Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2006 | Being a Democrat in San Diego is like going to a party of IRS agents: at best you are uncomfortable and conversation is awkward. If you’re climbing the ladder of success and aspiration, you’ll see the light and become a Republican. Note the rise of Pam Slater, former teacher, Encinitas council member and now Supervisor. She started as a Democrat. Most everyone considers her a success, politically.

Christie Guerin, current Encinitas mayor, used to be a Democrat. Look at her now; she’s got a job with Brian Bilbray.

It used to be that you looked at the Democrats as a progressive party, one with a heart. A party that gave you FDR, John Glenn, and Barbara Jordan (who spoke that memorable line during Watergate: “I believe in the Constitution of the United States”).

Yesterday Lieberman lost to an upstart millionaire, Ned Lamont, in the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary. A stunning upset by all counts.

The good news is that the winner actually stood for something, took a position that differed from that melding of ideology since 9/11 n if you oppose the president, then you’re unpatriotic.

Elections in the last five years are boring: chess games of wedge issues and smoke and mirrors. Abramoff. Corruption and soft money. The puppet masters are the political consultants, lobbyists, and pollsters. Nothing is done without a poll. No one speaks from the heart and gets elected. But Ned Lamont did.

But you like to think that the young man from Connecticut might be a breath of fresh air. He still has to win in November. Lieberman said he will run as an Independent. He was just so committed to being a Democrat. It makes me cringe. Being a Democrat has become a passing fad, a stopover, on your way to something else, especially in San Diego. We like to eat Democrats for breakfast, or at least key their cars if they have bumper stickers for Kerry. In East County Bush is a man’s man. Period. Ned Lamont’s victory gives me hope.

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