Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Airing out the laundry

So every once in awhile, I've noticed that someone puts up a laundry list of grievances against Lieberman. In the spats of hate mail and derisive comments which I've received over the past few weeks, more than one has called me a "coward" or something to that effect for not answering these charges. Well, I've finally decided to call that bluff.

First off, whenever I read this list of charges, I was reminded of Snopes.com's dubunking of the ridiculous"Clinton Body Count". The body count was a ridiculous laundry list distributed by GOPers in the 1990's listing dozens of people connected to Clinton who had died over the course of his political career. It was a crock, and Mikkelson did a masterful job of exposing it as such.

Here are what Mikkelson cited as the rules of thumb in creating such laundry lists. I've modified this list so that it refers to the anti-Lieberman laundry lists rather than anti-Clinton laundry lists, but it's eerie how similar the rhetorical tactics are:
  • List every vote or statement that Lieberman has made that even remotely suggests he is not progressive. It doesn't matter what his stated position on the issue is, or how he ultimately voted on the issue in question. The longer the list, the more impressive it looks and the less likely anyone is to challenge it. By the time readers get to the bottom of the list, they'll be too weary to wonder what could possibly be relevant about how many times Lieberman smiled during his debate with Cheney in 2000.
  • Play word games. Make sure that not voting for a filibuster on a bill is framed as "supporting" that bill. If Lieberman at any time voted for something proposed by a Republican, call it the "Bush/Cheney/Lieberman" bill. If Lieberman ever says he's "open" to an idea, say that he is in favor of it.
  • Make sure every vote or statement by Lieberman that you can dredge up is offered as evidence that he is a Republican, without regard to the context and relative significance of the vote/statement in question. If Lieberman voted against something 32 times, and then did not show up for a vote on one amendment, ignore the 32 votes he made and focus on the 1 he didn't. You don't have to discuss what impact it has on the totality of his record; just keep harping that the one vote "shows that he is a Republican."
  • If the data doesn't fit your conclusion, ignore it. You don't have to explain why all the Democrats who know Lieberman best — Bill Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Larson, John Lewis, etc — are still going around endorsing him and talking up his progressive credentials. It's inconvenient for you, so don't mention it.
  • Most importantly, don't let facts and details stand in your way! If you can pass off the fact that he has never proposed a bill on something as evidence that he is against it - do it! If a critical vote contradicts your theory, claim that particular vote was "irrelevant." If your explanation of Lieberman's actions has no basis in reality, who cares? It's not like anybody is going to check up on this stuff . . .
(This is all just to point out that the intellectual dishonesty of many of the charges against Lieberman is enough to make Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove proud).

I work 9-5 and then have a night job two days a week, so this took me two days to put together and is therefore a one-time only thing. I want to start with the disclaimer that I am only speaking for myself, and that these are only brief rebuttals - if I were to give full-length rebuttals to everything on this list, this post would be dissertation-length.

Since this is so long, you might just want to hit CTRL-F and look for the topic you're interested in... Sadly, I'm only half-kidding. Here goes:

"Support of Nafta/Cafta"
-
I'm pro-trade, so this one is easy for me. Much of our economy relies on trade and open commerce with other countries. It's no coincidence that NAFTA - a centerpiece of the Clinton economic policy - came right before one of the biggest periods of economic growth (and job growth) in American history. Jobs might be lost in manufacturing, but huge numbers of jobs are also created in the service and technology sectors. The important thing is that those workers in industries that are hurt by trade policies are given adequate re-training and education to make them marketable in other areas - and that is something Lieberman has supported steadfastly.

In Connecticut in particular, many jobs rely upon the continuation of our open trade policies with other countries, including and especially those in North and Central America. I agree that it would be very preferable if we attached labor standards to such agreements, but it's tough to argue that Lieberman's support for NAFTA hurt our economy.

"Support of the Bush energy policy"
- Lieberman has most definitely not supported the Bush/Cheney energy policy. He voted against the key Bush/Cheney energy initiative, providing one of the critical votes which killed it in 2003. As far as Lieberman's vote in favor of the 2005 Energy Act, I refer readers to my post on Lieberman's efforts to cut emissions. The big points I made in that post on the Energy bill were:
  • Calling it the "Bush/Cheney/Lieberman" bill is laughable, since Lieberman never attached his name to the bill in any way
(Note: This is another common tactic – implying that Lieberman's vote for a particular bill makes him a bad Democrat, while ignoring the fact that many other unquestionably good Democrats voted for the same bill. On virtually every topic cited here, at least a third of Senate Democrats would have to be called “bad Democrats” along with Lieberman, so to single Lieberman out as a bad Democrat makes little sense)

"Willingness to deny rape victims emergency contraception"
- This is perhaps the most egregious half-truths told about Lieberman, and insulting to those rape victims who have had to get EC (one of my best friends went through that terrible experience last year). He said that religious-run hospitals shouldn't be forced to give EC if the religious beliefs of the religious institution operating the hospital prohibit its use.

And you know what? That is what is required by the Constitution. The courts have ruled repeatedly that the government can't force religious institutions to do things that go against their religious beliefs, as that would violate the First Amendment. I strongly disagree with any religious doctrine that prohibits the use of EC, but the government simply does not have the Constitutional right to force them to reject even a ridiculous belief. And from a purely practical standpoint, de-funding hospitals which will not give out EC for religious reasons (the aim of the law in question) could have a catastrophic effect on emergency care and health care in general across the country, since so many hospitals are run by religious institutions.

Right or wrong, that's the reality of constitutional law and practical effects on the matter. I'll grant that the courts have not, to my knowledge, ruled on these EC laws in particular, but the legal history of the broader issue of government directives being forced upon religious institutions is pretty long (most particularly in the case of religious colleges and universities). Lieberman's words about the "short drive" were very poorly chosen, but you can't fault Lieberman for thinking it's unwise to compromise the Constitution or to de-fund hospitals for abiding by their religious beliefs, however misguided those beliefs may be. Besides, NARAL and Planned Parenthood seem to think his record on choice is pretty good - they endorsed him.


"Support of someone from the International Arabian Horse Association to run FEMA"
- This one was a screw-up on behalf of the whole Senate, which confirmed him by voice vote without any dissent. That's one that all our leaders are responsible for, and it's absurd to single out Lieberman.

"His unwillingness to demand censure on wiretapping"
- Lieberman has said that he believes the Bush wiretapping to be illegal. But the censure motion had zero chance of passing, and everybody knew it. All that pushing censure would have done is tie down the Senate in debating a resolution that literally does nothing, and keep the Senate from debating bills that actually have a chance of passing on issues that are more urgent (like, say, education and health care). And we learned from the Clinton impeachment attempt just how destructive and divisive pushing such futile measures can be. Lieberman opposes the Bush wiretapping program, but he also opposed wasting the Senate's time on a debate over whether or not Bush should be verbally slapped on the wrist. As he and Clinton both have said, it would be an unproductive use of the Senate's time.

(Final note: Only three other Senators attached their name to this resolution. So singling out Lieberman for this is, once again, absurd).

"Support of No Child Left Behind"
I think it's preposterous to condemn a bill that hasn't been given a real chance. The education system in this country is broken for millions of students who have the misfortune of living in districts with underfunded and/or mismanaged schools. NCLB was pushed by Ted Kennedy, who is about as Democratic as you can get, as a way to try and level the playing field. But Bush shamefully has underfunded the program, which has undermined it and kept it from reaching its full potential. I think this is the most underreported travesty of the entire Bush presidency, since it has stranded tens of millions of students in thousands of schools by failing to give them the money that NCLB would have provided to improve their schools. Lieberman has always supported fully funding NCLB, but Bush and Frist have undercut the efforts at every turn.

This legislation is unquestionably progressive; it marks the greatest effort to improve the schools of underserved students since the introduction of Title I forty years ago. Lieberman was right to be among the 48 Democratic Senators who supported NCLB. It is Bush who should be condemned for underfunding it and not allowing it to have a real chance - a point which Lieberman has made repeatedly.

"Support of School Vouchers"
- Actually, Lieberman was noted for proposing a modified version of NCLB which stripped it of its voucher provisions. I oppose vouchers as a long-term solution, but let me say this - I have personally seen the conditions that exist in urban high schools during my time as an education student. Many students are condemned to underfunded and/or mismanaged schools. Until we can solve that problem, I can easily see why many African-Americans and other education advocates have pushed for vouchers, and why many good Democrats have listened. Critics of the idea should talk to the parents of kids who go to schools in the poorest neighborhoods of Philadelphia before they have a knee-jerk reaction against it.

Lieberman has said that he would consider school vouchers for poor students only. And improving the educational possibilities of poor students is about as progressive as you can get.

"Support of a non-provoked attack on Iran"
- This looks like a thinly veiled effort to say that Lieberman supports starting a second war in the Middle East. Problem is, it's not true. Lieberman was extremely cautious in his assessment of US options in Iran. He said he would consider targeted air strikes as a last resort in an effort to knock out "some of the components" in order to "delay and deter" the development of Iran's nuclear program. Considering air strikes to prevent a state with an undeniable record of arming terrorists from developing nuclear weapons is hardly a horrendous position to take, and that is the most 'aggressive' stance he has taken on Iran.

But this is a common tactic of the Lieberhaters - if he doesn't rule something out, say he supports it. It might be dishonest, but the assumption is that no one will bother to check what he really said.

"Interest in privatizing Social Security"
- This is another huge distortion of Lieberman's position, and the ultimate example of equating "willing to listen to ideas on" with "interested in." If he's so interested in privatizing it, then why has he gone on record against it every single time it's come up? He made one comment last year saying he wanted to hear what the whole proposal was before deciding on it. What he really said about privatization is completely ignored. Even a NYTimes article which highlighted some Democrats' (misdirected) anger towards Lieberman on this issue conceded that point:
"But as for the president's proposal to divert part of the payroll tax to private retirement accounts, Mr. Lieberman said he had already rejected that idea before the 2000 election."
Once it was clear that the Bush plan on SocSec had no new ideas other than privatization, he announced his opposition to it. Before that, he waited to get all the facts before making a final decision, which seems much more reasonable than having a knee-jerk reaction against changing anything about SocSec (keep in mind that there were many more issues being discussed than privatization). Lieberman has always opposed privatization, and you can't fault him merely because he decided to make an informed decision rather than a hasty one.

"Support of Gonzales and the torture policy"
- First off, the reason why Gonzales wrote the memo is often forgotten. As Bush's attorney, he had little choice but to do what his boss/client told him to do, as any government attorney will tell you.

Besides which, even if you do think the memo showed that Gonzales personally supported torture (which I think is a doubtful charge in and of itself), it's absurd to argue that just because Lieberman voted for Gonzales, he must have supported everything Gonzales has ever done. If that were requisite for voting in favor of a nominee's confirmation, no nominee for anything would ever pass the Senate. Every Democrat in Washington knew that the Bush administration could have proposed far worse AG nominees than Gonzales, who is pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, and (incidentally) the first Hispanic Attorney General and highest-ranking Hispanic cabinet member in the nation's history. If Gonzales had been voted down, Bush probably would have proposed someone far less hospitable - just remember John Ashcroft (whom Lieberman voted against).

"Vote on cloture for Alito"
- The meaning of Lieberman's vote on cloture is massively and artificially inflated by the Lieberhaters. The cloture vote was a foregone conclusion, since the Gang of 14 as a whole decided that they approved of Alito. Lieberman personally opposed Alito, which is why he voted against him. The truth is that even if Lieberman had voted against cloture, it still would have passed by 12 votes, since 19 other Democrats voted for cloture - including Democratic stalwarts such as Herb Kohl, Jay Rockefeller, Daniel Inouye, and Maria Cantwell. All he would have accomplished by voting against cloture would have been angering the Gang of 14 - the group which is necessary to preserve judicial filibusters.

The vote on confirmation was actually closer (passed by 8 votes) than the vote on cloture was (12 votes). In other words, the argument that the cloture vote was the "real chance" to stop Alito's confirmation is just plain wrong. Both votes were foregone conclusions, the cloture vote perhaps even more so than the final confirmation vote.

Even if the cloture vote had not been a foregone conclusion, a junior Senator from a small state in the minority party who is not in the Senate leadership and who is not on the Judiciary Committee has zero chance of being able to stop the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. To pretend otherwise, or to pretend that Lieberman actually supported Alito, is really dishonest.

"Yes confirmation vote on Rice"
- I'm not a fan of Rice as Secretary of State, but even die-hard progressives have conceded she was less hawkish than rest of the Bush administration's foreign policy "experts." Most critiques of the Bush Administration have Colin Powell and to a lesser extent Rice acting as voices of caution against Cheney and Rumsfield. As with Gonzales, Bush could have nominated someone much worse than Rice (think Paul Wolfowitz). And as with Gonzales, Lieberman was hardly a bad Democrat for voting to confirm her. Fully 32 of the 45 Senate Democrats voted for Rice, including Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, Jon Corzine, Daniel Inouye, Pat Leahy, and Chris Dodd. I hope no one would argue that those are all bad Democrats.

"Support of the Bankruptcy bill"
- Another egregious and obvious distortion. He did not support the bill - in fact, he was one of only 25 Senators to vote against it. He did vote against the filibuster on it, but (again) him voting to filibuster the bill would have done nothing since the cloture motion carried by a solid margin anyway. Lieberman clearly does not believe in making a pointless statement by voting against cloture if the motion to end debate is going to pass anyway, which is why he would become a member of the Gang of 14 (which saved judicial filibusters) just a couple months later. Again, that's hardly an unreasonable position for a practical-minded politician to take.

"Support of Defence [sic] of Marriage Act (Clinton did too, BOTH were wrong)"
- Can't argue with that - he was wrong on this vote. But he's been far more supportive of gay rights and civil rights than pretty much any other Senator during the course of his career. That bill passed 85-14, with great Democrats like Bill Bradley, Tom Harkin, and Paul Wellstone voting for it, so Lieberman was in good company being wrong, and it hardly makes him a bad Democrat. After all, if you call Paul Wellstone a bad Democrat, then who on earth is a good one?

He has opposed the Federal (anti-)Marriage Amendment (twice), indicating that he has become considerably more progressive on this issue during the past 10 years. Besides, he was endorsed by Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights advocacy group in the country.

"Supported our ports being run by Dubai"
- This charge really ticks me off. If we are to be honest, the only two 'honest' explanations for the criticism over Dubai are Arab-bashing and political expediency. Obviously, neither reason is very good. The port operations that were to be handed over to Dubai Ports World (DPW) used to be handled by a British shipping company, and the Singapore company PSA operates port terminals all over the world. Why is it acceptable for British and Asian companies to operate ports, but not Arab companies?

"For telling Democrats they criticize the president at their own peril (of course, NO Republican ever criticized Clinton)"
- This charge is typical of a very Bush-like tactic: Giving only part of the quote without providing the context. Remember the "Global Test" BS that he threw at Kerry? Meet its twin. The point Lieberman was actually making was that BOTH parties should stop going at each others' throats and work on solving the serious problems we face both at home and abroad. Here is the quote given with its context (full speech here):
I recall here the wisdom of Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, who served our country during World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Stimson said that sometimes the best way to make a person trustworthy is to trust him. There is wisdom there.

It is time that America’s leaders, in the White House and Congress, Republicans and Democrats, who agree on our goals in Iraq but disagree on tactics to start trusting each other again so that we can work together again. The distrust is deep and I know it will be difficult to overcome, but history will judge us harshly if we do not stretch across the divide of distrust and join together to complete our mission successfully in Iraq.

It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.

It is time for Republicans in the White House and Congress who distrust Democrats to acknowledge that greater Democratic involvement and support in the war in Iraq is critical to rebuilding the support of the American people that is essential to our success in that war.

It is time for Americans and we their leaders to start working together again on the war on terrorism.
Obviously, the people who cite only the third paragraph of this quote completely missed (or completely ignored) the point Lieberman was actually trying to make.

"Friends with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who call Democrats terrorists...Friends with convicted felon, former governor John Rowland"
- Yes, let's please hang people for who they're friends with. I don't like any of those three either, but guilt by association? That's a tactic most frequently associated with McCarthyism.

"Does not comport self like opposition party member, e.g. one of the few Democrat attendees at a Valentines soiree with the Bushes"
(http://www.forbes.com/technology/ebusiness/feeds/ap/2006/02/14/ap2527187.html)
- This is a puff charge. Lieberman and his wife went to a reception with the Bushes - so what? Does Lieberman have to be hostile to Bush and refuse to be seen with him just because they are members of different parties? Being one of several Democrats to go to a purely social function with Bush is hardly cause for alarm. Comporting oneself like a member of the opposition party means criticizing Bush's policies, and Lieberman has done that plenty of times (see the bottom of this post).

"Supported Bush on faith-based programs that spread lies about choice and abortions"
(http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/02/images/20020207-9.html)
- I disagree with the faith-based initiative legislation. But Lieberman is an orthodox Jew, so surely it is not surprising that he supports it, and I won't hold the depth of his faith against him on this. Lieberman has an outstanding record on choice...need I list the pro-choice endorsements he has received again, or mention the fact that he has voted against the proposed bans on late-term abortions each time they have come up?

"Has essentially endorsed John McCain for president. “I hope he runs.”"
- This is just plain dumb, and a variation on the "say he supports something if he doesn't outright condemn it" tactic. Saying that you hope someone runs is most definitely not saying that you hope they win. It's far more likely that Lieberman thinks that McCain will bring issues into the discussion that he feels should be talked about - say, campaign finance reform. People make statements like this all the time about presidential races, usually to indicate that the more people that get in the race, the more issues will be discussed. Heck, I've heard people say they want Pat Robertson to run for President - not because they want him to win, but because if he does manage to win the GOP nomination, the Democrats will win in a landslide in November. In any case, to spin "I hope he runs" as an endorsement is just an insult to people's intelligence.

"Against universal health care."
- This one is really out there; it's saying "he never attached his name to a bill supporting it, so therefore he must be opposed to it." He has said repeatedly that he supports providing universal health care (i.e. health care for all Americans), but has never proposed a bill that would grant it because he knows it wouldn't pass a GOP congress. Anyone remember what happened to Hillary's health care plan? Joe supported that, but saw what happened to it. If that couldn't pass a Democratic Congress, why on earth would he spend time writing a bill when there is a GOP Congress which would never let it reach the floor? Ending the GOP majority is the only way to move towards universal health care. Defeating Lieberman won't end the GOP majority, and defeating a candidate who will vote for universal health care certainly won't help bring it about any faster.

"Against gay marriage, not proposed anything on domestic partner benefits"
- The first part is an outright lie. He voted against the Federal (anti-)Marriage Amendment twice (here and here). As far as not proposing anything on domestic partner benefits...see "Universal Health Care." Again, remember that the GOP controls Congress, so any bill granting rights to gay couples would have zero chance of passing, and probably wouldn't even make it out of committee. You can't fault him for not wanting to spend time on a bill which will never see the light of day over bills with a real chance of passing and advancing progressive causes - like his clean energy bill which would protect the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And again, the Human Rights Campaign seems to think his record on gay rights is pretty good, considering the fact that they have endorsed him.

"On Iraq: Time magazine's Baghdad bureau chief Michael Ware: 'Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting'"
- This doesn't quote Lieberman, but rather quotes someone who is criticizing Lieberman. It's pretty hard to respond without knowing what Lieberman actually said. I certainly don't agree with Lieberman's position on Iraq, and I think he sometimes doesn't see or chooses not to see how bad things have turned there. But as I said, there are other things that I think are just as important for America's present and future - education, the environment, equal rights, and stem cell research. And getting just one more vote against the war in Iraq is not worth sacrificing Lieberman's long, progressive record on those vital issues.

"Yes vote for John Roberts"
- Most Democrats believed Roberts should be confirmed, according to polls. And Lieberman voted with a majority of the Democratic Caucus on Roberts. Other supporters of Roberts included Russ Feingold, Carl Levin, Pat Leahy, Herb Kohl, Patty Murray, and Chris Dodd - all progressive standardbearers. So again, this is hardly a case where Lieberman's vote was out of the Democratic mainstream.

"Voted to stop federal aid to public schools that used materials 'supportive of homosexuality'"
- To be honest, I'm not sure what bill this is referring to...I've done a few Google searches and nothing has come up, and I'm afraid that I'm not a walking encyclopedia of legislation. I do know that since very little federal money goes to public schools anyway (less than 10% of the total budget of US public schools) and that such a law as this would be completely unenforceable, the impact of such a provision would be close to nil anyway, though that certainly wouldn't make it right. This sounds like the kind of thing that was added on as an amendment or rider to an appropriations bill, and not a stand-alone piece of legislation.

Lieberman's record on gay rights is as solid as any Democrat's (thus the HRC endorsement), so I have a tough time believing that he would support this provision by itself. I certainly don't agree with such a provision (both on educational policy and civil rights grounds), and I would disagree with Lieberman if he did support it, but without knowing the circumstances surrounding this, I can't really respond more than this. I would be willing to update this one part of the "laundry list" if someone points me in the right direction.

"At Memorial day parade, marched with Republican Nancy Johnson while ignoring Dem. candidate Chris Murphy"
- This charge seems to be one of those that started in the blogosphere and was embellished each step of the way. There was a photograph posted somewhere of Lieberman walking with Johnson during part of the parade, and that turned into Lieberman "marching" with her and "ignoring" Murphy. I doubt that it was anything more than a matter of one person seeing someone they know and deciding to go over and say hi - in other words, this is another case of the Lieberhaters wanting to hang him for daring to be friendly with a Republican. And if he was talking to Johson, well Connecticut has a very small Congressional delegation, and they have to be on good working terms with each other regardless of party membership in order to make sure things get done in CT.

Lastly, Lieberman has endorsed Murphy over Johnson, a rather important fact that the Lieberhaters ignore.

"Formed his own party, to run AGAINST the Democratic opponent, if he loses the primary"
- You won't hear me argue that Lieberman made the right choice in choosing run as an indy. But he has just as much of a right to run as an indy as Ned Lamont has to run in the primary. It's also understandable that Lieberman, whose appeal is strongest among unaffiliated voters, would want to give all CT voters a chance to vote on his re-election (and unaffiliateds are the largest voting bloc in Connecticut). He will caucus as a Democrat no matter what, and that is what matters most in the end - Lieberman will add to the Democratic caucus and help build a Democratic majority. While I don't think he should have chosen to run both in the primary and as an indy, that doesn't change the fact that his record on the issues is in the mainstream of Senate Democrats, and that his re-election will add to the numbers of the Democratic caucus.

"Was hostile and boorish to opponent Ned Lamont in primary debate, treated Dick Cheney with kid gloves in vice presidential debate."
- This strikes me as sour grapes about the fact that Lieberman took an aggressive stance and then mopped the floor with Lamont in the debate. And yes, he was civil with Cheney - so what? That debate has been cited as among the best, most informative VP debates in the nation's history. Besides which, those who make this charge seem to forget that although the tone was congenial, Lieberman did get in quite a few jabs on Bush/Cheney in the debate, including one where he mocked Cheney for criticizing the Clinton/Gore economic record despite the fact that he had grown rich during the Clinton administration.

"Has been seen on Fox News more than in Connecticut...Has been in downtown Baghdad more than downtown Bridgeport"
- This is the logic of Douglas Adams's Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (an animal that assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you). In other words, the charge is equating absence of evidence with evidence of absence. Just because he "has been seen" more on TV than in Connecticut obviously does not mean he actually has spent more time in the Fox studio than in his home state.

In any case, the fact that he has not campaigned in Connecticut extensively since 2000 is because his job as Senator requires him to stay in Washington and travel elsewhere. This is one of the oldest political charges in the book - that because someone is in Washington doing their job as a member of Congress, it means they are ignoring their constituents back home. The problem is that you can't do your job in Washington from hundreds of miles away, so a candidate facing this charge is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Maybe Lieberman should have gone back to Connecticut a bit more, but it's not like he was spending all his time eating caviar in D.C. and partying all night in Baghdad.



There's the laundry list rebuttal. This took me a ridiculous amount of time to compile and write (and thank you to my girlfriend for proofreading it), so I won't be responding to any more of these between now and the primary. Most of the items on this laundry list were either half-baked or half-truths, but now there's at least a small part of "the other side of the story" for all to read. I'll finish by repeating the disclaimer that this is by no means definitive (I only devoted a few sentences to each topic, and this STILL was 10 pages long) and I don't speak for anyone but myself.

Here is a (very) incomplete list of instances where Lieberman has criticized Bush and his policies, often from the Senate floor. The first few of these were lifted from one of this blog's commenters, followed by several additions of my own:

Here is Lieberman criticizing Bush on stem cell research:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=258819

Here is Lieberman criticizing Bush's economic policies:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=207942&&

Here is Lieberman denouncing Bush's stance on affirmative action:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=207356&&

On energy and transportation spending:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=251348

On education:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=232428&&
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=251419
and
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=258511&&

On the handing over of wilderness areas to the oil and gas industry:
http://senate.gov/~gov_affairs/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&Affiliation=R&PressRelease_id=546&Month=10&Year=2003

On cutting programs that provide jobs for CT residents:
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=232560&&

On global warming and the environment
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=249687&&
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=254747&&
and
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=253658&&

On Medicare
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=255404&&
http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=247052&&



I could make this list go on for hours, but I have to eat and sleep at some point. In any case, hopefully this helps reveal just how disingenuous the half-truths being told about Lieberman are.

