Archive

  • LIEBERMAN'S VICIOUS CYCLE....

    LIEBERMAN'S VICIOUS CYCLE. To add to the post-mortems of the day, my guess is that the relationship between Joe Lieberman and the Democratic Party is about to get a whole lot more fraught. Previously, there was a real unwillingness on the part of the party mandarins to go against Joe who, even if he were to run as an independent, would still be bound in the Senate by long ties of friendship and esteem with the Democratic caucus. But now that so many from the caucus have bowed to base pressure and endorsed Ned Lamont -- I'm thinking here of Dodd , Clinton , Feingold , Kerry , Bayh , Kennedy , Schumer , Emmanuel , Reid , Obama etc -- Lieberman is apt to feel as betrayed by his colleagues as he does by his voters. That radically increases the chance he'll switch parties or leverage his independence against his side which, in turn, radically increases the importance that the party kill off his candidacy and ensure Lamont's election. So Lieberman's in a rough cycle here -- his loss in the...
  • SORE LOSERMAN.

    SORE LOSERMAN. A few changes would need to be made, but the Arizona Cap Company can probably expect strong demand for some of its products . --Alec Oveis
  • THE OTHER PRIMARIES....

    THE OTHER PRIMARIES. Given our obsession, here in the blogosphere, with the Lieberman - Lamont contest, one would be forgiven for thinking that this was the only primary of consequence that took place yesterday. As noted here by Steve Benen , another striking defeat of a Democratic incumbent, however, took place yesterday in a Georgia Democratic run-off , with the loss of the entertaining Rep. Cynthia McKinney to the rather serious-looking DeKalb County commissioner and attorney Hank Johnson for the state's 4th District House seat. Although two contests may amount to weak evidence for any kind of trend, I do suspect that, taken together, the losses suffered by Lieberman and McKinney show that Lieberman's loss is not simply a matter of ideology; it's about integrity. McKinney is surely a left-wing type, but her antics with the Capitol Police soured her electorate on her candidacy. Not that she accepts that verdict; McKinney is blaming her loss to a fellow African-American Democrat on "...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SORE LOSERMAN.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SORE LOSERMAN. Tom reports from Connecticut and identifies some lessons from the primary -- ones that Joe Lieberman himself, so far at least, seems disinclined to hear. --The Editors
  • 'AN ANGRY ELECTORATE LOOKING FOR CHANGE.'

    'AN ANGRY ELECTORATE LOOKING FOR CHANGE.' Connecticut's Senate primary clearly captured the political world's attention, but let's not forget that other states had noteworthy primaries as well. In Georgia, Democrats replaced a combative and controversial lawmaker, while in Michigan, Republicans rejected a rare House centrist. The defeat of Georgia's outspoken Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) and Michigan moderate Rep. John J.H. "Joe" Schwarz (R) appeared to confirm the strong headwinds that polls suggest members of Congress will face in November from an angry electorate looking for change. McKinney lost to former DeKalb County commissioner Hank Johnson in a runoff election. Schwarz was defeated in the Republican primary by a conservative challenger, Tim Walberg. Meanwhile, Colorado's Ed Perlmutter, who ran as "a Democrat's Democrat," defeated former state representative Peggy Lamm and a third candidate. Amy Walter , a House political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told...
  • CEDAR REVOLUTION DOWN THE DRAIN.

    CEDAR REVOLUTION DOWN THE DRAIN. Don't miss Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora 's Washington Post op-ed. Keep in mind that Israel's initial objective here seems to have been to give the Lebanese government a swift kick in the ass in hopes of convincing them that letting Hezbollah run free in the south was a danger to all of Lebanon and that they ought to try and clamp down. As you'll see from Siniora's article, the military strikes have accomplished the reverse, pushing Siniora -- and, indeed, Lebanese opinion in all religious groups -- into alignment with Hezbollah's views. Fred Kaplan asks the good question of whether Bush understands his own policies. For over a year now, what he keeps saying about Lebanon is that we need to be supporting its democratically (sort of) elected government and that the Hezbollah issue should be understood in those terms. And he keeps saying it, as if Siniora is an enthusiastic supporter of current Israeli and American policies. --Matthew Yglesias
  • CH-CH-CHANGES. I didn't...

    CH-CH-CHANGES. I didn't follow the ins and outs of the Lamont - Lieberman contest as closely as some on this site, since I've been off blog and in an intensive reporting project for the past few weeks, but permit me a few observations. Lamont won not just because of the netroots, or his deft use of house parties and other community-based organizing techniques in Connecticut, but because he was a damn good candidate. I watched both Lamont and Lieberman out of the corner of my eye on ABC's This Week over the weekend, and while Lieberman appeared much more affable than I'd expected, he still turned in a tepid, milquetoast, forgettable performance. Lamont, on the other hand, was clear about exactly what he stood for and against, and made a strong and compelling case for himself. It was like watching a Republican take on a Democrat, except in this instance Lamont was playing the role of clear-spoken Republican to Lieberman's Democratic wuss. Which brings me to my second point. Noam...
  • LAMONT-LIEBERMAN POSTGAME.

    LAMONT-LIEBERMAN POSTGAME. The voting is done -- let the post-game spin begin! Most outside-the-box spin here . Best postgame spin here . Now, of course, the world faces the question of whether Lieberman pursues and independent bid. Tragically, this seems caught up in the meta-analysis of the expectations factor. Relative to, say, six weeks ago, Lamont far exceeded expectations -- he won, which looked very unlikely quite recently. But relative to expectations set about a week ago, he underperformed; winning narrowly when some polls had shown him winning big. Over the past couple of days, Lamont supporters tried to lower expectations, but one of the difficulties with having a campaign do so much communication unofficially through high-profile blogs is that your strategic gambits get very transparent. For the broader future of progressive politics, I think a narrow Lamont win is a good result, for roughly Chait -ian reasons -- it establishes that there are some limits to the behavior...
  • MORE ON DEMS IN '06.

    MORE ON DEMS IN '06. I agree with Ezra that donor cash is an unfixed variable dependent on the enthusiasm of the base. That's certainly true for online donors who contribute small sums. The problem though is that small donors haven't played a large role in the Connecticut primary and still probably won't in the general election. Lamont has been a self-funded candidate, and Lieberman for the most part has relied on funding from large donors and PACs. And this is what I'm talking about: the corporate PACs, special interests PACs, individual PACs, unions, and the town, county, and state parties that form the bedrock of a campaign donor base, on top of which sit the dynamic small donors. For the most part, these institutions set out at the beginning of the year with a fixed budget, saying they'll spend such-and-such amount on the contested races in Connecticut. They dish out a token amount to begin with, and then wait and see where things become heated. With a three-way contested Senate...
  • WHAT DOES JOE WANT IN '06?

    WHAT DOES JOE WANT IN '06? No surprise that Alec raised hackles with yesterday's post . In light of the primary's outcome and Lieberman 's oddly-phrased determination that he will "not let these results stand" -- that is, as we now look to a general election wherein Democratic resources do have to continually be expended in Connecticut on account of Lieberman's independent bid -- surely it's worth flipping Alec's analysis around and putting the onus back on the senator. The real threat to a full-bore Democratic offensive to take back Congress this fall is posed by the guy who lost his primary and won't accept defeat. Lieberman struck a nicely rancid and defiant tone this morning and claims there's no phone call that could be made by anyone to dissuade him from running as an independent, but the The New York Times 's reporting this morning (some of it done by Tapped alumnus Nick Confessore ) makes, I think, a good case that he could be swimming up hill stream against Lamont's momentum...

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