Lamont is winning (UPDATE: if barely), but he's being delegitimized and his success is being tainted before the votes are even counted.
In other words: The bad guys are losing the election but seizing control of the narrative. It's like a mini-version of the Clinton years.
Forgive me if I'm not happier.
I've been wary of the netroots-take-back-the Democratic-Party strategy because I don't think any real change can happen until we can compete with the right-wing noise machine. Now, if Lamont is really winning, it looks as if the netroots strategy was right -- but here's Lamont being painted as the candidate of anti-Semites and Web site vandals; these slanders are national news, the rebuttals barely audible. And the general election campaign hasn't even begun.
I've watched the right turn Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry into dangerous freaks in the public mind. They're going to do the same thing to Ned Lamont if he wins. Then they'll make him every other Democrat's running mate. Or they'll just make some anonymous anti-Semite comment poster in a random Huffington Post thread into every Democrats' running mate. I'd really like to know what the netroot strategy is for combating that.
And I'm not the first person to say this, but, yeah, this does remind me of Karl Rove bugging his own campaign office and blaming it on the opposition candidate.