August 14, 2006

Should Joe go?

Jonathan Chait is telling Joe Lieberman to give up:
In a perverse way, conservative Republicans and liberal doves have a shared interest in making Lieberman the symbol of the Democratic hawk. Dovish lefties want everybody to think that if you're a hawk, you must be cozy with Bush. Conservatives want everybody to think that if you're not cozy with Bush, you can't be a hawk.

Still, the Lieberman rationale held together, just barely, as long as he was fighting the good fight within the Democratic Party. But now that he's running as an independent, the last pillars of that rationale have crumbled.

What's the point of running to uphold Democratic hawkishness when you're running against the Democratic Party and its chosen nominee? Lieberman is fighting on terrain that, from the perspective of the liberal hawks, could not be less advantageous.
Chait is writing as if the election of a senator in Connecticut is a debate about the meaning of the Democratic Party. But the people of the state are choosing their senator, after a primary that took place in the dead of summer produced a 10,ooo gap between the two best candidates. As they go into fall and start concentrating on recomposing Congress, they've got Lamont (an inexperienced politician who ran to the left), an irrelevant Republican, and Joe, their long-time senator. Why shouldn't the fall campaign season offer them a full-scale comparison between Lieberman and Lamont?

But looking at the national debate about the meaning of the Democratic Party, I really want Lieberman to get it together and fight for the life of the liberal hawk. We desperately need that now. Say what you want about his pillars and his terrain, he is where he is and he's got to fight there. Show us what a good hawk is. A good Democratic hawk, even it the loudest Democrats don't want there to be such a thing.

112 comments:

David said...

The terrorists keep sending messages from the U.S. and Europe that they could care less about touchy/feely, group-hug, appease and negotiate liberals who still think they can talk sense to misunderstood psychos.

The liberal, left-wing Democrats keep getting rudely reminded by current events that history is leaving their tired rhetoric in the dust. Attempts to blow up U.S. Flag carrier airplanes in the sky again, buying 1000 odd cell phones at full retail to resell in Texas or overseas is laughable (blow up a long bridge is more likely,) terror cells being uncovered all over the world, the terrorist tactic of hiding behind women and children to provoke outrage over collateral damage, all add up to the need for liberal hawks.

Lamont's claims that he knew nothing of Hamsher and the attacks on Lieberman's web site are disengenuous at best. When the truth is outed the Democrats in Connecticut will make the right decision and bring Joe Back. This will be a signal to Dean, Pelosi, Reid, Hillary, that they have outlived their usefulness.

Go Joe! The country needs liberal hawks. Lamont, and the liberal doves, cannot be trusted with the national security of this country.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that all these people want Lieberman to get out of the race is because they know that he is, at present, likely to win. And they think that they were able to put together the grass roots campaign sufficient to get the nomination (by a whisker), and thus Lamont should have the seat because of that.

So, to some extent, they feel like Lieberman is cheating by making this third party run. But what they forget is that the election is not won in the Democratic primary - the Democratic senator has to still carry a majority of the independants to win.

And that is why I think that Lieberman's run here is legitimate, because so much of the electorate hasn't spoken, and is most likely going to send him back when they do.

Sloanasaurus said...

Ann is right. Lieberman will not leave the Democratic party if he wins. A Lieberman win will only help Democrats in the end. Lieberman can claim that the party in Conn. was hijacked by the left for purposes of the primary and that is why he ran as an independent.

A Lieberman win will be a loss for the left-wing of the party and could seriously sideline the left for the 2008 elections.

David said...

One other point that I am having difficulty understanding regarding liberal hawks vs liberal doves is the sexual part of the equation.

Bill Clinton's sexual proclivities are, arguably, legendary. Now we have a 'BUST' of Hillary Clinton displaying her breasts as a symbol of her sexual power which could be a detriment to her run for president.

Is this a diversion from the terrorism in the world or a symbol of what the liberal democrats would rather talk about instead of Islamofascists?

They are underestimating, again, the mentality of the heart of America if they think a female with an ample bosom would be judged on her sexuality and not her values, wisdom, and knowledge.

bearing said...

It always seems to me that when a senator or rep of national significance is running for re-election, the media forgets that the polls and the vote counts are local. The CT voters are electing a senator, not a Recent Vice-Presidential Nominee.

Reminds me a bit of the Daschle race a while ago... you almost got this sense that the media was indignant that the vote was left up to South Dakotans, of all people.

Mark said...

Joe is good liberal hawk? Gee, since when did being strong on defense and steadfast against terrorism equate to supporting the President's ill conceived, neocon military adventure in Iraq? If the British terrorist arrests demonstrate nothing else, it is that President Bush has teken his eye off the ball - Al Qaeda - and led us down the wrong path by betting everything he had on indulging the most far reaching political theories of his neocon foreign policy advisors. In doing so, he has tarnished our nation's hard earned international reputation for love of freedom, liberty and individual rights, AND he has squandered most of our military resources at the same time!! And that's being strong on defense? No, that's being idiotic on defense, and if a Democrat has been in the White House when it happened, you "hawks" would be apoplectic.

Make no mistake -- now that we are there, we have an obligation not to abandon Iraq into the abyss. We broke it, now we own it, as General Powell once said (though apparently nobody heard him). But we also have a fiduciary obligation as an occupying military force to terminate our presence there at the first viable moment. We have a duty (to ourselves and to the Iraqi's) to withdraw if and when our presence causes more problems than it solves. And the press and blogging community has a duty to ourselves to stop accepting (as if it is some kind of universal dogma) all of this neocon propoganda that has proven time and again to be wrong, and to refocus our energy and our resources on the real threat -- radical islamofacism and terrorism. There is no connection between Iraq and terrorism that we did not create ourselves. The war in Iraq is not the same as the war on terrorism. And the GOP's inability to see this (or its unwillingness to put a stop to it, having seen it quite clearly) is at the root of its problem in the upcoming midterm election.

That said, the rejection of Lieberman in Connecticut has much more to do with the exhaustion Americans feel toward incumbents than it does with any special success of the fringe left wing elements in the Democratic party. The public as a whole -- left, cetner and right -- is sick of the narcissists in Washington DC who think that we can't live without them, that they are more important than the concerns and wishes of a large majority of their constituents. Even if a majority of Connecticut citizens support Lieberman as a totality, for years of positive service and centrism, the fact is that a strong majority oppose his view of the war, and are resentful of how he is willing to serve as an unquestioning proxy for Bush administration foreign policy. The national discontent we are experiencing concerns the fact that the Congress is failing in its most basic constitutional obligation to check the executive branch; it is failing to exercise even the most minimal oversight over a White House that happens to be determined to expand its own power and trample our civil liberties in the name of fighting a war on terrorism, and then basically turning everything it touches into sh*t. That's why the next election promises to be a bloodbath. And it has nothing whatsiever to do with either party's (or liberal's or conservative's) differences over protecting our nation against the real threat of terrorism. On that, all Americans are in agreement. Where we disagree is on whether the President's detour into Iraq was a proper step in that effort.

In desperation, Lieberman and his GOP supporters suggest that anybody who disagrees with him (and by extension, President Bush) on the war in Iraq is playing into the hands of terrorists. This administration knows a lot about playing into the hands of terrorists -- it does so on a daily basis. But let's not confuse election year politics with reality. The only reason why Lieberman's primary defeat is such a big issue right now is that the GOP has seized on it (with the help of the mainstream media) as the only means left available to it to convey a Republican talking point, which is that Democrats are allegedly soft on terrorism. But being a critic of Bush in Iraq does not mean that somebody is soft on terrorism. We just wish Bush had spent all of those resources finishing off the real task at hand -- the destruction of Al Qaeda and bringing Osama bin Forgotten to justice -- instead of engaging in nation building that shows every sign of leading to yet another Islamofacist theocracy allied with Iran.

Dave said...

"Now we have a 'BUST' of Hillary Clinton displaying her breasts as a symbol of her sexual power which could be a detriment to her run for president."

Huh?

Bruce Hayden said...

