It's probably not a great idea to blanket insult an entire sizeable city in a state you hope to win. From the August 18 Wall Street Journal Political Diary:
Ned Lamont's campaign has selected the wrong Connecticut city to pick a fight with. Last week, Tom Swan, Mr. Lamont's campaign manager, lashed out at working-class Waterbury, the state's fifth-largest city, after hearing it had overwhelmingly backed Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Mr. Swan described Waterbury, a place that has seen several of its politicians go to jail, as a city "where the forces of slime meet the forces of evil."
Mr. Lamont has apologized for the remark, but not soon enough to prevent a slashing editorial entitled "Ned Lamont's True Colors" in the Waterbury Republican-American last Sunday. The newspaper unloaded rhetoric seldom seen these days. The editorial began: "Liberal journalists adore [Mr. Lamont] because they share his world view on abortion, homosexual marriage, universal health care, racial quotas, loopy environmentalism and especially the war against Islamic terrorism. They are blood brothers, or more accurately, fellow travelers... If you shake Mr. Lamont's family tree, a lot of Red apples will fall."
The paper goes on to claim that Mr. Lamont's great-grandfather, Thomas W. Lamont, was a "wealthy progressive pacifist... the sugar daddy for the American Communist Party and other extreme left-wing organizations." His son, Corliss Lamont, in turn was "an unapologetic Stalinist and atheist. Congress once declared him 'probably the most persistent propagandist for the Soviet Union to be found anywhere in the United States.'" The paper claimed that Corliss's nephew, Mr. Lamont's father, also "embraced liberal-socialism and passed his religious devotion to atheistic materialism along to his son."
Then there's this, from James Taranto:
An exchange between "TPM reader BM" and Angry Left blogger Steve Gilliard illustrates their predicament going into an intraparty general election race between Sen. Joe Lieberman, now an independent, and Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. Here is BM:
I don't like Joe Lieberman and hope he isn't in the Senate. End of story. Let's all move on and focus on the races where Republicans can be defeated. If Democrats regain the House or the Senate, even if Joe is elected it won't matter as much. As long as liberal blogs devote 20-30% of their time beating on Joe, they are missing out on beating on all of the vulnerable and possibly vulnerable Republican Congressmen. Conservatives understand--make your point then move on to where you can have an effect. The best use of resources is to defeat as many Republicans as possible. Why win the "Sore Loserman" battle and lose the war?
The problem is that Lieberman is the flying wedge for the GOP. He can say the Dems are weak and captive of radicals, and bolster Bush at the same time.
Taking him out is the number one priority because his continued presence hurts all races, especially the Connecticut House races. He is literally their lifesaver. Joe attacking Dems hurt all Dems, in all their races. Ignoring him would be suicidal. Getting him out of the race should be the priority. Not just for Connecticut Dems, but for the entire party.
Lieberman was a horribly divisive character and unless his political career is ended, other Dems will pay.
Mr. Taranto refers to this as "a vicious, unwinnable civil war with incalculable costs in both resources and prestige." Amen. Here's a staunch Democratic blogger referring to his party's 2000 VP candidate as a "horribly divisive character." If only Al Gore had known! Had the Republicans run Sen. Jeffords or Sen. Chafee as a VP runningmate the same could be said for them. But they didn't.
Herein lies the dilemma of thinking far left and hoping to look centrist. Mr. Lamont is clearly of the far left. The fact that he's running in Connecticut is the only thing that really gave him a chance among Democrats. Even at that the primary was close; Mr. Lamont was able to eke out a couple of percentage points over a solidly liberal but pro-war incumbent among the most liberal (the NY Times reference to 'moderates' notwithstanding) voters in the state. And now it is apparently some sort of surprise that when the true moderates and conservatives get added to the mix Mr. Lamont doesn't fare nearly as well?
Mr. Gilliard's response is telling, though. Mr. Lamont is the "great white hope" of the left, the candidate who will once and for all prove that the left's netroots have pull, and that Americans of all stripes are so fed up with President Bush and the Iraq war that they'll elect a man like Mr. Lamont.
And if the voters don't? If the American people, represented by Connecticut's voters in this instance, kick Mr. Lamont's tires and decide the product and the deal are not good enough to buy, what then? Could Sen. Lieberman find himself accused of rigging voting machines and "voter disenfranchisement?"
8/21/06 1110: Rick Moran discusses the Lieberman dilemma. I suspect the Senator will be subjected to the tender mercies of ... the comfy chair!! That chair will be in the Senate chamber.