105 Comments:

Anonymous Vote4Joe said...

Thank you!!!!!

You did a great job. Unfortunately, Lieberhaters read selectively and ignore what they don't want to hear, but I hope that some will realize the errors of their dailykos-inspired mob-mentality misinformation.

Do we have permission to copy and paste your article on other blogs (*cough* dailykos *cough*) when Lieberhaters show they and Karl Rove are two sides of the same coin? (Proper credit/link will be included of course)

7/25/2006 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Leksah said...

good work!
too bad the lying Lamont supporters are blinded with hatred.

7/25/2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger matt said...

Yes. I don't put things up on my site if I would object to them being sourced.

7/25/2006 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post sure looks like a filibuster to me.

7/25/2006 10:21 PM  
Anonymous rachelrachel said...

Excellent work. Very well researched and reasoned.

7/25/2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger Ken Balbari said...

"In 2000, Al Gore and I went all around this country and warned the American people about George W. Bush. We said he would squander our surplus. We said he would compromise civil rights, he would abandon the middle class and he would turn his back on the poor. Let's be honest about this, the presidency of Bush has been a worse nightmare than even Al and I warned America about."

--Senator Joseph Lieberman, September 9, 2003

7/25/2006 11:06 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

It's a good post, Lieberdem, but it will go over the heads of the Lieberman haters.

They and the Republican-enabling left just don't care. They want to destroy the Democratic Party by going after the most vulnerable moderates first.

7/25/2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger babablacksheep said...

Lieberdem,

You just don't get it.

(1) As AP reported today, Democrats see the War as the number one issue this election season, and Joe not just on the wrong side of this issue, but he is the most prominent Democratic voice on the wrong side. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060726/ap_on_go_ot/top_problems_ap_poll_3

(2) Joe was chosen by Gore for the very specific reason that Lieberman represented the dissing of Clinton within the Dem Party, and Gore wanted to distance himself (I think mistakenly) from Clinton. That is the reputation Lieberman created for himself.

(3) According to the Washington Post, Lieberman has the most conservative voting record of any Democratic senator, except Ben Nelson. This means that Lieberman has the most conservative voting record of any blue state senator. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/11/AR2006071101204_pf.html

No need for a long list here. For most CT Democrats, there is only "one-issue" that moves them to want a different person representing them.

I don't hate Joe Lieberman. But it is not hard to understand why his support among Democrats is so weak.

7/26/2006 12:05 AM  
Anonymous rachelrachel said...

babablacksheep:

(1) That may be so, but this post was made to counter lies and distortions made by various opponents of Lieberman, most of which involved matters other than the war. (Also, by the way, the article doesn't cite "the War" as the big issue for Democrats, but "war, both the three-year-old
Iraq war and conflicts in general.") Single-issue voters who agree with Lamont and disagree with Lieberman on their single issue will support Lamont. Lieberman asks that voters look at his whole record, which is liberal on most issues, and it is this record which is being distorted.

(2) Do you have anybody from the Gore campaign making that claim or is this just speculation? Nobody chooses a veep based on such a one-dimensional criterion as you've pointed out. I read that one of Lieberman's big draws was that he could help with the Jewish vote in the pivotal state of Florida. But there are many things you look at when selected a veep.

(3) It's not according to the Washington Post, but according to an opinion columnist at the Post. Like many papers, the Post publishes various contradictory opinions. And Meyerson doesn't make the bald statement that Joe "has the most conservative voting record, etc." He chooses the ADA yardstick for only a single year, presumably because it's one that best makes his point. Other ratings -- and other years where a different set of key votes is selected -- give with different rankings.

7/26/2006 1:54 AM  
Blogger pro-joe progressive said...

babablacksheep:

Plus, I'm sure much of the recent ADA rating was based a lot more than usual on things like anti-war resolutions, which Lieberman would seem a lot more conservative on. Generally though, Lieberman scores 90-100 in the annual ADA ratings with a few exceptions in the 80s.

7/26/2006 4:27 AM  
Anonymous dwbh said...

Lieberdem: still going through your post, but I have one quibble:

"Support of the Bankruptcy bill"
- An outright lie. He did not support the bill - in fact, he was one of only 25 Senators to vote against it. He did vote against the filibuster on it, but (again) filibustering the bill would have done nothing but lose him credibility with the Gang of 14, and that group is essential for ensuring that filibusters remain an option.


IIRC, the bankruptcy bill came up before the Gang of 14 had even formed. I'll have to check dates to be 100% sure, though.

7/26/2006 4:32 AM  
Anonymous dwbh said...

Oh, and one more observation before I get back to work:


"Friends with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who call Democrats terrorists...Friends with convicted felon, former governor John Rowland"
- Yes, let's please hang people for who they're friends with. I don't like any of those three either, but guilt by association? That's a tactic most frequently associated with McCarthyism.


I don't think even the most rabid Kossacks are saying Lieberman is guilty of the same things Rowland is (if that's the point you're trying to make here). They're not even upset at Lieberman's friendship with these people; what they're upset at is the face time he gives to people like Hannity and his eagerness to stand apart from the rest of the party, to make himself seem more of a maverick. Their point is: don't give these morons any credibility by going on their programs, and at worse, if you do go on, don't criticize other Democrats or the Democratic party.

No time to pick out the specific quotes from Hannity/Fox News, but I'm sure you can find plenty of them over at Daily Kos and other such places.

7/26/2006 4:46 AM  
Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

I'm sorry, but the main reason this list will convince very few of those supporting the challenge to Lieberman, is that on several points, you don't refute the charge against Lieberman, but some strawman that very few Lieberscepctis and "Liberhaters" hold.

Notably, often the point often isn't the actual, final vote, as the rethorical posturing before them, both on Fox news and on the Senate floor. So if you are trying to understand why Lieberman has been singled out among other democrats who voted the same, you need to read more than roll calls and lists of co-sponsors.

On a related point: Professional politicians know, or at least should know, that their speeches will only be quoted on TV in one sound-bite, and any decent speech-writer knows before drafting the speech what that sound-bite quote will be before the speech is written out. So, you are responsible for how you are letting yourself be quoted / qoutable.

Also, I believe you made at least one factual error: Although you are correct in reminding us that the state of Connecticut don't have the right to force religous hospitals to do anything, that fact has nothing to do with the question at hand. The question was which conditions should be put on state grants to hospitals. There's no constitutional hurdle there, as the hospital can choose to take the state money, or not.

7/26/2006 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Donkey Digest said...

Great work, as always. But like what someone already pointed out, the far left (like the far right) has a selective reasoning disorder.

7/26/2006 5:40 AM  
Blogger Ken Balbari said...

"IIRC, the bankruptcy bill came up before the Gang of 14 had even formed. I'll have to check dates to be 100% sure, though."

I think you're right the date of that vote was March 10, 2005. The agreement to block the "nuclear option" wasn't until May 23, 2005, though I believe the group may have met at some point prior to that. The filibuster theat was a big issue in April, with protests for ("Justice Sunday") and against (two week "filibuster" held by students at Princtom Univeristy outside the "Frist Center"), and I'm pretty certain the nuclear option threat had come up as early as January.

But I think the main point is he was one of only 25 Senators to vote against the bill. Obviously he doesn't believe in filibustering every single bill he opposes (and wouldn't be very effective if he did). And the filibuster supporters were well short of the 40 they needed.

7/26/2006 5:48 AM  
Blogger Ken Balbari said...

"I'm sorry, but the main reason this list will convince very few of those supporting the challenge to Lieberman, is that on several points, you don't refute the charge against Lieberman, but some strawman that very few Lieberscepctis and "Liberhaters" hold."

politgeekpro:

That may be true. But the charges refuted are the ones that have been made by Lamont supporters on this site. If they are strawmen, one has to wonder why they are uncomfortable reveling the true reasons for their dislike of Joe. Moreover, I doubt Lieberdem expects to convince them.

And while the issue in Connecticut is in fact whether to force Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception, I doubt that threatening to defund the local hospital would go over any better with voters.

7/26/2006 6:16 AM  
Blogger matt said...

dwbh -

Good catch on the chronology. I just made a couple modifications to the paragraph so that it makes chronological sense now.

7/26/2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger matt said...

Also changed the EC paragraph a bit...a friend caught that in an email overnight. Now, to work I must go. Cheers, all.

7/26/2006 6:33 AM  
Blogger baghdadjoe said...

Lieberman Campaign Gets Old-Fashioned Stormtrooper Spirit

The Lieberman campaign showed off a bit of a blast from the past at Monday's Clinton campaign event. Evoking life in 1930's Germany, only pro-Lieberman "Good Germans" were allowed into the event. Several registered CT Democrats were ejected for the heinous crime of being, well, Lamont supporters.

http://liebermania.blogspot.com

Lieberman - Gott Mitt Uns

7/26/2006 7:08 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Yeah, comparing Lieberman's campaign to the Nazis. That will help you make your case.

7/26/2006 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acting like Nazis certainly is hurting his.

7/26/2006 7:17 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

So two people are now calling Lieberman's campaign Nazis. Any of you notice that not a single media outlet picked up on this, despite the fact that the Lieberman rally was packed with reporters?

It's obvious that you're just trying to make the incredibly offensive charge that Lieberman is a Nazi just so you can distract the discussion from issues, which LieberDem just did a masterful job of discussing.

When is anybody going to learn that calling someone a Nazi makes the accuser look bad, not the accused?

7/26/2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lieberman is the Dean Scream of 2006

7/26/2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lieberman has nobody to blame but himself for the campaign's "stormtrooper" behavior. That "baghdadjoe" posting is both accurate and fair, if too provocative.

Here again we see that Lieberman and his people are BABIES, they can't accept any responsibilty for their mistakes.

7/26/2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Just came up with a new tagline...

"baghdadjoe": Calling people who disagree with him Nazis since 2006.

7/26/2006 7:46 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Again, if this incident actually happened, WHY HAS NO MEDIA OUTLET PICKED UP ON IT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE WERE DOZENS OF REPORTERS AT THE RALLY?

7/26/2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous moderation said...

It's because it didn't happen, but they hope if they repeat a lie often enough, people will start thinking it's true.

7/26/2006 7:55 AM  
Blogger baghdadjoe said...

Whatever you say, big guy!

7/26/2006 7:55 AM  
Anonymous moderation said...

Outstanding post btw, Lieberdem

7/26/2006 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. Lie and deny. That is, after all, the Lieberman way.

7/26/2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous shut_up said...

It's not going to do any good for one side to accuse the other of lying if there's no real evidence either way.

It's the word of the person making the claim against the word of those who say it didn't happen. The only justification any of you are using to make your claims is "This person must be right, because that makes my argument look better."

7/26/2006 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than any name-calling, I think that a big point about all of this is spotlights Lieberman's worst Bush-like aspect:

HE IS NEVER WRONG.

That mindset has now been instilled into his reckless, destructive campaign. No dissent is tolerated.

This particular Joe aspect is deadly, since it has led to continuing tragic loss of life in the meaningless Iraq war.

7/26/2006 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Marc R said...

"Voted to stop federal aid to public schools that used materials 'supportive of homosexuality'"

I believe this reference is to a Jesse Helms amendment that Lieberman is FALSELY accused of supporting. Here is a discussion of the amendment, including Lieberman's no vote. http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/usnews17.htm

The false charge appears to have originated in a New Haven Advocate article and repeated in the Huffington Post. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howie-klein/no-i-wont-retract-my-st_b_16707.html?p=2

It's particularly ironic considering all of the anti-discrimination legislation that Lieberman has sponsored to help protect gays and lesbians.

7/26/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger baghdadjoe said...

Jane Hamsher was also ejected from the event, and Marion Steinfels admitted that they both were ejected.

Sorry but it did happen. It's shameful for each and every one of us that Democrats are becoming just like Bush.

You can read the story and see the video on Huffington post if you want. TPM talks about it also.

7/26/2006 8:13 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

They were denied entry because their names weren't on the list. More word games. Being denied entry because you didn't have the correct ticket is hardly the same thing as being ejected or having a ticket ripped out of your hand.

As far as the point that it's their word against that of the Lieberman's campaigns...point taken. There is no proof of who is right either way.

7/26/2006 8:20 AM  
Blogger baghdadjoe said...

Nice try, but this tired yarn has also been refuted. Do some of your fancy "research" if you still have doubts.

