Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lo Joe

We interrupt this blog to talk politics for a moment. My sincere apologies.

It was interesting to follow the Lieberman-Lamont Senate campaign from a distance. (If I were in Boston I'd be getting more of the local angle) Instead, I got most of my information from CNN and Salon, which almost balanced each other out. My impression of Lamont is none too positive- like Corzine with better hair- but I'm glad he won. If you're a progressive Democrat, this now becomes THE most important race of the year- if Lamont loses, I think it shows that the left is nothing but a political niche capable of being stomped by the Republicans anytime they want.

However, I think one can overstate Lieberman's loss. Glenn Greenwald is filling in at War Room this week, and I think he nailed it:

"It cannot be argued in good faith that Democrats are intolerant of any elected official who supported the war in Iraq or that such support is some sort of "litmus test." There are scores of pro-war Democrats who are not being ejected from the party or even being challenged electorally. Lieberman went far beyond mere support for the war, and repeatedly adopted the most demonizing and extremist rhetoric used by Bush's supporters to equate opposition to the Bush administration's foreign policies with anti-Americanism and support for America's enemies. It should surprise nobody if the people whom Lieberman has been attacking and demonizing in this manner decide that they would like to have a different senator. "

I think the Dems need to be mch more raucous, and much more creative, in their efforts to push Bush and cronies fully onto the defensive this fall. Lamont could be a step in the right direction. In my mind the jury's still out.

And, to attempt fair and balanced, there is now a politically conservative jazz blog on the web,


dja said...

My impression of Lamont is none too positive

Let me get this straight: your impression of the political neophyte who came from nowhere to knock off a 3-term incumbent U.S. Senator and former vice-presidential and presidential candidate in a party primary, despite having virtually the entire media establishment, plus the Democratic party establishment arrayed against him is... none too positive???

Oy vey. This is by any objective measure a thoroughly impressive win for Lamont and his team. Credit where credit is due, man.

pat said...


I should have been clearer- you're absolutely right, the job he did was impressive. What I meant was, in the couple of interviews I saw, I wasn't taken by him personally, which I know matters in how people, especially beyond a primary vote. A little wooden, everything he said seemed canned. Of course, the last politician to actually impress me was Barack Obama, so maybe my standards are too high... And I'm thouroughly convinced that unless he wins in November (and I may go down and work for him), Tuesday means very little.

dja said...

What I meant was, in the couple of interviews I saw, I wasn't taken by him personally

Sure, but what I'm saying is, there is absolutely no way Ned Lamont could have pulled off one of the greatest political upsets of the past 20 years if the people of Connecticut felt the way you feel. At what point do you step back and say, "Okay, well, maybe I'm not personally taken with this guy, but given the results, maybe my political instincts need re-calibrating... ?"

For instance, I feel kinda nonplussed about John Edwards. His delivery has just always rubbed me the wrong way. But at this point, I just have to accept that the overwhelming majority of people don't have the same gut reaction I do.

[I hasten to add that I have nothing but respect for all the great stuff Edwards has been doing since 2004, and he's actually one of the few Democratic presidential hopefuls that doesn't fill me with soul-crushing despair. I don't personally respond to his persona very well, but that's clearly my fault, not his.]