq is the No. 1 issue and that opposition to war brings a significant number of independent and female voters to the Democratic side, according to Tom Matzzie, Washington director of MoveOn.org Political Action, the Internet-based group that commissioned the poll and raised about $270,000 for Lamont.
So just tell me how well that Rove/Snow/Mehlman message of the wild-eyed Dems soft on war is going to play outside the 30% GOP Bushbot base?

They're aiming at halperin, brooks and the enablers, just like we aim at the Nagourneys and Milbanks and Finemans.

The Todds and Cooks are smarter than that.

So are the voters, it would seem.

More evidence, via Kos:

"Democrats have released polling taken in 27 districts held by a Republican. Of those, 22 incumbents were under 50 percent of the vote against their Democratic opponent and 10 incumbents were either behind or within the margin of error. Republicans have only released three polls in Republican held seats - two of which showed the Republican under 50 percent (one was Rep. Bob Ney who announced this week that he was not running for re-election)."

-- Amy Sullivan, Cook Political Report, August 9, 2006

So, is Halperin the guy behind The Note? If I'd thought that, I'd have just muted him whenever he spoke (as I do with John Fund, Ben Ginzburg, the whole right-wing crowd).

Mimikatz, I don't think any amount of polling is going to persuade some in the press; they'll tell you "Howard Dean led polls" or "Kerry was ahead" -- basically, they have a belief in ultimate GOP dominance that verges on the theological. I believe some here were saying months ago that it was a given Dems would have to spend the entire election season plowing through journalistic skepticism (if not outright hostility) -- that it will take the kind of dramatic election day showing the GOP achieved in 1980 to change their hardened narrative. The good news: the public seems ready to deliver just such a smackdown.

And today both Cheney and O'Reilly said that Lamont's victory proves that democrats will encourage Al-Queda.

Those nutmeggers, geez, why do they hate America?

Seriously, is anybody listening to these guys?

There's a test for senility. Is David Broder afraid to take it?

demtom, I was one of those people. The narrative is very stubborn, and it's clung to by lazy narrow-minded insiders. It'll take an earthquake to change it, and even then it'll be qualified.

I think Ned Lamont has a great opportunity - will he take it? Is he visionary enough?

I think a lot of people still don't know who he is. His story and stances are appealing, but he needs to tie it together with some version of a new D narrative. At a minimum, it can be outsider vs. insider. It can include a new approach to fairness and opportunity, and spell out a contrasting approach to fighting terrorism.

Ned has an opportunity to be great. I hope he takes it, rather than settling for "good."

The MSM has jumped on this primary and made it soooooo 'about Joe'. He's gonzo.....he's toast......he lost, and it's still all about Joe Lieberman. In making this a referendum on Joementum they have managed to trivialize many of the reasons that Connecticut voters turned to Ned Lamont. It WASN'T JUST ABOUT THE WAR! And it gives Sore Loserman way too much prime-time with his misguided effort as an Independent.
After 18 years, we FINALLY get a candidate who is a well-educated, articulate, squeaky-clean politician with a super pedigree, a grasp of the issues, and a lovely picture postcard family. And he's willing to put his hat in the ring and run against an entrenched incumbant who has over half the USA gritting it's teeth in agony over Joe's pompous posturing, finger-wagging and 'bipartisan' stances. Connecticut leaped at the chance of taking Joe out; let's face it.....Joe has been a liability to the Democratic Party for years-and not just for Connecticut.
We have to frame the issue of voting in a newcomer instead of returning a senior member to Congress. And, we have to make it OUR dialogue - not the pundits, not the MSM's.

And it cannot be that we chose Ned just because he's not Joe.

This guy Lamont is a class act, people. He deserves to have his political image and ideas touted around proudly and loudly by his supporters. And it's up to us to throw that out there now, constantly. We have to define this guy as OURS and a good guy to boot; and show that we are proud to have a real gentleman and a REAL Democrat to represent us. Because, I'm really not sure if the DLC or the DCCC or the DSCC are going to fully embrace this new generation of politicians that WILL overtake the House and the Senate. We don't need excuses or apologies or explanations why we elected to have Ned run in our name in November; we have to remember to just broadcast Ned's strengths, and not Joe's weaknesses. Make the conversation about Ned. We bloggers kept Ned out in front - let's keep him there.
IT'S NOT ABOUT JOE! Not anymore.

I'll say the same thing about Brooks as I did about Lieberman yesterday: Delusional or lying?

I understand the the desire for more bipartisan comity; I thought our political system worked better in the days when we had it, too. But it's delusional to say, as Brooks does here and as Joe repeated yet again on the NewsHour, that somehow if Democrats are bipartisan, it will help solve the problem.

We're in this state because when Democrats reach across the aisle, modern Republicans cut off their hand and run whooping back to their base waving it like a trophy. When that stops, you'll find plenty of Democrats who are willing to compromise.

