THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT: LIBERAL, ANTI-WAR, AND ELITE.

THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT: LIBERAL, ANTI-WAR, AND ELITE. Over at Slate, Bossman Tomasky has a riposte to Jacob Weissberg's "Lamont as McGovern" piece. As Mike stresses, the evidence beyond Connecticut of a destructive intra-party revolt against hawkish and/or "moderate" Democrats is basically non-existent. Elsewhere on the Weissberg pushback front, Matt and many others point out that Weissberg's conflation of Iraq War opposition with unseriousness about terrorism is close to the opposite of correct.

I should say, I happen to be very pessimistic about the possibilities of anti-war politics succeeding. Three days out of the week, I tend to think that even given a war that is both clearly failing and actually unpopular, the prospects for success of an opposition party that takes up the dovish line in the face of classic American war demagoguery are basically doomed. And given that I don't consider faking support for a catastrophic war opposed by large majorities of one's own political constituency to be a legitimate option for Democrats, the problem becomes a serious one indeed. (The other four days out of the week, I'm more optimistic.) But what happened on Tuesday in Connecticut -- an unusually liberal and anti-war state -- just simply doesn't have much to do with the problem.

Something similar can be said about the related theory that Lamont's victory demonstrates the continued stranglehold held by an upscale cultural liberal elite on the national Democratic Party. I agree that the upper-middle-class ascendancy within the Democratic Party over the past decades is a real phenomenon and a problematic one. But again, a Democratic primary in the richest state in the country -- a liberal, anti-war state, lacking any kind of modern populist political tradition -- does not offer very impressive substantiation for that argument. Upscale culturally liberal politics is what's done in Connecticut. The much ballyhooed Lamont/Lieberman socioeconomic and demographic split among Tuesday's voters, while there, is actually less stark than people realize. And to repeat myself -- Joe Lieberman is an odd fit for the role of old-school blue-collar Democrat cast out by peacenik cultural elites. That�s never been his political profile (notwithstanding his penchant for moralizing, etc.). He's not Bob Casey.

--Sam Rosenfeld

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