Conservatives Don't Hate Ned Lamont. They Just Fear That A Majority Of Americans Will Support Candidates They Agree With ... Like Lamont
I doubt the Bush Administration, or its friends in the conservative media, hate Ned Lamont.
Lamont, the upstart Democrat, is trying to unseat incumbent Joe Lieberman to represent Connecticut in the Senate. Lieberman is one of the few Senate Democrats to continue to rally behind President Bush's decision to fight the war in Iraq.
So of course, rather than throw support to Lieberman, the administration and its friends in the media have tried to make Lamont voters feel like the fringe left, even though they in fact agree with a majority of Americans on a number of key issues.
Vice President Cheney complained that Lamont's victory encourages "the Al Qaeda types." How desperate are conservatives to bash Lamont supporters? White House Press Secretary Tony Snow suggested that voting for Lamont meant to "ignore the difficulties and walk away" from fighting the war on terror. Fox News Channel correspondent David Bass said an “unruly” female passenger on an airplane flight was "probably not an al Qaeda affiliate, probably not a terrorist, could just be a Ned Lamont supporter." Before the primary, the conservative media offered the broad theme that those who support Lamont are "cut and run" McGovernites who lack the cajones to stay the course in a dangerous world.
All these statements land squarely on the crossroads of hyperbole and stupidity. They are part of a coordinated strategy to try to convince a majority of Americans to not vote like a majority -- starting with the Lamont-Lieberman rematch.
Take a look at the math:
-- A large majority of Americans (63-67%, depending on the poll) disapprove of the way the Bush Administration is running the country, and a similar majority (60%) disapprove of the way the administration is handling the Iraq War.
-- A large majority of Americans (71%) said that we shouldn't have gone to war if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, and a solid majority of Americans (57%) say they want to see the start of troop redeployment from Iraq within a year.
This crosses the boundaries of "likely Democrat" and "likely Republican."
If a majority of Americans vote like a majority of Americans when it comes to the Iraq War -- favoring candidates who think the war is not being managed properly, and who agree that troop redeployment from Iraq should start within a year -- Democrats will win pick up seats in the House and Senate this November. If the fearmongerers have their way, then Republicans will do well.
What's a fearmongerer? This week, for example, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) made the ridiculous comment that Middle East terrorists are "waiting for the Democrats here to take control, let things cool off and then strike again." Expect more of that in the 80 days remaining until Election Day.
That's all conservatives have. Name-calling and fearmongering. Conservatives keep shouting "cut and run liberals," hoping Americans forget that the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, had briefed the administration on a similar plan for troop redeployment out of Iraq.
Simply, they don't want a majority of Americans to believe they are the majority. That's the only way they can retain control of Congress this November.