The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

It took me a long time to find my way back from Meriden. Not being able to post today was excruciating to me, both because there is so much to say about last night and because I would like to take advantage of speaking to a larger audience while our huge traffic surge lasts. So, without further ado, here is a quick list of the reasons why this win will help progressives and help Democrats in November:
  • An Excited Base. No matter how you measure base excitement, I think it is pretty clear now that Dems are revved up. 43% turnout in an August primary is phenomenal. Volunteers were generated by the thousands. 22,000 unaffiliated voters switched their registration to Democrats in the last three months. The progressive movement now has a huge ownership stake in the Democratic Party. Add it all up--huge rank and file turnout, an energized activist base, the progressive movement working with the party, and droves of new registered Democrats--and you have many of the necessary ingredients that for a winning formula nationwide in November.

  • Better Messaging. With Ned Lamont's victory, we will now see far fewer Democrats in Washington and elsewhere take the easy path to media stardom that the corporate media had provided for Democrats since the mid-1980's: talk about liberals and/or Democrats in the same way Republicans talk about liberals and/or Democrats. No one will want to be the next Joe Lieberman, and as such this victory will change Democratic behavior. This will now make it much more difficult for Republicans to close Daou's triangle on a variety of issues, as they quickly will find a shortage of elected Democrats willing to use anti-Democratic Republican talking points. Thus, the more partisan messaging will make it far more difficult for conservatives and Republicans to dominate the conventional wisdom narratives of our national political discourse. This will also mean fewer "Democrats divided" narratives in the media, and help us slowly begin building toward greater message clarity. Today we already have seen how Lamont's victory this defeat freed up Senator Dodd on Iraq and Emmanuel on Bush. This is just the beginning.

  • Party Unity. Seeing all of the Ned Lamont's endorsements come in today reminded me of what it was like to be a Democrat during the Social Security fight in early 2005. Up and down the line, the Democratic leadership came through and did the right thing. By endorsing Ned Lamont and the primary process, Democratic leaders endorsed party democracy, and the will of the people they represent. This is how we keep our coalition from flying apart: by using mutually agreed upon, democratic mechanisms to settle our disputes. I now see no reason why the Democratic establishment and the progressive movement will not be able to work together for the foreseeable future. Our combined electoral capabilities should be a sight to behold.

    It is too bad that a certain egomaniacal, George Bush love-child couldn't care less about the Democratic Party. Of course, since Lieberman had spent years trashing Democrats while using Republican talking points in order to make himself look better, many of us had known for years that he was a Party of One. The important thing now is for the media to realize that Joe Lieberman is not a Democrat--his party is now Connecticut for Lieberman. They need to post that below his name in all his media appearances from now on. Instead of "Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT," his byline should now read "Sen. Joe Lieberman, CT for Lieberman--CT."
A more unified, energized party with improved messaging and fewer pro-Republican narratives in the conventional wisdom. Long term, this victory will be of tremendous benefit to both the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. No wonder I am still walking around in a giddy daze. Our future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Tags: Activism, CT-Sen, Democrats, Joe Lieberman, Media, Ned Lamont, progressive movement (all tags)



and speaking of bylines

When refering to OUR nominee, I will use:

Ned Lamont (D-CT).

Apparently, there is still one person who hasn't received the memo.


by Caoimhin Laochdha 2006-08-09 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

If Lamont's win is only about getting DCDems to use different talking points, then it will have been pretty much a waste.

Hopefully it will be about getting them to govern like Democrats as well, in the knowledge that those who don't will find themselves challenged and beaten in their future primaries by Democrats who will.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

a step at a time. one step leads to the other I think especially if the opennness continues

by bruh21 2006-08-09 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

More than one step can be taken at a time. Democrats who start talking the talk but keep still keep failing to walk the walk shouldn't be given a pass.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

look- we are talking about real people here. so let me cut to the chase rather than metaphorical talk. it will take time because real peo dont change over night. its as simple as that.

by bruh21 2006-08-09 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

look- politicians will turn on a dime if they think their precious offices are at stake. if they think all they have to do is pay lip service to some bloggers then that's all they'll do.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

there is a vast space between just paying lip service and expecting the universe to change on its axis. my point is dont expect it to go from lipservice to your wish list- most likely it will be somewhere in between.

by bruh21 2006-08-09 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

If you decide in advance that you'll settle for half a loaf, all you'll wind up with is the heel.