Mark,

We shall see come the general election whether Lieberman's loss in the primary was because of your exhaustion, or because he was outmaneuvered on the left. If you are correct, then Lamont should win handily. If the rest of us are, and Lieberman wins, then the problem is in the Democratic party, and not with Lieberman.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with SippicanCottage here. Some of the information used apparently came from some of those programs that the NYT exposed and that have become so suspect by the anti-war / civil liberties crowds.

The other thing of note here is that part of the reason that the Britts were able to break this plot was that their level / concept of civil liberties, etc. is not as robust as ours. In other words, they can do stuff in their investigations that we cannot do because of our Bill of Rights and laws such as FISA.

David said...

Mark;

Lieberman understands that the war on terror has been going on since way before the 'neo-cons' came into power. In this regard, he understands the history of islamofascism the same as the current administration.

The planning for 9/11, the latest manifestation of the gwot, was planned during the Clinton administration. Al qaeda, the post, is the home office of a larger terrorist franchise. Radical mullahs have been teaching several generations to hate the West and establish Islam and sharia law in accordance with their radical beliefs.

Lieberman and Bush have at least two things in common. They both see a pattern of connected dots that establish; the obliteration of Israel in the short term and the gradual overthrow of western culture in the longer term.

It all starts in the holy land and tribal areas of the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and Jerusalem.

37383938393839383938383 said...

I was confused by the reference to Hillary's bust also. Not that I want to see it. But I have no idea what is being talked about.

37383938393839383938383 said...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2006-08-11-clinton-bust_x.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/11/entertainment/main1889422.shtml

Ann should put up one of these pictures along with the lede for this thread. It is hilarious. Hillary Clinton has a busty bust at the Museum of Sex.

BJK said...

David's last blog post (in reference to Mark) really hits the nail on the head.

By contrast, the Democratic understanding of the situation in the Middle-East really hasn't changed since 2004 (right down to an almost John Kerry-esque reference to the "Pottery Barn rule"). The left insists it could do a better job winning the minds and hearts of those followers of Radical Islam who hate and want to kill Americans....but haven't come up with a single realistic plan for doing so in the almost 5 years since 9/11.

...and for a party centering its election chances on Iraq, that's going to be a problem.

jeff_d said...

This seems to me a question of intra-party protocol. Does the defeated primary candidate have an obligation to the party to stand down so as not to hurt the party in the general election?

In the abstract, I think there is a good argument in favor of such an obligation. The party has devoted its energy and resources to the incumbent in the past and is entitled to expect a return of that loyalty. The incumbent had every opportunity to use his incumbency to his advantage in the primary, and should step aside if, despite that advantage, he couldn't hang on to the nomination.

This Lieberman thing seems like a strong case for an exception to the general rule, however. The party was more or less indifferent to the unusually nasty campaign against Lieberman. The harsh tenor of Lamont's and his proxies' attacks on Lieberman were unusual even for a general election and nearly unheard of in a primary involving a high profile incumbent. Rahm Emanual's "love child" comment betrayed the party's complicity in the smear campaign against Lieberman.

So I don't think the party is in much of a position to demand Lieberman's loyalty. It buckled to the intimidation tactics of the far left, leaving Lieberman to fend for himself with a handful of lukewarm endorsements against a well-organized and ethically uninhibited attack machine. It really isn't entitled to tell Lieberman what to do.

In any event, the Chait article is more likely the start of the second waive of Lieberman-smearing than a sincere call for Lieberman to step down. Dems are working to erode Liberman's strength by pounding on "character" issues: questioning his party loyalty, independence from Bush, and personal integrity. If they are hoping to contrast Lieberman unfavorably with Lamont on character issues and willingness to think and act independently, they have a lot of work ahead of them.

Art said...

Lieberman is lucky to live in a state that allows this after the fact shift.
If he had been a resident of Wisconsin he would have been out of luck.

Which raises a question: Which is better public policy? A second chance for losers such as Connecticut's law...or a requirement such as Wisconsin's that you declare your party or independent status at the time you file the signatures for ballot access.

Bruce Hayden said...

Art,

Good question. I would suggest that to some extent it revolves around how important you think parties should be, and whether loyalty should go both ways, or just from the candidate to the party, and not in reverse.

I would suggest in Lieberman's case, that what he is doing is not immoral because he is giving his party as much loyalty as they gave him here. The idea to the contrary, that he owes a duty to the Democratic Party to sit this out, just because they helped him in the past, is opportunistic and disengenuous. It ignores any loyalty that they might owe him, having represented them and his state ably for the last 18 years.

And things could be worse - imagine the Democratic Party here in CO awhile back when they helped Ben Campbell win a Senate seat, just to watch him switch parties when the Republicans gained control of the Senate.

Fritz said...

It's 1968 and the Democratic Party is officially split. Joe shouldn't run as a matter of principle, but since when do liberals have principle? I love this, the Moveon & Kos crowd will cry foul. Democrats are more afraid of the moonbat base than they are of Islamo fascism.

PatCA said...

Yes, Mark, they have hated us for longer than Bush's term in office; from the Barbary Wars to the Beirut bombing of the peacekeeping Marines, to the '93 WTC bombing, they have hated us. They have hated us since they lost Andalusia and Jerusalem--long before Republicans A ever existed.

And since we became the world's only superpower, our reputation has been under attack by government and non-government propagandizers. Love of liberty though still equates to love of American values: ask any immigrant from Vietnam or Romania. It exists still on an individual level across the globe, even if the NYT doesn't like it.

As for Chait's hypothesis, Lieberman's run is not about restoring Democratic hawkishness, it's about a man who wants to win and sees the number of independents to do it.

Ken Begg said...

I guess I'm just dense, but I can't fathom what right these people think they have to ask Lieberman not to run. They basically kick him out of their party (and smear him in an often grotesque fashion in the process), and then turn around and expect him to abide by their wishes. Yet under what obligation is he to not present himself to the voters as an alternative to the fellow they picked. Indeed, if he thinks he can win--and there seems a good chance he's right--doesn't he owe it to the voters to run?

I mean, what am I missing here? Now that the Democrats have (yet again) demonstrated that they do not take national security seriously, Lieberman suddenly has some sort of a duty not to run on that exact issue? In service of what, exactly? Not hurting the very party that just spurned him?

TetonSig said...

One big factor in the tradition of having the primary loser bow out of the general election: The danger in throwing the election to the other party.

That's not an issue here and takes away one of the biggest arguments from the "Don't run Joe" crowd.

BJK said...

art,

If CT had the Wisconsin rules for primary elections, Sen. Lieberman wouldn't have needed to re-file. With no meaningful candidates on the Republican ticket, most of the 44% of registered independents in CT would have been able to vote in an "open" Democratic primary (along with a number of cross-over Republicans eager to shut down a malevolent cause...make that Kos). Just like in the general election, the other 2/3 of the electorate swings heavily away from Lamont.

The extremes of either political party have their greatest strength in a closed primary (where they make up an artificially high % of the vote)....that's what made Joe so very vulnerable in what should otherwise have made his reelection a given.

sparky said...

Mr Hayden seems to be the only person who actually responded to Mark’s points, or at least one of them. Personally, I don’t think it is exhaustion so much as a recognition of his other point, namely that we have made a large mess in Iraq. Why is so difficult to admit that? Is it really that hard to say “we made a mistake?” Will we sail off the end of the earth?

I see also the traditional “Ds don’t understand that they are out to get us” talking point. Just once, I’d like to see someone back that assertion up with an actual statement from a prominent D. Extra points for a twenty-foot NYC sewer-raised alligator as a companion piece.

As for Leiberman, he's demonstrating that he has--at least since 2000--been about Leiberman first and foremost. The notion that somehow the party didn't support him is just wishful rewriting. Ask Bill Clinton.

There's nothing wrong with asking Leiberman to drop out. After all, it's a bit odd to claim you are against division and then turn on your party. Here's a question: should the Rs ask Alan Schlesinger to drop out?

As for the fall, I think we'll have to wait to see what happens in the actual election.
In a country where 50% of the public has bought into the notion that there were WMDs in Iraq, anything is possible.

