Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Is the Political Center Up For Grabs?

I switched on the news this morning and saw a report about Joe Lieberman's defeat to Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic party primary. The news anchor blabed on over a repeating loop of Joe coming out of a polling booth and Ned standing on a stage at his victory party, almost lost in the press of people trying to crowd up against some success, hoping that some of that success will rub off on them.

There, behind Ned's right shoulder was Al Sharpton; behind his left shoulder was Jessie Jackson. Two race-baiters who have between them have never won any elective office.

Though this is a blow for President Bush's Mideast policy, this may also be the high-water mark for the resurgent anti-war left. John McLaughlin points out this victory's surprising fragility:

These Connecticut Democrats were opposed to the war and unfavorable to President Bush by about a 4 to 1 ratio. Joe Lieberman stood up to the antiwar radicals Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and found out he can’t count on Hillary Clinton. However, as the intellectual activists and radicals of the Democratic party left him, working class, small-town, and moderate Democrats rallied and voted with Senator Lieberman. It’s a very important lesson for Republicans who must win in blue states. The Democrat center is available. The political descendents of George McGovern are excommunicating the heirs to Scoop Jackson. As Ronald Reagan embraced anti-Communist Democrats, anti-terror Republicans should embrace Lieberman Democrats.

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