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A Man of the People

Reading over Kos's list of winners and losers from last night's primary, this one stood out:

Losers: Lobbyists. They've paid good money to buy Joe Lieberman. How do you buy a guy that doesn't need money? That isn't willing to be corrupted by their strings-attached cash?

You must be joking. Since when did the left adopt the belief that wealth equals incorruptibility? The Senate is full of millionaires, but I thought Washington, D.C. was engulfed by a culture of corruption. Or is it only wealthy Republicans who fall under the evil influence of lobbyists? By Kos's logic I guess if we fill the House of Representatives with 435 millionaires the corruption problem in D.C. will be solved. How's that for a vision of progressive "people-powered Democracy?"

But Kos's comment serves to highlight the broader point of how successful the left has been at shaping and selling Lamont's candidacy. It's been strange to watch the left rally around such an empty vessel - a limousine liberal and complete political neophyte from Greenwich - and stranger still to watch them try and pass off the blue-blood millionaire as a "man of the people."

Like earlier this year when Lamont resigned his decade-long membership in an almost all white country club in a new found sensitivity to its lack of diversity. Weeks later Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are parading him through the streets of New Haven, singing his praises to African-American voters and working aggressively to defeat a guy who left home forty years ago of his own volition to go march on behalf of the Civil Rights movement.

Kos's portrayal of Joe Lieberman as corrupt is also a joke. But it made for a good Lamont sound byte during the campaign ("67 lobbyists in D.C. for every member of Congress"), so the notion that Lieberman has been "bought" by lobbyists is part of the script.

Incidentally, if Kos is so concerned about elected officials being beholden to special interest groups, who you do you think would be less likely to be influenced by outside forces: an independent elected by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, or someone elected by a more narrow partisan base who rose to prominence at least in part with the help of left wing pressure groups like Moveon.org?

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for anyone who wants to run for public office getting into the game. And Lamont is telegenic, articulate, did a good job of staying on message and deserves credit for doing enough of the right things (and not making any critical errors) to ride his wave all the way to oust a three-term incumbent - no small task. My point is that Lamont has always struck me as an accidental candidate or worse, a synthetic fabrication of the left, and a very odd choice to be the focal point of an intra-party battle of this magnitude and with so much at stake for the future of the Democratic Party.