Skip to main content

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.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site