… no, Lieberman is not a Whig. Chaffee is, though.

If Lieberman lost his primary race, “it would be catastrophic for the Democratic Party because it would send a message nationally that centrists are unwelcome,” said Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

I guess the biggest Republican primary challenge to an incumbent Senator is happening in Rhode Island. Lincoln Chaffee is not a Republican, but he’s not a Democrat either. There were rumblings from Democrats a year back hoping that Lincoln Chaffee would switch over and become a Democratic-voting Independent. But really, Lincoln Chaffee is a member of the Whig Party. (There was this bizarre post on daily kos saying to the Olympia Snowes of the world that the Republican Party has left you, and there’s room enough in the Democratic Party for the Olympia Snowes of the world… which doesn’t seem like a good way of moving a party forward, bringing in pre-Bush Republicans to make… what? A party that looks suspiciously like the Republican Party? Nay. You can accept one or two Whigs across the aisle into the party, but not the whole lot of the Whigs.

You know that former Republican in Oregon who became an Independent to run for governor? Ben Westlund is his name. He’s a Whig! Just toss that funny white aristocratic looking wig on him and we’re all set!! Not to say you shouldn’t vote for him.

Back to the Lieberman challenge: The angry left detests conservative Democrat Joe Lieberman. But a recent poll shows that their anger may want to be channeled in another direction as the incumbent is coasting towards re-election in 2006.

The bitter folks from the fringe have rallied behind a Democrat named Ned Lamont in the hopes of taking out Joe Lieberman in a primary.

The channeling of direction is in taking out Henry Cuellar and replacing him with Ciro Rodriguez. Henry Cuellar’s crimes have been documented on the liberal blogosphere: he sat on the Republican side of the aisle during the State of the Union speech and has a record that appears to be too conservative for the Blue Dog Democrat coalition, and he’s the first Democrat in history to be endorsed by the Club for Growth. But I note for Lieberman’s benefit that there’s this crowd-shot image of the State of the Union speech that shows Lieberman standing, and basically nobody else: Then again, if you’re not looking for Lieberman, how do you even spot him in this image?

The primary challenge du jour in the 2004 season was the battle against the Republican Party’s most hated Republican Senator — Arlen Specter… whose “moderation” has proven to be mooted in this sesson of Congress. Pat Toomey nearly pulled it off, and the saving grace for the “the bitter folks from the fringe” in sending Marshall Wittmann into conniption fits is that Toomey’s numbers were supposedly similar to what Lamont’s are right now (as well as Specter’s versus Lieberman’s.)

I kind of wish primary challenges had a better record of success than they do. Something about shifting the political currents against stagnating the political currents. Ah well. You deal with the system that you are given.

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