7/26/2006 8:21 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Refuted by who? Why hasn't anyone stepped up to corroborate this story?

You're reporting a claim as if it's undeniable fact. You just don't have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

7/26/2006 8:23 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Here's some research: Do a Google News search and no accredited news outlets have covered this "story."

If it's true, why wouldn't at least one of them pick it up? Could it be because journalists need a source other than the claimants in order for a story to be considered viable? Why yes, that's exactly why.

It's a claim, and the Lieberman campaign's version sounds much more likely than the claimants'. Talk to me once a real news organization picks up on it. Until then, you're just spinning a claim as a fact - an extremely Bush-like tactic.

7/26/2006 8:27 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Wow - there really is a lot of LieberDem self-congratulating on this thread! Don't you think you should try to make it look a bit less obvious?

7/26/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

Godwin's law apllies, so I'm hesitant as to wether this thread is dead already, but I've got to respond to the reasoned response I got.

Ken Balbari:
As to the hospitals thing, I believe you don't understand what I am saying. Lieberdem is reasoning that forcing catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception would be unconstitutional. I'm pointing out that, no, it is not, the state of Connecticut can do this, there is no consitutional problem.

Hence the rest of the reasoning on that point is faulty. Wether it is an honest mistake or a strawman, I don't know.

I'm sorry I didn't take the time to enumerate my other problems, but there is of course some framing of the issues going on here, maybe "strawman" was to strong a word for the other ones. I'l take a few more points here:

The rebuttal on FEMA-director Brown is way too easy, since Liberman was leading the sub-committee recommending him to the floor (together with one or two other senators, iirc.)

The trouble on privatization of social security was Lieberman being very slow to get in line with the other democrats in the spring 2005, when it really matterd, as is somewhat acknowledge in the rebuttal. The "other issues" being discussed around SS, was various alternative schemes of half-privatization, "accounts", personalization and other forms of bamboozlement (check out Josh Marshals blog archive for the details) Hence the rebuttal doesn't really adress the point many democrats find most disturbing in Lieberman's view on possible changes in SS. Because it isn't in the actual vote.

The defense of the "at our nation's peril" comment, I've already touched upon, but it I find this rebuttal especially weak. Even reading the whole section, I don't get what point he was supposedly making, except that everyone should support his / Bush's position on the war, as a "national unity"-thing. That is exactly what many people find unacceptable, as it calls people who disagree on Iraq unpatriotic. That point remains, regardless of how much more of the speech is quoted. (The same thing was said about Lieberman in 1970, I suppose, when he ran in as an anti-Vietnam-war candiate...)

The point on faith-based programs, or more precisely, phony counseling clinics outside hospitals, isn't really adressed on the merits. The supposed rebuttal is only pointing to other votes on choice - not the case in point.

As to wether Lieberman supported the Hillary health plans or not, people are saying different things on the blogs. Some sourcing that he was actually supporting it, and how, would make the rebuttal more interesting reading.

Comparing hoping McCain runs to Robertson is also not that enlightening, as McCain would be a formidable candidate in the general should he win the GOP primary, as opposed to Robertson. So, the logic on that point isn't convincing me. Also remember, while Lieberman certainly didn't "endorse" McCain, his comments were made in a way making at least some people wondering if Lieberman would want him to win (maybe depending on which candidate is running on the dem ticket). A miscommunication at best, that is. Taken together with his willingness to jump from teh democratic ship this year, makes people understandably suspcious.

Lastly, the "rebuttal" of the Fox news point is very much besides the point. You can't rebut a clever metaphor with facts. The point is, Lieberman has been seen on Fox news a lot, critisising fellow democrats a lot, and that's the second-most important reason Lieberman got a primary challenge in the first place. Clever rebuttal of a clever metaphor cannot change that.

7/26/2006 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nicely done, LieberDem. Score one for honesty.

7/26/2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Confessions of a Recovering Lieberman Staffer

Don't worry, there's still hope for all of you.

The truth will set you free August 8th.

7/26/2006 9:02 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Still afraid to respond to the topic of the post, are you? Ah, to be L4L...

"lie(berman)forlie(berman)": Trolling, lying, and deriding stem cell research as frivolous since 2006.

7/26/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lieberman is the Dean Scream of 2006

7/26/2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Democrats Say Iraq War Is Top Problem

Yes, that pesky, minor, insignificant "single issue" is rearing its ugly little head in a bold font on the pages of the Washington Post yet again:

Link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/25/AR2006072501170.html

Looks like the Washington Post will now have to be added to that long list of "Lieberhaters".

However, in the reality-based community, it does not seem that Joe "War Ostrich" Lieberman has much credibility on this "single issue" now. Too bad it's the one that most voters are focused on.

7/26/2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

The Post didn't say anything anti-Lieberman there; they just noted that most Democrats consider Iraq their top issue. But "top issue" is not the same as "the only issue."

But what's the matter L4L? Why are so afraid to respond to the topic of the post? You did, after all, taunt LieberDem for not responding to the laundry list. And now that he has, you're doing everything you can to change the subject.

Just like a Republican or a schoolyard bully - when someone calls your bluff, you have no idea what to do.

"lie(berman)forlie(berman)": Trolling, lying, and deriding stem cell research as frivolous since 2006.

7/26/2006 9:44 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Iraq Continues to Deteriorate Rapidly

While we're on the subject of Joe's war, it would be remiss of me not to mention just how that little bloodbath is going.

It's getting much worse:

"Maliki's inaugural visit to the White House had none of the triumphal mood of Bush's surprise trip to Baghdad to meet the new prime minister June 13. The heady spirit of that day, coming just after the killing of al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and coinciding with a new Baghdad security plan called Operation Forward Together, seemed a distant memory as Bush and Maliki stood in the East Room yesterday with grim expressions and subdued tones in their voices [...]

The Bush administration is trying to respond to the shifting nature of the war. Where once U.S. forces were focused primarily on anti-U.S. foreign fighters and Sunni insurgents, today they confront a more complicated situation in which de facto militias are targeting Iraqis, in some cases aided by Iraqi police forces commanded by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry"

Civil war is what we're looking at here, with our troops bogged down in the fighting.

Gee, Senator Lieberman - That's really some "progress"...

7/26/2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger babablacksheep said...

Could someone help me out and tell me what the relationship of Dan Gerstein and Matt Smith to the Lieberman campaign.

I know your site has this disclaimer: "This website is not funded by, authorized by, or affiliated with any campaign or candidate."

But it seems to me that this could well be the extra-curricular work of Lieberman paid staff or consultants. The New York magazine article says that Dan Gerstein is a former communications consultant for Lieberman.

This site just seems like a campaign's "astroturf" (the Republican and corporate technique pretending to be a real grass roots movements, when in actuality, it is simply another marketing campaign).

This post, and the first two comments, really smells fishy.

Dan and Matt, what do you have to say to dispell my suspicions?

7/26/2006 9:49 AM  
Anonymous rachelrachel said...

The defense of the "at our nation's peril" comment, I've already touched upon, but it I find this rebuttal especially weak. Even reading the whole section, I don't get what point he was supposedly making, except that everyone should support his / Bush's position on the war, as a "national unity"-thing.

If you don't "get" what the point is, why not read the whole speech instead of just the little section? Lieberdem has been kind enough to provide a link. It's not that difficult.

Here's some more from the speech:

The most important debate going on currently here about the war in Iraq is between some people who are focused on withdrawal of our forces regardless of conditions on the ground and the rest of us who believe that our goal in Iraq is not to withdraw but to win, so we can leave with the mission accomplished.

This is a serious and significant debate and in the vitality and health of our democracy will continue to go on. I hope it goes on with a recognition that there are Republicans and Democrats on both sides and that it should be conducted in a spirit of mutual respect and national interest.

Senator Lieberman puts himself on one side of the debate, but he goes out of his way to express his respect those on the other side.

A little later on he says:

Most leading Democrats – and I include here the statements made by my colleagues Senators John Kerry and Jack Reed – did not call for an arbitrary time to withdrawal, but instead questioned some of the Administration's tactics and asked the Administration to go to the next level of detail on its proposals and plans.

This is still pretty much the case, although support for the withdrawal timetable has grown. Most Dem senators (39) supported the Levin-Reed amendment (more or less the position described above), but only 13 senators voted for the Kerry-Feingold amendment.

What I am suggesting here, as I listen and read the statements made, is that there is broad bipartisan agreement on the goals, on the strategic interest we have in the successful completion of our mission in Iraq.

That is why I feel so strongly that it is time for us to set aside for now the arguments about why we got into Iraq so that we can work together on how we can get out best in victory and honor with the job done.

If you aren't part of that majority who wants the US to succeed in Iraq, you'll probably disagree with that, too. But statements like this strike me as very constructive in a time of increasing partisan bitterness.

7/26/2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger matt said...

baba-

Seriously. I seriously want you to spend all your time trying to link me to the Lieberman campaign, because I have absolutely no connection to his campaign. I've contacted someone in the Lieberman campaign exactly once, and that was to tell their communications director that I was absolutely not going to have even the most tangential connection to them, and to request that they not cite any of my posts or use my blog's name in any campaign media. I can forward you a copy of that email if you so desire.

Other than that, I have never even spoken to anyone who works for Joe Lieberman or his campaign, and I have not received a dime from anyone to operate this blog. As for the commenters, I obviously have no control over them.

As for Dan, you'd have to ask him yourself (his email address is listed on his profile), but I know that he is working for Tom Suozzi's NY Gov campaign now. That's where he's getting his paychecks, and that's kept him so busy that he hasn't even had time to write a post in almost a week. Dan did used to work for Lieberman, but he said in an earlier post that he has not worked for Lieberman since 2004.

In any case, I founded this website on my own and am its sole administrator. I write my posts the way I do because I have spent much of the last two years doing education policy research, so that's just the way I operate.

I started this blog on my own without any prompting from anyone, and I continue to operate it on that basis; I never even had any contact with Dan until a week after I started this blog. You can look all you want, but there is absolutely no connection between me or (or my blog's operations) and the Lieberman campaign.

Best,
Matt

7/26/2006 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'd have to be insane to support Lieberman if you weren't getting paid.

The LieberDems aren't insane - just stupid.

7/26/2006 10:12 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

LieberDem said:
I certainly don't agree with Lieberman's position on Iraq, and I think he sometimes doesn't see or chooses not to see how bad things have turned there. But as I said, there are other things that I think are just as important for America's present and future

Just one of many "this is a valid point, but..." statements made in this post. I guess that means that at least some of the criticism isn't in fact untrue, and "intellectually dishonest" as you claim, but merely something that Connecticut voters shouldn't worry their pretty little plebeian heads about. Nice...

I think underestimating the importance of the Iraq War is one of the biggest problems that Senator Lieberman and his supporters have. The Iraq War is not "just an issue" that can be shushed away with talk about stem cell research, education, etc. Senator Lieberman is wrong on this HUGE issue, and it's important to elect Senators who are right on this issue.

Who cares if it's "just a single issue"? It's a really big issue to be wrong about. You obviously don't think so, but any poll will tell you that you're way out of the mainstream on that. Connecticut (and American) voters don't see it the way you see it.

Consider the analogy that murdering babies is so horribly wrong that if a candidate is wrong on this issue (he condones baby murder), it wouldn't matter how liberal he was on any other issue. You just can't in good conscience vote for the guy. (And calm down, I'm not implying that Senator Lieberman condones baby murder. I'm just trying to find an issue so universally reprehensible in order to illustrate my point.)

Similarly, staying in Iraq with no exit plan is so horribly wrong and immoral to Connecticut voters that it doesn't matter how liberal Senator Lieberman is on any other issue. Connecticut voters can't in good conscience vote for a guy who thinks the Iraq War is going well and wants it to continue. The polls support this assertion.

Stem cell research, education, the environment, equal rights- do you really think that Connecticut voters believe those issues are just as important as the Iraq War, as you believe? Even if they are just as important as the Iraq War, do you really believe that Ned Lamont is going to be more conservative on those issues? Do you think Connecticut voters really believe that?

Seeing as Lamont is more liberal on gay marriage, I think it's a safe bet that Lamont will be just as liberal, if not more liberal, on the other issues you mentioned.

But really, please, ignore these points and keep calling me and other Lamont supporters names and characterizing us as crazy, illogical, lying extremists. It's really classy.

7/26/2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

A Vote for Joe is a Vote FOR the War

Some astonishing commentary from Chris Matthews on Imus:

The problem with Joe Lieberman [inaudible] is if he wins, it’s a vote for the war. That’s the problem, and that’s his own creation. If you vote for Lieberman, he’s not going to change his position he’s going to be for the war, and the president will be the first call he gets will be from Bush, “congratulations Joe for hanging in there …

Was he right or wrong about this war? Because he’s going to be for that position again. If we attack Iran, tomorrow morning Joe will be out there saluting. First up – he’ll be the first guy to salute in the morning. It’s his future policy you’re voting for …

I’ll tell you what, if he does win, it will be read as support for the war.”

Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo9n_FA750U

And yes, LieberDems, Joe is on record in support of unprovoked attack on Iran.

What's especially remarkable is that Matthews, until now, has been as much of a Bush-Smoocher as Lieberman. Matthews is a weather vane - this may mean that some real change is in the wind.

7/26/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Oh yes.. those Lamont fanatics...

They're such EX - TREEEEEE - MISTS.

Ooh!

7/26/2006 10:27 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

I fail to see what's so suspicious about this post. Maybe it's only suspicious because the Lieberman-haters are not used to seeing sources, research, and logical arguments.

7/26/2006 10:27 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

What's the matter, L4L? Why are you so afraid to respond to the topic of the post? You did, after all, taunt LieberDem for not responding to the laundry list. And now that he has, you're doing everything you can to change the subject.

Just like a Republican or a schoolyard bully - when someone calls your bluff, you have no idea what to do.

"lie(berman)forlie(berman)": Trolling, lying, and deriding stem cell research as frivolous since 2006.

7/26/2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger CMBurns said...

Lieberdem- Nice response against the nutcases that want to slander Lieberman and distort his record.
Lieberman is a mainstream Liberal Democrat in the mold of another great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. These Lieberdem haters care more about Ideological Purity than building coalitions needed to govern.
With regards to Lieberman publically condemning Clinton during the Lewinsky matter and not condemning Bush over Iraq/WMDs.
The Clinton case- even though it was was victimless crime had to do with lying under oath in front of a grand jury which was a crime. Bush lied to promote an outrageous policy. Bush's lie is related to an overzealous prosecutor trying to convict a known criminal at any cost. Despite condemming Clinton - Lieberman voted against convicting and removing Clinton from office. Lieberman voted for the dismissal of charges in which Fiengold opposed.
With regards of Lieberman being friendly with Bush and Cheney. Their is a say that politics and governing does not have to be a bloodsport. You are allowed to be freindly with your opponent and still defeat him or disagree with him.
Regarding the issue of Iraq. Lieberman along with 27 other Democratic Senators voted for the Iraq War Resolution. Most Democrats supported the Iraq War due to politics- The IWR occured one year after the 9-11 attacks when terrorism was a big issue- Terrorism is the Democratic Party's percieved weakness and Democrats needed to convince the public that Democrats are just as strong as Republicans in fighting the war on terrorism. They supported the IWR to remove Saddam from power to make their case. Lieberman is strong supporter of promoting Democracy and Security in the Middle East. So he will support Regime changes against countries like Iraq,Iran,and Syria.
It would be foolish to accept Lieberman to backtrack his support for the Iraq War. An immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be foolish as well- even Wesley Clark opposes an immediate troop withdrawal. Clark along with Biden came up proposals to make the missoin in Iraq a success- perhaps making sure the Sunnis have a voice in the Shiite majority Iraq government. Allowing other countries in the Middle East the opportunity to participate in the Iraq reconstruction effort.

7/26/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

burnsie:

It is true that 27 other Democratic Senators voted for the war.

It is also true that they must also be held to account.

7/26/2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Y.G. Brown said...

I actually agree with some of the points that you raise. Lieberman was far from alone on Michael Brown, censure, NCLB, DOMA, and other issues. That doesn't make him right on these issues (as you agree on DOMA, for example) but it would be silly to condemn only Lieberman for these votes.

However, you are both incorrect and abrasive on a few pivotal issues.

First, emergency contraception. You write, "And you know what? That is what is required by the Constitution. The courts have ruled repeatedly that the government can't force religious institutions to do things that go against their religious beliefs, as that would violate the First Amendment." This is 100% wrong. Many states require that hospitals offer EC if they receive public funds, including Washington, California, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, New Jersey and Massachusetts. For example, MA's Republican Governor Mitt Romney recently backed down in the face of enormous public pressure and did not exempt Catholic hospitals from this requirement in his state. Senator Lieberman could be a leader on this issue. He could stand proudly in favor of women's rights. He has chosen not to do so. Instead, he has chosen to make rather grotesque public statements on the subject... statements which you delicately call "very poorly chosen" while calling the outrage of those who listen to him "insulting to rape victims." You should correct your post, as this portion is just flat wrong on the facts. If you agree with Senator Lieberman that women should not have the right to safe, effective contraception in all publicly funded hospitals then defend that position.

Second, Senator Lieberman absolutely failed his constituents on the Bankruptcy Bill. The pivotal vote, as you well know, was the cloture vote. If 41 Senators had voted against cloture the bill would have died. Instead, he voted to bring the bill to a vote. Then, in a craven act of political opportunism, he voted against the bill once its passage was guaranteed so that he could say that he was against it all along. You write, "Lieberman clearly does not believe in making a pointless statement by voting against cloture if the motion to end debate is going to pass anyway." When supposed leaders of the party like Joe Lieberman and Joe Biden are willing to sell out to the credit card companies, OF COURSE the cloture motion is going to pass. His refusal to step up and lead on this issue is a huge reason that I am opposed to him. The new bankruptcy legislation is a disaster... it will destroy families. And Joe Lieberman refused to stand up and fight it.

Senator Lieberman also provided great political cover for weeks on the issue of Social Security privatization. Indeed he is opposed to the idea, but that did not stop him from "listening" to Bush's proposal and making this outrageous GOP policy proposal appear to be centrist and reasonable. Only the convictions of other Democratic Senators kept Bush's proposal from gaining traction. I posted a comment on this topic in the prior thread, so I will not repeat it in its entirety here.

On the "Gang of Fourteen" and Judge Alito, again Senator Lieberman refused to truly fight for the principles that he claims to hold dear. When the Democrats held power in the Senate, the GOP was willing to do whatever they could do fight for what they felt was right. For example, do you remember Orrin Hatch's use of Judiciary Committee rules during the Clinton administration to block voted for nominees? Joe Lieberman, just as he did on the bankruptcy bill, refused to fight on the truly important cloture vote. He then voted symbolically against Alito even though his confirmation was guaranteed.

I am tired of supporting candidates who like symbolic victories. I will not support candidates who are comfortable with dignified losses on issues that will affect my life and my rights.

Far and away, my biggest issue with your post is the flatly false statement that you have made regarding emergency contraception. Please correct this portion of your post.

7/26/2006 11:04 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

CMBurns said:
Lieberman along with 27 other Democratic Senators voted for the Iraq War Resolution

So freaking what? Why does Senator Kerry's, Senator Biden's, or Senator Clinton's vote matter to Connecticut voters? Why does having a crowd with you suddenly make what you're doing right?

CMBurns said:
[The Democratic Senators along with Senator Lieberman] supported the IWR to remove Saddam from power to make their case

The IWR is in the past, and I dare say many of those Senators will be held to account for their votes. In the meantime, however, many of those Senators have changed their minds, based on events on the ground in Iraq. Many Senators, along with the American people, realize that Iraq is a failed war based on a false premise.

But not Senator Lieberman. He hasn't changed his position one bit. Why should Connecticut voters support and reward such costly and dangerous stubbornness?

CMBurns said:
Lieberman is strong supporter of promoting Democracy and Security in the Middle East. So he will support Regime changes against countries like Iraq,Iran,and Syria

You act as if this is no big deal, but what's hidden in that belief is that military force is one of the first options used in order to affect regime change. That's extremely dangerous and (as we've seen) foolhardy, and way out of the mainstream of Connecticut voters.

This is a radical neoconservative foreign policy agenda that Senator Lieberman supports and believes in, and apparently you think it's accepted that everybody in Connecticut agrees with that. They don't.

CMBurns said:
An immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be foolish as well- even Wesley Clark opposes an immediate troop withdrawal

And who supports an immediate withdrawal, might I ask? Nobody, but you omit that troubling tidbit. Senator Kerry, Congressman Murtha, Senator Feingold, etc. all want some sort of timetable, with each plan varying in length. Murtha is calling for a 6 month redeployment of forces, and I believe Senator Kerry is calling for an "events-based" timetable.

But Senator Lieberman won't even go that far. No, Senator Lieberman believes that good progress is being made in Iraq, and we should continue to support President Bush's Arabian adventure. A vote for Lieberman is a vote for MORE WAR.

7/26/2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Great Article on Cut-And-Run Joe in Darien News (CT)

"We are staunch supporters of people’s right to run as, or vote for, third-party or unaffiliated candidates. But Joe Lieberman cannot do so without making the last 18 years of loyalty to the Democratic Party a mirage."

Link:
http://www.dariennews-review.com/opinion/ci_4093772

Joe's Cut-And Run Party of One Is Not Sitting Well With Dems..

7/26/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous moderation said...

It's laughable...you didn't refute his constitutional arguments at all. Do Governors and legislatures overrule the constitution? No. You response was completely unrelated to constitutional issues. Laws can be overturned in court and hey, guess what? Those laws ARE currently being challenged in court.

He wasn't wrong. You just were responding to an argument that he didn't make.

7/26/2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

What's the matter, L4L? Why are you so afraid to respond to the topic of the post? You did, after all, taunt LieberDem for not responding to the laundry list. And now that he has, you're doing everything you can to change the subject.

Just like a Republican or a schoolyard bully - when someone calls your bluff, you have no idea what to do.

"lie(berman)forlie(berman)": Trolling, lying, and deriding stem cell research as frivolous since 2006.

(And no, I won't stop posting this message until you stop trolling and actually bother to get on topic)

7/26/2006 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's laughable is the name "moderation". Lieberman and "LieberDems" exhibit no "moderation" of any kind.

7/26/2006 11:11 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

Just trying to keep you morons apprised of current affairs.

Did you know our nation is in the middle of losing a war?

Senator Lieberman doesn't seem to know that.

7/26/2006 11:13 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Actually, I am aware that we are in a lot of trouble in Iraq. I just get my news from CNN and other, you know, accredited news sources. I don't trust "current affairs" updates from an anonymous troll who never concedes a point and who calls stem cell research "frivolous."

And you still haven't answered the question...

What's the matter, L4L? Why are you so afraid to respond to the topic of the post? You did, after all, taunt LieberDem for not responding to the laundry list. And now that he has, you're doing everything you can to change the subject.

Just like a Republican or a schoolyard bully - when someone calls your bluff, you have no idea what to do.

"lie(berman)forlie(berman)": Trolling, lying, and deriding stem cell research as frivolous since 2006.

7/26/2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

I love how CentristDem and Lakseh and a few others only want to debate LieberManforLiebermanforConnecticutforLieberman, and choose to ignore every other Lamont supporter here. It shows class and courage to refuse to undergo critical examination of your beliefs, and CentristDem and Lakseh and others have it in spades.

7/26/2006 11:19 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

First off, I agree with moderation's assessment of your non-attempt to argue against the EC bit.

Second, I would be happy to talk about the issues. Tell you what - you get L4L to make even 1/2 of his posts on topic, and I'll make all mine on-topic. Or do you only hurl insults at people who disagree with you?

7/26/2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

I am just a proud Connecticut Yankee who cares about Democracy and the United States of America enough to stand up and be counted.

I wish Lieberworld Democracy-Haters did too, that's all.

I can dream, can't I?

cfaller - I will cease my insightful posts for awhile in hopes that you can have a meaningful discussion of some sort with these clowns.

I remain dubious that is even possible.

Good Luck.

7/26/2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a hush falls over the crowd...

7/26/2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lieberman is the Dean Scream of 2006

7/26/2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lieberdem, on faith-based initiatives, I recall Joe expressing misgivings about the Bush faith-based initiatives because of perceived discrimination against the gay community. He even went so far as to say he could not support a bill unless those concerns were addressed. IOW, while he obviously supports the concept, the idea that he endorsed the Bush initiative "as is" is untrue.

7/26/2006 11:42 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

CentristDem said:
Tell you what - you get L4L to make even 1/2 of his posts on topic, and I'll make all mine on-topic. Or do you only hurl insults at people who disagree with you?

What the hell do you want me to do about L4L? The best thing for you to do is to ignore him, or only talk to him about the topic on hand. Why do you want to hold me responsible for his behavior?

Dealing with L4L doesn't exclude you from engaging others in honest debate. But you know that. Solely responding to L4L makes it look (to me, at least) like you want to only trash talk with a troll, and to hell with everybody else.

Y.G. Brown and others have made some good points, and maybe I've raised some valid questions. Where are the responses from you, Lakseh, etc.? There are plenty of responses to L4L, but silence when it comes to more pertinent comments. What am I supposed to make of that?

