View From Lodi, CA: On August 8th, All Eyes On Connecticut [With JoeNote to VDARE.COM readers]
July 28, 2006, 05:00 AM
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In November, Congressional incumbents will face a bitter cold headwind along their path to re-election.

And aspiring candidates who have close associations to the White House or remote connections to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff have steep uphill climbs.

Signs, long overdue, appear everywhere that indicate that a voter rebellion is underway.

Incumbents are at risk because they are symbolic of the United States' broken political system where money talks and the truth is purposely withheld from the Americans.

The first indication that road will be rocky came from Georgia where conservative Republican Ralph Reed, close ally to President Bush, lost by 12 percentage points in his primary race for Lieutenant Governor.

Reed, said to have had presidential aspirations, had the active support of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Georgia Senator Zell Miller. Big donations also pour in from moguls like Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus.

But in the end, neither money nor big name endorsements were enough. Once a G.O.P. darling and the past Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, Reed's ties to Abramoff did him in.

More indications of voter rebellion came from Georgia's 4th Congressional District where controversial Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney seeks re-election.

In March, McKinney was accused of hitting a Capitol Hill police officer with her cell phone when he attempted to reroute her through a security check at the House office building.

McKinney, an African-American, blamed "racial profiling" for the incident. But McKinney's behavior embarrassed her more traditional Congressional Black Caucus colleagues. McKinney was made to apologize, tepid though it was, on the Congress floor.

When the recent primary that pitted McKinney against former DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson ended without a majority vote for either candidate. So the incumbent McKinney is forced into an August 8th runoff.

But on that date August 8th, McKinney versus Johnson will not be the main event. Instead the nation's attention will be on the Connecticut Democratic primary between three-term incumbent Senator Joseph Lieberman and political novice Ned Lamont.

If Lieberman should lose—considered possible—it will be a referendum on the Republican administration. Lieberman, rightly or wrongly, is considered by traditional Democrats to be a crypto-Republican.

Democrats point to what they call "the Judas kiss" as evidence of Lieberman's betrayal.

After President Bush's 2005 State of the Union address, the president embraced Lieberman and kissed him on the cheek.

In anti-war, anti-Bush Connecticut, Lieberman's staunch support of Iraq since the 2003 invasion has infuriated Democrats.

And Lamont has built his campaign around his opposition to the Iraq war.

Lamont, who only last year was a Lieberman contributor, is not a token candidate. He is a graduate of Harvard and Yale and his grandfather was Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co. A wealthy cable network executive, Lamont also has an inherited worth of between $100 and $300 million.

Ted Lamont, Ned's father, served in the Nixon administration. And included among Lamont's supporters is the former independent Connecticut Governor and Republican U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker who was unseated by Lieberman in 1988.

To appreciate the magnitude a Lamont upset would represent, remember that Lieberman is not only a three-term incumbent but was also Al Gore's Vice-Presidential candidate in 2000 and a candidate for president in 2004.

Lieberman, threatening to run as an Independent if defeated, is fighting for his political life. He's pulling out all the stops—a call to the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, to stump with him

A Lamont victory would set the tone for the nationwide November election and alter the strategy for the Presidential nomination in 2008.

Most Republicans would distance themselves as far as possible from Bush and his policies. And emboldened Democrats could campaign against maintaining the status quo in Iraq without fear of being labeled unpatriotic.

JoeNote to VDARE.COM readers: Unfortunately, voters do not have much to choose from between Lamont and Lieberman on immigration. In their only debate, on July 6th, Lamont came down decidedly in favor of S. 2611, the Kennedy-Bush-McCain Amnesty Immigration Acceleration bill.

But based on Lieberman's long, ugly record of supporting virtually every measure that increases immigration and his promotion of all types of non-immigrant visas, I would be inclined to take my chances with Lamont.

As the country's resistance to more immigration increases daily, Lamont may be the more pliable of the two. Lieberman is a lost cause.

Consider these statements from Lieberman about immigration made over the last several years:

  • 2006 Connecticut Democratic State Primary Debate: "We have got a choice about the 11 million illegals who are here now. You're either going to try to arrest them and deport them all, which will never happen, or you're going to give them a path to become citizens or legal. And what they have to do is to work hard, play by the rules, pay their taxes, not violate the law and learn English. And after 11 years waiting in the back of the line, they can become citizens."


  • Associated Press policy Q&A, "Immigration" Jan 25, 2004: "As president, I will create a new one-time earned legalization status, improve family reunification laws, create a work visa program, and partner with the private sector to create a new 'American Dream Fund' to help all immigrants learn English. We've also got to face the fact that immigrants haven't been treated fairly in America since September 11th—and we can do something about it. When I am president, I will protect the civil rights of immigrants—right to counsel, timely notification of charges, guaranteed bond hearings, humane conditions, and much more.

  • Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004: "I am for earned right of legalization for undocumented immigrants. I'm for temporary worker permits for people coming over. I'm for lifting the cap on family reunification that keeps immigrant families apart and I'm for lifting the cap on political refugees. We're one nation under God, individual, with liberty and justice for all. And that means making sure that our immigrants, new Americans are treated fairly."

"It pains me, and it outrages me that every year hundreds of Mexicans coming to America for exactly the same reason that my grandparents did die in the desert because of our current immigration policy. That is no longer acceptable.

'This can't go on any longer. I have offered the most comprehensive, aggressive immigration reform plan. Yes, earned legalization. Yes, temporary worker visas for workers from other countries. Yes, let's lift the cap on people coming here for family reunification or to seek refuge."

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.