Simon said...

I think Bruce nailed it, frankly. If Lieberman is in the election, he wins, and the dems are well aware of that. They are fretting at the very real possibility that if they can't bully Lieberman out of the race, he'll trounce them, and far from having purged the apostate, they will simply have managed to place a loose cannon on the deck, and made the Democrats look utterly out of touch with the prevailing mood of the country.

sparky said...

Oops. Clarification. I should have said that in addition to Iraq, I think many folks in CT found Leiberman out of touch with them on other issues, such as T. Schaivo. I think of Leiberman as really more of a moderate R who finally got pushed out of the D party. Not so earth-shaking when you look at it that way, especially since the Rs have been purging their moderates for quite some time.

ChrisO said...

Wow, reading the first paragraph of David's post, and its litany of tired cliches about liberals, told me all I need to know about the rest of the post (and, as it turns out, virtually the rest of the entire thread.) But to take things one at a time:

Please cite the prominent Democratic politicians who advocate not fighting terrorists, but being nice to them and offering them hugs. I'm sure it gives many of you delight to repeat this overused canard, but saying it doesn't mean voters buy it.

Second, since when is losing a primary election the same as being "kicked out" of the party? About the only rationale I'm seeing for that here is that it's apparently acceptable for Lieberman to decide that the voters who went for Lamont don't "represent" the party, so he's justified (or obligated, as seems to be the opinion here) to run as an independent. Lieberman had more national Democratic stalwarts supporting him than Lamont did, and he still lost. In what way was he abandoned by the party? Apparently every politician who loses a primary should abandon his party as a result. That would make for a messy aftermath to a lot of the presidential primaries. Oh, I forgot, this is a special situation because Lamont is so "dangerous."

One piece of Republican spin that keeps getting repeated here is the notion the the war in Iraq = war on terror. Because a politician opposes the administration's policies in Iraq does not mean that he or she just wants to give the terrorists a hug ( and while you're crying about smears, think about that accusation.)

Speaking of smears, what were the over the top nasty smears against Lieberman, other than the blackface thing that was roundly criticized? And how were these supposed smears so much worse than Lieberman's recent suggestion that Lamont's win is good news for the terrorists? The Republicans have been accusing the Democrats for so long of being friendly to the terrorists that many of you lose sight of what a smear that is. Or do you consider accusing people of disloyalty to their country part of acceptable political discourse?

Lieberman wasn't treated any more harshly than any candidate in a hard fought race, and he has plenty of support from the party. The fact that the election wasn't decided by all of the voters of Connecticut is kind of a no duh moment. It was a primary. They've been going on forever, and Lieberman has run in his share of them. Now that he's lost, suddenly the primary system is fatally flawed.

And as has been pointed out ad nauseam, the Democrats haven't declared war on anyone in the party who is a hawk. Since that gets repeated so much, I'd like to know which other Democrats are facing the kind of opposition within the party that Lieberman is.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Please cite the prominent Democratic politicians who advocate not fighting terrorists, but being nice to them and offering them hugs.

John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Dennis Kucinich.

37383938393839383938383 said...

One piece of Republican spin that keeps getting repeated here is the notion the the war in Iraq = war on terror.

You believe that it is Republican spin to believe that there are foreign terrorists in Iraq; you do not read the newspaper.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Please cite the prominent Democratic politicians who advocate not fighting terrorists, but being nice to them and offering them hugs.

Oh, and NED LAMONT.

Jack Roy said...

To Prof. Althouse and any other conservatives who resent us liberals for thinking we're smarter than you, Critical Observer's recent comments should explain why we do.

gj said...

CriticalObserver, making things up doesn't answer a question.

Democrats in Connecticut didn't reject Lieberman because they want to roll over and let islamists take over the world. You can set up that strawman and then knock it down, but if you do that you'll just be having a conversation with yourself.

Connecticut Dems rejected Lieberman because they thought that his approach to terrorism was flawed and perhaps disingenuous. They disagreed with his ongoing assertions that things are going swimingly in Iraq and that fighting in Iraq is the best way to reduce the number of terrorists in the world and make us safer.

This is increasingly a mainstream view, even among conservatives. When you have an assymetrical conflict, bigger bombs don't necessarily win the day. You need smarter strategies. Lieberman has not offered any of these. Instead he's offered apologetics for the President's failed policies, he's offered truthiness about the connection of Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and he's warned people that honest debate about the war amounts to treason.

Those are the reasons he was rejected by Connecticut Dems, and none of them equate being wimps on defense.

DaveG said...

I see also the traditional “Ds don’t understand that they are out to get us” talking point. Just once, I’d like to see someone back that assertion up with an actual statement from a prominent D.

"We killed the Patriot Act." - Harry Reid.

Madison Guy said...

It's a sign of the ideological polarization of our time that both sides keep looking at Lieberman through an ideological lens.

I think the story is much simpler, and older -- the story of an incumbent who "went Beltway" and lost touch with his constituents.

We had an example in the Madison area a few years ago with the ideological roles reversed: That was when Scott Klug knocked off the highly respected liberal conressman Robert Kastenmeier, who simply had lost touch with his constituents and totally underestimated his challenger.

To some extent, all politics is local -- which is exactly why I think that in November Connecticut voters will reject Joe Lieberman, who has run a simply atrocious campaign and whose motto seems to be "L'etat, c'est moi."

DaveG said...

In a country where 50% of the public has bought into the notion that there were WMDs in Iraq, anything is possible.

You'll have to be more specific. It's pretty clear that at one time there "were WMDs in Iraq," given that they were used. This won't count in your calculus, but the 500+ sarin-laced shells that have been found also indicate something other than complete innocence. You need to add somne qualifier to your statement such as "vast stockpiles of WMDs" if you want to make this point.

Simon said...

BJK said...
"The extremes of either political party have their greatest strength in a closed primary (where they make up an artificially high % of the vote)"

True enough - although I have to admit, I'm not quite sure how state-mandated open primaries are still constitutional in light of Wisconsin ex rel LaFollette and California Democratic Party v. Jones.

sparky said...

DaveG:
Thanks for responding, but I think I have to disagree unless I've misunderstood your post or unless you can point me to some other information. So far as I can tell, the shells you're referring to were there before the first Gulf War so they can't count either. That leaves us with essentially zip or some insignificant amount. Whether the number is actually zero or otherwise close to it is irrelevant in that the small amounts found cannot support the claims of WMDs made before the invasion. That's the sense that I meant. I think a qualifier like the one you suggest obfuscates more than it clarifies.

Simon said...

Madison Guy said...
"I think the story is much simpler, and older -- the story of an incumbent who "went Beltway" and lost touch with his constituents."

If - and only if - Lieberman goes on to lose the general election, then you will be in a position to make the assertion that Lieberman "lost touch with his constituents," as opposed to the considerably smaller claim you can legitimately make today, which is that Lieberman has lost the support of a small sub-section of his constituents (specifically, 146,587 of them, who may or indeed may not, in any event, have been part of the 2,179,562 who voted for Lieberman in 2000). Thusfar, even assuming that all 146,587 Lamont voters actually voted for Lieberman in 2000 (itself an unproven assertion), at an absolute maximum, Lieberman has lost 6.8% of his erstwhile supporters. I'm sure he's shaking in his boots, especially since he doesn't appear to be having any problems raising money and already leads Lamont in the polls.

Elizabeth said...

since they arrested those fellows using information many would desperately like to keep old George Bush from analyzing

Nope, it's not that we want Bush not to analyze the info; we want him to follow the laws in doing it. Get the damn warrants, what's so hard about that? The Brits did it with this investigation, so if anything, this is great evidence that Bush's overreaching is hubris. Sound anti-terrorism intelligence can be gained lawfully, without further aggrandizing the executive.

sparky said...

DaveG:
Thanks for your Reid quote. It's certainly a good R talking point when taken out of context. But I don't see how it rebuts my point. Especially since some Rs agreed that it was a bad bill.

