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0 comments | Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Lieberman/Ned Lamont primary is becoming an illustrative example of the decayed democracy that currently exists in the U.S. The punditry class, and many of their DLC-influenced Democratic officeholder friends are clearly perturbed by Lamont's run (and the blogosphere's support of him), and clearly wish old Ned would just pack up and take his show back to Greenwich. It's seems to me, however, that primaries are the life's blood of a well functioning democracy, they are a key component of the stuff great representative democracies are made of.

The only valid reason to oppose Lamont's run, is that perhaps he undermines the 'big tent' notion that the Democratic party wants to achieve. Potentially, he undermines the idea that the party should support a plurality of voices and perspectives. But even this argument, though it's a respectable one, is defeated by the fact that Connecticut is a state ripe for a challenge to Lieberman. Connecticut is not Kansas or the bible belt, we're talking about a state in the blue to purple Northeast. There's simply no reason to run Republican-lite candidates in the Northeast (with the possible exception of New Hampshire). When and where there is a Northeastern Republican-lite officeholder a challenger should step up to face s/he, and in doing so help work to regenerate the democratic ideals of this country. A primary challenge to a sitting incumbent is one of the most basic ways to achieve this. Should Lamont emerge victorious in the Connecticut primary we will observe the best of democracy even if it scares the timid pundits and overly-cautious Democratic hierarchy.

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