Wednesday, August 02, 2006

supporters of Ned Lamont

re broder's recent stupid article in wapo about lamont i wrote:
"i suspect that one of my readers in particular will find that amusing. they can out themselves in the comments if they wish."
kathleen wrote broder:
"Dear Mr. Broder,

I found your article about the upcoming primary in Connecticut between incumbent Joe Lieberman and insurgent candidate Ned Lamont quite interesting, being one of those older former Gene McCarthy supporters, specifically the one who talked Joe Duffey into letting us nominate him for US Senate at the Democratic State Convention in 1968 under John Bailey's chairmanship.

We did not have enough delegates to elect a slate of delegates to the Chicago convention, so we challenged Abe Ribicoff to a primary and they made a deal with us, giving us 9 seats on the slate to Chicago, if we waited until 1970 and challenged Tom Dodd instead.

You are correct in your observation that the supporters of Ned Lamont are mostly former Gene McCarthy, Joe Duffey, Ralph Nader type voters, but you make such short shrift of us as though our role in the politcal process during those years was insignificant because we lost. This is a rather shallow observation.

At the time of Gene McCarthy's campaign, there were only 6 primaries in the country and the nominating process was quite closed to public particpation. The changes in the election laws calling for primaries in most states now was a direct result of the McCarthy/Duffey CT.delegates to the 1968 convention. through our proposals to the Rules Committee and the floor of the convention. a commisssion was formed and chaired by George McGovern to reform the delegate selection process to allow more public access to the nominating process. This was quite a contribution to our national political process.

After the Chicago convention, McCarthy/Duffey people worked for Senator Abe Ribicoff's re-election campaign. I was on his campign staff and worked with his administrative assistant, Lanny Davis and his legislative assistant John Barbieri.
After Ribicoff was re-elected, the McCarthy/Duffey people worked to form the Caucus of CT. Democrats and organized the state of CT. to change its election laws from conventions to primary. How elite is that? How fringe is that?

Gene McCarthy did not win the nomination, not because he did not appeal to the mainstream public, but because of intra party machinations. McCarthy was the only candidate who sacrificed his career to give anti war voters an avenue of expression. Bobby Kennedy entered the race after the New Hampshire primary and he knew which way the wind was blowing. He divided the anti war voters. When he was killed in L.A. Teddy Kennedy nominated George McGovern to prevent the peace vote from coming together behind McCarthy, thus underhandedly giving the nomination to Humphrey..Humphrey lost because he was not who the pepole wanted, just who they got stuck with as a choice. Because of the politcal machinations, Gene McCarthy left the Democratic party and the Senate. Ralph Nader left the Democratic to form the Greens, and lots of Dems left with him.

Joe Duffey won the primary against Tom Dodd in 1970, but lost to Lowell Weicker, not because he did not appeal to mainstream voters, but because Tom Dodd would not listen to CT. Democrats and ran as an independant, like Joe Lieberman today.
Abe Ribicoff listened to us and worked with us, so we both won. Tom Dodd did not listen, did not work with us, so we both lost. Just as Joe Lieberman is refusing to listen to his consituents and is willing to divide the vote to stick to his stubborn
support for an illegal war, by running as an independnet, we could both lose this time too.

Joe Duffey, far being some fringe character, "old former Gene McCarthy supporter", went on to be Assistant Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs under President Carter and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanties. Under President Clinton, Duffey was Director of the US Information Agency.

So if Lamont supporters are elite old McCarthy/Duffey supporters, I'd say that's pretty damned good for Lamont and Connecticut. Joe Lieberman was a Humphrey supporter in 1968, so it does not suprise me that he is where he is today."
kathleen is a rockstar.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

There is some truth though, in what David Broder says about CT. voters being more anti Lieberman than pro Ned Lamont.

After the 04 election, CT Peace Activist began asking voters if they would support challenging Joe Lieberman and, if so, who would we propose to challenge him?

MANY were livid pissed at Joe L. and wanted to oppose him. I proposed that Ralph Nader be asked to do it because he is a CT. resident, and I felt he would win as a favorite son in CT. He , more than most citizens, devoted his life to the public good and I thought he could change the whole Goddamned world from the US Senate. I didn't know if he would refuse to run as a Dem or if peopole were pissed at Nader for running for Prez, but it did not come to pass. I would have even loved having Ralph Nader challenge Rob Simmons and be in the House of Reps but the whole question of party label and differences in signature requirements for party candidates an unaffiliated candidates, all conspire to reduce our choices of candidates.

All along, Ned Lamont was available. Most were not familiar with him, but were deeply grateful that he was willing to run and give us an avenue to express our opposition to Joe L. and that chickenshit, frat brat, playing war with the world.

I cannot say I am thrilled with Ned's positions. They are not deeply developed and sound like the sound bites coming from the Howard Dean wing of the party organization, which is an improvement over the Repugs, but a long way to go to be satisfactory to me. The DNC is so tired and unimaginative, it's hard for me to get into the whoopdeedooo head space, hearing Ned repeat them.

I'm looking for original thinking, imagination, and an actually practicable solution. Just saying you are for this and against that doesn't tell jme a damn thing about whether you can think of HOW TO go about changing things. Being a leader.

For this CT. voter, this is not in the current mix.