lieberman, lamont, and the blogs
Ned Lamont's victory over Joseph Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary has many people crowing over the strength of the antiwar movement and the liberal blogs that promote it. There's been enough said about this issue already and I don't want to spend very much time talking about it. But permit me three very quick observations:
1. The last hero of the liberal blogs was Howard Dean, who was supposedly riding a irrresisitible wave of outrage all the way to the White House. Enough said.
2. The numbers are much less impressive than they sound. Connecticut is one of the 5 or 10 most liberal states in the country, and the Democratic primary emphasizes the leftmost 20/30 percent of the electorate (the state has a large number of Independents and a fair number if Republicans if only in name). So an election is limited to the most liberal voters in one of the most liberal states, and 50 percent of them still vote for the most hawkish Democrat in the last 25 years? Some revolution. Lieberman still runs ahead of Lamont in general election polls, although that could change as other Democrats run to distance themselves from him.
3. Putting Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (!) on the election night podium was as good a way to alienate moderate voters as is humanly possible.
Item #3 takes me back to an earlier blog post about Jewish voters. There is a legitimate issue whether the war in Iraq has helped or hurt Israel, and certainly a legitimate question about its effect on the United States, which I assume is most voters' main concern anyway. But it is hard to deny that Bush supported Israel in the war with Hezbollah more than any other Republican, let alone Democrat, would have done. The opposing party has now dumped by far its leading Jewish figure, in a campaign where blogs attacked him for supposedly divided loyalties--a classic antisemitic accusation--and where the winning candidate put two figures known for their hostility to Jews front and center in his victory celebration. And this is the party that most Jewish voters support? I once read an article that theorized about Jews' superior intelligence, a supposed result of our selective breeding habits, with rabbis in particular encouraged to have large families and thereby increase the intellectual level of the overall population (that rabbis are smarter than other people is an interesting assumption, but let's let that one pass). I don't recall if the author lived in Connecticut.
Note: Rick Santorum, previously 15-20 points down to Democrat Bob Casey Jr. in the Pennsylvania Senate race, is running close to even in recent polls, casting further doubt on an automatic liberal asendancy.