Senator Joe Lieberman is doing serious damage to Democrats' 2006 election prospects, from a new poll:
Check out some more statements on this, Ron Brownstein:
Swing voters want politicians who will stand up to George Bush, stop his agenda, and hold him accountable for problems that have occurred under his watch both at home and abroad. We are testing this thesis with follow up interviews this week. If swing voters do not like Bush's agenda, and if they do not believe Congress can create a new agenda, then in the short term the only remaining option is to promise to grind Bush's agenda to a halt while holding both him and his enablers accountable for the problems that have occurred under his watch.
In order to create a "change" election, Democrats must stand up and hold President Bush accountable for his actions and policies. That alone will help make November 2006 a realignment or "change" election. Democrats cannot capture movable, Independent swing voters with a laundry list of policy fixes. Those voters do not believe Democrats can enact new policy so long as Bush is in the White House. Democrats can realign politics in this country this fall if Democratic candidates stand tall and strong, demanding that the President account for his actions.
Short of that, Democrats will likely make gains and may even win control of the House, because their base appears both fired up and solid, at least compared to what appears to be a demoralized Republican and conservative base. However, since a Democratic realignment is supposed to be an "Indycrat realignment" where Independents side overwhelmingly with Democrats, the real worry for Democrats is that movable Independents will either stay home or vote third party. That is what happened in the CA-50 special election. That is what we expect this autumn unless Democratic campaigns change.
But Lieberman is also being battered by a widespread belief among critics that his long-standing commitment to working with Republicans has become counterproductive at a time when President Bush and the GOP congressional majority pursue an aggressive conservative agenda.E.J. Dionne:
"I want a senator who's out there challenging them ... instead of working with them on their crazy policies," said Cheryl Curtiss, a West Hartford School District employee, as she waited for Lamont at a rally Saturday night.
With such sentiments in play, the race has spotlighted broader choices that Democrats face nationwide -- not only in this fall's election, but in the 2008 presidential campaign. Beyond measuring the depth of anger about the Iraq war, the Connecticut primary has offered competing visions of how Democrats can revive their fortunes in a deeply polarized political era.
People realize what we need to do to win:
The opposition to Lieberman is motivated by an effort to reverse the trend to the right. It's true that Lamont's campaign has been energized by widespread opposition to the Iraq war and the fact that Lieberman has been one of the most loyal Democratic defenders of President Bush's Middle East policies.
But Lieberman's troubles are, even more, about a new aggressiveness in the Democratic Party called forth by disgust with the Bush presidency -- an energy comparable to the vigor that a loathing for liberalism brought to the Republican right in the 1970s and '80s.
Like the earlier generation of conservatives, today's Democratic activists are impatient with accommodating the powers that be. They demand that Democrats stop trying to chase a "center" that has veered ever rightward since 1980. Instead, they want to haul that center back to more progressive terrain. That's why so much of the political energy in Connecticut seems to be with Lamont.
- 1. Reject the DLC
- 2. Stand up and hold Bush Accountable