ah damnit, but how wonderful too

Despite Ned Lamont’s loss, I don’t regret a second I spent working on the campaign. I would campaign for him again—this is a man who would be a great benefit to us serving in public office.

Yes, I’m very sorry he lost. Could the loss have been avoided? Maybe. If the Republicans would’ve supported their own nominee instead of throwing him under the bus in favor of Lieberman. If Ned’s campaign hadn’t dropped the ball right after the primary and had continued the campaign they ran during the primary, maybe. If Ned’s ads, both broadcast and print, focused more on what his positions are instead of hammering Joe’s face and name at us over and over, maybe (and yes, I and other supporters voiced this a lot during the campaign—but it’s very hard to tell the choir that the message isn’t reaching the back rows). It was a long shot that he won the primary, and an even longer shot when there were, essentially, two parties campaigning against him.

One thing that will result from this loss is that Connecticut Democrats know now what the Democratic Party thinks about what we want: if it doesn’t toe in with their big plans, they don’t give a rat’s ass what the rank and file wants. We’re not going to forget Dodd’s tepid support, Bill Clinton’s lack of presence, the lack of campaign literature and phonebanking by the party. How dare we select an outsider? Democrats in Connecticut feel betrayed by the national party—and we have long memories. Connecticut Republicans should feel the same way about their national party.

So yes, I’m disappointed that Ned lost; that we lost. But Ned, count me in for your next race. My friend and former colleague, Rudi over at Random Duck, has this excellent analysis of what happened: http://www.randomduck.com/2006/11/07/disappointed-but-not-shocked

As I said, I would do this again. For Ned or for another candidate I can believe in. I esepcially liked meeting other volunteers and staffers—and despite the long hours, I really enjoyed poll standing for Ned and “Line B” (the Democrats) on Election Day. Even if we didn’t win, it was particularly heartening to be among those who, instead of just bitching and moaning, actually got off our asses to try to do something about what’s going on. Wish there were more of us—and I for one don’t intend to be a do-nothing ass-sitter in the future.

So now we turn to the other Democrat who lost in my Congressional District. Diane Farrell. Who lost her own election. I’m sorry she wasn’t one of the Democrats swept in on the tsunami or whatever the talking heads are calling it. I did vote for her. But I’m neither surprised nor particularly upset that she lost because, despite Chris Shays’ blinders about the war in Iraq (which I think have been removed now) and his support of a couple of other things I disagree with, he is a good and ethical man. It was actually hard for me to vote against him and I wouldn’t have if not for Iraq. And I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

I filled out forms to volunteer for Diane’s campaign (both times), I called her office, I asked for signs and a bumper sticker, and I never heard back from her campaign staff. Not once. (I did eventually receive one robo call from her asking me to “Press 1 to volunteer, press 2 if you can’t do anything for me at this time,” a couple of days before the election.) The only time I heard from Diane was to receive invitations to $1,000-a-seat fundraisers—as if I could afford this. I was never invited to a rally or a picnic or asked to contribute just $25. Her campaign wasn’t inclusive enough to appeal to a broader spectrum of people than the die-hard Democrats. From what I could see, she ran on just two issues: Iraq and transportation. That, apparently, wasn’t enough. The robo calls didn’t help her any—geez those were nasty. But they weren’t enough to cost her the election.

Looks like, as I write this, the Senate is 50-49 (I hope Webb’s lead holds in Virginia so it becomes 51-49). And the House is now Democrat. And a woman is third in line for the presidency (and the woman is NOT Hillary). I hope the Democrats don’t let us down. I hope they immediately start working on getting us out of Iraq. That is the first step in fixing all that Baby Bush has broken.

And Joe, you think you were under scrutiny before? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next. Let’s hope this election slapped some sense into Bush, Gates, et al. I wish Cheney would just go too, whatever it takes to get his poison out of our goverment once and for all.

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