Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont face off today in a primary that many feel has nationwide implications. The national blogosphere has been obsessing on this race for weeks with the past week being almost unbearable. There have been many articles but here are two recent ones that I found interesting. David Sirota provides four senarios concerning the possible outcomes and some comic relief. At NY Daily News, Lieberman pleads that he is not George Bush.
Although the MSM wants us to believe that this primary is a referendum on the war, I believe it to be much more than that.
The Democratic party is currently in a struggle for the direction it will take. According to John Dean in his book, Conservatives Without Conscience many Democrats have chosen to remain silent regarding the extremes of the Neocons because they feel the electorate is not interested in process. Additionally, Dems think such action would make them seem whiney. These Democrats want to move the party to the center of the political spectrum, a center that has moved decidedly to the right. Many in the lefty blogosphere have the opinion that this outlook makes the Democrats seem wimpy. I share this opinion.
The grass roots, emboldened by a blogosphere, is leading the charge to create an opposition party that seeks to aggressively wrestle with the current Republican one party rule. Russ Feingold was one of the first Democrats to "get it". Sooner or later the leadership will be forced to get in front of the Democratic party revolutionary parade or they will need to move over.
This is democracy as it is supposed to be! Messy, loud, and undisciplined, democracy comes from the bottom up pressuring our leaders to do the will of the people. Democracy is not stubbornly sticking to a course of action long after the public has withdrawn its support. Democracy is not blind allegiance to leadership even when all evidence suggests that serious, sometimes illegal, errors have occurred.
Perhaps this is the difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans seem to follow slogan spouting leaders without question and call it a strength. Recent history suggests that Republicans get it wrong much of the time. Democrats, on the other hand, question, argue, research, and have great difficulty following each other. Despite the mess the Democrats will eventually get it right. After all is said and done, how many times has Senator Feingold been wrong?
The Lieberman-Lamont primary is a major battle in this healthy struggle within the Democratic Party. Democrats do not fear the perceived lack of control that Republicans allow to run their lives. In fact, many welcome it because the only thing for certain is change. Regardless of what happens in Connecticut, major changes are coming.