July 24, 2006

Weird Karma In CT Politics

In all the hullaballo with Joe Lieberman and the Democrats, there are some interesting historical parallels that many have overlooked. Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute (the polling organization in CT) looks back at the last time the anti-war faction of the Democrat party ate one of their own:

Connecticut Democrats have been down this road before. In 1970, anti-Vietnam War candidate Joseph Duffy knocked off incumbent Thomas Dodd, who had been a supporter of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's policy. Dodd's son Chris Dodd is now Connecticut's other U.S. senator.

But the anti-war wing, although powerful within Democratic primaries, did not represent the political mainstream in 1970. Duffy lost the November election to Republican Lowell Weicker, who is backing Lamont against Lieberman, who defeated him in 1988.

So in 1970, you had a Democrat Senator from CT who was driven off the ticket by the Left for supporting his own party's President. The result was a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. The winner of that race becomes a "maverick" and a thorn in the GOP's side for eighteen years and is eventually beaten out by Joe Lieberman for the seat.

Flash forward thirty-six years. Joe Lieberman is being driven off the Dem ticket by the Left for supporting the opposing party's President. The result will likely be a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. Lieberman, as an independent, has the capacity to be a "maverick" and a thorn in the Dems' side for the foreseeable future.

Thomas Dodd's son, Chris Dodd, is now CT's senior Senator. Lowell Weicker, who defeated Dodd now supports Lamont. And in both 1970 and 2006, the big loser as a result of the Left's actions is...the Democrat Party.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: Gary at 10:30 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 20, 2006

Joe-Mentum Seems To Have Lost It's Steam

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Ned Lamont has actually pulled ahead of Lieberman for the Aug. 8 primary race (which is within the margin of error). While I am a bit surprised, it does seem like timing is everything. Lamont has been filling the TV and radio airwaves with ads and - among Democrats - they seem to be having the desired effect.

There are less than three weeks remaining until the primary and , unless Lamont is peaking too early, he very likely may end up with the nomination. This would push Lieberman into an Independent candidacy. While the nutroots are all a-twitter with the news, such a scenario doesn't help the Democrats in the Senate as Lieberman would certainly attract enough independents and Republicans to carry him to victory in November anyway. The only difference is that he wouldn't have a (D) after his name.

"The poll shows [Lieberman] leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger."
If Democrats think the three-term Senator is a thorn in their sides now, wait until they get a load of Joe v.2.0 - the one who doesn't need support from the continually marginalized Left.

Capt. Ed weighes in:

A Lieberman primary victory would be the best outcome for the Democrats; it would keep the state's party from fracturing in the general election. It doesn't look good for that result at the moment. Lamont may well top Lieberman in the first round, but an eventual Lieberman victory looks all but assured. That means that the national party leaders will have to be very careful in how they support Lamont, if they decide to do so at all. If they antagonize Lieberman enough, he may give Democrats a few more headaches in the next session of Congress.
And if they antagonize the Kos-sacks, they have to deal with a different set of headaches.

John Hawkins makes this observation:

So, if Joe loses as a Democrat, but wins as an independent with lots of Republican and Independent support, what does that mean?

Well hopefully, it'll mean that the "Harry Truman Democrats" will realize that if they're serious about defending America, they're in the wrong party. Could it mean that some Jews, who vote Democrat 2 to 1, might get the message that they're in the wrong party? Sure. Could we see Joe Lieberman become a true centrist in the Senate in order to better represent his much more Republican and independent base? Sure.

And all the while, Kos and Company would be crowing about the huge "victory" they've won. It sounds like a real Pyrrhic victory to me.

In other words, the GOP - who had no shot to pick up this seat - will end up with the next best scenario: one less Senate Democrat in their minority caucus.

Lieberman still has one big weapon left in his arsenal. According to his campaign, Bill Clinton will be coming to Connecticut to campaign for him and, these days, the former President is probably the most popular and influential Democrat alive. But time is running out.

Be careful what you wish for, guys...

Posted by: Gary at 11:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 19, 2006

Democrats Think Voters Don't Know Who They Are

And they're hoping to ride that misconception into a sweeping control change of Congress this November. Today's Democrats look at the 1994 GOP takeover as their benchmark and are betting that voters have had enough of Republican control. If that's all they've got, they better think again. Former Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. explains:

[V]oter unrest does not by itself portend wholesale electoral change. Even disgruntled Americans are reluctant to "fire" incumbents if they think they're just trading in one pol for another, regardless of party. That's the lesson of 1994.

Led by Newt Gingrich, the GOP candidates that year responded to the disillusionment of voters with the refreshing and specific ideas of the Contract with America. They proved that voters are drawn to issues and genuine political leadership, even in the absence of complete ideological agreement. In my own case, the voters in my district seemed electrified by the positive promise of specific policy proposals related to issues they cared about--fiscal responsibility, ensuring the safety of our homes and streets and schools, securing family values, family-oriented tax policies, strong national defense and commonsense legal reforms. And this was not just a Republican phenomenon. The Contract spoke to a wide cross-section of all voters.

For their part, Nancy Pelosi's Democrats seem confident that they'll sweep into the majority this fall on a single concept: "We're not them." Even their highly anticipated "Take Back America" agenda was little more than a public relations ploy to repackage the same vague and boring platitudes their pollsters have been feeding them since George McGovern: "Putting People First," "Real Security," "Healthcare for All" or "An Economy That Works." Whatever happened to "Where's the Beef?"

As if conducted by a tone-deaf maestro, the Democrats unveiled this agenda against a public chorus of Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean--and Gary Hart. "Take Back America"? Two-thirds of Americans, if they paid any attention at all, probably turned to each other and asked, mystified, when did we ever govern America with them? And Ms. Pelosi is certainly no Newt Gingrich.

Democrats fail to grasp the idea that Republicans took control 12 years ago because they ran on ideas and voters responded because they were tired of the "same old, same old". Of course, many a Republican these days seems to have failed to grasp this concept as well.

Now the party of "same old, same old" thinks that their mere absence has made the voter's hearts grow fonder. If they stick with their current strategy, they're probably in for a big disappointment come November 7.

Posted by: Gary at 09:15 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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