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Just a few thoughts from this long time lurker, infrequent commenter and now, first-time diarist...

I remember reading a book several years back entitled "Democracy Under Siege" by the late, great political author Walter Karp. In it, he discusses the aftermath of the 1976 presidential election, won by Jimmy Carter.  What could this possibly have to do with Ned Lamont's victory and Net Neutrality? See below the fold to find out...

According to Karp, Carter's "people-powered" campaign and subsequent victory defied both the punditry's expectations and the wishes of the Democratic Party establishment, whose anointed candidate at that time was the hawkish Henry "Scoop" Jackson.  Karp makes the case that the upstart Carter's win so spooked the Democratic Party elite that they spent the lion's share of his term working to actively undermine his presidency.  Wresting political power away from the people, argues Karp, was of greater importance to the Democratic elite than was the best interests of the Party.

I thought of Karp's book tonight as a Lamont victory became imminent. Judging by some of the comments and actions on behalf of Lieberman by the Dem leadership prior to today, it would appear that they might have been motivated by many of the same fears Tip O'Neill and Robert Byrd may have felt following Carter's triumph 30 years earlier.

Now, I have no doubt that at this point the Clintons, Ms. Boxer and Mr. Lautenberg will dutifully line up behind Lamont, say all the right things and (hopefully) provide more than a grudging support for the Democratic nominee.   However, I can also foresee a scenario in which Lamont's win may negatively impact the ongoing battle to save Net Neutrality.

The danger - as I see it - will be if the narrative that Lamont's victory occurred largely as a result of Internet activism becomes the conventional wisdom.  If this misleading meme is allowed to take root and propagate, it could be used to conjure up the specter of the Net as an uncontrollable, anarchic force undermining the health of our body politic.  Obviously, such a story-line could go a long way toward swaying some of the fence-sitters in Congress toward an anti-Net Neutrality position. It's hardly inconceivable that they could soon develop a fear that with an unregulated Internet, Lieberman's fate may someday be their own. Worse yet, should the "angry blogger" narrative become entrenched in the public consciousness, these feckless "public servants" would be armed with the talking points needed to sell their anti-Net Neutrality stance to their constiuents.

Originally posted to bublitchki on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You've got a point there. Definitely. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bosdcla14, Ja of Anoroc, kraant

    As an Iraqi-American academic born and raised in New Orleans, this voter is not pleased.

    by naltikriti on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:15:49 PM PDT

  •  lack of net neutrality would've helped Ned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    in case you haven't heard, he's a MILLIONAIRE, and would therefore be able to afford the higher rates for same day service.

    on the other hand, poor Joe Lieberman would have to wait 3 days for his internets to be delivered.

  •  Well (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catullus, currahee, rjo, kraant

    You raise an interesting point, but it's more simple than you realize. Lamont acheived success in the cable industry. It's not hard to envision voting for legislation that favors the media and telecommunications industry. I brought that up here, but people pooh-poohed me for saying it.

  •  Even the assholes can't put this genie back (12+ / 0-)

    in the bottle. I think you make some excellent points. I'm sure there are many -- not just GOP assholes, but some Democrats, too -- who are scared shitless that the PEOPLE in this country might DECIDE to get ACTIVE and start VOTING for more progressive candidates. That we might remember the heritage that is ours: by the people, for the people.

    We're going to have to keep raising hell. Non-stop. I intend to keep talkng to you folks if I have to use two tin cans and string -- well, if that doesn't work, we'll figure it out. Maybe I'll holler down a tube to you a la Ted Stevens. Where there is a will, there's a way -- and by God, we have the will.

    We are not the "angry crazy radical left wing blogosphere." I have news for the anti-net neutrality nuts: WE ARE THE PEOPLE.

    Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else? - James Thurber

    by JuliaAnn on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:21:05 PM PDT

  •  Ned's position (0+ / 0-)

    Now that the primary is won , what is Lamont's position on Net Neutrality and Paris Hilton Law ?