When you argue with L4L, you in the process overgeneralize about about Lamont supporters, calling us "nutcases", "liars", "Lieberman-haters", "extremists", and claim that we're unable to follow logic or deal with facts.

To that, I say "f--k you, Ann Coulter". I don't consider myself a nutcase, a liar, an extremist, I don't hate Joe Lieberman, and I consider myself highly logical and fact-based. I hope my comments reflect that.

But please, show me where I am any of those things. Use my words against me. Nobody has done that yet. Nobody points out where my comments make me a liar, an extremist, a nutcase, a Lieberman-hater, illogical, and fantasy-based. Yet you and others still use all of those stupid names- for what purpose? Is calling me a liar without proving it going to convince me to support Senator Lieberman?

It's lazy and insulting to only engage with L4L and then extrapolate his behavior to the rest of us Lamont supporters. You should be better than that, no matter what L4L does.

My comments for the most part have focused on the Iraq War, I believe Y.G. Brown has dealt with the emergency contraception issue. Let's talk about those things, shall we?

7/26/2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger Y.G. Brown said...

It's laughable...you didn't refute his constitutional arguments at all. Do Governors and legislatures overrule the constitution? No. You response was completely unrelated to constitutional issues. Laws can be overturned in court and hey, guess what? Those laws ARE currently being challenged in court.

Ummm... you're kidding, right? These laws have been on the books for years and have survived court challenges. Your argument is akin to claiming that statutes which prohibit jaywalking may be unconstitutional because legislatures do not overrule the constitution. Some of these state laws have been on the books since as early as 2001 (NY state law requiring all hospital to inform patients about EC) and 2003 (NYC law requiring that hospitials within the city provide EC to rape victims). No lawsuit has even succeeded in overturning any of these laws. It is 100% factually false to claim that such laws are unconstitutional.

7/26/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

What do you want to talk about? Truth be told, I probably hold the same opinion as you do about the war in Iraq - I disagree completely with Lieberman's position and think that he has had his head in the sand about what's going on there. My disagreement is over the contention that Iraq is enough of a reason to vote against Lieberman. I care just as much about other issues that Lieberman does have a great record on.

And I apologize if I came off as abrasive - perhaps you're right in that I should ignore L4L, and I'll do so for the moment. So yeah...name an issue, and I'd be happy to talk it out with you.

7/26/2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger Sundog said...

I commend you for taking the time to answer the list. I do notice, however, that many of your counterpoints are simply defenses or explanations of the essential truth of the point being made. Which is of course fine, but can hardly be viewed as a refutation.

For instance, your counterpoint about taking the "he's president for 3 more years" quote certainly does further flesh out his views, but placing the quote in context certainly does not change its meaning in any way. It is still an objectionable position for a Democrat to take, IMHO. But what do I know, I'm a crazed Lieberman hater.

For me, the central point is the war, and my dislike for Lieberman's Rove-like tactics. Spare me the inevitable comparisons with hair-on-fire blog commenters; anyone who isn't a complete newbie knows it's disingenuous to hold a group of people responsible for what a few haters write on the Internet.

I for one am very offended by all the rhetoric about Lieberman-haters. I don't hate anyone. But it's clear there are people here who do. Why don't YOU ratchet down the rhetoric, Lieberman supporters, since it's the only rhetoric you have control over?

I still applaud the attempt to talk FACTS and answer QUESTIONS, even if I think the attempt drifted offcourse at times.

7/26/2006 12:21 PM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

All right, apology accepted. Now we're making some progress, and hopefully this comment board can cool down a little and honestly deal with the issues.

Although we both agree on the Iraq War, since it seems like you and I just plain disagree about the importance of the Iraq War, let's move on to other issues.

You believe there are other issues just as important as the Iraq War, such as stem cell research, equal rights, education. My fundamental question is this- why do you believe Ned Lamont will be more conservative on those other issues you think are just as important as the Iraq War?

Off the top of my head, Ned Lamont is already more liberal on two big issues: Iraq War and gay marriage. What is so wrong with electing a guy who is showing himself to be more liberal than Senator Lieberman on a HUGE foreign policy issue, and more liberal than Senator Lieberman on a burning social issue? What is wrong with electing a guy who will probably be more liberal than Joe Lieberman, but will still win the general election?

As a matter of disclosure (although I've said it before here), I'm not a Connecticut resident. I was born and raised a Northeastern liberal, but I now live in the South. I would love nothing more than to elect a moderate like Joe Lieberman down here, because a moderate like Joe Lieberman is the best I can hope for down here.

But I hope for and expect more in Connecticut. I believe Connecticut voters are far more willing and able to elect true liberals. So why shouldn't they? Why shouldn't Democrats elect the strongest liberals wherever possible, and elect moderates wherever they have to?

That's what Republicans do, and it's worked pretty well for them so far.

7/26/2006 12:33 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

My answer to that is relatively simple. Yes, Ned Lamont talks a more liberal game than Joe Lieberman does. But it's easy for him to talk, since he's never had to actually vote on anything except stop signs and traffic lights (and yes, I think Lieberman's campaign was stupid to try and make his record as a selectman an issue).

Lieberman's record is solidly progressive on most major issues that really impact our future, most notably education, the environment, and gay rights. Lamont might be more liberal than Lieberman on gay rights, but not by much, and as I said - Lieberman has the voting and advocacy history to back it up.

But let's say that Ned Lamont does turn out to be more liberal than Lieberman on gay rights, and equally progressive on stem cell research, the environment, and education. Ned Lamont will probably be coming in 99th or 100th in seniority (both because this race is draining Dem resources away, and because CT is a relatively small state). It also probably won't help that Lieberman is generally considered among the best-liked people on the Hill, and so he might get a rather cool reception from some of his colleagues.

Combine that with the fact that his lack of elective experience means that he'll probably need some time to learn the ropes, and I just don't see him getting that much DONE in the Senate for awhile. One more vote won't end the war in Iraq or make much of a difference on basically any major issue. And his lack of seniority will make it harder for him to get things done for CT (I live in NYC, so that doesn't really matter to me, but I assume it does to CT voters).

I agree that we should put the most progressive candidates possible in as a general rule, and to be totally honest, I'd probably vote for Lamont if this were an open seat race, but it's not. I'm not saying that seniority is everything. But replacing an experienced moderate progressive with a voting record to prove it with an inexperienced solid progressive just doesn't seem like it will make the difference many people seem to think it will.

Lastly, one of my big gripes is how much energy, money, and attention this intraparty spat is draining from other races. I totally think that the most important thing we can do is end the GOP majority, and the simple truth is that getting rid of Lieberman won't help accomplish that.

7/26/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger LiebermanForLieberman said...

I guess that's pretty much where I'm coming from, really...

7/26/2006 12:57 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Brief clarification - the reason that the resource drain may affect seniority is that I think that the resources being devoted to this race makes it less likely that Democrats will regain the majority, and being a member of the minority party gives you a disadvantage in seniority.

7/26/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

rachelrachel:

If you don't "get" what the point is, why not read the whole speech instead of just the little section?


Been there, done that. Granted, he says a lot of different things, dancing around, and claiming he respects different opinions, but the main point stands, he actually did say that "in matters of war, we critize our president at our nation's peril", and the rest of the speech at best does very little to alleviate the neo-macarthyistic message of the sound-byte / main quote.

With regards to the EC question, several of us commenters have brought to Lieberdem's attention that there is no constitutional issue here (although defunding hospitals would be serious enough, of course), and one other commenter provided case-law to back it up, and policy background from other states. including New York and Mass. As it stands, the burden of argument is now clearly on those who claim the legislature giving grants with strings attached where running afoul with the Constitution.

Also, with regards to the "only a poorly worded statement"-defense: OK, but what did that poor wording reveal about Lieberman? In this case, you have to make a value judgement. Either the hospital backs down and gives EC, or the rape-victim must go elsewhere. There is no half-way position.

Finally, private, catholic hospitals taking state money must know that these money will come with som strings attached. Taking those money is entirely voluntary on their part.

7/26/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous moderation said...

The problem is, it's not the "main quote" from the speech. The main point he was making was:

It is time for Americans and we their leaders to start working together again on the war on terrorism.


Everything else in the speech was building up to that, providing rhetorical support for his conclusion that the parties need to work together instead of against each other.

As far as the bit about EC...well, I don't think hospitals should lose funding for following their religious beliefs. Like the man said, we need those hospitals for a lot more than EC, so defunding them over that one issue will hurt many more people than it would help.

7/26/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

With "main quote", I mean "the senctence politician and speech-writer know beforehand will be quoted on the news and played in the nightly TV news". (That's how these things work, and Lieberman supposedly is a pro, right?)

As for EC, yes, that's a fair enough point of view. I tend to agree, half of the time. But a staunch pro-choice position, it is not, as the result is exactly "a short ride" for some rape victims. The problem: We do not know what Lieberman's position is, after various clarifications he has supposedlyh made to Boxer and NARAL.

(And the Constitution isn't involved, regardless.)

7/26/2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Sundog said...

I call logical flaw. Pointing out that a statement was not the central thesis of an argument in no way shows that the speaker didn't meean what he said in the statement, taken out of context. In other words, just because that wasn't the point of his comments doesn't mean the statement doesn't stand on its own.

Interesting letter in the paper:

Town Times
Middlefield, CT

Letters to the Editor

Lieberman supports war, not troops.

I am a registered Democrat and a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan with the 1-102 Infantry Battalion of the Connecticut National Guard. Last week I received some newspaper clippings in the mail that sparked my interest: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has been successfully challenged and forced into a primary that will take place in August.

As some readers may have heard, in January my battalion was issued substandard equipment for our deployment to Afghanistan. Originally, we were issued M-16s rather than M-4 carbines, rifles with shorter barrels and collapsible butt stocks. As a politically active member of the battalion, I began to get in touch with Representative DeLauro and Representative Simmons, who both responded quickly and enthusiastically. Senator Dodd also responded quickly and gave me prompts on how to further validate my request for weapons.

However, I did not receive a response from Senator Lieberman's office. I continued to leave messages for both him and his military aide, now senior counselor, Fred Downey, who represented Sen. Lieberman at the Battalion's send off ceremony on Jan. 4. After several messages, I finally received a return phone call. However, I was not met with the same enthusiasms expressed by other legislators; I was immediately confronted with an inquisition that seemed to have the purpose of dispelling the belief that the battalion was ill equipped. Rather than listen to our specific concerns, the "benefits" of the M16 were highlighted and the advantages of the M4 were downplayed.

Lieberman's office left the impression that they believed we had the equipment we needed, despite the contrasting beliefs of soldiers in my battalion, some who have been on as many as five deployments. The others in Washington were not so quick to abandon us.

Lieberman has never hesitated to voice his support for the war, and recently voted against pulling troops out of Iraq, so where was he when over 500 of his own constituents were being sent overseas to fight on behalf of his great country? It appears the senator was so concerned with climbing the political ladder, he forget what his job is really about: the people.

When my absentee ballot returns to the States next month, Lamont's name, not Lieberman's, will bear the check when August 8 arrives, will you stand for the hypocrisy?

Sincerely,

Colin D. Halloran

7/26/2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Even I have to admit, that looks bad. I can't defend Lieberman's staff...god knows they've run a godawful campaign. But my guess is that Lieberman never even saw this guy's letter or heard his messages because the staff was so stupid that they ignored it.

7/26/2006 2:17 PM  
Blogger pro-joe progressive said...

Lieberman outflanks Dodd and 30 other to the left on offshore drilling -

http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00217

I should also mention that as a Connecticut senator, Lieberman had no interest other than strong support for this nation's environment to oppose this bill. I'm sure some senators like Boxer and Feinstein were compelled to vote against the bill partly or mostly because of NIMBY sentiment from democrats in their state. That is not to discount their strong environmental records (especially Boxer's). I wonder if Ned Lamont would have felt the same way as Joe Lieberman. Hmm... He very well might, but hmm...

7/26/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous rachelrachel said...

I believe that the vast majority of Americans who want America to succeed in Iraq will read Lieberman's entire speech as a call to get people of both parties to work together, and find its sentiment quite laudable. I just don't buy the "engineered sound-bite" theory. To me, it's not inevitable that the excerpted bite is the one the networks would pick. And I don't see a motive here. He always worked toward bipartisan solutions, sometimes with the effect of angering the Democratic base.

I know that Ned is framing himself as an "anti-war" candidate (as opposed to Joe, who is framed as "pro-war)," but their positions aren't very far off. Both favor a timeline in which most troops are out by 2007. This also conforms pretty closely to the Pentagon's not-at-all-secret plan. And Bush likes to deride the Dems for being cut-and-run, but this is demagoguery; it looks like he's backing the Pentagon plan. So it looks like, despite the bickering, there's a reasonable bipartisan consensus.

