Lamont, Lieberman and the GOP

Ned Lamont and his supporters are doing immense harm to the Democrats' cause, thanks to Senator Joseph Lieberman's independent candidacy for Senator, a quest which deserves the support of all sentient Republicans.  Polling showing the official GOP nominee Alan Schlesinger pulling low single digit support proves that Connecticut's conservatives get it. As polls currently stand, Lieberman is likely to win—re—election.

Nonetheless, it is important for Schlesinger to stay in the race; otherwise Lieberman will be seen as the real  GOP candidate, and this would lose him critical support among some moderate Democrats. Schlesinger, a former mayor of Derby, CT, deserves honor and future support for his sacrificial candidacy.

Lieberman has been more helpful to Bush in the Senate than Lincoln Chafee, a Republican from Rhode Island who did not even vote for Bush for re—election. If Lieberman wins as an independent, he will probably be freer of the Democratic orthodoxy in the Senate in the next session, and may vote his conscience on more issues. A Republican Senator from Connecticut might be better for the GOP than Lieberman, but the perfect is often the enemy of the good.

Victory everywhere is simply not possible, so priorities must be drawn. The GOP would certainly like to carry the District of Columbia and Massachusetts in Presidential elections, but it won't happen. So Republicans concentrate on states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and Florida, where races are competitive.

The current governor of Connecticut is a Republican, Jodi Rell. She is quite popular, and likely to win re—election easily.  But the makeup of the state is not conducive to the GOP winning a second statewide race, even with a better known candidate than Schlesinger.

Lieberman's independent run will likely help all three endangered GOP Connecticut House members: Chris Shays, Rob Simmons, and Nancy Johnson. The New York Times writes today of Lieberman "shadowing" the House races.  His running makes it more likely that voters will cross party lines.

All 3 GOP Congressmen are in districts that favor Democrats.  If they all survive, so might the GOP House majority. If Lieberman dropped out, Schlesinger would likely lose by at least 20%, and  some or all of the 3 GOP Congressmen would go down too. Lieberman's run muddies the waters, and helps the GOP.

The Connecticut race has now become the showcase race of the election season and the story is of a civil war among the Democrats. This is good for the GOP. There will be inter—party bitterness as a result of this race, in addition to resources wasted. If Lieberman wins and he is punished by the Democratic Party and removed from his senior position in Senate committees, this will be a big story, and send a lasting message about the Party to swing voters.  Moderate and conservative Democrats who like Lieberman, will be bitter at Democrats who supported Lamont and vindictive Democratic Senators for excluding Lieberman. The netroots constituency has well—demonstrated a vindictive streak, posing a genuine quandry for moderate Democrats. Do they alienate moderate voters, or do they risk the fury of the Kos Kidz?

This struggle has the potential to hurt Hillary and others who might run in 2008. They must run to the left to win the nomination and then to the center to win the election. But the netroots camp will hold them, to their leftist rhetoric of the nomnating season.

The focus on Connecticut also helps endangered GOP senators like Santorum or DeWine this year, who otherwise would be in the sights of the mainstream media.

The GOP also benefits from the Connecticut  race because any money the Democratic Senate committee will transfer to Connecticut to back Lamont is a dollar that is not going to Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Montana, Virginia, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Michigan, Washington, Maryland,  and Minnesota, all of which are competitive races.

Finally the Connecticut Senate race makes national security the focus issue of the campaign. Lieberman will say that some or many Democrats are not serious about the current threats. That too will resonate with the message the GOP is trying to build.

Richard Baehr is the chief political correspondent of The American Thinker. Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher.

Ned Lamont and his supporters are doing immense harm to the Democrats' cause, thanks to Senator Joseph Lieberman's independent candidacy for Senator, a quest which deserves the support of all sentient Republicans.  Polling showing the official GOP nominee Alan Schlesinger pulling low single digit support proves that Connecticut's conservatives get it. As polls currently stand, Lieberman is likely to win—re—election.

Nonetheless, it is important for Schlesinger to stay in the race; otherwise Lieberman will be seen as the real  GOP candidate, and this would lose him critical support among some moderate Democrats. Schlesinger, a former mayor of Derby, CT, deserves honor and future support for his sacrificial candidacy.

Lieberman has been more helpful to Bush in the Senate than Lincoln Chafee, a Republican from Rhode Island who did not even vote for Bush for re—election. If Lieberman wins as an independent, he will probably be freer of the Democratic orthodoxy in the Senate in the next session, and may vote his conscience on more issues. A Republican Senator from Connecticut might be better for the GOP than Lieberman, but the perfect is often the enemy of the good.

Victory everywhere is simply not possible, so priorities must be drawn. The GOP would certainly like to carry the District of Columbia and Massachusetts in Presidential elections, but it won't happen. So Republicans concentrate on states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and Florida, where races are competitive.

The current governor of Connecticut is a Republican, Jodi Rell. She is quite popular, and likely to win re—election easily.  But the makeup of the state is not conducive to the GOP winning a second statewide race, even with a better known candidate than Schlesinger.

Lieberman's independent run will likely help all three endangered GOP Connecticut House members: Chris Shays, Rob Simmons, and Nancy Johnson. The New York Times writes today of Lieberman "shadowing" the House races.  His running makes it more likely that voters will cross party lines.

All 3 GOP Congressmen are in districts that favor Democrats.  If they all survive, so might the GOP House majority. If Lieberman dropped out, Schlesinger would likely lose by at least 20%, and  some or all of the 3 GOP Congressmen would go down too. Lieberman's run muddies the waters, and helps the GOP.

The Connecticut race has now become the showcase race of the election season and the story is of a civil war among the Democrats. This is good for the GOP. There will be inter—party bitterness as a result of this race, in addition to resources wasted. If Lieberman wins and he is punished by the Democratic Party and removed from his senior position in Senate committees, this will be a big story, and send a lasting message about the Party to swing voters.  Moderate and conservative Democrats who like Lieberman, will be bitter at Democrats who supported Lamont and vindictive Democratic Senators for excluding Lieberman. The netroots constituency has well—demonstrated a vindictive streak, posing a genuine quandry for moderate Democrats. Do they alienate moderate voters, or do they risk the fury of the Kos Kidz?

This struggle has the potential to hurt Hillary and others who might run in 2008. They must run to the left to win the nomination and then to the center to win the election. But the netroots camp will hold them, to their leftist rhetoric of the nomnating season.

The focus on Connecticut also helps endangered GOP senators like Santorum or DeWine this year, who otherwise would be in the sights of the mainstream media.

The GOP also benefits from the Connecticut  race because any money the Democratic Senate committee will transfer to Connecticut to back Lamont is a dollar that is not going to Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Montana, Virginia, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Michigan, Washington, Maryland,  and Minnesota, all of which are competitive races.

Finally the Connecticut Senate race makes national security the focus issue of the campaign. Lieberman will say that some or many Democrats are not serious about the current threats. That too will resonate with the message the GOP is trying to build.

Richard Baehr is the chief political correspondent of The American Thinker. Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher.