Democrats are saying the right things, and we'll see if they do the right things. But the longer Lieberman is out there trashing the current state of the Democratic Party the easier it should be for them to develop some negative feelings for him. And if they have any sense of self-preservation, they should. He is doing nothing less than threatening the Party system. And maybe that's a good thing, who knows. But one thing's for sure - it won't be good for the folks that have been making their living off of it.
If Lieberman is successful, it will prove one important thing though: people are fed up with the Parties and ready to move in a different direction. I will expect to see more and more strong candidates running as independents in the future if he wins. But it is freaking outrageous that an entrenched incumbent and darling of the Democratic establishment can now suddenly run...as an outsider!?!
Here's my bold, have-it-both-ways prediction: this is a turning point for the Democratic Party. Either this is a uniting moment that makes the Democrats a stronger political force than we've been in a while, or this is the first step of a slide toward irrelevance. What may be ironic to some (who haven't been paying close enough attention) is that the greatest proponents of Democratic unity and the virtues of party politics are the netroots and liberal blogosphere. We're the ones that believe in, and have hope for, the future of the Democratic Party. It is the conservative entrenched establishment that is teetering on the edge, and is enabling this threat to the Party's future by failing to believe in the value of the primary process. If Joe's independent bid throws the Party into disarray and conflict to win back the CT Senate seat, it will be his fault, but he will still blame Lamont and the so-called liberal wing of the Party (which apparently makes up 52% in the dominant Party in his state, on a day of record primary turnout.)
Tidbits you want to know:
--John Edwards was the first to call and congratulate and support Lamont after his victory.
--Bayh, Clinton, and Clark have all issued strong statements of support for Ned. Clinton's PAC has already written a check.
--Kos is calling on Harry Reid to revoke all of Lieberman's committee assignments, now that he is no longer a Democrat.
--Rahm Emanuel, who heads the Democratic House campaign effort has the quote of the night so far on the Lamont victory: "This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means."
--Do you think Lieberman is shocked, and maybe starting to understand how he's perceived, now that Karl Rove has called and offered the President's assistance?
Will be interesting to see what the first 3-way poll brings...