And if you tell DLC NeoDems that you're not going to push them to the wall, they'll push you back down the well. It took a long time for RealDems to crawl out of that well. We're just on the lip of it now and still dripping and I don't want o go back down it just because some are worried about reforming the party too fast.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 08:52PM | 0 recs

I think we will also see less triangulation. The PR consultants who teach their candiates to triangulate should be on call from this moment forward.  

Lieberman got strangled by his own triangulationv,while Lamont kept on message without triangulating and it worked.

This win means big changes in that previously sacred branch of PR consulting.  Thank goodness...

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-09 04:33PM | 0 recs
Triangulation? Failed. Must Destroy Republicanism

I think we will also see less triangulation. The PR consultants who teach their candiates to triangulate should be on call from this moment forward.

Yes. Triangulation is a strategy that has its moments. But today, if you look at the actual situation in the United States instead of what so many Americans idealize, then you realize that rhetorical combat is required.

We've got to destroy their ideas. Why? Because they are harmful. A belligerant, often bigoted, attitude towards every other culture on this Earth has consequences. There are times that call for full scale war but in the struggle against Arab terrorism it will take learning and thoughtfulness to succeed.

The terrorists who will wipe out one of our cities aren't likely carrying Kalishnikovs or Iranian rockets in Baghdad. No. Those who will harm us most are more likely lazing in Kuala Lumpur. Having coffee in fours and fives with laptops, notebook computers, and plain old paper. They are smart and our fabled Marines, unparalleled on Earth for force of arms, are the wrong tool to remove that threat.

We need smart people hunting those smart people. Perhaps people like the gay translators that the Bush Administration has released from service to our country because of their sexuality. What we need is forensics and police work combined with well placed bullets and cruise missiles. We should be able to work smarter than our enemies who would nuke one of our cities but is the Bush Administration smarter? Are Republican Congressional leaders such as Frist, DeLay, and Roberts or our executives Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld smarter than our foes and up to the task of 21st Century warfare? The answer is self-evident.

We've seen that the Republicans are incompetent in their leadership in this century.

This is not a time for triangulation. We've got to turn those bastards out before they destroy our country.

by Curt Matlock 2006-08-09 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Triangulation? Failed. Must Destroy Rep

This is not a time for triangulation. We've got to turn those bastards out before they destroy our country.

I was trying to say that the Lamont campaign signalled the downfall of triangulation as a PR strategy, and that I was glad for its demise.  

I must not have gotten that out clearly, because you seem to think I was arguing for more triangulation.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-10 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Triangulation? Failed. Must Destroy Rep

You were clear. Given your response to my comment obviously I was the one who didn't make myself clear. This isn't the first time in the last month that I've agreed with someone and then made supporting points of my own in the comment but end up being misunderstood. My bad.

For the record, I strongly agreed with your post which is what moved me to comment.

by Curt Matlock 2006-08-10 06:16PM | 0 recs
Another benefit

 The Republicans are whining like a baby missing its pacifier. Lieberman was a HUGE asset to them, and they're having a lot of trouble letting go.

 I hope that Joe's antics over the last few months have finally laid to rest the idea that he is, or ever really was, a Democrat. This primary challenge brought out the worst in him -- a preening sense of entitlement, out-of-touch arrogance, disdain for his constituents, and a zillion other character flaws for a man supposedly so "principled". The nation has now seen the real Joe Lieberman, and now we all understand why the Republicans love him so much. He's one of them, in so many ways.

 One place where we have a big problem is the media. It was all-Lieberman, all-the-time on the cable news networks when I was at the gym today, with Lamont (the freaking WINNER) treated like a sideshow. The Washington Post headlined its article "Lieberman Loses", featured a grinning picture of The Entitled One, and didn't even bring up Lamont's name until the second paragraph (while repeating the it's-all-about-the-war frame).

