Did anyone in the Connecticut last week stop to think about how Mr. Schlesinger might feel? From Friday’s NYT:
Republicans have a candidate in the Connecticut race this fall, Alan Schlesinger, but he has struggled to raise money or attract interest amid the Lieberman-Lamont contest.
If you can’t run a nice candidate for the Senate, my mother used to say, then don’t run anybody at all. From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune:
The campaign of Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Alan Schlesinger has been so troubled that Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell urged him to give up.
The Republican candidate for the Senate in Connecticut right now is, unfortunately for everybody involved, Joseph Lieberman. ABC news speculates over a phone call Lieberman received from Karl Rove (offering an evil scheme or two, perhaps?) And we all know about the kiss of death Lieberman received at the State of the Union (OK, I’d missed it, too: George W. kissed him! Literally.)
In a move to distance himself from President Bush’s winnowing popularity, Minnesota-grown Republican senate hopeful Mark Kennedy has endorsed Lieberman over Schlesinger (what Connecticuter, I wonder, gives a damn about what he thinks?). Kennedy’s campaign strategy is to paint himself as more of an independent-minded Republican — from a Kennedy campaign ad, his son says of him:
Dad likes to help people. He’s principled, independent, just not much of a party guy. I meant … he doesn’t always do what the party says to.
And somehow, in Kennedy’s unique thinking, this would make him like Joe Lieberman. Kennedy said:
At times like these, when our country is fighting a global War against radical jihadists, and there is so much at stake for our nation’s security, we must put politics aside… It’s in that spirit that I would like to offer my support for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s bid for the U.S. Senate from Connecticut.
And now, in the same non-partisan spirit of Vice President Cheney’s slur that, somehow, Lamont’s victory sent a positive message to al-Qaeda, the Republican National Senatorial Committee issued press releases to tight senate races including Kennedy’s race against Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar:
“What happened in Connecticut’s primary clearly demonstrates that the angry left fringe of the Democrat [sic] Party is in charge . . . ” said NRSC Spokesman Brian Walton. “Does Amy Klobuchar support the wishes of the angry left by endorsing Ned Lamont’s candidacy . . ?”
Angry left fringe? Angry, sure. You should be. Left? If you’re intelligent, educated, and informed, you probably are. But fringe? As Mr. Dionne at the Washington Post noted, the latest CNN poll revealed that 60% of Americans are now opposed to the Iraq War. That includes Democrats and Republicans; Minnesotans and Connecticuters.
Just not Joe Lieberman.
One Response to Poor Alan Schlesinger
I have a related question, though more general. The whole “60% of Americans are against the war” made me think– is it fundamentally good or bad if more people start agreeing with each other?
I understand that the questions isn’t particularly relevant to this statistic– obviously, in general, the more people are against goverment enforced and sanctioned violence, the better. This is a generalization that I am happy to make. However, Lieberman’s politics and his subsequent support from “Republicans” seems to hint at the larger process of politics moving to the “center”. (“Center” with the quotes because many people argue convincingly that it’s not so much a movement to the political center as a mass conservative shift).
I am uncomfortable with extreme political polarization because it indicates a lack of nuance– if not in the way that we think about politics, then definitely in the manner that we can express it. It also inhibits political activity to a certain degree. But, on the other side, I’m afraid that a growing consensus might bring us closer to a single national culture. 40% of roughly 300 million is a lot of people away from homogeneity– but, and this is a true question, when does too much agreement become a bad thing?