So the first ever political endorsement made by this blog takes a dive, as you might have heard. Incumbent Joe Lieberman won convincingly over challenger Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Senate race this past week, gaining a fourth (and perhaps final) term. In hindsight, Lamont’s campaign seemed to peak during the Democratic primary, and was unable to sustain the momentum gained with the victory. Ariana Huffington pointed out that Ned seemed to begin acting like a Senator after the nomination was secured, and moved away from the one big issue which he rode to the win: Iraq. That assessment seems accurate to What?
That said, perhaps there was a larger gain from the entire Lamont run. His underdog, one issue run seemed to shine the national spotlight on the war, and those who continued to support it. The mid-term elections acted as a referendum on the War, and also to a larger extent, the Bush presidency. The results showed that America can unite against corruption, abuse of power, cronyism and lack of accountability and demand more from our elected leaders. What? Thinks the Lamont campaign had a lot to do with that.
Now, the Democrats have to prove their mettle, and make sure the only reason American voters turned the power over goes beyond them simply not being the other guy. Dems have a real chance at being agents of change in this country, and it doesn’t necessarily start with going out of their way to smite the current administration. It would be beneficial in the long term to produce legislation which will clearly show how much the President is willing to “work with” the Dems, as he humbly said he would once the votes were in. Push the core issues you campaigned on, Democrats, and make it clear where Mr. Bush will not budge. This will set the stage for the Presidential election on 2008.
It would be of great benefit to think short term as well, however. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has laid out a plan for the first hundred hours after being sworn in which is very aggressive. Nowhere in the To Do list was the “I” word, Impeachment, mentioned. This can be broached without looking like partisian revenge for the Clinton debacle, and there are some important things that will be uncovered if investigations are launched. With subpoena power, the Dems will now be able to hold hearings and force accountability to those who have profited from the war, and abused power. These issues should be tabled, but not abandoned.
The balls in your court, Democrats, and you have a great deal of national support. Don’t blow it – there is too much riding on it.