 And when Lieberman bellowed "This will not stand" in his nonconcession speech, I shouted "SHAZAM" and started flinging heavy objects around the room. Where was this defiance in November of 2000, when the election REALLY WAS stolen?

 This whole experience has revealed to all of us what the real Joe Lieberman is like. I am embarrassed to even nominally share a party designation with this man.

 Cynthia McKinney handled her primary defeat with far more grace and dignity than Joe Lieberman did. In fact, if Howard Dean or someone like that wants to get snarky, he could publicly praise McKinney for her class in accepting her loss and coalescing behind the primary winner. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks...

by Master Jack 2006-08-09 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

Actually, McKinney has blamed election fraud and the media for her defeat. Neither she nor Lieberman seems to have grasped that it's the voters who have tired of their antics.

by PantherDem 2006-08-09 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

As long as elections are held on machines that are unverfiable and/or unverified, people can talk legitimately about voting machine fraud.  That's not the fault of the people doing the talking.  It's the fault of the people who allowed the unverfied vote to become the standard of our election systems.

by eRobin 2006-08-09 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

look- thats frankly bullshit. she lost by a huge a mount not because of any machine but because she was a poor representative. giving her a pass go for her inablity to be a good representative by saying its not her fault (implicit in your well its the machines) is bad for us. we are about accountability and getting the party to that point.

by bruh21 2006-08-09 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

It's not bullshit and I'm not implying anything about McKinney. I'm stating a fact about DREs: wihout voter-verified ballots and proper audits, they are unverifiable. That leaves the door open to questions about the integrity of the election.  End the questions with voter-verified paper ballots and proper audits in every state.  It's that simple.  

As for the integrity of the Democratic party, if they had some, they'd be working night and day on this issue.  And they'd be smart too since verifying the vote with VVPB polls consistently high across party lines.

by eRobin 2006-08-09 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

randoming bringing up broken machines when they have nothing to do with why a candidate lost just because she wants to pretend thats why she lost- cheapens your argument for when there are problems such as in OH.

by bruh21 2006-08-09 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Another benefit

I hope that Joe's antics over the last few months have finally laid to rest the idea that he is, or ever really was, a Democrat.

There are 40 members of the House New Democrat Coalition, and 20 members of the Senate New Democrat Coalition.

Hopefully, JoMo is just the appetizer for reforming the party away from their toxic influence.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 07:42PM | 0 recs

but I'm sure you're happy to see Rendell's head back in the game after those quotes you gave the to the Philly Inquirer, Chris. Party unity, indeed.

by PantherDem 2006-08-09 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Good analysis

IMHO, your analysis is on track. I just finished watching a rerun of the CT Dems press conf this morning and everyone was clearly united behind a "this is about Bush and the direction he's taken the country, we need change" mantra.

by phillydem 2006-08-09 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

The Kerry Campaign was filled with Pro-Republican Democrats.  It was his downfall.  They sat on important information, failed to do the work they were assigned and always pushed hard to the right on any swing issue.

Cleanse the Party people...please.

by goplies 2006-08-09 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

Until the Democratic party is put right, the country will never be.

Because even if Democrats regain Congress this year, the 20 (or so) NeoDems in the Senate and 40 (or so) in the House will continue to collaborate with Bush and the Republicans against ordinary people -- unless Lamont's win is used to convince them that they'd better shape up in word and deed or be shipped out.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

I'm not so certain about turnout.  Outside of yesterday, turnout has not been that great.  I sort of feel yesterday was more an aberration thus far than a pattern of consistent high voter turnout.

I'm still concerned about the ability of the Democratic Party to get out of the vote in many elections all over the country in November.  

by Eric11 2006-08-09 05:34PM | 0 recs
An Excited Base

When you have a close race and the insurgent candidate wins-- oh baby now suddenly people who aren't sure if voting against the war as a strategy would work think it's possible.

