Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lamont/Lieberman, meh. bigger news is McKinney lost

Politics: She went out in an incoherent blaze of glory.

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Rep. Cynthia McKinney is controversial and outspoken, independent and unrepentant, all of which have endeared her to a dedicated corps of loyal supporters in her metro Atlanta district -- but not to a majority of her fellow Democrats who turned out in Tuesday's primary runoff. For the second time in three election cycles, McKinney was defeated in a Democratic primary in Georgia's 4th District, this time by Hank Johnson, a former DeKalb County commissioner who thumped her by a margin of 59-41 percent. Despite her defeat, McKinney was unbowed, unleashing a stemwinder of a concession speech in which she barely mentioned her opponent but praised leftist leaders in Cuba and Venezuela, took aim at the efficacy of electronic voting machines and offered several swipes at the media. "Members of the press, as well as our political leaders, don't give us explanations that explain, or conclusions that conclude," McKinney said. "There comes a time when people of conscience are compelled to dissent." Before she began her remarks, she played the song "Dear Mr. President," an anti-Bush anthem by Pink, and sang along, somewhat out of tune, with its critical lyrics.
This LATIMES piece out earlier in the day hit upon why McKinney got bounced hard.
McKinney has suggested that her electoral setbacks are part of a Republican conspiracy. Johnson, she points out, has received donations and crossover votes from anti-McKinney Republicans. Yet McKinney's difficulties stem in large part from her declining ability to rally African Americans to the polls. The number of overall voters in the primary dropped from about 96,000 in 2004 to 60,000 this year. (2004 was a presidential election year, however, accounting for at least some of the difference.) Although McKinney continued to win majorities in the predominantly black precincts of south DeKalb County, her stronghold, it was in these areas that she experienced the largest decline. In the last decade, a growing number of black middle-class professionals have settled in DeKalb, which is now the second-most-affluent predominantly black county in the nation. Some residents say they are tired of McKinney's strident rhetoric. "Every year it's something; it's always something," said Gloria Osborn, 57, a teacher from Ellenwood, who voted for McKinney in 2004 but said she would not vote for her after the Capitol Hill incident. "This was the last straw."
The area has grown up and McKinney did not grow with it. I will say this about the Lieberman/Lamont race. It was a leftist vs a far leftist who won in a blue state in a close race in a democratic primary. The press of course will make this into a huge deal with the NYTIMES already providing the talking points.
Mr. Lieberman’s supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution. The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a deeply unmoderate direction. A war that began at the president’s choosing has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration’s contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.
To call Lamont's supporters moderate would mean the NYTIMES editorial members are so far to the left Lenin would be considered the middle ground. But this will be the points used over the next week or so pushing Lamont as the nutroots creation. What it really does is push the Democractic party further to the left to the point where the GOP should be able to capitalize on it. When you have Lamont making statements like this.
"Speaking about the issue that has defined his candidacy, Ned Lamont told a church basement full of about 200 people tonight that, "Our nation is stronger when we work with our friends and negotiate with our enemies."
This is basically Neville Chamberlain on steroids, the guy is a unmoving target.

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