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Aug. 23 2006 2:36 AM

Stranger Dangers

Why do we care about the Ramsey murder?

(Continued from Page 5)

Metacom criticizes the Beltway establishment's reading of the tea leaves: 

What we have in Connecticut is that the more liberal party in a liberal state has decided that it doesn't like the way Lieberman has behaved. This doesn't translate to a national movement. Look at what happened to Cynthia McKinney in Georgia.
She has two things in common with Joe Lieberman, a sense of entitlement, and a primary loss. Other than that, they are quite different. McKinney has been far to the left and an outspoken critic of President Bush's foreign policy.
Lieberman is closer to the center on many issues and he has been a defender and facilitator of Bush's foreign policy.
Yet they both lost. Why? Because politics and political views are local.
If Tuesday says anything about the national mood, it's that incumbents are in trouble.

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DeanC offers the opposite diagnosis (from Weisberg) of the election's significance for the country:

similar to what was supposed to happen when we invaded Iraq, Americans across the country have seen an outbreak of democracy in Connecticut and are going to be energized by this act of anti-incumbent, anti-Bush success and be inspired to do the same-- in short, causing a domino effect across the United States.

By contrast, Classicsman diminishes the importance of Connecticut as "after all a very small place, and perhaps the bluest of the blue states. To accept as an axiom that what happened there in a primary hijacked (and maybe hacked as well) by extreme anti-war elements is somehow a harbinger of things to come nationwide is laughably sophomoric."

USARST, rejecting the prediction of doom for the Democrats, blames Lieberman's loss on his "inching his way away from the core democratic party values for some time now":

His membership and high profile stance in the DLC, for example, tell us much about his democratic credentials. To explain and then forecast his defeat as some larger march towards political obscurity for Democrats ignores the fact that Joe was out of touch with his constituents and their views. An increasingly anti-war constituency is understanding that our ability to do much of anything, be it domestic or international, has been sidetracked by the disaster that is Iraq. The reasons for going in were disingenuous and the "plan" for victory is non-existant. It is time for some payback for those that continue to support this nonsense and Joe is most deserving of this for his support for the President on this and other issues.

Chauncy agrees that this election was about more than one issue, including Lieberman's "view toward privatizing social security, supporting corporate interests, and allowing Supreme Court nominees to remain filibuster free." That said, "I also feel that too much credit is being given to the bloggers. In my neighborhood, I don't know of too many people that keep up with the blogs. Rightwing talk radio, yes, blogs no. The blogs still seem to be wonky and insulated to me. Yes they affect discourse, but so do the MSM and radio."

Lamont's candidacy reaks of opportunism more than idealism, from mallardsballad's standpoint:

It doesn't take million dollar consultants to figure out that a very blue state with an established but aloof senator makes an opportune target for those that have the money, a sense of adventure and greedy ambition…

Could it possibly be that the tasty yet empty issue of war be a line used to feed Lamont's own rich boy ambition of being a senator?

…the Senate seat is just a stepping stone for personal ambitions and the issue of war is a big hallow plank used as a convenient shortcut to get through the muddy political bog and to that Senate stepping stone.

The Big Idea Fray is an embarrassment of riches at the moment, generating more intelligent debate than can be summarized in this column. For all of Weisberg's detractors here, it's worth noting that his interpretation of Lieberman's defeat is echoed by Jonah Goldberg's Los Angeles Times op-ed and Thomas B. Edsall's article in The New Republic. AC 4:50pm PDT

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