People who didn't think the campaign could be won in '02 or '04 now think opportunity knocks.

Simply put, the Democrats are in good shape by dumping Lieberman. If the message is "throw the bums out" careerist, meandering politicans are going to have the roughest ride as incumbents. The hard core ideolouges with clearly defined messages will survive. Lamont is just another bullet in the clip to decimate the Republican "do-nothing" Congress.

None of the Republicans in office are losing their primaries, they are afraid of making the party's position stronger than themselves. Lieberman didn't do willingly, but his defeat may in fact redeem the Democrats and ressurect their fortunes. Tester is the same way.

by risenmessiah 2006-08-09 06:07PM | 0 recs
Don't forget the moral boost

It's great helping support candidtes and working your butt off, but getting beat by campaigns that have all the resources in the world and all the big name Democrats supporting the other side takes a toll.

Getting a win against all these odds is a real boost. It helps to keep moral up and to ready oneself for the next charge into the next well funded fully supported incumbent who can't be beat...

by michael in chicago 2006-08-09 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

So, while we never got the democratic political machine to back away from their beloved Lieberman before the people voted...I would say we still have a lot more work to do.

by Lizzy 2006-08-09 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

I'm guessing Lieberman drops out in the next 3 weeks after having donors dry up and seeing polls that don't look favorable.  No one wants to give money to, or vote for, a loser.  Nor is this a way to attract qualified staff now that he's canned everyone (blaming others, as always, for his own failures).

His dropping out of the race spawns another round of "democrats are against the war" articles, further bolstering our cause of bringing the Democrats back from the center-right.

Side note: I implore everyone to use the term "occupation" rather than "war".  There's no war going on, only an occupation, and as everyone knows (CW), occupations must come to an end, the only question is when.  The winning language is right there for us to use, let's use it!

by aip 2006-08-09 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

I agree occupation is a better term to use.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

I have a hunch that Lieberman's independent run will suffer from TAF (The Asshole Factor).  He was an insufferable jerk throughout this primary, and his worst qualities will be magnified as he tries to cope with the fact that his old political friends and allies are abandoning him.  He won't be entirely comfortable in the GOP camp, and he won't have much support in the Democratic Party, so he'll be reduced to this grumpy pariah who turns off his own supporters with his petulant behavior.  It would take a person of extraordinary character and class to move forward from the position he is in now, and Joe ain't got it.

He's toast.

by global yokel 2006-08-09 08:39PM | 0 recs
CT Dem Sweep of House seats?

So, obviously a lot of extra energy in Connecticut has been unleashed by Lamont's campaign. What does that mean for the three competitive seats ranked competitive by Charlie Cook?
 - CT-02 D+8 -> R toss up
 - CT-04 D+5 -> R toss up
 - CT-05 D+4 -> R lean

National Journal has the same races ranked 10th, 7th and 34th in the top 50 watch list.

What if Lamont spent a bunch of time walking the front-lines with the candidates in these races? It would make him look positively pro-Dem Party in contrast to a certain he-who-shall-not-be-named.

by MetaData 2006-08-09 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

Isn't Ned still the underdog? The GOP candidate is a joke. His own party barely acknowledges him. Gambling problems, unpaid debts, etc.

It looks to me like Lieberman will be the defacto GOP candidate. If just half his Dem support stays with him, and he's able to haul in all the GOP vote less a few hard core dead enders. That's a win.

Believe me I want a Lamont win but I think this is far from over. Looking forward to the new polls coming out.

by padcrasher 2006-08-09 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

JoMo and the GOP guy should be worried about anti-occupation Republicans voting for Lamont.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 09:45PM | 0 recs
Bloomberg is a Republican who is...

...against civil liberties.

Bloomberg arranged for the mass arrest of protesters during the 2004 Republican Convention.

He wouldn't let protesters use the Central Park great lawn, under the excuse that they would damage it.

