Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Will The Token Survive?

Dean Barnett, Hugh Hewitt's latest guest-blogger, restores a helpful bit of perspective on today's Joe Lieberman-Ned Lamont Democrat senatorial primary election in Connecticut by reminding us that even if poor ol' Joe survives, either now or in November as an independent, his continued presence in the Senate and/or the Democrat Party will not deflect the Donks from their suicidally left-wing course down which they are hurtling, because that course was set years ago:

A rough conventional wisdom seems to be forming that if Ned Lamont wins to...night, it will be disastrous for the Democratic Party. As Martin Peretz puts it in [yester]day’s Wall Street Journal, “If Mr. Lieberman goes down, the thought-enforcers of the left will target other centrists as if the center was the locus of a terrible heresy, an emphasis on national strength…The Lamont ascendancy, if that is what it is, means nothing other than that the left is trying, and in places succeeding, to take back the Democratic Party.” Concurring opinions, usually thoughtfully expressed, have seemingly come from every citizen of the mainstream, be they Republican or Democrat, with access to a TV camera or modem.

But they’re all wrong. The Democratic Party jumped the shark years ago. There’s nothing that will happen to[day], be it a Lamont rout or a Lieberman shocker, that will bring the party back to its senses. Similarly, there’s nothing that will happen tomorrow that will make the party any more insane, more angry or more destructive.

In short, regardless of the result, to[day] will change nothing.

DB goes on to make a convincing case. I, myself, have always considered the rage of the Bush-era Dems to be the flip-side of the smug arrogance that permeated that party in the early Clinton years when they ruled everything and thought themselves entitled to do so by divine right, as though we'd finally reached the end of political history and after a two-plus century "national argument," the American voters had finally made the "right" choice. Something snapped in their collective psyche when the GOP took Congress in 1994, and then they failed to get it back in '96, and '98. And when Al Gore fell agonizingly short and they lost the White House as well in 2000, their journey toward insanity was complete.

And that was before 9/11 catapulted George W. Bush, their usurping devil incarnate, to a more or less guaranteed two-term presidency.

I think of the Lamont insurgency as more of a conspicuous symptom of the mental disease that has rotted out the brain of the one-time party of Madison, Jefferson, FDR, Truman, and JFK. If they don't manage to get Lieberman today or in November, they'll just rocket off to the next fratricidal jihad. It's what they do.

And if they choose the wrong target, they won't be doing it for much longer.

UPDATE: Lamont 52%, Lieberman 48%.

Analyzes RCP's John McIntyre:

[I]t is just about the worst result possible for the Democratic Party. First, it almost guarantees that Lieberman will run as an independent and given the arc of the public polling it is very possible that Lamont peaked about two weeks ago. Lieberman's 48% makes him the clear favorite in the three-way....As much as mainstream Democrats may try to downplay this result as a Connecticut issue, the rejection of a three-term Senator who was the party's VP nominee only six years ago will have repercussions throughout the country and they don't help the Democratic Party.

And everybody will realize that except the crazy nutters who hold that party in their frothing, white-knuckled, wild-eyed grip, its shrinkage their apparent measure of success.

Look at it this way: after being the loyal, good soldier for a party that has now official screwed him after all these years, Joe Lieberman has been set free from the political Polish firing squad it has become.

He should send Ned Lamont a thank-you note - next January, on his Senate letterhead.