Who Are Mr and Mrs Lamont?


This is what the Connecticut Senatorial primary proved: Democrats are now so easily pleased that they consider themselves triumphant if they are able to elect a liberal Republican instead of a conservative Republican as their standard bearer.

Virtually no one seems to have given Ned Lamont much scrutiny but his background is not promising. He became a “self-made” businessman using inherited money; the family fortune came from the J.P. Morgan banking firm. His father served as a Treasury official in the Nixon administration, although — like many liberal Republicans, even George Bush I — he now finds himself alienated from his party. Ned Lamont, too, seems to be a Democrat largely because he is not all that comfortable being ruled by Southern Baptists.

Lamont’s wife, Ann Huntress Lamont, is a venture capitalist “specializing in health care and information technology for the financial services industry,” according to the NY Times. Her firm, Oak Investment Partners, is the largest venture capital firm of all time, at $2.5 billion capitalization. Perhaps Ann will help out, a la Hilary Clinton, when it comes time for Ned to deliver on his pledge to improve American health care coverage.

It is true that Ned Lamont’s great-uncle Corliss headed the Emergency Civil Liberties Union, which split off from the ACLU when the paragon liberal organization proved complaisant during the McCarthy purges. There is absolutely nothing in Lamont’s career nor his campaign to suggest he has that kind of conscience.

What today’s gloating liberals truly need to reckon with is the reality of the general election, which Lieberman shapes up well to win. This isn’t one of those three party races where a Democratic victory becomes an (overt) Republican win. Connecticut’s nominal (or as I prefer to think of him, the third) Republican Senate candidate currently polls under 15 per cent, in a  state where Republican registrations are only about 10 per cent fewer than Democrats, and independents are the largest group of all. By demonizing Lamont as “too radical,” Lieberman should do well with  Republicans and Democrats. What can Lamont do except spin to his right?

Certainly, he won’t be able to count on the state Democratic party as a reliable foundation. Lieberman never controlled any kind of machine but he has numerous acolytes in the state apparatus and while some are as incompetent as former Norwalk mayor Alex Knopp, turned out of office because he couldn’t even figure out how to run the city’s parking lots, not all of them are.

The thought of Lieberman as an independent Senator is truly horrific. His fanatic anti-Castroism (engendered partly by the Cuban American National Foundation, a terrorist organization by any reasonable standard), and thirst for theocracy (revealed bluntly in the Gore campaign) fully unleashed bids fair to turn him into the Zionist Zell Miller.

Too bad time’s up for independents to register. I’d have suggested a run by a favorite son who’s a genuine liberal: Ralph Nader. At any rate, I presume that we will see within the next day or two resounding denunciations, similar to those Ralph and his supporters bore, of Lieberman for his party apostasy. Presumably, it’ll be the biggest headline of tomorrow, after the stuff about the flying pigs.

DAVE MARSH is editor of Rock and Rap Confidential. He can be reached at marsh6@optonline.net







Dave Marsh edits Rock & Rap Confidential, one of CounterPunch’s favorite newsletters, now available for free by emailing: rockrap@aol.com. Dave blogs at http://davemarsh.us/