David Broder's column today about the Lieberman-Lamont race is one of the most incredible acts of journalistic acrobatics I've seen in a long time. The core of his piece centers around his claim that Lamont is supposedly backed mainly by "elitist insurgents." He offers no explanation for why Lamont is leading in major opinion polls, seeming thus to suggest that the majority of Connecticut Democratic primary voters who say they support Lamont are "elitists." Worse, he never takes a moment to analyze Lieberman's long record shilling for Big Money elitists in Washington, D.C. - elitists like pharmaceutical, insurance and other assorted corporate lobbyists who Lieberman has cast many a vote in favor of.
What Broder is really saying is that he - and many D.C. operatives and pundits - somehow believe it is "elitist" for ordinary voters to decide that a Senate seat is their property, not the property of incumbents and the D.C. columnists who they schmooze with at cocktail parties. Their message is crystal clear: How dare ordinary people think they should have a seat at the political table? Their motivation is also clear: This media/political establishment is deathly afraid that the challenge to Lieberman means they no longer have an iron grip on the political process, and that they no longer get to hand down from Mt. Olympus their deliberately distorted version of what the definition of the "center" is in American politics.
And you know what? They are right - they don't. No matter what happens on August 8th (and I am sure hoping Ned Lamont wins), our message has been sent: we, the vast majority of ordinary Americans, have every right - no, every responsibility - to democratically challenge elected officials when they stop representing us. And now we've shown we can mount serious challenges even to the most insulated, out-of-touch Beltway creatures like Lieberman. That's a victory unto itself - and previews what is sure to be an even more intense small-d democratic resurgence in the coming years.
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