The people backing Lamont are nothing if not sincere. But their breed of Democrats -- many of them wealthy, educated, extremely liberal -- often pick candidates who are rejected by the broader public. Many of the older Lamont supporters went straight from Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern in the 1960s and '70s to Howard Dean in 2004. They helped Joe Duffey challenge Sen. Tom Dodd in Connecticut for the 1970 Democratic nomination on the Vietnam War issue, only to lose to Republican Lowell Weicker in November. Lamont's campaign manager, Tom Swan, is also director of Connecticut Citizen Action Group, a populist organization founded in the 1970s by Toby Moffett, a Ralph Nader protege and anti-Vietnam activist who was one of the "Watergate babies" elected to the House in 1974. Moffett's political career also was ended by a loss to Weicker, who stayed in the Senate until Lieberman finally beat him in 1988.With a little more tack he is calling the Lamont supporters "loony lefties" and "McGovernites with keyboards" just like über neocon Marshall Wittmann. While people like Broder are certainly out of touch they are also scared. The thing these aristocrats fear is the fact that "these elitist insurgents" represent a populist movement which should it catch on will upset the Washington DC applecart and threaten the status quo. It's not so much about the threat to Lieberman but the threat to themselves - a threat that would make them irrelevant.
Democrats everywhere are looking to Connecticut for clues about the party's direction. The primary will probably point them leftward, toward a stronger antiwar stand. But often in the past, the early successes of these elitist insurgents have been followed by decisive defeats when a broader public weighs in. That is why this contest is so consequential for the Democratic Party.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
One of the joys of being a pamphleteer on the blogosphere is you get to criticize the out of touch Washington aristocracy also known as pundits. One of those
aristocrats pundits is David Broder. Well he has outdone himself today, 'A Terrible Tug' for Democrats.