It’s August. In politics, it’s a time for Members of Congress to go home to brag about all the federal tax money they’ve managed to logroll and arm-twist into their districts. It’s a time for people in Washington to talk incessantly about the doldrums that have come upon us, and for columnists to write wistfully about all the exciting things that will happen in November and in 2008.
This August, domestic politics are, of course, taking a backseat to eruptions of violence in the Middle East.
But this Tuesday, in the midst of the August doldrums, there’s a wind picking up in Connecticut, Georgia, and Michigan in primary elections. And, where that wind may carry both parties going into mid-term elections is a development worth watching. Here are three to keep an eye on this week:
Lieberman vs. Lamont in Connecticut:
No one is short of opinions on this race. The Democratic primary for this Connecticut senate seat, long-held by moderate Democrat Joe Lieberman, is billed as a harbinger of the direction of the Democratic Party from now until 2008.
The powerful Internet activists of the liberal blogosphere plucked Lieberman’s challenger Ned Lamont, a millionaire businessman, from political obscurity to take up their anti-war banner against the hawkish veteran senator.
Should Lamont win—and polls show that he certainly could—the win would be viewed as Lieberman’s comeuppance for his support of President Bush on the War in Iraq, and serve as a warning to other Democrats with national aspirations. The Washington Post points out the trouble a Lamont win might cause for another war-supporting Democrat, who may have already seen the writing on the wall:
That could be felt most acutely by (Hillary) Clinton, who polls show is the early front-runner for the 2008 nomination and who has drawn criticism from what are known as net-roots activists for opposing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Clinton appears to have gotten the message, as she demonstrated with sharp questioning of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at a Senate hearing on Thursday.
A Quinnipiac poll last week showed Lieberman down more than 10 points to Lamont. The poll showed more than 60 percent of those voting for Lamont are casting their vote “against Lieberman,” based on his support of the war in Iraq.