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(Mike Segar/Reuters)

Ned Lamont won the Connecticut primary last night.  And the Democratic leadership is already rallying behind his candidacy, according to the NYTimes:

Mr. Lieberman’s determination to remain in the race may soon collide with the will of many Democratic leaders in Washington and Connecticut, however. The Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who is leading the effort to elect more Democrats in November, planned to announce this morning that they were supporting Mr. Lamont and that the party should unite around the nominee, according to Democrats close to both men. A spokesman for Mr. Schumer said a statement would be forthcoming, but declined further comment.

“Reid and Schumer will back Lamont, but the big question is if they will approach Joe about dropping out, because they don’t want to get his back up against the wall,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide who was involved in the Reid-Schumer discussions but was not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, Mr. Lieberman’s Democratic ally, privately congratulated Mr. Lamont last night and was expected to appear at a “unity press conference” with Mr. Lamont and other candidates at state party headquarters this morning. Two Lamont advisers said that they expected Mr. Dodd to help smooth Mr. Lieberman’s exit from the race; a spokeswoman for Mr. Dodd, however, said he would not play a go-between role to broker the senator’s exit.

A spokeswoman for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile, restated Mrs. Clinton’s announced intentions to support the Democratic nominee in Connecticut — now Mr. Lamont.

Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary. And if he has so little respect for the voters in that primary that he will not abide by the results, then the party leadership must show him the door. To do otherwise would be to sanction cheating Democratic voters of their rightful say in the party process — and would render the party leadership moot.  That is true whether Ned Lamont won by one vote — or by several thousand. 

This has been a fight to force the political machinery to listen to the voice of the American public, over the din of lobbyist and corporate interest noise in the Beltway.  They are hearing you loud and clear at the moment. From the NYTimes:

Advisers to the senator said last night that Mr. Lieberman was emboldened to continue in the race because of the narrow margin of Mr. Lamont’s victory. Yet the advisers said he might still drop out if the next round of opinion polls showed Mr. Lamont well ahead of Mr. Lieberman in the fall general election.

The Connecticut race drew national and even international attention this summer as a barometer of the mood of American Democrats over the Iraq war. Among political insiders, too, it was seen as a test for liberal bloggers to affect a major election, instead of merely commenting on politics in cyberspace.  (emphasis mine)

At some point, the folks who report on politics and the folks who run for office will wake up and understand that bloggers are merely Americans who try to amplify the sentiment of thousands more just like them. And the overwhelming sentiment that I have been hearing for months and months is that people have had enough of the lies, the manipulation, the self-dealing, the egos, the idiocy, the selfishness, and the outright dereliction of duty and lack of accountability from so many in Washington, D.C. in this rubber stamp Republican Congress…we’ve had enough.

We, the people, still have work to do this morning.  But take a moment to savor the taste of a victory for our side…and then stoke that hunger for more of those to come in November, because we have a lot of work to do between now and then.

And if you live in the great state of Connecticut, my congratulations.  And my thanks to all of you, Nutmegger or not, for all of the work, the canvassing, the GOTV efforts, the calls, the campaign donations, the cheering, whatever — you guys are the best. 

If you live in Connecticut, please sit down and write a letter to the editor supporting Ned and asking that Joe Lieberman respect the will of the voters, or that he stop calling himself a Democrat.  He doesn’t get to have it both ways.