Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The blank slate party

An editorial cartoon from yesterday’s Hartford Courant:

And from the Sunday NY Times Magazine, here’s the umpteenth article I’ve seen about how the Democrats have no core ideals: “What are the Lieberman foes for?”

If history were to repeat itself, this outpouring of new liberal passion would portend trouble for the party's establishment candidates in 2008 (especially one possible candidate whose last name happens to be Clinton). But there is at least one crucial difference between insurgents of the 1970's and today. When [Jeffrey] Bell ran for the Senate in 1978, he was so obsessed with his plan to slash taxes that he went to the extraordinary length of bringing in Arthur Laffer, the renowned conservative economist, to draw his famous Laffer Curve at a news conference in Trenton. By contrast, Lamont's signature proposal as a primary candidate - and the only one anyone cared to hear, really - seemed to be the hard-to-dispute notion that he is not, in fact, Joe Lieberman. He offered platitudes about universal health care and good jobs and about bringing the troops home but nothing that might define him as anything other than what he is: an acceptable alternative.
Which explains this:

Of the 11% of likely voters undecided in the US Senate ballot, 57% have a favorable opinion of Lieberman and 43% have an unfavorable opinion of Lieberman, and 4% have a favorable opinion of Lamont, 41% have an unfavorable opinion of Lamont, and 55% are aware of Lamont but do not know enough about him to have an opinion.
He’s not Joe Lieberman! Geez. What more do you need to know?


Anonymous said...

It's just shocking that Connecticut voters would have a more formed opinion of Lieberman than of Lamont! Aren't they on the blogs? What the hell have these lazy f-er's been doing the past 2 months...working, raising their children, pursuing relationships?

BTW, Jeffrey Bell's core ideals were so compelling to New Jersey's voters that he lost his 1978 Senate race by 12 points. And then the 1982 GOP primary by 8%.

Boo hoo hoo, the Democrats are kicking Republican butts with grudges, vapor, and the unfair luck of not having a catastrophically inept party leader. But as the GOP abandons all but its lip service to smaller government, basic competence, and moral values, it's hard to articulate their platform, either. Other than being theoretically "for" President He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-In-My-Campaign-Literature.

While Jeff Bell's quote gave the Times writer his hook for a column, here's a broader and more interesting historical take on the political shakes now afflicting Joe Lieberman:

JorgXMcKie said...

Well, the Dems pretty much have nothing left to abandon, except maybe teachers and govt workers unions. They've given up everything they used to stand for in favor of BDS.

This CT election reminds me of the time (1984?) when the Larouchies ousted regular Dems (with ethnic names) in a low-turnout primary. They got their asses (both the larouchies and the regular Dems) handed to them in the general election.

I suspect Lamont, the Kossacks, and the US Rep Dem candidates will suffer a similar fate, because no matter how much they wish, the average American, including CT, does not suffer from BDS.

Cheer up, buieuifgunp, Bush will never win in 2008 no matter what crappy candidate the Dems put up.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that wishing well, Jorgy. I know you speak for the electorate.

Almost. Here's what "the average American, including CT" thinks these days:

Glorious, isn't it? 33% approval in Ohio. 36% in Florida. 36% in Missouri. 32% in Pennsylvania. Those swing states are really swingin'.

They grow approval ratings bigger in Texas, though: there, it's a whopping 49%.

Earlier this month, a poll showed that Bush would lose rematches to both Gore and Kerry. It's not that this is great news for Gore or Kerry, or even especially meaningful, considering the poll references hypothetical elections that will never be run.

What's fascinating is that that kind of retrospective "victory" is very rare. Usually voters are very hesitant to admit that they made a "mistake" by their own lights.

Oh well, since George W. Bush isn't running for anything in two months, I'm sure these negative emotions will have no effect whatsoever on the outcome.