Has Joe ever, in any of his speeches, mentioned anything he's gotten for the Democrats through his ability to "work with the other side?" Has any interviewer ever asked him this? I think he sincerely believes in bipartisanship purely because getting along is good, but voters are right to demand results.

crab nebula, fascinating comment. Confirms other sources of my info; always good to have more evidence and points of view.

It's fascinating to watch which media icons are getting it right, and which are losing their grip on reality. I'm still astounded -- and a bit baffled -- at how the NYT OpEd so well captured the themes that I've seen in interviews, blog comments, and other tea leaves. It's fascinating to see that the Gray Lady seems to grasp the dynamics of what's happening -- and Brooks, et al, who refuse to really LISTEN to what those highly educated, exurban voters are communicating only continue to make themselves daily more irrelevant.

The new Dem narrative won't come from the DLC. It'll come from whoever came up with the Kiss Float, as well as from YouTube. The Hillsman ad that showed Bush morphing into Lieberman is one of the most brilliant things I've ever seen. Pure genius. The pundits never saw it coming, and I have yet to hear it used as an example in any analysis or interview. But it was indisputably one of the most powerful pieces of visual communication that I can recall. By overlooking it, the pundits miss many facets of the story.

Dear The Next Hurrah contributors,

I just want to inform somebody who runs the blog that your email address, , listed as your contact info doesn't work. I tried sending an email and received a delivery failure notice saying the account is inactive. It'd be wonderful if a kind contributor would let me know when the error is fixed. Thank you!

Carey T.

The idea of the "McCain-Lieberman Party" may be something Brooks dreamed up inside his own head, since I have seen no evidence Lieberman holds any of the positions attributed to the party. Perhaps the column is election advice for Lieberman to push all of the positions. Also, Tony Blair could not win a Democratic primary with his record. Even the Brits are tired of him. But Tony Blair could win a Democratic primary in a red state with his eloquence and "resolve".

BTW, I hope this weekend doesn't leave the Red Sox completely in the dust.

It seems like the pundits are as risk-averse as so many of the DC Dems. They just can't let go of their cozy worldview and the safety they find in numbers (each other).

I'm still waiting for all the coverage of the imminent purging of John Chafee and what that says about the future of Western Civilization.

I just want to know where you apply to get a job that pays well for being wrong all the time. I'm not picky. As long as I can be wrong and get promoted, I'll do just about anything...well...just about anything.

Running your own business is a bitch. If your wrong you go bust. I'm tired of that pressure. I just want to head to work knowing I can be wrong all day and still draw a paycheck.

Carey T, click on my name on the name of any other contributor. We generally comment in our own posts. We believe in that concept.

Don Burnstein , I'll keep company with Charley Cook, Chuck Todd, the WSJ op-ed page

Ned Lamont's toppling of three-term Democratic Senate incumbent Joe Lieberman is a political thunder clap, arguably the most important victory for the American left since the Watergate rout of 1974. Senate incumbents are always hard to beat, never mind one who was on his party's national ticket only six years ago. Connecticut Democrats understood the choice, and their judgment can't be dismissed as a fluke of the Angry Left blogosphere.

Conservatives who are dismissing this as another suicidal lurch to the left should also be more respectful of voter sentiment. We're old enough to recall conservative Jeff Bell's upset of Senator Clifford Case in a New Jersey GOP primary in 1978. The media and political establishments sniffed at that result, and Mr. Bell lost in November to Bill Bradley. But it turned out his primary triumph was also a harbinger of Ronald Reagan. Mr. Lamont's victory is a sign of a resurgent political left that in its opposition to the Iraq War has found an issue that resonates with many voters.

and a host of others. reality's a bitch, ain't it? So what have you got?

Yeah, David. Lamont voters in Hartford and New Haven are rolling in dough, just like teachers everywhere.

I'm sure Brooksie will take note of the fact that 53-percent of voters in union households went for Lamont. http://www.pollingreport.com/sub/2006c.htm#CT%20-%20Lieberman

But then again, he probably won't.

I like the phrase you used above, the irate middle. Joe has been enough of a corporatist over the years to earn the full scorn of the middle. As have other Dems, but he's at the top. While I'm truly liberal on some issues, on most things my values are similar to what the middle is purportedly interested in. Though following through on those values results in taking the "liberal" side of most issues as they are framed today. As a thinking person, my "middle of the road values" make me want to throw out every single Republican and half the Dems, because they don't represent me and haven't for a long time.

Lamont is truly appealing to the irate middle, and I'm proud to say I donated to him the day he officially declared. I think "the irate middle" is a good way to categorize much of the netroots and much of the country who is completely outraged at the destruction of our country by the Rethugs, often with plenty of Dem assistance. In terms of framing ourselves, it is the correct way to go, both in terms of appeal and accuracy.

Ask and you shall receive.

