There’s going to be lots of Dems celebrating today, and with good reason. Overall the Democrats had a very good night last night. So I won’t bother going into that much myself. (If you want a sense for the scope of the Democratic sweep, read this.) Instead, I’d like to say a few words about some of the results that I find personally disappointing.
In OH-02, Mean Jean Schmidt (of "decorated Marine veteran John Murtha is a coward" infamy) squeaked out a victory over Victoria Wulsin, 51%-49%. This is the same district that chose Schmidt over veteran Paul Hackett in 2005. The obvious question is, why does Cincinnati hate our troops?
In IL-06, Pete Roskam narrowly beat disabled veteran Tammy Duckworth, 51%-49%. I guess in that district saying that you "support our troops" counts for more than actually, you know, losing both legs in Iraq.
And the biggest disappointment of all: Holy Joe Lieberman beat Democrat Ned Lamont, 50%-40%. According to exit polls, fully 71% of registered Republicans voted for Lieberman over the actual Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger. More shameful, 32% of registered Democrats did too — despite Lieberman’s flipping them the bird by refusing to bow out when he lost the Democratic primary.
The real shame of Lieberman, though, adheres not to the voters of Connecticut, but to the national Democratic leadership. They did practically nothing to support Lamont, despite the fact that he was the elected Democratic candidate. Instead, they chose to support Lieberman, who’s become the Dennis Miller of the Senate, making a mini-career of sucking up to the GOP. That gave those 32% of Democrats the impression that Lieberman was still a Democrat too. (I wonder if those 71% of Republicans would agree with that.)
If the DSCC had run ads in Connecticut saying "Despite what he wants you to think, Joe Lieberman isn’t the Democratic candidate. Ned Lamont is. Vote Lamont on November 7", don’t you think they could have shaved 10 percent off that Democratic support? I sure think so.
The fact that they chose to support an entrenched incumbent whose whole campaign was based on spite over losing a Democratic primary — rather than the candidate who the Democrats of Connecticut actually endorsed — is simply pathetic. Why do we bother voting in primaries if the party won’t help the candidates who win them? Why not just let the DSCC crown whomever they like as "Democrats"?
There’s a lot of celebrating for Democrats to do today. But there’s also some hard questions that we need to make sure aren’t forgotten in the process. Here’s hoping that no Democratic candidate ever again has to endure such shabby treatment from the Democratic Party as Ned Lamont did this year.