Monday, August 07, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Senator Scorned

Glenn Greenwald, guest blogging in Salon’s War Room, waxes philosophical about the big Lamont/Lieberman showdown tomorrow.

The supremacy of incumbency has given birth to a more or less permanent Beltway class that views its power as an entitlement, something that its members have the divine right to possess until they choose to relinquish it. It is that aristocratic mindset that explains the bizarre sense of anger and offense triggered among the political and pundit classes -- and within Lieberman himself -- by Ned Lamont's aggressive primary challenge. The effort to defeat Joe Lieberman was considered to be improper, uncouth, even somehow undemocratic by those most entrenched in our stagnant, plodding, virtually immovable political structures.

Beyond striking a blow against the Iraq war and the neoconservatives who are responsible for it, a Lamont victory would deal a hard blow to the power of incumbency and the entitlement mindset it has spawned. It would be seen, rightfully so, as a repudiation of the Beltway pundit and political classes that, from the start and with virtual unanimity, viewed the Lamont challenge with scorn, as a distasteful rebellion by the crazed, dirty, unenlightened masses. The most important impact of a Lamont win is that it would shake the foundations of a self-contained Beltway political structure that is as unresponsive as it is corrupt at its core.
Without going on too long -- since as you know, I barely have time for anything these days -- this harkens back a bit to what a colleague of mine was hopelessly attempting to say last week which is that democracy is super cool and what we have today is doubleplus uncool because it is merely a hazy facsimile of democracy when 98% of incumbents are reelected; when money equals electoral success; when the people are so uninspired such that only 30% of us actually bother to vote; when the votes in congress are controlled by special interest groups and lobbyists; when government contracts are awarded to cronies and insiders instead of the cheapest or most qualified vendors… And so on and so forth...

What we are seeing in Connecticut is real democracy whether you like the result or not. And as Rumsfeld said, “Freedom’s untidy.” True Dat, Donnie. Connecticuticans are enjoying the fruits of freedom, and I hope to Flying Spaghetti Monster the message is received in Washington that at the end of the day, the voters run the show. “For the people, by the people” as the antiquated old saying goes. Start paying attention to us.

And oh yeah, if we want to keep this wacky “democracy” ball rolling, the very next step has to be public financing of elections. Without that, we have no hope.

1 comment:

Matthew Smith said...

It's a good thing guys like you and I have colleagues and I. But "hopeless"? Really? Why did you have to go and hurt my feelings like that?