It is tasteless for you to compare Bloomberg to Michael Dukakis.

by EricJaffa 2006-08-09 09:55PM | 0 recs
The above comment was intended for

...a different article, different author.

by EricJaffa 2006-08-09 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

The Republicans want and are doing everything they can to help Lieberman grab headlines and continue his ridiculous spoiler-campaign in order to frame the psedo-issue of so-called "Democratic Party disunity" and distract people from the humongous mess Republicans have made of everything.  
Yet again, Lieberman is doing exactly what the Rove-Mellman strategists want, whether he realizes it (diabolical) or not (tool).
And yet again, the media is dancing like monkeys to the Republican-issue-framing tune, by declaring in absurd headlines everywhere: "Democrats abandon Lieberman and endorse Lamont."
"ABANDON" Lieberman?!!!
Why isn't the media declaring that Lieberman is a sore-loser and is snubbing his nose at the will of the voters?  It's as if all the media  headlines have been written by Rove-Mellman.

Lieberman all too happily gave up and did not fight the Republicans in 2000 when he should have.
Yet today, he is on a jihad and will not quit when he should.
Lieberman has no grace or class---or shame.
Worse, he only seems to have a fire in his belly when he is fighting against Democrats.  Fighting Republicans apparently isn't his thing.  
He is pompous, mawkish, holier-than-thou...and worst of all he is dead-wrong about the most important issue of our day, the war in Iraq.

The Democratic establishment that campaigned for Lieberman including Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd, Max Cleland, and the rest, had better talk to him FAST and tell him the hard truth: that his continued campaign is killing our chance of saving our country by electing a Democratic majority in the House or Senate to have some oversight and checks and balances over the criminally incompetent B.ADministration for the first time since 2002.
If Lieberman does not have the decency to stop his sabbotage, then the Democrats had better start publicly naming him for what he is: a vengeful spoiler selfishly disrespecting the will of the voters.

Joe, since 2000, the Democrats have been trying your Republican-ass kissing ways and not only have Democrats lost, but the counrty is going down the tubes.
Joe, your way is capitulation masked as cooperation.  The Republicans want you to be "bipartisan" (roll-over and do not criticize President Bush, the Iraq War, etc.) while they mercilessly distort and kick the crap out of Democrats...and you, Joe, obediently oblige.
Joe, do you have the grace to realize how your fake-moralism of "working together" was just kneeling before Republi-thugs?
Will you stop your sabbotage of calling us democratic activists partisan extremists (which you never accuse the Bush or Cheney of being) and let us try a different way?

by goreobama2008 2006-08-09 10:08PM | 0 recs
Another benefit:

We've been forced to take the debate on national security head on. We have three months to explain why opposing torture, illegal wiretapping and optional wars based on lies isn't being "anti-security" or weak on security.

This debate should have followed 9/11 but better late than never...

by Populism2008 2006-08-10 12:02AM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

Analysis right on target, good rundown.

by emerald city 2006-08-10 10:11AM | 0 recs
One minus from this victory

So a bad thing about this victory, I think, is that now the netroots will still be sending all of that money to Lamont instead of focusing it where it NEEDS to go, like to Claire McCaskill or Jon Tester or Sherrod Brown or Ted Strickland. Someone please prove me wrong, because otherwise I am very worried that the netroots will continue to virtually ignore races like MO-SEN and consequently will not send $ b/c of this obsession with Lamont.

by crimps321 2006-08-10 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Many Benefits of Ned Lamont's Victory

There were 22,000 new Dems registered.  Lamont won by roughly 10,000.  Its safe to assume that most, if not all the new registered Dems were leaning Lamont--why would anyone suddenly register for an August primary to support the status quo?  If all 22,000 voted, they were the difference.  This is particularly significant, because in 2004, Dean, the net and the progressives generated buzz and registered people.  But at least in Iowa, they didn't make it to the polls.  IF, and its a big IF, this is a sign that new people can be motivated and injected into the system, then 2006 could truly be the beginning of a massive change, not just in control of the Congress, but change in how Washington behaves.  My fingers are crossed.

by ideaguy 2006-08-10 03:16PM | 0 recs


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