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Ed Rollins: Lieberman-Lamont Battle Signals Split Between Jewish and African-American Democrats

Reported by Marie Therese - August 9, 2006 -

Yesterday morning FOX & Friends interviewed Ed Rollins, former White House political director for Ronald Reagan, who discussed his opinions about what a Lieberman loss would mean for the Democratic party. He opined "This has become very much an anti-war [vote] and the Democrats are on the verge of becoming an anti-war party - period - as they did in the 70s in Vietnam which led to their total wipeout by Nixon so, I think the reality is the new Washington Post poll out today. 81% of Democrats say the war was not worth fighting. 70% feel strongly about that. 54% say they're less likely to support a candidate who supports the President's policy and that's clearly what this race is about."

Later on he said this: "Howard Dean, the anti-war candidate, who's obviously the party chairman, the gift that keeps on giving as far as I'm concerned, may drive this party so far to the left that they no longer can deal in an enviroment like we're in today. We're in probably the most serious place that we've been in a long, long time, particularly not only with Iraq but with what's happening in Israel. And the other part that's gonna drive this thing is that you've got Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on one side and you have Joe Lieberman, who represents the Jewish segment of the Democratic party as effectively as anyone, and they're sort of at odds at this thing, so you're splitting two fissures here, two important elements."

(Comment: Was Rollins broadcasting the GOP's intent to abandon one voting block and go after the other?)

"But, I don't necessarily see this as just a Democratic thing," said E.D. Hill. "It appears that in both parties you have organizations from the wings that are spending big money to try to drive out or force to change the moderate members of their party."

(COMMENT: Glory be! Could Hill be signaling the GOP's attempt to distance itself from the radical Christian money-changers?)

ROLLINS: "More than moderate there's large numbers of voters who are independent of the two parties."

HILL: "Right."

ROLLINS: "Particularly younger people. You see more and more people saying 'I'm an independent. I'm a true independent.' And younger people don't want to be a Republican because they see the Republicans are controlled by the religious right. They don't want to be a left-wing Democrat. And so that's really, that's really what this is about."

(Comment: By making dismissive comments about the 'religious right', Rollins seemed to reinforce E. D. Hill's remarks above. The days of religious right power in the GOP may be waning.)

STEVE DOOCY: "Ed, is this bad news for Democrats who voted for the war, people like - well, let's say Hillary Clinton?"

ROLLINS: " I think this will basically - if for some reason Lieberman goes down and I certainly hope that doesn't happen - but if he does go down today, I think Democrats will basically look at their navels and decide they've got to become a real anti-war party and I think that basically does not bode well for them in the long-term."


This isn't the 1970s. Ed Rollins' picture of modern-day progressive Democrats would have them sitting around in unkempt houses with long hair, burning incense, smoking doobies and intoning "Om". He better look into his Republican crystal ball again. This is the year 2006 and the Lamont win indicates that the NetRoots generation is here and we are a force to be reckoned with.

It's Rollins and the old liners like him that are living in the past.

As for that Washington Post Poll, Rollins neglected to give the OTHER statistics, the ones that don't fit his neat little world-view.

The poll mirrored results of surveys at this point 12 years ago, just three months before Republicans swept out Democratic majorities from both houses of Congress. Fifty-three percent now call themselves anti-incumbent, while 29 percent describe themselves as inclined to reelect lawmakers -- almost precisely the same percentages as in June 1994.

In another echo of 1994, the poll showed Congress remains broadly unpopular, with six in 10 Americans disapproving of its performance. The only consolation for members is that the 36 percent who approve represents a slight bump up from May, when the institution hit a 10-year low.

The generic ballot question, asking voters in general which party they would support in November, remained unchanged from the spring, with 52 percent favoring Democrats and 39 percent supporting Republicans. The lead narrows to 10 points among those who say they are closely following their local races.

The survey suggests that it is not just Republicans whose incumbents are in jeopardy. But it includes one important caveat -- as of now, few Republicans or Democrats plan to stray from their parties in November. The Democrats' lead stems from a big advantage among independents.(Washington Post, 8-7-06)