In recent weeks we have been treated to a press firestorm over the Connecticut Democratic primary, in which the “netroots” DARED to run a candidate against Senator Joe Lieberman, and beat him. The insider press and political system is in absolute SHOCK that this could happen, with a good dose of anger at the voters for daring to go against their wishes. (Never mind that a far-right candidate beat a moderate candidate in Michigan’s Republican primary — for some reason that is different and remains unreported.)
You might also have noticed that since the primary, the press has paid far more attention to Lieberman – the loser of the primary – than to the winner. This is because the Republicans are promoting a wedge narrative intended to split the Democratic Party. By amplifying the voices of disgruntled Lieberman supporters, the Repubicans hope to keep a segment of the Democratic Party from voting this November.
In illustration of my point, contrast this firestorm to the situation with the upcoming Rhode Island Repubican primary. Lincoln Chafee is an old-style Republican Senator from Rhode Island. By “old-style” I mean he precedes the Christian Right/conservative movement takeover of the Republican Party and remains independent of The Party’s corruption machine. And the far right is not happy about that, so they are running a candidate against Chafee in Rhode Island’s upcoming Republican primary. You would think the “on the surface” similarities would drive press coverage, but the opposite is the case. (I say “on the surface” because in this case it is actual radicals running a candidate against an incumbent, where in Connecticut the opposition candidate actually had a more centrist voting record than the incumbent.)
Conservative group sets sights on Chafee,
Since its inception in 1999, the group has spent millions to help dozens of conservative Republicans win seats in Congress – often at the expense of more moderate party members. The Club’s president, former Rep. Pat Toomey, nearly defeated Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004.
This year, the group’s top priority is defeating Chafee, who angered many Republicans by voting against President Bush’s tax cuts and then casting a write-in vote for the president’s father in the last election.
… Republicans who support the Club say its refusal to compromise its ideology gives it credibility.
“They’re not about getting more Republicans elected, they’re about getting real Republicans elected,” said Jerry Stacy, spokesman for Sharron Angle, a Club-endorsed House candidate in Nevada.
Learn how the American system operates now. Keep an eye on this one — compare and contrast the coverage and commentary.