Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The trouble with the conventional wisdom is
that it's conventional

And so it’s the last to catch on when there’s major change in the air -- the cluelessness of Dylan’s Mister Jones.

Thomas Kuhn would probably call it a paradigm shift, but in politics we usually talk about generational change. A tidal wave is sweeping through American politics, and it's expressing itself in strong anti-incumbent sentiment. Joe Lieberman was a casualty, but not the only one, and there will be many more this November.

In politics old ideas don't die, they just exit center stage and make way for the ideas of a new group of players. Although McGovern lost in 1972, his supporters became the core of Democratic Party boomer politics for the next thirty years.

Now it's time for a new crew. I, for one, look forward to it. It's not as if the boomers, as a group, have anything better to offer. And they've messed things up pretty good.

Time for a change.

Enter Marcos Moulitsas and his netroots generation. In his morning-after post, Kos lists the winners and losers as he sees them. Leading the winners:
People-powered politics. At YearlyKos, caught up in the moment, I foolishly made the following prediction in my keynote address:
Lieberman is going to lose.
Why was I so confident?
Just today we get news of a new poll out of Connecticut. A month ago, a Quinnipiac University had the Senate Democratic race at 65 percent Joe Lieberman, 19 percent Ned Lamont.

Today's poll? Lieberman's lead has shrunk to 55-40 amongst likely Democratic primary voters.
See that? Insanity. I saw Lamont losing by 15 points, and somehow that foreshadowed Lieberman's loss. But I was excited because we had just seen Jon Tester crush his opponent in Montana despite being tied in the polls. People-power propelled him to victory and I expected the same would happen in Connecticut. Tonight we saw that people-power is not just a Montana phenomenon but a national one, and it can move mountains.
We’re just seeing the beginning of this paradigm shift, this generational transformation. But for the time being, here are my own winners and losers.

Winner: Kos, who had this nailed very early on, long before most of us thought it was possible.

Loser: Joe Lieberman. Americans hate sore losers and usually laugh them out of town. November is many Colbert, Stewart and Leno shows from now. Lots of good material in the website saga alone. Pay $1,500 to a consultant who sets you up with a cheapo $15/mo. hosting service and pockets the rest? Pretty funny. The FBI report should be even funnier.

But the real loser is an older political generation that, like every generation before it, had its chance, made its contributions, but now is starting to head for the exits. And the real winner is America.

1 comment:

Helen Wheels said...

I absolutely love your optimism, and the take you have on things. Very original. Thanks for visiting my blog as well. I think Kvatch over at blognonymous should read this post, so I'm gonna go give him the link!!

I truly hoped he gets laughed out of town. I can see that happening!