Regardless of the outcome of the Lieberman-Lamont contest in Connecticut today, this race could signal the biggest political upheaval since Eugene McCarthy almost beat President Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 New Hampshire presidential primary running on an anti-Vietnam war platform and gaining 42 percent of the vote. McCarthy's near victory at that time convinced Johnson to withdraw from a re-election bid for the White House and suddenly made the anti-war position respectable for Democrats in that year. A Lamont triumph or near success will make (and is already making) Democrats like Senators Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden shift progressively more in favor of withdrawal from Iraq and is certainly going to alter the entire spectrum of political views over the issue of Iraq, not only for Democrats, but for Republicans, too. In short, this is likely to be the turning point -- downward -- for the Bush presidency. There is nothing like democracy to refute conventional wisdom and upset the pieties of Washington.
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