No, I’m not talking about music, in case you’re wondering. Up here in Connecticut, we have a summer battle going down. Senator Joe Lieberman, a veteran for years in Congress, has lost considerable public support in our nigh-overwhelmingly blue state because of his unwavering support of the War in Iraq. His challenger, Greenwich millionaire and cable entrepreneur Ned Lamont, is a progressive who blasts the senator for his conservatism and is calling for universal health care, an end to subsidies for big oil and an immediate pull-out from Iraq.
Lieberman won 66% of delegate votes, but since Lamont scored well-above 15% at 33%, there will now be a primary showdown. Most of Connecticut is split between the candidates, with no major Republican candidate in the race. If Lamont wins the primary, Lieberman may enter the race as an Independent Democrat. Connecticut is rapidly becoming the battleground, the site of a grand showdown between progressives and centrists within the Democratic party.
I am not a Democrat. However, I am following this race like a hawk. I still consider myself undecided as far as the candidacy goes. On the one hand, I am a war hawk and can’t even imagine an immediate pullout from Iraq. However, I’m very far left economically, so any progressive candidate is better than a centrist-conservative. On social issues, I’m pretty much split down the middle.
Most people here know that Joe knows what he is doing. He is a great veteran of the political arena and is a good friend of organized labor. He also fought successfully to keep the Groton submarine base open and save jobs there. On the other hand, he is seen as somewhat stale around here, disconnected from the people. To see a young, energetic family man challenging him is making people very excited.
What will happen in Connecticut and across the country as progressives battle centrists for the control of a divided Democratic party? Should Lamont or Lieberman win this race? In a greater scale, what are the consequences that little old Connecticut could have this election year?
The hordes of MoveOn.org, Take Back America and Daily Kos commentators pitching in on this race bear noisy testimony to a divided group of liberals. How do the Blue State Observer crowds feel about this? Your input just might sway me one way or the other. I don’t know if that means anything, but it could!