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Behind The Tears of Joy in Connecticut

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Bob Geiger Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:35 AM
Original message
Behind The Tears of Joy in Connecticut
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:36 AM by Bob Geiger
There is so much to be said about the national impact of Ned Lamont's stunning victory in Connecticut's Democratic Senatorial primary on Tuesday and much will be said over the coming days and weeks. Obviously, the main harbinger of change in American politics is that a tireless Lamont, bolstered by a whip-smart and aggressive campaign staff and a passionate and influential blogging community has just made Joe Lieberman only the fourth incumbent senator in a quarter-century to lose his party's nomination.

And a clear signal has been sent to any other Democrats up for reelection and to fledging 2008 presidential aspirants that getting too cozy inside the D.C. beltway and ignoring the interests and values of core constituents is a luxury that has now disappeared.



But, for right now, I can't help but focus on the sheer emotion I felt as I walked around the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden, CT on Tuesday night, high-fiving and hugging strangers and seeing tears of joy coming from so many people celebrating Ned Lamont's astounding victory.

"Thank you. Thanks so much for being here," said a clearly-exhausted Tom Swan, Lamont's dogged campaign manager, as he embraced me and everyone else stepping up to congratulate him on a win few could have imagined just three months ago.

Swan, along with Internet Communications Director Tim Tagaris, appeared almost stoic in victory, as if the heat of political battle and months of incredibly long hours had at first rendered them unable to relax and enjoy what they so richly deserved. And I guess it's because those of us who have written about this race, donated money or volunteered haven't had the same all-consuming, anxious experience as these campaign warriors.

What I think many of us did feel as the returns became final -- and it was clear that Lamont had indeed pulled off a massive political upset -- was made most apparent by a woman I had met earlier in the day, who approached me just after midnight and, with tears streaming down her cheeks, synthesized what many of us were suddenly feeling.

"Can you believe it?" she said, as she embraced me in the middle of the raucous hotel ballroom. "Years and years of being able to do nothing about how our country is run and tonight we've done something this huge."

And as she walked away, I realized that I too was feeling very emotional and that she was absolutely right.

In 2000, we watched the Supreme Court disenfranchise over 50 million Americans who voted for Al Gore and hand the presidency to George W. Bush in what amounted to nothing less than a bloodless coup -- and there seemed to be nothing we could do about it.

Progressives watched as helplessly as all Americans and felt the same pain when we were attacked on September 11 and then saw a corrupt executive branch of government, aided by a clueless legislative branch, take our country into this generation's version of Vietnam. And we have felt that same sense of being able to do nothing to stop it.

We've watched the Bush administration create "clear skies" initiatives that further pollute the planet, spy on Americans without warrants, expose covert CIA agents, violate the Geneva Conventions with wartime prisoners and generally ruin our country's reputation and make us despised throughout the world. And day after day, more deaths occur in Iraq, with no end in sight and nothing happening to suggest that Team Bush, having lied us into a war, has any clue whatsoever on how the hell to get us out.

We've watched all of this with a nauseating feeling that our world is going insane, our ship is sinking and we can do nothing but be dragged down with it.

But the campaign of Ned Lamont offered us all another shot at demonstrable relevance, a chance to take an entrenched, machine-supported, three-term incumbent, who has enabled so many of the things that have brought us pain and do something to run his Bush-loving, pro-war butt out of office.

Working in whatever capacity to support Lamont, has given us all a chance to take that bottomless pit of stored energy and all of that pent-up frustration and funnel it to a place where we actually could shape our world and, at the same time, send a deafening warning shot across the bow of any of our own who want to play by Mr. Lieberman's rules.

In helping make Ned Lamont Connecticut's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate over Lieberman, the message we have sent is crystal clear: Democrats who are not prepared to stand up for the values and beliefs of the Democratic party, can pack their political bags -- because their time is up.

We did that. All of us. And we felt it through and through on election night.



After six years of wondering how our nation could have gone so far off track and feeling so often that the peoples' ability to make change had all but disappeared, we surprised even ourselves by crushing the conventional wisdom, seizing control of the agenda and beginning to draw the world as we want to see it for ourselves, our families and our country.

That's what I believe so many of those joyful tears represented on Tuesday night... The feeling among all of us that, once again, we matter and our voices will be heard -- and that hope for the future truly does still exist.

"Isn't it wonderful?" asked a radiant Congresswoman Maxine Waters as she shook my hand in the media room at almost 2:00 AM on Wednesday morning.

I held on to her hand a long time.

"Yes, Ms. Waters, it certainly is," I said, feeling that emotion yet again. "It certainly is."

