THE BLOG
08/10/2006 02:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ned Who?

The majority of Democrats have every reason to celebrate their hard-fought win in the Connecticut Democratic primary. I'm of the firm belief, as others have said, that there is a paradigm shift in the politics of the Democratic party - one which is bottom-up. Voters clearly are rejecting the old politics of "I'm a politician, I'm smarter than you, so I'll tell you what to think." Believe me, the elites are furious that they are losing control over the way you think - including some people who blog on here. Job well done.

That having been said, very few people around the country know who Ned Lamont is, and it's unlikely they'll know before (or even after) November. If you don't believe me, go out on the street and start asking them if they know who Ned Lamont is. I'd gather that maybe 2 out of 10 people know if you're in a blue state. Maybe half a person knows if you're in a rural red state.

That's why it is so incredibly stupid to try to nationalize the Democratic primary in Connecticut, as TIME's Mike Allen says the GOP wants to do. Apparently the idea is to ask all Democrats, "Do you support Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman?" Let 'em ask that question. Most voters will respond with a confused, "Huh?"

If the GOP's strategy is to run away from the problems in Iraq, the problems with gas prices, the problems with jobs leaving, the problems with the environment, the problems with education, the problems with corruption, the problems with a Big Brother government, and make this election a referendum on Ned Lamont, they are not in for a defeat in November, they are in for a catastrophic defeat.

The irrelevance of Lamont, on the national level, will be multiplied many times over as other races pick up, and voters who actually know who Ned Lamont is start paying attention to their own local races. For example, as Rick Santorum and Bob Casey really hit high gear, and every other word on the local news is "Santorum" or "Casey," and Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove start blabbering about "Ned Lamont," will most voters even know what in hell's blazes they're talking about?

I mean, can you imagine? Some voter out in Hawley, PA hearing that? "Ned Lamont? You mean Ol' Ned who owns the General Store? What the heck?"

What's worse for the GOP is that as they start to explain that Lamont is that guy who wants to get out of Iraq, it will become clear to a majority of voters that Lamont is their kind of guy. With firm majorities being now against the war and wishing for a pullout within a year, Democrats would be wise to simply respond, "Sure, I agree that we should turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. Next question?"

Somehow, I don't think Ken Mehlman is that dumb. More likely is that all this noise is to raise some money from their base, and Mike Allen was duped into writing his story. But if the story is legit, and the GOP really does plan to run every race on Ned Lamont and not on issues, they might as well hand Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the gavels right now, because on the 'net and in Connecticut Ned Lamont is a rock star, but out in the non-digital world, no one cares.