Sometime before November, I expect that a large number of the troops are going to be redeployed. If not, well, that would play into Ned's hands.

What is Joe missing here? Insufficiently rabid anti-Bush rhetoric? Lack of contrition over his vote on the IRW? A pollyannaish view of the situation in Iraq? A few hastily mumbled anti-war slogans? Any of these might help you with the Democratic base, but in a general election (if it comes to that) everything would be different.

On the war issue alone, I'd prefer Joe, because he actually has some knowledge of the subject. He's actually been to Iraq. He has worked with these issues. This gives him some credibility that Lamont doesn't have.

You know a politician by looking at his record, and Ned Lamont has no record. I go to the Lieberman website and can see descriptions of various progressive initiatives he's worked on. I go to the Lamont website, and see some vague generalities about what he wants to do. Lieberman actually has some specifics and some substance. He's got some accomplishments. Lamont has platitudes. Who is the more liberal? Who knows? For all I know, he's cobbled together his positions on gay marriage and whatnot to pander opportunistically to the Democratic base. And who knows how sincere his antiwar posturing is? A guy who recently jumped on the antiwar bandwagon is not credible to me.

I don't live in Connecticut, but one more thing that would keep me from supporting Ned Lamont is the TV spot that he made with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, a man who looked at American contractors being killed and said, "I feel nothing. Screw them." He has never apologized or retracted his statement. In an interview, he says he feels "vindicated" by it. And it's not at all out of character for him; it's just the most inflammatory out of many.

It's hard for me to understate how profoundly offensive such utterances are to me, and I am still shocked when I go to left-wing websites and find people who don't think this sort of thing is such a big deal, or even that they find this little punk to be some kind of a hero. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but this sort of thing makes my blood boil. Does Lamont think what his little buddy said is remotely acceptable? I understand that you need all kinds of people to put together a coalition, but why do you need to put this guy front and center in a TV commercial? I'd feel the same way if some poltician made a spot with Ann Coulter.

I can envision an attack ad with Moulitsas and Lamont sitting cozily together, interspersed with some CNN footage from Falluja, the text scrolling across the screen, and finally, big letters: SCREW THEM.

7/26/2006 3:40 PM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

CentristDem said:
Yes, Ned Lamont talks a more liberal game than Joe Lieberman does. But it's easy for him to talk, since he's never had to actually vote on anything except stop signs and traffic lights.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you just don't believe Ned Lamont is going to follow through on his campaign promises. You're entitled to that viewpoint, but then let's be clear that that is your problem with Ned Lamont.

I think Connecticut voters are willing to take the chance. If you think that's foolish, then perhaps you should try to justify your view by showing how Ned Lamont was (or is) dishonest in his policy statements. That would be far more effective than discussing Halliburton stock or 'Joe Lieberman really IS liberal' crap. Show how Lamont won't follow through on his promises.

After all, we know what Senator Lieberman will do- more war, more moderation, more dancing in the middle, more Fox News appearances, etc. More of the same. Sorry, I had to point that out.

CentristDem said:
It also probably won't help that Lieberman is generally considered among the best-liked people on the Hill, and so he might get a rather cool reception from some of his colleagues.

Well, you and I just plain disagree here. If the high-schoolers in DC want to "shun" Lamont because he beat one of their BFFs, then that's really more of a reflection on them, not Lamont. And I don't think you can blame Lamont for this- as well-liked as Joe Lieberman is inside the beltway, his popularity outside the beltway is a different story.

It may be a little bit of a problem for Lamont at the beginning (along with his lack of experience), but he'll have six years of service to win over his colleagues and gain experience. Plus, he's a successful businessman, not some babe in the woods- I don't think it's a stretch to say that Lamont can succeed at that, if you give him time.

Imagine- six years of pushing for stem cell funding, six years of fighting lunatic fringe judicial nominations, six years of principled progressive positions. All that, without the neocon support of a costly and fruitless war and the emotionally embarrassing baggage of standing ovations for and literally kisses from the Worst. President. Ever.

CentristDem said:
One more vote won't end the war in Iraq or make much of a difference on basically any major issue

Well, again, we philosophically disagree. One more vote won't end the war, but it will bring us one vote closer to ending the war, won't it? One more vote won't make much of a difference on any issue, but it brings us one vote closer to success, doesn't it? The practice of incrementalism comes in handy with issues that really matter, like the Iraq War. You eat an elephant one bite at a time, and you get out of a war one Senator at a time.

CentristDem said:
Lastly, one of my big gripes is how much energy, money, and attention this intraparty spat is draining from other races.

Well, again, I don't know that you can blame Lamont for this. He's posing a challenge because of his convictions on various issues. Why should anyone fault Lamont for a successful campaign? Why is a successful challenge to an incumbent a negative for the challenger?

Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Senator Lieberman and the Democratic leadership are at fault for the drain in energy, time, and money. Senator Lieberman chose to call for help from the party, and the Party bigwigs chose to drop money and time in to fight this challenge.

Ned Lamont didn't do that. All Ned Lamont did was articulate a vision that resonated with Connecticut voters better than Senator Lieberman did.

Why didn't the DLC and the DSCC just let this primary run its course? Why did the party have to choose sides in this battle? Why did Senator Lieberman call in so many favors to his colleagues and put them in a bind- all just to win a freakin' primary? Why did Senator Lieberman take money from the DSCC, only to (presumably) then use that money in an independent run against the Democratic nominee?

(And don't get me started on his waffling on Social Security privatization (which will be back next year, BTW), or his sanctimonious "we undermine the credibility of the President at our nation's peril" crap. I'm virtually alone in my beliefs down here in the South, and then I have to see this "Democrat" tell me I'm putting the nation in peril by speaking my mind? F--k him!)

Those are activities that arguably weaken the party, and yet Ned Lamont did none of those things. The Party leadership chose to fight this primary battle, and it looks like (fingers crossed) the party leadership will be on the losing end of the battle. But you can't blame Ned Lamont for being successful and making the Party look foolish by choosing sides in a primary. The Party did that all by its lonesome.

The Democratic Party won't self-destruct if it loses Joe Lieberman. The Party will be fine without him. While getting rid of Lieberman won't move us towards a Democratic majority in the Senate, it won't move us away from it either. I dare say that a Lieberman primary loss will not end up being the difference maker between a GOP Senate and a Democratic Senate. I don't think that's an extremist/nutcase viewpoint, either.

And besides, if you don't have to make sacrifices in your principles in order to obtain a majority, why do it? In other words, if you can avoid damaging your chances at obtaining a majority while getting a "better" Democrat, isn't that a good deal all around (except for Republicans)?

Any worthwhile change will involve some pain. But it's necessary to endure such short term sacrifices in order to achieve longer term objectives. It's worth it to go through a primary battle against a moderate in order to nudge everything a little bit further to the left. Rather than constantly fight with the lunatic right over how much to give up, let's go back on the attack and make them give something up for a change.

If we elect Lamont, then the Republicans lose a moderate friend who was always willing to give a little bit of bipartisan credibility to their legislation, and was always willing to give legitimacy to offensive demagogues like Sean Hannity. They lose a Democrat who was always willing to end cloture, and prevent any principled (albeit for now symbolic) stands on things like Sam Alito.

The American people will not trust Democrats until they start to take principled (and sometimes unpopular) stands on issues- how can you know what a person really stands for, unless he stands for it in the face of disapproval from the crowd? With Ned Lamont in the Senate, we get one more guy willing to take unpopular but principled stands, like filibustering Sam Alito. Who knows how it would have turned out if there had been a Democratic filibuster? We'll never know, because Senator Lieberman didn't want to try.

You will never succeed if you don't try. Taking a stand, even if it ultimately doesn't change anything, is better for the Party, regardless of who is in the majority. Senator Lieberman doesn't believe that, and I dare say neither do you.

The difficulty and uncertainty that we will all experience this November will be painful, but with Ned Lamont in the Senate it will ultimately be worth it.

7/26/2006 3:57 PM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

rachelrachel said:
I know that Ned is framing himself as an "anti-war" candidate (as opposed to Joe, who is framed as "pro-war)," but their positions aren't very far off. Both favor a timeline in which most troops are out by 2007

When one guy says that we're making good progress in Iraq while the other guy screams for an exit strategy, THAT is a big difference. You can't trust the first guy to commit to a timetable, and you feel pretty certain the second guy is motivated to find a practical way to get out of Iraq. I see big differences there, but apparently you don't.

And I'm sorry, I can't shrug off his "sound-bite" when he accused me of putting my country in peril by undermining the credibility of the President. The President did that himself, and I'm simply pointing it out.

I care so much about this country that I dare to point out when it and its President are wrong. Senator Lieberman believes that by doing that, I've put the country in greater danger. F--k him.

7/26/2006 4:06 PM  
Blogger Ken Balbari said...

politgeekpro:

1. Many people believe there is a religious freedom issue in forcing Catholic hospitals, doctors or nurses to do something against their religious beliefs. These are all fairly recent laws, only seven states have them, and I don't think the Supreme Court has yet addressed it. In any case, people are entitled to their views on that.

2. By waiting until the president offered his SS plan to come out against it, Lieberman was more effective in blocking the plan. This was a huge defeat for Bush. And the March 3, 2005 letter, signed by 41 Senators, rejecting the Bush plan was a key moment in that defeat link. It is only because moderates like Lieberman were on board that Democrats had the credibility they did with the public on this issue. And keep in mind that 41 is a key number, as it meant they had the votes to filibuster. link Only 3 Democrats didn't sign: Conrad (ND), Feingold (WI), and Nelson (NE). And there is nothing disturbing about Lieberman's prior position which was that any private accounts would be problematic, but that he might be willing to accept small individual accounts if they were funded in a manner which did not diminsh the ability to pay current benefits.

3. I've addressed the "peril" quote before, and in context he's talking about Democrats who, just over a year after an election, don't accept that Bush will be president. So Democrats who were more interested in politics than in putting together an effective Iraq policy. And I've pointed out he said similar things during the Clinton scandal about those calling for impeachment, and the potential impact on national security.

4. I don't see anything wrong with the McCain comment, and the only evidence I've seen of his Fox appearances suggests he used them primarily to criticize Republicans. I've yet to see where he bashed Democrats there.

7/26/2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you just don't believe Ned Lamont is going to follow through on his campaign promises. You're entitled to that viewpoint, but then let's be clear that that is your problem with Ned Lamont."

That's really putting words in my mouth. I meant that we just don't know how he'll vote once he gets to DC. Washington has a tendency to pull most Senators more towards the center - just look at what happened to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It's not that I don't take him at his word; it's that things often change once people are in Washington awhile.

As far as the drain on resources goes, I wasn't placing blame on anyone. I was just stating the way things are. This contest is draining money from other races; races where we have a chance to pick up GOP seats. It's not the "fault" of one side or the other. It's just the way things are.

And much as I disagree with Lieberman's decision to run in November if he loses, it's going to happen. That's just reality. And that means that if Lieberman loses the primary, this race will continue to drain resources away from other races. I'm not saying that it's not mostly Lieberman's fault (it is), but we have to face up to reality.

The ugly truth is that Lieberman winning on August 8th will mean that more Democratic money will be spent on defeating Repugs, and less will be spent on defeating each other. And in a race that's decided by a few thousand votes, a few thousand dollars in donations for one extra TV ad or a few extra GOTV volunteers could win or lose a race.

I believe that progressive ideals will be best advanced by electing a Dem Congress. Replacing Lieberman with Lamont probably won't change the outcome of even one major vote or policy. But continuing this race through November could mean the difference between a GOP Senate and a Dem Senate.

I know that's not an ideological "defense" of Liebmerman. But sometimes you just have to look at the bigger picture.

7/26/2006 7:22 PM  
Blogger Jimbo said...

It took a while to get through, but it was well worth the read. You did an excellent job unveiling the grotesque distortions of Joe's record by the Ned Nuts. Will they start harassing Ted Kennedy now because he supported No Child Left Behind? I doubt it. The first 5 bullet points in the opening section are dead on. It was a great descripton of the tactics being used by the Lamont campaign. Especially the point that they ignore Joe's record when his position is not conducive to their arguement. Ned Nuts would make Karl Rove proud.

7/26/2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Politicgeek Pro said...

Ken Balbari:

1. Re the constitutional argument: I can, maybe, see your point that the question of the consitutionality of forcing state-funded hospitals to provide EC is not finally decided byt SCOTUS. But, what we have so far are unsuccesful challenges to the practice.

