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Good Week for the GOP

The San Diego Union-Tribune Insight section has my piece on the fallout from the Lamont win in Connecticut earlier this week and its implications for the Democratic Party for those who haven't already seen it.

The win in Connecticut's by anti-war Ned Lamont over pro-war Sen. Joe Lieberman, while joyous for the far-left netroots crowd, is a bad harbinger for future Democratic Party prospects nationally in 2008 and beyond.

The closeness of the election only makes the outcome more frustrating for Democratic strategists. Had Lieberman eked out a victory, the Connecticut Senate primary would have been a huge win for the Democratic Party as it would have been able to reap the dividends of all the energy (and voters) that Lamont's candidacy had attracted, while at the same time sending a message to the country that the Democratic Party is large enough for pro-war Democrats. Had Lieberman held on and won, he undoubtedly would be reaching out to left-wing Democrats and pushing further away from President Bush and the Republicans. Instead, Lieberman will now be ostracized from the party and will be reaching out to independents and Republicans while chastising the extremists in the Democratic Party.....

Anti-war Democrats and much of the mainstream media continue to confuse anti-war with anti-lose. The incessant commentary that two-thirds of the country is against the war completely misreads the American public, as much of the negativity toward the war isn't because we are fighting, but rather a growing feeling that we are not fighting to win or not fighting smart.

Democrats went down this road in the late 1960s with Vietnam and they are still carrying the baggage from that leftward turn. Lamont's win is a big step back to that losing formula. During the height of the "progressive" revolt against the war in Vietnam, Americans voted 57 percent for Nixon and Wallace in 1968, followed by a whopping 60 percent for Nixon in 1972 against the avowedly anti-war George McGovern......

The Democrats have an insurgency of their own that is rapidly gaining strength, and Lieberman is the first high-profile victim. But in the long run the real victim will be the Democratic Party if it continues to purge the few remaining FDR/Truman/Scoop Jackson Democrats from its ranks.

Had Thursday's news from London broke a week earlier Lieberman would likely have won last week. Instead, the Democrats are faced with their VP nominee of six years ago echoing GOP talking points on the war....

If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England, it will strengthen them, and they will strike again.

A couple of percentage points more and Lieberman would have instead been attacking G.W. Bush.

With the Lamont win and the airline terror plot, from a political standpoint, last week was the first solid week for Republicans in some time.