    •  Same as they were DURING the primary (0+ / 0-)

      For net neutrality, and against the Paris Hilton tax "relief" scam.


      Mitch Gore

      Republicans believe in training Al-Qaeda, but not in training American workers.

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:34:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  awesome (0+ / 0-)

        considering hes a cable TV guy....very good of him to be for it. I like him now even more.

        I HATE REPUBLICANS, HATE HATE HATE THEM!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHH [-5.50, -4.69]

        by michael1104 on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:52:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Link? (0+ / 0-)

        Could you provide a link to Lamont's statements vis-a-vis Net Neutrality?

        I could go for a drink right about now.

        by currahee on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't be so sure (0+ / 0-)

        It seemed to suit the netroots just fine that Lamont simplistically said "I'm for Net Neutrality!" so these earlier statements could be ignored "I can understand where if there's some services that use up a lot more bandwidth than others, there's a tier or cost that's associated with that." and "So I think rather than sitting around having a bunch of Congressmen in an oak paneled room determining what people can see and what they can't see, a much more appropriate response is allow consumers to buy the programming they want and don't make them pay for they don't want."

        It sure was an exciting night - Hands Off watched tv too!

  •  Three words: RECORD VOTER TURNOUT (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ja of Anoroc, SherriG, 4Freedom, jasfm

    Here's one way to deal with the problem. In the coming days, we'll be (or we should be) pushing for 1) the party to line-up and support Lamont in the general and 2) Reid to strip Lieberman of his committee assignments.

    If they do the right thing, Dems in the Senate will repeatedly be asked why they're being so mean to good ole' Joe. And their answer should be:

    In a record voter turnout, the Democratic voters of Connecticut chose Ned Lamont. That's how democacracy works.

    Once the issue is (correctly) framed in terms of what it is (i.e. democracy), it'll be harder for the pundits to push the idiotic "It's the bloggers!"-meme. It's not the bloggers who decided; it's the Democratic voters of Connecticut.

    "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

    by machopicasso on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:25:19 PM PDT

  •  I think the situation here (0+ / 0-)

    Is different. Carter was a real UPSET in that it UPSET people. Here, Dems were smart enough to pledge to the process rather than a person, meaning they (with their own political ambitions) will hopefully stick to promises. I think the line "I support the winner of the Democratic primary" is what will make Lamont oh-so-powerful come November.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    by stax on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:25:24 PM PDT

  •  You're right, I fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ja of Anoroc

    I think a part of the whole "Net Neutrality" issue is about money; specifically telecom companies who want to run the internet like cable TV.  You know, making people pay for internet sites ("channels") as they do cable.

    But I think that the larger part of this is control.  It spooks the "powers that be" that regular people can have the capacity to organize and communicate through internet sites.  The internet is the modern "town square," which is especially significant in an age where the news we receive in traditional outlets (ie. papers, newscasts) is controlled by corporations who would rather that the people not be fully informed.  (Take the right leaning Clear Channel, for one).

  •  Could Lamont's victory spell doom... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftofArizona, Alien Abductee



    Mitch Gore

    Republicans believe in training Al-Qaeda, but not in training American workers.

    by Lestatdelc on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:32:22 PM PDT

  •  That's why the fight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ja of Anoroc, 4Freedom, jasfm, syphilis

    for Net Neutrality is so important.  We must frame this as a battle to allow the people to have a voice.  After all, howmany average Americans can publish a newspaper or have their own talkshow--even LTTE are hard to get published unless you make it through an editorial board filter.  

    OTOH, anyone can blog--even the right-wing illiterati--the threshold for organizing and having a voice has become lower thanks to the Internet--and we must make people understand that their fundamental rights to free association and free speach are at stake here!

    And people worry about the government taking away their guns...