Disagreeing with the GOP doesn't equal not understanding terrorism. That's what I meant when I said I was tired of seeing the same old talking point. I repeat: show me something--even a ripped out of context remark--that suggests Ds don't understand terrorism. Or a 20 foot alligator living in the NYC sewers.

AJ Lynch said...

Chait is appealing to Lieberman's sense of fairness when I think Joe is being fair and is following the rules as written.

In fact, I think the Dems were far more unfair (in 2005 or 2003) when they put Lautenberg on the ballot as a last-minute replacement for the mortally-wounded scumbag Toricelli.

Eli Blake said...

Let me address this as a Liberal Democrat.

First, being a hawk does not entail continuing to support a ruinous war that only strengthens the terrorists by making their case better than they ever could and which we can't win (as even a lot of our generals are now coming out and saying.) There is such a thing as being realistic. And polls are now showing over 60% opposition to the Iraq war. Does this mean that 60% of Americans are now 'doves'? No, it means that 60% of Americans agree with doves that this is a bad war and we need to get out of it.

There are still liberal hawks around. Prime example: John Murtha. Former marine, spent many years in the house working and voting for military projects, including supporting higher defense budgets, many weapons systems and in fact supporting the President every time a U.S. President wanted to commit American forces. So, he bought the lies that were told about WMD and the need to get rid of Saddam before the war and went on record as favoring it.

Once he saw how poorly we were prepared and how our military was being abused and squandered, he had the guts to stand up, admit he'd been wrong, and propose a workable plan for how we can leave and turn things over to the Iraqi government (you know, those elected fanatics who are still out there on the streets leading anti-American demonstrations and burning American flags in Baghdad). Murtha knew of course that he would be castigated by some on the right (including some of the very Republicans he had reached across the aisle to support on military issues for years) but he did it anyway. Sometimes there are worse things for a man's id than being criticized.

Iraq, which in its present form was just a bunch of lines drawn on a map when the French and British divvied up the spoils of the Ottoman empire after WWI is sooner or later going to splinter into three countries (Sunni, Shiite and Kurd). Trying to forcibly hold it together is like trying to forcibly hold the former Soviet Union or Yugoslavia together.

It's time to let go. At least Boris Yeltsin was smart enough to understand that. The sooner we understand it (and elect leaders who understand it) the less the long term damage to America will be when the inevitable happens and Iraq flies apart. If there was ever a window to 'win' Iraq then it is so far behind us that we can't even see where it might have been anymore.

Eli Blake said...

aj lynch:

True, but hardly new.

Just this past week, Bob Ney of Ohio, who is hip deep in the Abramoff scandal, quit running for re-election to his Congressional seat so the Ohio Republican party could name a replacement to run for the seat.

Tom DeLay is fuming because Texas is one of the few states that has a law that prevents that kind of thing.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know, Eli's right: if the incompetence of the Bush administration hadn't caused Iraq to become a bunch of lines drawn on a map after WWI, and if Murtha had known that we had no plan to avoid its unavoidable disintegtegration, he would never have voted to invade it.

Tough. Smart.

Seven Machos said...

What supporters of Lamont can't get past is the fact that Lieberman is going to win.

Think back to 1992. Was Bill Clinton upset that a fruitcake billionaire entered the race for president? No, he was probably thrilled because he knew this third-party opponent would split the opposing vote.

For Lamont, there's no opposing vote to split. Pretty much everyone who has not already come out supporting him does not support his candidacy. This is why lefties are whining and moaning about Lieberman's "Independent Democrat" candidacy, and thinking up all manner of deep political and philosophical reasons why Lieberman shouldn't run.

Yeeeaaarrgggghhh!

37383938393839383938383 said...

You can set up that strawman and then knock it down, but if you do that you'll just be having a conversation with yourself.

Actually, I didn't set up a strawman, I answered the question.

It is true that John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi do not believe in fighting terrorists; they believe in pulling out our troops as quickly as possible.

Dennis Kucinich believes in replacing the Department of Defense with a Department of Peace.

Ned Lamont thinks that we need to offer Iran more carrots and talk to them through our allies more. As if we haven't already been talking to them through our allies and as if we haven't already offered them carrots. On Iraq, he wants the troops home as soon as possible.

None of them wants to war with terrorists, because each one of them thinks terrorism is a criminal problem that can be dealt with by traditional police methods. It happens to be the case that the criminal prosecution model of fighting terror is what led to the attacks of 9/11 -- and we know that because Osama bin Laden said so in one of his statements.

As for "hugging" terrorists, it is Democrats who say we shouldn't have kicked out the Baathists from the Iraqi military and who support amnesty for insurgents who have killed American troops. That is not literally a hug, but is literally as close you can get to a hug on the issue of the Iraq War in American politics. And no Republicans or conservatives come so close.

It was you who claimed it was spin that a war on terrorism is being fought in Iraq -- that is not spin, there are foreign jihadists flocking there with Iranian support and Syrian assistance.

Now, where is the strawman in my argument? And where the hell do you get off calling me stupid, you ignorant jerk? Your elitism is as unwarranted and delusional as John Kerry's belief he can be elected President.

Ann Althouse said...

"Get the damn warrants, what's so hard about that?"

You need first to identify the persons you want to wiretap. How do you develop that information?

Elizabeth said...

It is true that John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi do not believe in fighting terrorists; they believe in pulling out our troops as quickly as possible.

This argument, of course, depends on the fallacy that the Iraq war is about fighting terrorism. Yes, there are terrorists flocking to Iraq, because we invaded it and opened the borders to them. Nice self-fulfilling rationalization, that. Meanwhile, terrorist activities continue in other countries, and Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike all support efforts to fight them.

Seven Machos said...

I can't wait until the first terrorist does the John DeLorean defense.

Pogo said...

Re: "..it's not that we want Bush not to analyze the info; we want him to follow the laws in doing it. Get the damn warrants..."

Yet the NY Times most recent expose' reported on a secret but entirely legal review of bank transactions.

So I have to disagree with you here. In my view, the NY Times are no longer merely anti-Bush, they're actively assisting the other side.

Elizabeth said...

You need first to identify the persons you want to wiretap. How do you develop that information?

The same way we develop any surveillance case, in national security or local organized crime? The FISA setup is effective. How many warrant requests have they ever turned down? Probably fewer than ten. It even allows for retroactive warrants, which answers your question--if an agency needs to move on a surveillance, they can do so, and get the warrant later. The point is that there is oversight and accountability. That's a good, good thing, and we ought to maintain it.

Seven Machos said...

What "is the war about," Elizabeth?

Elizabeth said...

Pogo, I don't care about the NYT, so you won't get any argument from me on that. My concern was pointing out that Britain followed its laws in gathering the info on this plot. We can do that, too.

Elizabeth said...

You tell me, Seven. I've been wondering for since 2003. The rationale keeps shifting. WMDs? Get rid of Saddam? Take the fight "over there"? A democracy domino effect? It's not about 9/11, I know that much.

37383938393839383938383 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
37383938393839383938383 said...

Some Nutty Liberal: Yes, there are terrorists flocking to Iraq, because we invaded it and opened the borders to them. Nice self-fulfilling rationalization, that. Meanwhile, terrorist activities continue in other countries, and Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike all support efforts to fight them.

It doesn't matter whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy or not. It is not fallacious to say that the war in Iraq -- RIGHT NOW -- is a war on terrorists. It is, because we are at war with terrorists there. That is not spin. It's a fact.

And where is your proof that Democrats want to fight terrorists in other countries? Or that they support any kind of humanitarian intevrention anywhere? Kerry was opposed to the recent pro-democracy coup in Haiti. Do you hear any Democrats carping about our reticence on Darfur? No. In fact, a number of Democrats -- like many Kossacks, Lamont's supporters -- do not even think we should have gone to war with Afghanistan. You tell me, Ms. Liberal Hawk, where exactly are you willing to have American forces fight terrorism if you don't want the government infiltrating terrorist groups here, you don't want any American forces in the Middle East, and you think we should just let Iran have all the nuclear reactors it wants, and we should stop sending money to Israel. Not your position, do you say? Well, it's the position of the Democratic Party. The only straight answer you can get out of Democrats other than Joe Lieberman about fighting terrorism is "Well, if we had more wind power and solar power, we'd have more job creation and less dependence on Arab oil, so we'd be safer." Oh yeah? Ever heard of China?

