Slow and Low
Rahm oh Rahm, what are we going to do with you?
You were showing so much promise the day after the Connecticut primary:
“This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. “This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.”
But that was then, this is now. Today in the NYT:
Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, expressed confidence that Democratic turnout would be strong for the House races in Connecticut.
“Explain to me how two Democrats running is bad,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview.
I won’t descend into cheap, common snark and point out that Joe Lieberman is now running as a "line five, party of one" candidate after his defeat in, you know, the Democratic primary. There is only one Democrat in the Connecticut Senate race in November and his name is Ned Lamont. He isn’t the incumbent and thus doesn’t trigger knee-jerk DC loyalty but really, this is quite beyond the pale. Lieberman is neither a nominal nor a spiritual Democrat; he’s now running a Republican campaign as a once and future lackey of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. He’s doing the devil’s own work now and I give you credit, Rahm, for being smart enough to figure that out.
I realize it’s not going to do the Connecticut House candidates any good for you to be pointing out the obvious — the Mighty Wurlitzer is now going full tilt to pull out Republican voters to the polls in November who will vote for other Republicans. But do you really believe Rush Limbaugh or Fox News or Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity talking every day about how great Joe Lieberman is will energize Democrats in November? Because I have to say I have a tough time seeing this, Rahm. I really do.
I know you are looking for a silver lining to pimp, so how about something like "The numbers of people coming into the political process energized by Ned Lamont’s strong message of hope and change and a willingness to stand up to George Bush can only help the Democratic Congressional candidates."
Or perhaps delve into the fact that Dianne Farrell’s campaign was explicitly strengthened when she didn’t have the dead weight of Joe’s war position to haul around on the campaign trail? Remember when her opponent Chris Shays said that his position on the war was Joe’s, and he made Farrell run against Lieberman every time she tried to make it an issue? Those days are over. "How Ned Lamont is helping the candidates" seems to be much stronger, more positive message than "Joe’s a Democrat," which he obviously is not.
But alas, I realize that this would violate what seems to be the chief tenet of the DSCC/DCCC November strategy — "Shhh!! Nobody mention the war!" So maybe I am hoping for a bit too much. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and the whole damn thing will just blow over before November arrives? Could happen.
But in the meantime, at least throw us a bone, okay Rahm? Maybe take an easy swing at Lieberman’s on-site liar, Dan Gerstein. His credibility is flagging, and trust me, it’s a slow, easy pitch right over the plate. Just take a look at his quote from the same article from the NYT when he tries to walk back Joe’s un-endorsement of your Democratic House candidates:
“It’s a little awkward for me now,” Mr. Lieberman said on Friday, speaking to reporters in New Haven. “I’m a noncombatant — I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race.”
[On Saturday, a Lieberman campaign aide called to offer a clarification for this article. The aide, Dan Gerstein, said that the senator had endorsed all the Democratic candidates for the House and still hoped they would win.
[Mr. Gerstein said, however, that in light of their endorsement of Mr. Lamont, the senator did not expect the Democrats to ask him to campaign with them this fall.]
Come on Rahm, go for it. You don’t even need to mention the W-A-R. I just know you can knock that one right out of the park.