A great deal of attention was paid to the primary election held in the state of Connecticut this past Tuesday. Senator Joe Lieberman versus businessman Ned Lamont pitted the three-term incumbent against a single-issue candidate for the right to compete in the general election under the Democrat banner.
The single issue won.
While Senator Lieberman is not resigned to the fact that he has lost his Senate seat just yet, there does appear to be a greater issue here - unbridled support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq might hurt candidates that still need to appeal to those in the middle of the electorate. While any primary usually attracts those most motivated to vote in any election cycle (meaning those more politically active and interested), all those in the House may not take too lightly the idea of siding with the Bush Administration's single message which is "stay the course." From the current polling data, 60% of Americans believe the war and subsequent occupation a mistake.
It may well become diametrically defining issue of the nation come this November as it was in all of the races in 2004.
Related to this issue, it was interesting to hear the opinions of one Rory Stewart regarding how life appears on the ground within the confines of Iraq. Part of his book The Prince of Marhses has been excerpted on Salon.com. His direct participation in the lives and affairs of those in and around Maysan demonstrate the tremendous complications one undertakes when invading and occupying a foreign land.
To his credit, he made mention while making a guest appearance on a radio show that no matter how well one planned to set up the bureaucracy to fill the void of post-Baath control there really is nothing better to be done. His sense that an occupying force would get the situation invariably wrong is a lucid assessment given the current climate of sending more ground troops to Baghdad in order to improve the tense situation. The United States fixes things by putting more money, more security, and more boots on the ground which may well act as a destabilizing force to the existing hierarchy of the country.
The book should be a good read.