I’m With Atrios
With all due respect, the folks who are singing the "time to move on" song regarding the Lamont/Lieberman race are, it should be noted, people who on the whole really didn’t care much about it in the first place and never saw the reason for the challenge. Which is fine. Don’t write about it then. But I think it’s important that it continue to be covered for a variety of reasons and we will continue to do so, and anyone who needs some sort of explanation for that decision should feel free to pick and choose from the following list:
1. Nobody cared about it when we started covering it in February, I don’t know why we’d be worried if they don’t care now. We cover it because we think it’s important and we want to write about it and our subject matter is not dictated strictly by the issue du jour.
2. The notion that somehow we are doing "Karl Rove’s bidding" by continuing to focus on the race is absurd. We’re not playing the race card, providing the illusion of bi-partisan support for a disastrous war or calling those who oppose it traitors, or destroying the candidacies of three Democrats in House races. Joe Lieberman is doing all those things, and the minute he gets out of the race it stops.
3. I can only speak for myself but I got into covering this race because the idea that the Gang of 14 would use its power to confirm another Alito should a SCOTUS vacancy occur in the next two years was intolerable. If Lieberman wins, no price will be paid, no message will have been sent. No other member besides Lincoln Chafee is in danger of losing his seat, and his challenge is coming from angry wingnuts. Am I supposed to shrug my shoulders at the prospect of the next 30 years with a 5/4 court just because someone thinks it would make Karl Rove happy? I’m not Pavlov’s dog — yet.
4. I like this story. If you can get the New York Times on the phone and make them stop covering it because other races need more attention, maybe we’ll have something to talk about. In the mean time, there are plenty of other blogs.
5. What don’t folks understand about the notion that once you’ve got your boot heel on someone’s windpipe it’s time to finish the job, not remove your foot? Follow-through, people. I simply cannot bear another two years of "the bloggers have never backed a winning candidate," and aside from my personal priorities I really can’t see how it does any good for progressive politics or the netroots in general.
6. I suppose there is an argument to be made that any Democrat is better than any Republican but I am just not that cynical yet. You want to support Bob Casey? Here’s his web site, go wild. He’s the hand picked candidate of Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer in a pro-choice state who went out of his way (when nobody asked) to say he would’ve voted to confirm Alito. I’m sorry but I’m really not willing to go to the mat for a party full of Bob Caseys, and Chuck Schumer marching around like Basil Fawlty shrieking "nobody mention the war!" is not my idea of bountiful and rewarding November.
7. The Schumerian Policy of Centrist Appeasement (#6 above) is a bit of a disaster, and the DLC’s contention that they "know how to win elections" seems to have precipitated nothing but a race to the bottom. Grover Norquist’s vision of Democrats as a buch of happy, neutered farm animals has at last bee realized — there is much to suggest they have come to accept "the finality of their powerlessness." I would very much like this state of affairs to end, now.
8. The primary race was driven on the Lieberman side by lame Democratic consultants. Holy Joe has now brought in the right-wing noise machine, and they are leading the media around by the nose far more than Marion Steinfels ever could. If there was ever a need for what we do, it’s now.
9. You can’t carry on an effective battle if you can’t consolidate your own ranks first. As Art Torres said the other day, it’s time to kick the Republicans out of the Democratic nominating process. I firmly believe it will only strengthen the party going forward.
10. Everyone who contributes to this blog is free to decide what they write. I don’t tell them what they should care about, and I really don’t know where anyone else gets off thinking they’re in a position to dictate that, either.
All that is a very elaborate way of saying we will continue to cover the Lamont/Lieberman race. I will also say that we probably do as much or more for progressive candidates in other races than any other website in the liberal blogosphere, so those who are inclined to criticize our allocation of blogospheric resources would do best to hit the "Blue America" button on the top of the page and keep the donations flowing if they want to see more action on that front.
In the mean time, we’ll be writing about the stuff we think is important. And yes, that will most definitely include Ned Lamont.
(graphic by NeoJoe)