You can reach Bob Geiger at geiger.bob@gmail.com .
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. excellent!
you've really captured the spirit of the moment ...

the message has been sent loudly and clearly; in the next day or two, we will see whether our party leaders react to it appropriately ... we need more from them than lukewarm "we'll support the Democratic nominee" ... they need to renounce Lieberman's candidacy with no equivocation ...
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. K & R.
:kick:
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bpeale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Powerful message
When I heard Lamont won, my heart almost stopped. I was reading on another site and saw the following quote & it describes exactly how I feel:

"You don't tell us how to vote, you don't tell us who is electable, you don't tell us what is moderate, and you damm sure better represent your constituents because if you EVER sell us out again, you will be Liebermanned."
-- big Dave from Queens

This sends a powerful message to every senator & representative that the American people are fighting mad and we're not going to take it anymore. Either lead or get out of the way so someone else can.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. that "big Dave from Queens" quote is outstanding!!!
I love it! :thumbsup:
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bpeale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. grassroots influence
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 11:46 AM by bpeale
I feel that the grassroots movement is gaining power, and will gain even more from this Lieberman debacle. If we can do it to him, we can do it to anyone. We are not the far left fringe, we are unrepresented American people who want a voice in what affects their own lives. The DLC and other dems better take notice ... if we can do it in CT, we have the power and numbers to do it everywhere. The party has ignored us far too long. I had thought before the 2004 election that now was the time for a viable 3rd party because of the sheer numbers of disenfranchised voters. I still believe that and that should be the message to party leadership. You had better support us & look after our interests or we will abandon your party and begin our own. I like that Independent Democrat label because it distances us from the main party and wouldn't have all the baggage the regular dem party has right now.

We can do this everywhere! I'm pumped.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Welcome to DU
We are not the far left fringe, we are unrepresented American people

You said a mouthful there. :hi:
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brg5001 Donating Member (240 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Now it's time to tell this smirky demagogue Lieberman to stick it
Today we have this Bush ass-licker Lieberman babbling away in Waterbury, insinuating that anyone who's against HIM is for the terrorists. This is the same Rove-inspired garbage we get from the White House and its loyalists. Lamont needs to hit back hard, right now, TODAY. He needs to look right into the camera, speak plainly into the microphone to Joe Lieberman, and state that NO ONE IS FOR TERRORISM and to imply that is total demogoguery and a f*&%ing insult to thinking people everywhere.

I will bloody scream the next time I hear or read of Lieberman or anyone else using this tired canard. It's high time to strip this intolerant, corporate-sponsored Neocon apologist of every Senate committee assignment. Show him the door. His behavior throughout this campaign has been absolutely disgraceful, and it's now clear that his only principle is self-preservation. The reality-based community cannot allow him to continue hs prevarications about our party nor this rancid, misbeggoten escapade in Iraq which he finds so inspiring.

Yes, Islamic terrorsts are bad news, and our behavior as a nation since 9/11 has alienated what allies we did have and only further played into the hands of those terrorists. He needs to stare that fact in the face while he is kicked off every committtee so he can caucus with his fellow "independents."
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Oversea Visitor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. Woah Maxine Waters there whole night.
That I salute.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. That lady is awesome
Great to see her there.
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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. She is a great patriot
Bless her to be there that special night. :toast:
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Oversea Visitor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. No many will do that
It is like political sucide.

I guess her principle more important to her that fearing the conseqeunce of her action if Lamont lose.

That is so very rare.

That I can respect.

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MontanaMaven Donating Member (94 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Maxine is a patriot
And one hell of a fighter for us. Met her in D.C. after the peace rally and she really listened to what I had to say. No fakery. We really had a conversation about what to do about the war.
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ejbr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. I was so afraid
that the DC punditry and the repug talking heads were going to steal our political party by getting Joe re-elected with his "new" persona. They had all the means to do so, but we kept if from them. We kept it from them.
:toast:
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
11. Power to the People!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bob. NGU! Ever. :kick:
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VP505 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. I am glad
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 06:41 PM by vpilot
that the folks in Connecticut are getting the chance to feel good about supporting and voting for their candidate, rather than having to vote for the lesser of two evils. Plus they get to enjoy knowing that when Lamont heads off to Washington they will be helping to get our country back to respecting the Constitution and rule of law, something we haven't seen in almost 7 years.
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you Connecticut!
This victory for the people will resonate loudly throughtout the Democratic party.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2006/08/10/in_connect...

Sen. John Edwards, the first prominent Democrat to congratulate Ned Lamont on his primary victory on Tuesday, will campaign for Lamont in New Haven on August 17.

The Service Employees International Union will also be present
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machka Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. good on him!
I wonder how long it will take HRC to schedule a date prior to that... </Nat'l Press club snark>

She and Bill have to be re-thinking their support for Connecticut-for-Leiberman, no?
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Hi machka!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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machka Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. thanks. =) n/t
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:03 AM
Response to Original message
17. Lovely post! Thanks. n/t
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
19. Awesome!
:bounce:
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faithnotgreed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
21. kicking damnit
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