Seven Machos said...

Elizabeth -- Consider these stipulations:

1. The USA cannot have troops in Saudi Arabia but needs troops in the Middle East.

2. The United States must have its military within striking distance of Syria and Iran. Iran, by the way, is wonderfully surrounded by the U.S. military.

3. The United States was able to dismantle an unstable and terror-supporting government in Iraq.

That is the rationale for the war. If you read carefully, and ignore propaganda from the left and right, that has always been the rationale. The WMD angle was a dumb effort to get certain European countries on board for the initial invasion. It was folly. Certainly, Iraq did have and use poisonous gases on civilians.

Aspasia M. said...

It's a sign of the ideological polarization of our time that both sides keep looking at Lieberman through an ideological lens.

I think the story is much simpler, and older -- the story of an incumbent who "went Beltway" and lost touch with his constituents.


Yep - Joe should have easily won the primary. In fact, I think the Lamont campaign started out as a way to get Leiberman to stop being such a "Fox News Democrat/ look at all the cell phones in Iraq" tone death politician. Nobody expected him to be such a bad campaigner.

Also - it sounds like he neglected his constituent services. If he wanted to challenge his base, he really needed to keep up his constituent services. (I heard a rumor that he didn't even answer letters; I find this rumor hard to believe - as usually a few unapid college interns are given this job. If, however, Joe made this mistake, then he deserved to loose.)

In contrast -- look at Cantwell in WA. (I think one of her challengers is now working on her re-election campaign. That's how to handle a challenge!)

Her position on the war is pretty much Joe's view. Yet she will most likely win the election. She's done a pretty good job of dealing with her primary challenges and she does consistuent work.

Hillary is an example of somebody who does great consituent work. She's never end up in the position of Joe Lieberman.

37383938393839383938383 said...

In contrast -- look at Cantwell in WA.

I looked at that article by Michael Tomasky on Slate, too. And I don't think his comparisons hold water. Cantwell's opponent didn't have as much money or media attention.

Pogo said...

Elizabeth, the Blair administration just arrested the head of al-Qaeda in Britain after monitoring him for three years, seizing his assets, holding him without charges for a month (not even naming him), with potential for a judge to hold him indefinitely without charges.

Can you imagine the furor had Bush done this? In my view, the left simply isn't serious about terrorism.

Elizabeth said...

You tell me, Ms. Liberal Hawk, where exactly are you willing to have American forces fight terrorism if you don't want the government infiltrating terrorist groups here, you don't want any American forces in the Middle East, and you think we should just let Iran have all the nuclear reactors it wants, and we should stop sending money to Israel.

Let me start by saying, CO, that you're really a piece of work. One who builds strawmen at an astonishing rate.

Look at the quote above. Who's "Ms. Liberal Hawk"? Me? Why? Have I claimed to be a hawk? Are you saying that liberals who support fighting terrorism are hawks? What is your point?

When did I say we shouldn't be in the Middle East? We tracked Al Queda to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Okay, they're Central Asia, but's let's not quibble. But I did't say it, you just made it up.

Quit funding Israel? I didn't say that; you made that up.

Not infiltrate terrorist groups? Nope, didn't say that. More straw from the strawman factory.

Nor did I say anything about Iran, much less about its nuclear reactors. More crap.

You apparently have to just make stuff up, just like you make up "Democrats don't want to fight terrorism!"

Aspasia M. said...

I looked at that article by Michael Tomasky on Slate, too. And I don't think his comparisons hold water. Cantwell's opponent didn't have as much money or media attention.

I haven't read Slate today - although I will do so.

My relatives live in WA & I'm visiting here. Lots of local coverage.

There was a local headline that was pretty funny: "Cantwell never kissed Bush."

Her election should be close, in any event. Six years ago she only won by about 2,000 votes. But it looks like she'll win in Nov.

Elizabeth said...

Pogo, furor over which part? Not the surveillance or monitoring--that's standard procedure, isn't it? Do you mean holding him without charges, and without naming him? I'd expect to see reaction in Britain over that if it goes on too long, or is done again and again to the point where people question exactly who is being held and why; we saw it with their handling of IRA suspects over time, in the past.

Elizabeth said...

Seven, thanks for the response. We're going to continue to disagree, particularly over item 3; right now, I can't see that we've much improved that. The elected government is turning Islamist and fundamentalist, and cheers on terrorists, Hizbollah. I can't support the notion that we can justify our own interests (1 and 2) against the many, many lives the war cost. Too many Iraqi civilians have been put on the sacrificial altar.

It's a shame to have to say this, but I do appreciate that you and I can talk without calling each other names. Some Nutty Commenters on this thread can't manage to pull that off.

dreamingmonkey said...

The WMD angle was a dumb effort to get certain European countries on board for the initial invasion

Certain European countries, and most of the United States population....

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth,
I do not "make stuff up." You, apparently, CANNOT READ. Here is the full quote:

"You tell me, Ms. Liberal Hawk, where exactly are you willing to have American forces fight terrorism if you don't want the government infiltrating terrorist groups here, you don't want any American forces in the Middle East, and you think we should just let Iran have all the nuclear reactors it wants, and we should stop sending money to Israel. Not your position, do you say? Well, it's the position of the Democratic Party."

So all your complaining that you "didn't say X" is irrelevant.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth: I can't support the notion that we can justify our own interests (1 and 2) against the many, many lives the war cost. Too many Iraqi civilians have been put on the sacrificial altar.

Riiight. The meanie conservative is the reason why you can't name one place where we should send American troops to intervene for humanitarian reasons or to fight terrorists. Just in case you weren't able to read TONE, I called you Ms. Liberal Hawk because it is ironic. You're obviously a hackeysack-playing pacifist.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth the Liberal Liar: Not infiltrate terrorist groups? Nope, didn't say that.

No, you just opposed the President's wiretapping programs that accomplish that goal. Democratcs don't oppose having a missile defense shield so long as the science works; they just cut the funding for the science at every opportunity.

Elizabeth said...

CO, you're still making it up. It is not the position of the Democratic party to stop giving money to Israel. You're lying. It's that simple. The Democratic Party does not oppose infilitrating terrorist organizations. More lies. Nor our being in Afghanistan. Liar. Nor does it support Iran going nuclear. Lying, lying, lying. Making shit up. Blah blah blah.

Elizabeth said...

No, you just opposed the President's wiretapping programs that accomplish that goal.

Ok, on from strawmen to false dilemmas. And the name-calling, that's real persuasive, too.

Enough. Rant on, CO. I have nothing to say to you. Do a little end-zone dance, and declare victory, Hizbollah-style.

Seven Machos said...

Dreaming Monkey -- You are imagining something that is false. At the time of the Iraq invasion, the U.S. public was overwhelmingly in favor of war, against any of a number of countries. The American public did not need convincing.

It is important to bear in mind that the situation politically (domestically) was different then than it is today. Not much different, but that's another argument. If Lamont wins, I will change my tune. He won't.

37383938393839383938383 said...

It is not the position of the Democratic party to stop giving money to Israel.

Yes, it is. That's just a fact.

The Democratic Party does not oppose infilitrating terrorist organizations.

No, it just opposes any and all wiretapping programs (or asset tracking programs) that are used to infilitrate terrorist organizations. And it opposes any interrogation techniques that get the kind of information that results in infilitration of terrorist groups. I see. So it supports doing X, but then obstructs the means to do x. And then it calls other people liars when its patriotism is questioned.

Nor our being in Afghanistan.

Really? No prominent Democrats oppose our invasion of Afghanistan? Not one? None who ran campaigns for Presidentin 2004? None currently serving in Congress? No one in the netroots? No one at any leading liberal publications? No partsian funding groups like MoveOn.org? Do you even live in reality?

Liberal Liar: Nor does it support Iran going nuclear.

