William F. Buckley

Now here is a furtive thought. Everybody is concerned with what happens in Connecticut on Aug. 8, but only voters registered as Democrats can have a say in the matter.

Forty-nine percent of Connecticut's voters are unaffiliated-unregistered in the national parties. However, I (a Connecticut unaffiliated voter) could sign up as a Democrat as late as Aug. 7 and vote in the primary the next day. Christians trained in the Catholic discipline would think of such a sinful act as a lapsed moment, rather than as a defection -- on the order of a night out, as distinguished from a divorce. If a Connecticut conservative were spotted in flagrante emerging from the Democratic primary booth, he could plead that he was heeding calls to protect his country's future. He could even say, after catching his breath, "Hey. What is this? Iraq?"

If Mr. Lieberman is defeated in the primary, he will proceed to run as a "petitioning Democrat." Only a single name can be listed under the simple designation "Democrat." What we would then see, in November, is how Connecticut voters at large feel on the question of Lieberman, a three-term Democratic senator, over against Lieberman as Democratic reject, but alive as a "petitioning Democrat."

It is required, at this point, to note that the Republicans do have a candidate. His name is Alan Schlesinger. And if the New Democrats and the Revival Democrats have a bloody and internecine contest, the result could be ... a Republican senator from Connecticut! That was the chance Connecticut voters missed 26 years ago when they rejected the Republican candidate, who had for six years in the 1970s been acknowledged as the Sainted Junior Senator from New York, James L. Buckley.

William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography.

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