Sen. Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI) trails his Club for Growth-sponsored, sure-loser primary challenger Steve Laffey by 51-34. Unlike the Lieberman race this ideological purge actually will have the effect of changing the party affiliation of that seat, assuming that the CT for Lieberman party keeps its promise to caucus with Dems. The self-destructive pathology behind this purge adds that extra layer of meaning which should bump this up to a top-tier news story right? Um, no.
Some days I wonder whether many in the news media personally identify with Lieberman, so that his defeat is theirs. They certainly seem to overlap in perspective on the Iraq war (count the war critics on major Sunday chat shows, 2002 until today. you might need both hands). That would explain why they follow some primary races with a consuming passion and ignore others, even though the basic narrative is more or less the same.
(*) The actual role of bloggers in the Laffey challenge is minimal. But so was their role in Lieberman’s loss, as is shown by the many blogger-backed challenges that have gone nowhere. That hardly stopped major outlets from presenting the blogs as an inflexible ideological ratchet that singlehandedly drives moderates out of the party, a description that interestingly enough fits the Club for Growth to a T.