So, as for now claiming that such a practice is unconstitutional is unfounded. You'd at least have to add a "MAY turn out to be unconstitutional", in order to be intellectually honest.

2. I read the Lieberman tactic entirely differently, and I did pay attention at the time. I ackowledge that it is possible to read Lieberman's actions the way you do, but I see them differently, as do many of the Lamontbloggers. Documentation as to how Lieberman's stand on SS issues was perceived in the blogospere in 2005 can be found on Josh Marshall's blog, here, here, here, here, here, and here (yes, I got those links from www.mydd.com). If nothing else, the links should shed light on how Liberman can be perceived by many as he is, as a potential threat to SS.

3. With re to the "peril quote": OK, regardless of wether you buy into the engineered sound-bite theory, he did say the words. You don't find them offensive towards anti-war democrats, many other do, I'll leave it for now.

4. As for the Fox news appearances: If you have yet to see examples of this, I understand that Lieberman is interpreted vastly differently by different people. Or you watch Fox news very seldom, which is of course a good thing. :) I'm not in the mood for a big searching for examples task right now, so I'll leave it at that.

7/26/2006 9:48 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

I never watch Fox News...very fair counters there though, politicgeek. As far as the constitutionality issue, I read the LieberDem post as saying that in past cases involving the issue of goverment requirements being forced onto religious institutions, the courts have ruled against the government and for the religious institutions. I don't think he was arguing that the courts had already ruled against these laws in particular...

7/26/2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger Y.G. Brown said...

Many people believe there is a religious freedom issue in forcing Catholic hospitals, doctors or nurses to do something against their religious beliefs. These are all fairly recent laws, only seven states have them, and I don't think the Supreme Court has yet addressed it. In any case, people are entitled to their views on that.

Again, this is absurd. I don't care how many Christian Coalition funded "think tanks" came up with a cockamamie theory that such practices are unconstitutional. Seven states have laws on this, all of which have survived court challeneges. Some of these laws have been on the books for five years or more. You're "entitled" to whatever views you want to hold. You can believe that laws against bigamy are unconstitutional if you want. THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE.

If Mr. Gerstein refuses to correct his post, which states definitiely that such deference to Catholic hospitals receiving public funds, "is what is required by the Constitution" and that "the government simply does not have the Constitutional right to force them to reject even that ridiculous belief," then it is perfectly clear that lies are one of the tools being usd by Lieberman supporters to defend his stance. This is not a subject open to debate. Not a single law of this nature has ever been overturned, they have been on the books for five years, and to claim otherwise is to argue for the existence of the Tooth Fairy.

7/27/2006 5:10 AM  
Blogger Y.G. Brown said...

Right or wrong, that's the reality of constitutional law on the matter. I'll grant that the courts have not, to my knowledge, ruled on these EC laws in particular, but the legal history of the broader issue of government directives being forced upon religious institutions is pretty long.

What the bloody hell does this even mean?? "Right or wrong"? No... just "wrong." The linked case is just one of many, many cases that have established the legality and constitutionality of such laws.

The fact that you wil "grant" the cold hard fact that these laws have never, ever, ever, ever, ever been ruled unconstitutional by anyone, anywhere, for any reason is touching. CORRECT THE POST. You are lying about the status of the law. Though it may have been an inadvertent mistake initially, you are doing it intentionally at this point. You are parroting hard-core, Republican, Christian Coalition talking points. Every day that you post remains uncorrected is another day in which your credibility slips.

7/27/2006 6:57 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

CentristDem said:
It's not that I don't take [Lamont] at his word; it's that things often change once people are in Washington awhile.

First, I would point out that just because DC moderated Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama doesn't mean DC will moderate Ned Lamont. Hillary Clinton doesn't count, she was a triangulating, calculating, finger in the wind moderate before she was elected.

You're entitled to the belief that Ned Lamont will moderate once he gets to DC, but again I think Connecticut voters are willing to take that chance. Even if DC does somehow moderate Ned Lamont, he probably won't end up more moderate than Joe Lieberman. In that hypothetical, have Connecticut voters really been harmed? They're willing to take the chance, because they know what they'll get if they reelect Joe Lieberman. August 8th will prove me right or will prove me wrong.

CentristDem said:
As far as the drain on resources goes, I wasn't placing blame on anyone. I was just stating the way things are. This contest is draining money from other races; races where we have a chance to pick up GOP seats. It's not the "fault" of one side or the other. It's just the way things are.

Let's review for a moment. This argument was in response to my question, "what's wrong with electing a more liberal Democrat that can still win the general election?" One of the reasons you gave was a drain on party resources. When I pointed out that's not the fault or the responsibility of the challenger (or the voters for that matter), you clarified (above) that it's a reality you want to avoid, regardless of who's to blame.

The reality you wish to avoid, however, is not a reality that was handed down to us by God- it's a reality being chosen by the incumbent and the Party. The incumbent and the party could avoid the reality if they wanted to, but you seem unwilling or unable to acknowledge that.

If you really think that a drain on Party resources is something to avoid, then I think you should take this up with the people who are capable of avoiding that reality- namely, Senator Lieberman and the Democratic leadership. If resources are put into this primary battle at the expense of other pickup opportunities, Ned Lamont and his supporters are not responsible for that mistake. The blown opportunity was blown by the Party, not by Lamont.

If you're so concerned with this being a drain on the Party, why don't you call on the Party to stop putting money and time in here and let the primary run its course? Fundamentally, why is a drain on party resources a reason to oppose Lamont? It doesn't make sense to oppose Ned Lamont in the interest of preserving Party resources unless you on some level hold Ned Lamont responsible for this drain.

Unless there's another reason. Perhaps you just don't believe a primary challenger should run against an incumbent Democrat, ever. It's Senator Lieberman's seat until he wants to give it up, and that's that! Anything else might jeopardize our chances at a Democratic majority.

I might be putting words in your mouth again, so I'll let you clarify: would you ever support a primary challenge to an incumbent Democrat? What conditions would have to apply in order for you to not oppose the challenger?

7/27/2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

I think you misunderstood my meaning in which resources are being drained on this. The DSCC and DNC are probably going to spend next to nothing on this race, just as they always were. The drain will be the amount poured into this race by individual donors, particularly those in the blogosphere.

Think about it this way - almost none of the people in the blogosphere are writing max-out ($4000) checks to any candidate this cycle. That means that they are dividing the money they spend on campaigns between the various candidates they support. The presence of Lieberman and Lamont could mean that the $50 spent by Person X on Lamont or by person Y on Lieberman is $100 that could have instead been spent on Bob Casey, or $20 each on Casey, McCaskill, Ford, Brown, and Klobuchar. It's not perfectly zero sum in that sense, but I'm sure that the truncation of this race will mean that more money will get donated to other candidates.

And yes, I do support primary challenges to incumbents under some circumstances. Corruption (Toricelli), truly leaving the party by caucusing with the GOP voting with the GOP a MAJORITY of the time (Zell Miller), and being too lazy to ever propose a significant bill (Daniel Akaka) are all legit grounds for primary challenges in my book. Challenging a Democratic incumbent with a strongly progressive record on the vast majority of issues simply because he broke with the party on one major issue on a few other votes does not meet that bar - at least in my opinion, and I stress that I speak only for myself.

7/27/2006 9:14 AM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

CentristDem said:
The drain will be the amount poured into this race by individual donors, particularly those in the blogosphere.

Without conceding that point, I still don't understand why that's a reason to oppose Lamont. It may be a reason to lament the battle, but that's no reason to oppose Lamont.

But I now at least understand what you're saying, although I don't think the drain is as big of a deal as you think it is.

From a personal perspective, as of early winter, I was not planning to make any contributions to any Democratic candidates for the midterm elections.

And then Joe Lieberman told me I was endangering my country by criticizing the President. A--hole. I was offended, but I didn't do anything about it. Just more bulls--t from the weak and incompetent Democratic party.

Then I started to see that Ned Lamont was not only anti-war, but was truly liberal on another big issue, gay marriage. Cool! Not only could I support a candidate who wanted OUT of Iraq, would support gay marriage, and wouldn't criticize other Democrats' opposition, but I could shove it in Joe's face while doing it.

But something happened along the way. Not only did I contribute to Ned Lamont, but also to Marcy Winograd, Francine Busby, Bob Johnson, and I plan to give more to other candidates before the November elections. What happened in my case was Ned Lamont stimulated and revitalized my support for a party that I thought (in part due to Joe Lieberman) was milquetoasty and arrogant. Ned Lamont gave me a reason to be hopeful, and as a result helped other candidates.

Now, is the party stronger or weaker because of my support for Ned Lamont? I understand that maybe my case is unique, but I doubt it. Regardless, I don't think the drain on individual donors is as bad as you think- there are others out there like me that might compensate for whatever individual drain that might occur.

7/27/2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Tipsy McStagger said...

You still haven't rebuted:

1. Lieberman undercutting the Democratic Ticket on the recount issue.
2. His waiting to make sure Clarence Thomas got confirmed before voting "No."
3. Appearing on Sean Hannity's and Bob Grant's radio shows as a friendly guest.
4. Excoriating Democrats in the Wall St. Journal editorial page.
5. The anti Clinton floor speech.
6. Support for the current war.
7. Pandering to the right by getting buddy buddy with Bill Bennnett on silly issues like video games.
8. Undercutting the national ticket in 00 by running for both his senate seat and the vice presidency, sending a mixed message about what he thought the party's chances were.

7/27/2006 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel,l

Please stop lying. Kos both apologized and retracted the "screm 'em" statemetn about the dead contractors. Funny, you condemn Lamont for one statement Kos made, but you don't condemn Joe for many statements made by both Bob Grand and Sean Hannity, even though he has appeared willignly as a friendly caller/guest to both of their shows over the years. Bob

7/27/2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was hostile and boorish to opponent Ned Lamont in primary debate, treated Dick Cheney with kid gloves in vice presidential debate."
- This strikes me as sour grapes about the fact that Lieberman took an aggressive stance and then mopped the floor with Lamont in the debate. And yes, he was civil with Cheney - so what? That debate has been cited as among the best, most informative VP debates in the nation's history. Besides which, those who make this charge seem to forget that although the tone was congenial, Lieberman did get in quite a few jabs on Bush/Cheney in the debate, including one where he mocked Cheney for criticizing the Clinton/Gore economic record despite the fact that he had grown rich during the Clinton administration."



This is a pretty lame "rebuttal". It has been cited as ..etc. WHO has cited it as such, you? Its pretty indisuptable that Lieberman lost badly. At least that's how the public saw it and with the electorate, perception is reality. It was a golden opportunity to score points for the Dem and Joe struck out without even swinging. What you don't seem to grasp is that he was TOO civl against someone he should have been the attack dog against. Then he turns around and acts like boor against a fellow Democrat. Also, the alleged jab he got in actually was a good set up for Cheney. Cheney rebutted that by saying (incorrectly) that his wealth had nothing to do with the govt. Cheney got the laughs and the good soundbite. Lieberman looked like a fool. He also sat there and let Cheney get away with a lie. All in all, it was a putrid debate performace, but what did Joe care, he still kept his senate seat.

7/27/2006 1:56 PM  
Anonymous CentristDem said...

Yeah. I'm sure Joe was trying to lose. He didn't actually want to be VP - he wanted to get creamed by Cheney!

What a ridiculous argument. Press coverage of the debate DID call it highly informative. Watch the video. They articulated clear and honest positions on the issues. It was much better than the Edwards-Cheney debate and MUCH better than Gore's steamrolling of Kemp in '96.

7/27/2006 2:00 PM  
Anonymous cfaller96 said...

I don't have a huge problem with this, but you do have to wonder about a guy's motivations if he's hedging his bets...

How passionately was Joe Lieberman pursuing the VP job in 2000? I don't claim that he was sandbagging, but the bottom line is he did NOT want to give up his Senate seat.

Everybody knows that unless you throw yourself all the way out there for something, you probably don't want it that badly in the first place. If you're not willing to throw your Senate seat away for a chance at being VP, you probably don't want the VP job bad enough. Risk/reward, risk/reward...

Again, it's water under the bridge, and I don't care that much, but let's not pretend that Joe was fully committed to becoming VP. He wasn't, as was evidenced by his unwillingness to give up his Senate seat.

It's not that big of a deal anymore, but we're not stupid.

7/27/2006 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Centrist Dem
Don't be an idiot. I never said he wanted to lose. I said he did. He just doesnt' have a set of gonads when it comes to standing up to the GOP when it counts. And what makes the debate "informative", anyway, just because someone in the media says it was? What, specficially was in so informative about? Bottom line:Lieberman lost the debate and thus hurt Gore's chances at winning the presidency.

7/27/2006 3:03 PM  

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