THE PERCEPTION OF POWER….If Ned Lamont beats Joe Lieberman in Tuesday’s Connecticut primary, will it mean that blogs have truly broken into the big time? Publius comments:

My thoughts ? if Joe goes down this week, I don?t think that blogs will have had all that much to do with it….But, because people like [Marshall] Wittman, TNR, and even the Lieberman campaign have harped on about those crazy bloggers throughout the campaign, they are inflating the power of blogs in people?s minds. And as a result, a Lamont victory will create a perception that blogs are far more important than they are (particularly among party insider types who do keep up with blogs).

That sounds about right to me. We’re in an odd situation where bloggers like Atrios and Kos are trying to downplay the influence of blogs while mainstream pundits are trying to exaggerate it. Both sides have their reasons, but the end result is that the underlying reality doesn’t matter much anymore. In the same way that all the chatter about “who won” a presidential debate is more important than the debates themselves, the chatter about the power of the blogs is probably more important than whether they really had any power to begin with. Like it or not, they do now.