Really? Explain why John Kerry called for giving Iran heavy water nuclear reactors during the 2004 election.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth,
If you want to be taken seriously as a Democrat who opposes terrorism and wants to fight it, tell me ONE PLACE where we *should* send troops for humanitarisn intervention purposes or to fight terror.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth: Lying, lying, lying. Making shit up. Blah blah blah.

Elizabeth: name-calling, that's real persuasive

Look, everyone. It's liberal hypocrisy.

Seven Machos said...

Critical Observer -- As someone who generally agrees with you in this instance and generally disagrees with Elizabeth, I would suggest that you are doing something wrong here: you are imputing some fringe beliefs of some Democrats to the entire left and the entire Democratic party.

This is exactly the same as when people can't see past the "God hates fags" crowd when it comes to Republicans. Very frustrating.

sparky said...

seven machos--

as a person who generally agrees with Elizabeth, i say: Thanks!

Bruce Hayden said...

Elizebeth,

Your understanding of the operation of FISA seems a bit weak. The problem with FISA warrants is that they are time consuming to get - on average, according to several who have done such as part of their job, taking maybe a month or so to get all the paper work together for one.

So, as Ann suggests, a call comes in from a suspect source, to someone somewhere in the U.S. (whether here legally or not), and the NSA wants to hear what is being said. But if they followed the normal FISA warrant route, they would get the warrant a month after the recipient of the phone call had dumped his cell phone for another.

Theoretically, the 72 hour "Emergency Orders" provision should allow procuring a warrant on an emergency basis (it has to be granted w/i the 72 hours, or they are stuck with the month long process). But the reality doesn't work that way. The problem is that there is no reduction in the required paperwork - it just has to be completed, presented to the AG (himself - no delegation), approved by him, and submitted to a FISA judge w/i the 72 hours. In short, as he has repeatedly testified, nearly useless.

The fact that very few FISA warrants are rejected is also irrelevant. Given the amount of paperwork required, it is not really surprising that the DoJ doesn't spend its resources on weak cases.

The basic problem with FISA is that it was designed to combat a very different threat, involving very different technology. Both the technology and the threat have changed significantly since then, and the law needs to be brought into the 21st Century.

Madison Guy said...

Simon said...

If - and only if - Lieberman goes on to lose the general election, then you will be in a position to make the assertion that Lieberman "lost touch with his constituents," as opposed to the considerably smaller claim you can legitimately make today, which is that Lieberman has lost the support of a small sub-section of his constituents (specifically, 146,587 of them, who may or indeed may not, in any event, have been part of the 2,179,562 who voted for Lieberman in 2000). ...

My views were based on his godawful campaign, not the results of an admittedly oddball, badly timed and not very representative primary. Of course he's lost touch with his constituents. What else would you call a long-time incumbent U.S. Senator and former VP candidate who blows a 30-some point lead in the polls and loses to a complete political novice? It should never even have been close. As Geoduck2 suggests, it would never happen to Hillary, whose views are similar.

I'm curious why so many conservatives seem determined to recruit such an inept, sanctimonious, self-serving Democrat to the war on terror. Surely we would want our warriors made of sterner stuff?

37383938393839383938383 said...

I would suggest that you are doing something wrong here: you are imputing some fringe beliefs of some Democrats to the entire left and the entire Democratic party.

Am I? If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination? And if Elizabeth does support American troops in the Middle East, then where in the Middle East does she support stationing American troops? And if Elizabeth does support infilitrating terrorist organizations, then why does she oppose the best means to do so and propose unworkable means of doing so? And if Elizabeth doesn't believe the Democratic Party supports cutting funding to Israel, then what does it mean to her that the Democratic Party supports both "even-handedness" in the Middle East and reducing the defense budget? Is she really arguing that isoloationism is not on the surge in the Democratic ranks? If so, she is calling The New Republic a dirty lying publication. And are you really claiming that the 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate is "on the fringe" of the Democratic Party? Really? He won almost every Democratic primary in a landslide! Turn-out for Kerry was abnormally high and great. The election was close. And yet John Kerry called for giving Iran heavy water nuclear reactors during the 2004 election and John Kerry calls for pulling out our troops by a date certain. These are not fringe positions that I am imputing to mainstream Democrats, they are mainstream Democrat positions that Elizabeth does not want to own up to. What you are noticing is that when you put all of the meainstresm Democratic positions together in one gestalt, they look like the position of a fringe group -- and that's the problem. But I'm not "making up" the problem; the problem is what Democratic strategists have been complaining about since Clinton has been out of office.

Simon said...

Madison Guy said...
"Of course [Lieberman]'s lost touch with his constituents. What else would you call a long-time incumbent U.S. Senator and former VP candidate who blows a 30-some point lead in the polls and loses to a complete political novice?"

I call him someone who was specifically targeted by a well-funded national organization determined to purge the party of apostates. The exit poll results make it wholly clear that Lamont's novicehood was irrelevant because the election was not about Lamont; indeed, it was barely even about Lieberman. It was about a fringe group that is not only dissatisfied with the way the war has been conducted, but which disapproves of the use of American military power and which has done so since at the very least the late 1960s.


"I'm curious why so many conservatives seem determined to recruit such an inept, sanctimonious, self-serving Democrat to the war on terror. Surely we would want our warriors made of sterner stuff?"

Yes, we would - but sad to say, that "inept, sanctimonious, self-serving" man is about as good as it gets in the Democratic party. Which is, in itself, a pretty damning indictment against them. And given a choice between a Democratic party controlled by people like Nancy Pelosi & Russ Feingold, on the one hand, or Stephanie Herseth & Joe Lieberman on the other, I'll take the lesser evil.

Simon said...

CriticalObserver said...
"These are not fringe positions that I am imputing to mainstream Democrats, they are mainstream Democrat positions that Elizabeth does not want to own up to."

Or, perhaps, they are mainstream positions which Elizabeth does not share and thus does not want to believe are mainstream positions. Speaking for myself, there are various views that I realize are held by many in the GOP, views which I find quite disagreeable, but I comfort myself by telling myself - although without a shred of evidence - that these are not actually mainstream Republican positions, they are simply views held by a significant chunk of the base. Nobody likes the idea that they are in a minority on an issue in their party, and perhaps Elizabeth is as much in denial over her party's middle eastern policy as I frequently am over my party's environmental policy.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann is absolutely right. Of course Lieberman should run. Chait's concerns make sense only to those who are more concerned about the success of the Democratic party as a partisan institution. Even on its own terms, Chait's argument that "the last pillars of that rationale [for an independent Lieberman campaign] have crumbled" doesn't make much sense if the frame of reference is anything larger than "what's good for the Democrats?"

Lieberman's candidacy will necessarily focus the election on the national security issues that are of paramount importance. Those issues certainly include the wisdom of continuing the Bush administration approach to the Iraqi war, as well as its views on the propriety of the NSA intercepts, the efforts to deal with the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, how to deal with Hezbollah and Hamas, the extent to which the US should support the Israelis or instead seek a more "neutral" position, and on and on. We were all reminded that those are the central political issues of the day, as the break-up of the recent al Qaeda plot showed powerfully last week. All of those issues should be the focus of this election, as they were in 2002 and 2004. Lamont has always been a one-issue candidate, and this is his issue too.

It's obvious that there are sharp divisions in the country, to say nothing of the Democratic party, the writers associated with the New Republic (Chait vs. Marty Peretz, for example), and the commenters on this thread. Since the Republican nominee seems not to be a factor, the race between Lamont and Lieberman should help clarify where we as a country and the Democratic party stand on those issues. The worst result will be a political stalemate, where the US becomes paralyzed because of the inability to reach a political consensus supported by a majority of the country. Elections are all about developing and making manifest that kind of political consensus.

By staying in the race, Lieberman makes that possible. The rest is up to the voters.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Simon,
Thanks for quoting me nicely. I almost sound eloquent in that sound-byte. And, who are you, by the way? You should probably run for office.

David said...

Murtha is not a hawk. He is a cut and run ex-marine who has lost his way. The Veterans Group I run with have ostracized him for not supporting his Brothers-In-Arms in the Haditha controversy.

