Friday, July 07, 2006

Lieberman vs. Lamont: Anti-War Barometer?

This whole Lieberman vs. Lamont race is a fascinating event to me.
WaPo has coverage on the recent debate between the two:

Shunned by many in his own party because of his vigorous support for the war in Iraq, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman clashed in a debate Thursday with a well-financed challenger who has roiled Connecticut politics and turned the Democratic primary into a national test of the antiwar movement……………

Lieberman and moderate Republicans from the Northeast are finding that backing the president's Iraq policy can cost them substantial support within their traditional base…..

The self-inflicted damage done by candidates for supporting the President on Iraq is the conventional wisdom that is being played by the media and the Lieberman vs. Lamont race is the most visable face of the conflict. I don’t doubt that is the case and the polls support that argument but I wonder if that isn’t over simplifying the debate somewhat.

The polls show that Americans are growing tired of the war but there is no shred of evidence showing any warming up to an “anti-war” message and there is a huge difference between growing tired of war and embracing “anti-war”. Cindy Sheehan is anti-war, as is Senator Russ Feingold, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and increasingly Senator John Kerry. Obviously American’s don’t share the same anti-war views as these public figures, so it will be interesting to see how dominate the anti-war strategy becomes on the left politically. Will it become the centeral theme if Lamont wins?

Aside for Lieberman’s support of the war it’s pretty hard to argue that he is not on the left side of the political spectrum. So is the message that if you are generally a left of center politician but are not anti-war, you’re out?

If that is the case, the Democratic Party is about to move measurably left and will have little if any moderate middle. If that happens and people like Joe Lieberman are not part of the party to give it balance, it’s reasonable to expect the dems to become increasingly anti-war and more extreme leftists. If the Democratic Party was viewed as too left of an option in the past two elections how will they be viewed after such as shift further left?

That can’t be a good thing for the Democratic Party and will be an unappealing options for most Americans I’d think………………If you look carefully, even if they are not doing so in public, I think you will see a lot of democrats wildly rooting for a Lieberman victory over Lamont. They undoubtedly know that a party run by MoveOn, the anti-war crowd and the netroots is a party that will have very little appeal with a majority of Americans……..