i'm suggesting Dem leaders could be hedging precisely because they do NOT want to concede the Senate to the GOP.
And exactly how does electing Ned Lamont concede the senate to the GOP? Are you suggesting that Lamont would be losing to the Republican if Lieberman were not in the race?
Lieberman is running against the Democratic nominee. Why wouldn't the "leaders" of the Democratic Party do everything in their power to elect the Democratic nominee? And to defeat the other candidates?
What does the Democratic Party lose by cutting Lieberman loose? Why should Democratic voters in Connecticutt or Democrats all over America care what happens to Lieberman?
I have no way of knowing why the "leaders" are willing to trash their party's nominee in favor of Lieberman. My inference is that they want to crush the notion that anyone outside the Establishment can or ought to choose who represents the party or what those chosen stand for. Lamont's win in the primary scared them all that they might themselves be held accountable for their repeated failure to oppose the Republicans.
One, the polls are not what is at stake here, the Democratic electorate throughout the country and a real Democratic majority in the senate are what is important. We have had quite enough, far too much really, of "leaders" who merely respond to polls. That is how we got in this mess; it is not how we get out.
Two, if the "leaders" of the party had done their jobs, Lamont would be leading in the polls. If they had gone to Connecticutt in the days after the primary and made it clear that they would support Lamont, the choice of the Democratic voters of Connecticutt, and only Lamont, that they would not support or endorse or do anything to help Holy Joe, the Lieberman campaign would have collapsed. The constant signals to the public and to the money people that it is okay with the "leaders" if Lieberman's "Only I Matter" campaign succeeds are a significant factor in his standing in the polls.
There certainly were some moments of euphoria after Lamont won the primary and some people made remarks that were more a product of that good feeling rather than sober analysis. But the consensus has always been that, with a weak Republican candidate, one who is shunned and openly derided by the Republican Establishment, Lieberman had a pretty good chance of holding onto his seat.
I don't think that Lamont's campaign is going badly, it's just not going as well as we would like. The lack of vocal and emphatic support from the Democratic Establishment, Bill Clinton's ambiguity is a good example, is certainly a factor for a fair portion of the Democratic electorate in CT. Lamont is still the new guy and the new guy always has to make his case against a presumption that the incumbent is acceptable. It usually takes a pretty big scandal to bring down an incumbent.
I think the debates will be the whole thing and that it was a mistake to schedule three. There just isn't that much to talk about. Either you are satisfied with Holy Joe or you want some one new. Either you think Holy Joe has been an enabler of the Worst President Ever or you think it doesn't matter. It's more of a gut thing than a head thing. Three debates is three chances for Lamont to do something that the corporate press/media will turn into his very won Dean Scream.
They can either get out of the way or work with us.
Although the corporate press/media, and as a result the country at large, continues to portray the divide between Dean and his supporters as against the Beltway Democrats as a left/right thing, it isn't. It never was.
What is at stake is who and what the Democratic Party is, what is its purpose, what will it do, and what kind of country will it produce.
The Beltway Democrats want exclusive and absolute control over the answers to those questions. They have no other principles or goals.
people don't respond very strongly to strangers' exhortations to get out and vote.
The shock is that anyone would be surprised by this.
This is the main reason that Republican GOTV now beats Democratic GOTV whenever it matters. The Republicans have organized, mostly through churches, into what I call Amway Precincts. They are networks of people who know each other, people who connect their respective social and family networks to the hub of the Amway Precinct and who turn out every election. They do the latter because the Republicans reliably give them a simplistic thing that they care about that they can vote on: gay marriage being the most famous example.
Democrats have not done this or even attempted to do so. The meetups that were such a big part of the Dean campaign fell into disuse after that campaign's collapse. The local and state Democratic Party officials do not want to build a network like this because they are threatened by it.
Independents are not going to bother to vote for Democrats or at all unless some one gives them a very simple, clear reason to do so, and then asks them to do it.
The key is that the Democratic candidates, as a group, have to repeat a simple message over and over and over and over and over: Bush and the Republicans have put the country on the wrong track. Nothing is going to change as long as they hold both houses of congress. In order to get the country back on track, you must vote for Democrats. We promise we will straighten things out. Please vote for our candidates.
Famous quote from a big-time plaintiffs' trial attorney (whose name escapes me): When asked how he managed to get such huge verdicts from juries, he said "I asked the for it."
Democrats need to get off the "issue by issue" offense and switch to the "things are not going right" offense. They need to say that every time they appear on TV, every time they are interviewed by the press, and every time they are speaking in public.
it's looking like a Democratic takeover is almost inevitable.
Please do not say this.
First, it's bad luck. Displays of hubris just whet the Electoral Gods' perverse appetites.
Second, Democrats big and small seem to be absorbing this idea. They are, maddeningly, reverting to their habit of playing nip-and-tuck rather than taking the fight to the Republicans. This is a recipe for disaster.
So please, do not use the word inevitable. Say it's possible, say we have a chance, say we have to work harder than we've ever worked before.
I don't think you are being cynical at all. Nor are you being paranoid.
We are five years into the Bush/Cheney Junta, three years into a stupid and immoral war. Bush's poll numbers are low and staying low. The American public is sick of the war and want some one to come forward and take the country out of it. Yet the "leading" Democrats still refuse to take any action or make any statement that genuinely and vigorously opposes Bush on the war.
I have read the polls that show low support for the Republicans in congress but my expectation is that the Republicans will still continue to control both houses of the congress after November, and that the Democratic response will be to purge Dean and any other Democrat who challenged their right to control the party.
The Democratic habit of regarding other members of the party as rivals rather than allies appears to be deeply ingrained. There hasn't been a Democrat with any level of success in my lifetime whose rise was not accompanied by a steady stream of slander coming from other Democrats. This goes back to 1968.
Republicans do not do this. It isn't the only thing that makes them election winners, but it is a significant component and one that makes the other significant components work better.