Today is L day in Connecticut in what has got to be the most widely anticipated primary ever held on a Tuesday in August. As David Sirota has noted, there are four possible outcomes of today's event, but no matter which comes true when all the votes are counted, be assured that both the inside-the-beltway consultants and the MainStreamMedia will fail to get the point as they continue to reduce this race to either the "online world hopes to finally win one" narrative or the "it's all about the war" theme.
Actually, the lessons of Connecticut, Ned Lamont victory or otherwise, are clear - to everyone who resides in the real world and not the legacies worlds of the inner-beltway or newspapers that is.
The first is - and this will come as a complete shock to K Street - Democrats in Connecticut are like all Americans - they really don't like politicians and given the choice between a smart normal person and a career politician, a lot of people will give the new guy a listen, if not their outright vote.
"Tut tut," the DC lobbyists cry, "Ned doesn't know how to get things done in this town?" Tut, tut yourself, but when nothing actually gets done in DC, that's not really a negative now is it?
We need more citizen-soldiers. We need more people like Ned Lamont, or Erskine Bowles who lost twice in North Carolina Senate Races - we need people to are successful in the real world to bring some of that sanity to the Democratic Party and the country in general.
08 Sidebar: This could prove to be to Mark Warner's benefit over the next eighteen months; he sees the opportunities and the issues differently than many potential candidates because he was a businessman first, public servant second.
The second lesson is that Democrats outside of DC realize something the Democrats inside DC don't - Republicans understand power, how to get it, how to use it an how not to share it. You're in or you're out. And there aren't any rules. Need Bob Perry to write you $4 million plus in checks so you can smear John Kerry? Where do I send the checks? Looking to rent-a-veteran say John O'Neill? That's $50,000 please.
Centrists and moderates like Joe Lieberman are woefully naive in 2006 America. They expect a seat at the table and to be part of the conversation. Democrats all around America are getting a little tired of getting the door shut in our faces. At least Joe got a kiss before he got screwed. We're still waiting for the kiss.
We don't want Democrats who can break bread with Republicans, we need Democrats who will cut their opponents balls off and serve them back to them on a platter. Ten or fifteen years ago, maybe there was an aisle to reach across but we're only going to get back into power with strength and convinction, not appeasement and cooperation. Ten or fifteen years from now, I might be willing to give them a seat at the table - but don't bet on it.
The third lesson is that we should look online for emerging narratives. Big shock I know, but hey, we're talking about what DC and the MSM don't get - not what we understand. I hesitate to list all the people and sites online who have been tirelessly pushing and advocating for Ned Lamont at the risk of offending somebody, but take Daily Kos for one - that site has been pushing the Ned Lamont campaign for months - and all of a sudden, boom, in the last thirty days, it's a mainstream media story.
But if you turned the Internet Time Clock back 60 days, the "Lamont leading polls" are not news, they are simply the predictable outcome of the fervor of real Democrats that's been brewing out of the MSM's eyes for months.
Narratives start at the edge of the online world, then move to the core of the online world, then offline, and a few months later - the cover of TIME. This is not a theory - it's a fact. A fact that eventually even DC and the MSM will have to face.
The fourth lesson - and this is dedicated to the fourth estate - the Internet is where Democrat activist and influencers gather, it's not a fringe of the party - it is the party. The denizens of the web are not twenty-something youngsters who have discovered politics, they are people in their thirties, forties and fifties who have already found politics, but have now discovered a better way to organize and share their frustrations.
So when MoveOn's members vote 85% to 15% to support Ned Lamont, it's not the fringe of the party saying "enough's enough" -- it's the core of the party saying "we need a change."
A sub-set of that lesson has been covered well by Chris Bowers and Kos - the Democratic and Progressive blogosphere is not a bunch of lemmings typing away following our so-called virtual leaders off of cliffs - it has liberal and conservative factions; there are disagreements and arguments but this is a function of the blogosphere's size - nationally, it is huge number of people who congregate online. In Connecticut alone, MoveOn has over 50,000 members - that's a huge number of passionate activists in a small state.
Now, back to one of the lessons that the MSM has latched onto - and the one issue that perhaps all the Democratic and Progressive blogosphere do agree on - it is all about the war. And Democrats, and Americans, are ready for the troops to come home.