Patterico recieved information that General Hagee briefed Murtha AFTER Murtha passed judgement on the charged Marines. When Patterico asked the L.A. Times, if they wanted to change their story in light of the conflicting story put out by General Hagee's office, the L.A. Times declined.

Murtha is at odds with General Hagee passing judgement before being briefed on the facts by the very military he claims to support.

It is entirely conceivable that this is another cooked up story, a la Reuters, that neatly fit with Murtha's over-the-horizon defense plan.

Mutha appears to be assuming the mantle of the military version of Dan Rather.

sparky said...

I don’t think Elizabeth needs any help, but I am going to make this one response.

"Am I? If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination?"

Blogs don’t vote. CT residents do.

"And if Elizabeth does support American troops in the Middle East, then where in the Middle East does she support stationing American troops?"

Is it your position that the US should have a permanent standing army in the Middle East? I suspect that position will come as a surprise to many people.

"And if Elizabeth does support infilitrating terrorist organizations, then why does she oppose the best means to do so and propose unworkable means of doing so?"

Not sure exactly what you are talking about here. The Bush administration has been rather spectacularly unsuccessful at even reading Arabic let alone infiltrating terrorist organizations. If you are as concerned as you say you are, perhaps you should ask Mr. Bush why so many Arab linguists have been dismissed from the armed forces.

As to unworkable, what does that mean? No warrants? Ever? For anything? Or just those things you think don’t need them?

"And if Elizabeth doesn't believe the Democratic Party supports cutting funding to Israel, then what does it mean to her that the Democratic Party supports both "even-handedness" in the Middle East and reducing the defense budget?"

Yeah, I guess all those votes in favor of Israel are fakes. See H. Res. 921 (410-8); S. Res. 534 (unan.). Come on back down to Earth; the gravity's fine.

"Is she really arguing that isoloationism is not on the surge in the Democratic ranks?"

Actually, isolationism’s abiding home is the GOP. And if you are using some sort of GOP code phrase for withdrawal from Iraq here, then the majority of Americans are with Elizabeth.

"If so, she is calling The New Republic a dirty lying publication."

Well they publish some pretty silly stuff. Is that what you mean?

"And are you really claiming that the 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate is "on the fringe" of the Democratic Party?"

These kind of rhetorical moves only work when everyone knows where you are going.


"Really?"

Yes.

"He won almost every Democratic primary in a landslide! Turn-out for Kerry was abnormally high and great. The election was close. And yet John Kerry called for giving Iran heavy water nuclear reactors during the 2004 election and John Kerry calls for pulling out our troops by a date certain."

What’s your point? Sounds scary but not even a tempest in a teapot. The idea—which was also apparently taken up by the EU—was to take away the enrichment process and give access to non-weapons material. Hardly wacky. In fact, your man Mr. Bush may have contributed to another arms race by legitimizing India’s weapons program. That’s a much scarier prospect as India and Pakistan have already come close to a nuclear exchange.

"These are not fringe positions that I am imputing to mainstream Democrats, they are mainstream Democrat positions that Elizabeth does not want to own up to"

No, it’s your mischaracterization of them. And some egregious factual rewriting, too. Explain, please, why exactly we should rewrite history for your benefit.

"What you are noticing is that when you put all of the meainstresm Democratic positions together in one gestalt, they look like the position of a fringe group -- and that's the problem. But I'm not "making up" the problem; the problem is what Democratic strategists have been complaining about since Clinton has been out of office."

For our departing contestants from the land of fiction, we have some lovely parting gifts. How about this “Who lost China?” button?

Elizabeth said...

CO asserts it's the policy of the DCC to end aid to Israel. Where is that stated in the party platform? Has it been proposed and supported by Democrats in Congress? You're full of hot air, not facts.

No, it just opposes any and all wiretapping programs (or asset tracking programs) that are used to infilitrate terrorist organizations. And it opposes any interrogation techniques that get the kind of information that results in infilitration of terrorist groups. More bullshit. The Dems don't oppose "any and all" wiretapping programs. Stop lying. And opposing torture, which doesn't reveal the kind of information we need, but more likely the kind of information the subject thinks we want to hear. You continually try to make the case that opposing a particular strategy means opposing a larger set of strategies and the overall goal. That's bull.

Really? No prominent Democrats oppose our invasion of Afghanistan? Not one? Is that your criteria for asserting that Democrats oppose our efforts against terrorism? That one Democrat might oppose being in Afghanistan means that's the party's policy? Insane.

Finally, you're stooping to accusing me of name-calling when you've slung names at me for this entire thread is despicable. I'd love to see some of the same conservatives (Simon, are you out there?) who decry so-called liberal name-calling and hostility show some consistency and condemn it when it's coming from their side. I'm not holding my breath.

Elizabeth said...

you are imputing some fringe beliefs of some Democrats to the entire left and the entire Democratic party.

Seven, many thanks. My challenge to conservatives to take on their own side was issued before I read this. I apologize for not acknowledging this first.

Elizabeth said...

At the time of the Iraq invasion, the U.S. public was overwhelmingly in favor of war, against any of a number of countries. The American public did not need convincing.

Seven, I partially agree here, but the public was in favor of war against those who had attacked us on 9/11. The administration used WMDs and false associations with 9/11 to target that public support at Iraq.

Elizabeth said...

"These are not fringe positions that I am imputing to mainstream Democrats, they are mainstream Democrat positions that Elizabeth does not want to own up to"

No, it’s your mischaracterization of them.


Thanks, sparky. Well said.

Simon, I appreciate what you say about denial, and I won't disagree that that is sometimes a factor with me. But in CO's case, he has consistently mischaracterized positions, and then declared them mainstream. Top that with his general nastiness and namecalling, and what's the point in going on?

Synova said...

Whoever elected to the Senate will represent *all* the people in the state, not just the Democrats. If the majority of voters want Joe then that is what the majority wants.

Yes, that subverts the primary process but it also puts pressure on the primary process to select candidates that CAN represent a larger constituency.

Fatmouse said...

This thread reminds me that it's been said again and again and AGAIN, but liberals never understand the most basic fact of campaigning - you can't win by employing nothing but negative tactics.

"Pull out! Shut down gitmo! Bush is ruining the economy!" All this without ever saying what they'd do instead. (besides "hold talks")

The other really, really obnoxious habit of the left is the knee-jerk tu quoque(a fallacy - latin for "you too!"). Immediately after being confonted with a fundamental flaw of the left wing, many instictively come back with, "oh yeah, well you evil wingers do blah blah blah too!"

People, this doesn't do anything but let you artifically shut down an argument.

1. You have problems.

2. Deal with them or you'll never get elected again.

Simon said...

CriticalObserver said...
"Thanks for quoting me nicely. I almost sound eloquent in that sound-byte. And, who are you, by the way? You should probably run for office."

Thankyou; I'm this guy, but the day you see me run for public office is the day that you'll know that the GOP has run out of other candidates.


sparky said...
"Actually, isolationism’s abiding home is the GOP."

Given that we're the party who is in favor of free trade and a robust military policy, it's going to be interesting watching you justify that comment with an explanation. You are, I take it, going to back that comment up, or does the point stand conceded?

"I'd love to see some of the same conservatives (Simon, are you out there?) who decry so-called liberal name-calling and hostility show some consistency and condemn it when it's coming from their side"

I frequently do, actually.

Aspasia M. said...

Is anybody kind of surprised that we're still talking about a primary race?

I'm also a little bemused at the Rs lecturing Ds how to run campaigns when the Rs haven't offered their voters much of a choice for that Sentate seat in CT.

(The whole "You'll never get elected AGAIN if....ect, ect, lecture, blah blah...". ... when the fact is that it looks like CT will elect either a Democrat Or....a Democrat! Win Win from my point of view.)

JSF said...

It seems as if every election, we hear how the Dems are going to beat the Reps since 1994. Every year. With the loss of Lieberman, the Democrats have expunged the last "Scoop" Jackson Democrat. After reading the Anti-semetic comments about Sen. Leiberman in the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post, he should stand for election just to disarm the Anti-semites in the Democratic mainstream.

