Skip to main content

BBC Commentary in Connecticut

When the British writer G. K. Chesterton on his American tour found himself besieged by a gang of reporters in a hotel in New England, he immediately proclaimed himself an amiable anarchist of the Henry David Thoueau variety – “That government governs best that governs not at all.” And then he was asked what form of government he thought the best. “A republic,” he boomed. “This hotel would make a fine republic.”

Sometimes it takes a foreign eye to confirm for us what is best in us. The BBC crew, now in Connecticut reporting on the state election that pits Joe Lieberman against Ned Lamont in a hard fought U.S. Senate race, has performed a like service for us.

Bearing in mind Oscar Wilde’s quip that the United States and Britain are two nations separated by a common language, the questions and the commentary on the BBC site, "Up All Night," are excellent. It’s easier to adjust to the subtleties on the spot, which is why Rhod Sharp, part of the BBC crew, leapt the pond to be here. (As an aside, I may say that the BBC interviewers have cleverly wormed their way into the hearts of Americans -- BECAUSE THEY LIKE BARS.) We in Connecticut must live with the consequences of our votes; people in Europe need only laugh at them.

One of the subtleties involves an understanding of the difference between a primary and a general election. The audiences are different in both cases. Primaries are party elections to which opposition party voters and independents are not invited. Ned Lamont won the Democrat primary because his message resonated with the shakers and movers of the Democrat Party in Connecticut. Opposition to the war was the principle driver in the primary. Wars are not popular in what used to be called “the provision state,” so called because the state was known for providing munitions to the U.S. military. In the BBC broadcast on Connecticut's election, Lieberman spoke eloquently to this tradition.

As everyone interested in Connecticut’s race must know by now, Lamont won the primary, and much fun was had at Lieberman's expense by bloggers committed to Lamont.

In a general election, narrow party interests are expanded because the voting field is open to moderates and Republicans. The message that resonates with the first audience may alienate the larger audience, as appears to be the case in this instance.

Some claims made by the Lamont side were patently outrageous. Connecticut does not like political manipulation, and most people in the state have an ear for authenticity. Lieberman, however conspicuous his warts, is a polished performer and a decent man. There is no question that solid Democrats of a liberal persuasion have lined up on Lamont’s side of the barricade. These are the Democrats that ousted him in the primary.

They may not have the last word.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Blumenthal Burisma Connection

Steve Hilton, a Fox News commentator who over the weekend had connected some Burisma corruption dots, had this to say about Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s association with the tangled knot of corruption in Ukraine: “We cross-referenced the Senate co-sponsors of Ed Markey's Ukraine gas bill with the list of Democrats whom Burisma lobbyist, David Leiter, routinely gave money to and found another one -- one of the most sanctimonious of them all, actually -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal."

Dave Walker, Turning Around The Misery Index

Dave Walker, who is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket, is recognized by most credible political observers as perhaps the most over qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in state history.
He is a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame and for ten years was the Comptroller General of the United States. When Mr. Walker talks about budgets, financing and pension viability, people listen.
Mr. Walker is also attuned to fine nuances in political campaigning. He is not running for governor, he says, because he had moved to Connecticut only four years ago and wishes to respect the political pecking order. Very few people in the state think that, were he governor, Mr. Walker would know less about the finance side of government than his budget chief.

Murphy Stumbles

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has been roughly cuffed by some news outlets, but not by Vox, which published on April 16 a worshipful article on Connecticut’s Junior Senator, “The Senator of State: How Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a rising Democratic star, would run the world.”
On April 15, The Federalist mentioned Murphy in an article entitled “Sen. Chris Murphy: China And The World Health Organization Did Nothing Wrong. The lede was a blow to Murphy’s solar plexus: “Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy exonerated China of any wrongdoing over the global pandemic stemming from the novel Wuhan coronavirus on Tuesday.
“’The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, is not because of anything the WHO [World Health Organization] did,’ said Murphy during a prime-time interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.”