A lot of analysts and bloggers have pointed to the Senate primary in Connecticut between incumbent Joe Lieberman and challenger Ned Lamont as the bellwether for the Democratic Party’s direction, leadership focus, and future. Something about that notion bothers me.
The first problem is the state. Connecticut is not America. That is, one should not think that what happens in Connecticut represents the national trend. True, John Kerry emerged from New England, and so did Michael Dukakis, so to some extent New England is a cradle for Democratic aspirants, but considering how each candidate fared, this is not a salient indicator of political strength.
Next is the question of issues. Basically, it seems Lamont has one chord to play:“Iraq”. Considering that the 2002 and 2004 elections amounted to referendums on Iraq (and the Democrats at both times said so), it does not seem to me the wisest strategy for a general course, especially given the events in the Middle East as a whole. Americans understand that the maniacs in Syria and Iran cannot be allowed to expand their Jihad the way they plan, and Americans support Israel’s right to defend itself – they are more than willing to choose a course which the Arab world and yellow-flag Europe cannot stomach. The Democrats are clearly on the wrong side of this issue, and even if they win in Connecticut, they will find this tune hard to sell in most of America. America is a nation which loves Marines, not the timid or bitter whiners we see in the ranks of the Left.
Continuing with the issues, one wonders why Connecticut Democrats have not noticed Lamont’s weak spots with the key issues. It is not really that hard to note that Connecticut voters, like the nation as a whole, worry about their finances, their taxes, the cost of oil and gas, and the safety of our borders. It may be that the average Connecticut voter doesn’t like President Bush very much, but it’s fairly foolish to think the voter is eager to spend more on taxes, or put his family at risk just to “send a message”.
Then there is Schlesinger. Rumors are bouncing around that the Connecticut GOP wants Schlesinger to quit his race, which would open up the race for a bigger name to jump in. No, I don’t seriously think that the Democrat nominee will lose in November, but then again, how stupid do you have to be to not only whack a former VP nominee and sitting Senator, on the basis of his personal opinion on one issue, but also attack him so foully that he considers a run as an Independent. The only way a GOP candidate for the Senate could win in November, is if the Democrats made it possible for 35-38% of the vote to win. By the methods they chose to attack Lieberman, the Democrats have made that a real possibility. I cannot believe that the national Democrats would make such a suicidal strategy their overall platform.
Of course, the Will of God – or Fate if you prefer - may well be playing a part in this. It is my strictly personal opinion that we have been blessed with the leadership of the Republican Party, rather than the Democrats, especially with men like Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush, because God wished it so. No, that doesn’t make God a Republican. It just means the Elephants annoy Him a bit less than the Donkeys do.