All of which must concern a moderate incumbent like Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R), who faces a strong challenge in Rhode Island's Sept. 12 primary from the CFG's centerpiece candidate, conservative Steve Laffey, the mayor of Cranston, R.I. Recent polling shows the race is close. Unlike Connecticut, however, the opposition party here (Democrats) fielded a strong, well-financed candidate with no primary rival: Sheldon Whitehouse. The race, still competitive even if Chafee wins, would become a top pick-up target for Democrats this fall if the incumbent stumbles.
So the Dems were smarter in both CT and RI. What does that mean?

For once, the Wall Street Journal opinion page gets it right.

This isn't 1972.

It's the elections of the fall of 1974, post-Watergate.

If Dead-eye Dickless thinks the Presidency was "down in the dumps" in 1975, wait till he sees what we do to him in 2007.

Gee, David has hit his own trifecta with the latest attempt to create new wingnut-encoded insult phrases: "highly educated secular liberals". They're the ones ruining the Democratic party that David cares *so* much about.

So, let me see, what does the Democratic party need to neutralize this group: dumb, evangelical conservatives? Ah yes, the 30% majority.

I wonder why so many right wing pundits seem to be threatened by intelligence and education?
(OK, I don't actually wonder about it, I took first-year psychology)

DemCT

A writer on Tapped indicated concern that Lieberman did so well in the NE corner of the state, a blue collar or lower middle class bastion, and that this wasn't good news for D's.

One commenter speculated that this was due to labor endorsement of Lieberman; what's your take? Is it just that Lamont was a cultural mismatch for these folks, who weren't necessarily anti-war? Or that they were minimally engaged who voted Lieberman out of habit?

Brooks is wrong on two counts. (1) The CBS exit poll data show that Lamont voters were no wealthier than Lieberman voters. (2) Lamont voters are about as liberal as Dem voters in the nation, at least outside of the South.

Alan Abramowitz, thank you. This really is the irate middle as far as that goes.

from the beginning it was the small town selectment and regulars who voted lamont in at the causcus and put him on the ballot in the first place. he's no wild-eyed radical and his interviews and persona, along with the campaign, will defeat that meme. Chuck Todd noted that yesterday on Hardball. It just ain't so.

What is so is that incumbants are in trouble.

gatoraide and toothpaste ???

not exactly "High Tach" terrorists

chicken noodle network said the terrorists had a "Propellant" chemical

what would they nedd a "propellant" chemical for

do these people understand the difference between balistics and explosive chemistry ???

all you need is an acid and a base

we don need no stinkin propellants

I am so sick of Brooks' pretending to be a reporter when he is clearly an advocate. His pundit status is a total mystery to me. Especially as he has been consistently wrong about almost everything he has said about the anyone he is politically opposed to. He is moving into Cal Thomas, Charles Krautheimer territory. A side benefit of a shift in the political winds would be for his errors and simplistic "analysis" to be so egregious that he would be asked to shut up. Its fitting that he is so upset about Lieberman's loss and tenuous status on the national political scene.

I am so sick of Brooks' pretending to be a reporter when he is clearly an advocate. His pundit status is a total mystery to me. Especially as he has been consistently wrong about almost everything he has said about anyone he is politically opposed to. He is moving into Cal Thomas or Charles Krautheimer territory. A side benefit of a shift in the political winds would be for his errors and simplistic "analysis" to be seen as being so egregious that he would be asked to shut up. It's fitting that he would be so upset about Lieberman's loss and resulting tenuous status on the national political scene.

with so much post election data showing lamont voters are not the wild eyed left and really are the irate middle... i'm wondering what the payoff is in repeating this disinformation? are they trying to get lamont 'middles' to say "uh oh. i'm no wild eyed leftie. i don't want anyone calling me that. i'd better vote for joe?"

As someone who could actually be counted among the far left - believing in socialism and all that jazz - I find this whole discussion hilarious. There is no actualy organized "far-left" in this country. Brooks' far-leftists hold many of the same policy positions that the Tories - the conservatives in Britain - hold.

America is a conservative country. Lamont is merely a left-of-center liberal. There is no "far-left" with any real power in this country outside of small isolated pockets in the West coast cities and a few college towns.

Take it from me. As a far-leftist, I would never count Lamont, or Jesse Jackson for that matter, in my ranks.

Exactamente, farleftist. As a Popular Front Democrat, I've had a few far leftists challenge me for supporting Lamont - which was all talk on my part, no money or other effort - precisely because he is not in our ranks. But, hey, these guys believe that if they can extrapolate who-lost-China and who-lost-Vietnam to who-lost-Iraq - sticking us far leftists with those alleged failures - that maybe they can still squeak by in November. Problem for them is that the majority of Americans seem to believe that Iraq is already lost, isn't worth saving at such horrendous cost and, even if it is worth saving and isn't yet lost that the current crew is not up to the job of saving or winning it. "Desperate" is, I think, the word the NeoImps have used to describe the insurgents in Iraq, a term which applies perfectly to the Bush Regime and its pundithugs.

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