    "For causes are ashes where children lie slain." - Stan Rogers, The House of Orange

    by whytwolf on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:32:53 PM PDT

  •  i was channel surfing tonight and was surprised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to see a number of comments saying that the government is out of touch with the american people. what surprised me about it were the people saying it. i think this is the beginning of a real trend or swing away from the days of lobbyists and bubble boys.

  •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been thinking along these lines for the last year. Maybe a good time to get the new nominees on board and on record for support regarding Net neutrality - and also high time to gather all the seperate forces that are working on this, MoveOn, and other heavy hitters.

    Anyone have Skoros number??

    Ideas, anyone?

    "'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind" -Shakespeare

    by gitana on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 12:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Well... (3+ / 0-)

    I would argue that Lamont's primary victory is not nearly as significant as Carter's Presidential victory. Still you have a point. The symbolism behind Lamont's win tonight will no doubt make the establishment Dems uneasy, but these are the same timid creatures who could not take control of Congress for 12 years or stand in the way of the Bush Republicans and their wreckless, neglectful, obviously not-smart policies.  We can handle them. It's not a question of whether or not they will attack us, but how we will prepare to fight back. We're smarter than them, we've got more passion than they do, the truth, facts and people are on our side. So now is the time for us to really get the ball rolling. In several earlier posts, we've been urged to all call our representatives tomorrow and tell them to support Lamont and pressure Lieberman to drop out. That sounds like a great start to me. Everyone should do it, it takes less than five minutes. I'm going to start writing a weekly diary about my congressional candidate, David Gill, and hopefully others will do the same so we can create a buzz for candidates who possess Lamont Principles. There are a million other things I'm sure we can start doing tomorrow, I just can't think of them because I'm still reeling over the fact that LAMONT WON AND LIEBERMAN LOST TONIGHT! Wooooooooo-Hooooo! Anyway, WE MUST GO FULL FORCE AGAINST THE PARTY ELITES. They need to be brought back to reality so we can start repairing the wounds of the Bush years.

  •  The Ingenuity of Lobbyists Is Great, BUT (3+ / 0-)

    The ingenuity of lobbyists is great, but the fact is that Lamont owed his credibility more to the fact that he could spend millions of dollars of his own money than to bloggers few residents of Connecticut had ever heard of.

    A Moveon spokesman recently said that Moveon would not have gotten involved if someone without Lamont's wealth had entered the race.  Nor would at least some bloggers have gotten involved without the reassurance of seriousness that Lamont's money gave him.

    I--and I suspect I am far from alone among Daily Kos participants--could also get elected to Congress if I could write my campaign a check for millions of dollars and never have to worry about what I was giving up by spending the money.

    I believe that the first likely change to be investigated is the "millionaires amendment," which gave Lieberman the right to raise extra money once Lamont entered the race. My guess is that it will be further amended to allow even more money to be spent countering multi-millionaire candidates.

    Progressive Democrats have done a lot of good for our country in the past, and can do a lot more in the future. Let's keep going strong.

    by State Rep Mark Cohen Dem PA on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 12:41:11 AM PDT

    •  But Lamont's millions wouldn't have won without (0+ / 0-)

      votes! Voter apathy has kept many away from the polls because there haven't been candidates - rich or poor - who have staked their run on a single issue and had such an impact. Connecticut has new and old money, lots of it, sophisticated voters, and finally found a voice for their antiwar sentiments in Lamont's candidacy. Lamont was more than rich, he was right on the issue of greatest importance to Connecticut voters.

      I think he sent a most effective message. Without the message, I don't think those millions would have mattered.

      May you live in interesting times. Ancient Chinese curse

      by 4Freedom on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:06:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Joe may be on the commitie (0+ / 0-)

    reviewing net neutrality. Harry Reid needs to get him off ASAP. I think an indy run is all the excuse he needs.

    Karl (Rove) is a shameless bastard. Small wonder his mother killed herself. -Larry Johnson

    by McGirk on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 01:00:18 AM PDT

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