Anti-war challenger Ned Lamont beat pro-war incumbent Joe Lieberman last night to become Connecticut's Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.
Lamont, a millionaire with virtually no political experience, beat the incumbent by margin of 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent. Lieberman conceded defeat but decided he'll run as an independent in November.
The campaign played out on two fronts. There was the routine advertising, speeches, and door-to-door salesmanship common to all elections. And there was the bloggers , the loosely allied liberal and anti-war activists who saw this as a way to punish a prominent Democrat who had repeatedly defended the Iraq war as just and necessary.
In fact, not only did Lieberman endorse the ongoing military occupation of Iraq, but he frequently made statements that edged toward must-support-the-maximum-leader-during-wartime. That thinking might have been persuasive during World War II, but not during a "war on terror" that might last for the better part of the century and has already been going on for nearly five years.
So what eventually led to Lieberman's primary loss on Tuesday? Was it the bloggers or Connecticut voters deciding they didn't need any more "Joementum?" It's hard to say. Few Democrats support the war in Iraq anyway (a CBS News poll last month found that 89 percent of Dems disapprove of Bush's handling of it), so it's not a stretch to conclude that Lieberman's aggressive hawkishness doomed him from the start. Then again, turning Lamont v. Lieberman into a national news story didn't hurt.
But could it be that the politcal winds are decisively shifting in the U.S. and this is the beginning of a mass anti-war movement that keeps gathering momentum. Are the Republicans doomed?
It's too early to tell but things are getting very interesting on the political front and we can expect the "war on terror" to be front and center in any campaign heading into the November elections.