ChrisO said...

Critical Observer

In addition to being nasty, you sling so much shit that it is virtually impossible to respond to your rants because you are off on another one before we're done reading the first one. Just one of examples of your obnoxiousness:

"Is she really arguing that isoloationism is not on the surge in the Democratic ranks? If so, she is calling The New Republic a dirty lying publication." WTF? Even if Elizabeth said what you claim, how is taking a different view than the New Republic tantamount to calling them a "dirty lying publication"? It's this kind of breathless hyperbole that makes you look like a fool.

As I read your intial comments I actually started to do a little research in order to intelligently refute them. But as your comments continued, it became clear that you are not to be taken seriously in a debate. I have a strong suspicion that when you talk politics in person you tend to shout the other guy down. I don't agree with Bruce Hayden or Simon usually, but at least they marshal their facts and make cogent arguments. You make an unsupported allegation, and when called on it support your allegation with another unsupported allegation. You should be raving on a barstool somewhere.

Please do us a favor. Get out and campaign for Lieberman. Make as many public statements as possible, and please make sure the press is listening.

sparky said...

i'll bite:
isolationism:
Wendell Willkie
George Bush in 2000: no nation building.

"robust military" seems rather devoid of content since it would be rather surprising to find someone in favor of a bed-ridden military. if you mean acts, "reckless adventurism" seems a bit more accurate.

the GOP must be for free trade. that would explain the torpedoing of Doha. destroying world trade to save it, perhaps?

37383938393839383938383 said...

ChrisO: Even if Elizabeth said what you claim, how is taking a different view than the New Republic tantamount to calling them a "dirty lying publication"?

It might have something to do with Elizabeth's penchant for calling those with whom she disagrees liars. For instance, look at this compilation of her statements from above:

Elizabeth: You're lying. It's that simple. More lies. Liar. Lying, lying, lying. Making shit up. Blah blah blah. Do a little end-zone dance, and declare victory, Hizbollah-style. More crap.

ChrisO, ladies and gentlemen, yet another liberal who cannot read.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Me: No prominent Democrats oppose our invasion of Afghanistan? Not one?

Elizabeth, the Sneaky Liberal: Is that your criteria for asserting that Democrats oppose our efforts against terrorism? That one Democrat might oppose being in Afghanistan means that's the party's policy? Insane.

It's insane to note that when there are prominent Democrats that lead the party who take a position, it is nonsense to call the position a fringe one? My example of one Democrat who supported giving Iran heavy water nuclear reactors in 2004 was John Kerry, who was the Democratic candidate for President. MY example of one Democrat who supports withdrawing our troops immediately is John Kerry, who was the Democratic candidate for President in 2004. Yes, when the Party overwhelmingly comes together a supports one Democrat who proposes X is it fair to say X is a mainstream Democratic position.

Elizabeth, yet another liberla who cannot read. Apparently, the word PROMINENT has no meaning in liberalland.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Me: No, it just opposes any and all wiretapping programs (or asset tracking programs) that are used to infilitrate terrorist organizations.

Elizabeth, the Illiterate: More bullshit. The Dems don't oppose "any and all" wiretapping programs. Stop lying.

Which one of us is the liar? I never said Democrats categorically oppose wiretapping programs. I said that Democrats categorically oppose wiretapping programs that are used to infilitrate terrorist organizations. Democrats quite often support wiretapping programs that do not work. That is the point.

You are the one who willfully misrepresents others' views.

37383938393839383938383 said...

CO asserts it's the policy of the DCC to end aid to Israel. Where is that stated in the party platform? Has it been proposed and supported by Democrats in Congress?

Instituting gay marriage is not in the Democratic Party platform, but everyone knows that is a Democratic Party goal. Anyway, I never said that it is Democratic Party policy to end all aid to Israel. I said it is their policy to cut funding to Israel, i.e., reduce it significantly. It is, and more than one Democrat in Congress has called for it.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Me: If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination?"

Sparky, Another Illiterate Liberal: Blogs don’t vote. CT residents do.

Where did I say that blogs vote? I refer to the views of DailyKos. Certainly, voters have views, and voters read blogs that express views, and voters are mobilized by campaign staff and volunteers that read blogs and have views, and Lamont's campaign explicitly used blog-outreach to do just that.

LEARN TO READ. The rest of your claims that I mischaracterized X or Y are all based on your apparent illiteracy.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Oh, and just to make clear: when Kerry proposed giving Iran heavy water reactors in 2004, he said such would allow Iran to meet their valid energy needs. Iran does not need heavy water reactors to meet its energy needs. Britain, France, and Germany have never bought that rationale.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth, the Hypocrite: Finally, you're stooping to accusing me of name-calling when you've slung names at me for this entire thread is despicable.

Anyone else see the liberal hypocrisy in the above phrase? I guess this kind of bloviating self-righteousness counts as sexy amongst liberals. Maybe I should attend more NARAL parties. If I can make it past the buffer-zone, I'll be a hit.

sparky said...

Perhaps it is usage Tuesday after all:
Mr CO writes:

"Me: If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination?"

Sparky, Another Illiterate Liberal: Blogs don’t vote. CT residents do.

Where did I say that blogs vote? I refer to the views of DailyKos. Certainly, voters have views, and voters read blogs that express views, and voters are mobilized by campaign staff and volunteers that read blogs and have views, and Lamont's campaign explicitly used blog-outreach to do just that.

LEARN TO READ. The rest of your claims that I mischaracterized X or Y are all based on your apparent illiteracy."

Having never been called illiterate before, I thought I should see what exactly it is that I don’t know. Here is the American Heritage College Dictionary definition:
The condition of being unable to read and write. 2. An error, as in writing or speech, made by or thought to be characteristic of one who is illiterate. . . . 3. The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field: cultural illiteracy; scientific illiteracy.

Number one is out, presumably. Number three is also out, as the gist of the comment is that I was unable to understand exactly what Mr. CO wrote. That leaves number two. So, definition in hand, it’s possible to reconstruct the accident. Mr CO writes “Where did I say that blogs vote?” Well, perhaps here: “If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination?"
The word “they” is a pronoun. So that means it stands in for something. What ever could that something be? Twelve ladies leaping? the King of England? Stalin? George W. Bush? A knotty problem, to be sure, as Daffy Duck so memorably observed. Being an illiterate, I used the only tool at hand. What was that, you may ask? Being an illiterate, I am happy to respond. Why, I borrowed a notion of how words might relate to each other. From Standard English Usage:

The antecedent of a pronoun is its referent, the word it replaces: My brother is over there; he is the one in the red sweater. In Standard English, pronouns nearly always agree in number and gender with their antecedents.

Being an illiterate, I foolishly attempt to apply that silly notion. When I do, I find that, magically, “they” refers to “Daliy Kos” [sic]. The answer is upon us now: I, silly person, read Mr CO’s language as if he was writing according to “Standard English.” My bad.

So, in conclusion, speaking on behalf of all illiterates, I would be most appreciative if you, Mr CO, would favor us with a copy of your manual. I have no doubt that many such digressions might be happily avoided in the future.

37383938393839383938383 said...

The Illiterate Liberal Strikes Again: Being an illiterate, I foolishly attempt to apply that silly notion. When I do, I find that, magically, “they” refers to “Daliy Kos” [sic].

Except "DailyKos" is not a referent in any clause I wrote. "The views of DailyKos" is one possible referent (one could translate this to "DailyKos's views"). "Fringe views" is another possible referent. Either I meant "the views of DailyKos" or "fringe views". Both are plural; both warrant the pronoun "they". Neither one is "DailyKos" the blog. I was referring to "views," no matter how you slice it: "If you think the views of the DaliyKos are fringe views, then why did they deprive Joe Lieberman of the Democratic nomination?"

LEARN TO READ AND LEARN GRAMMAR.

sparky said...

Presumably, no one else is reading this thread at this point so I will not go through the motions of quoting again. You are quite right in pointing out that I should (or could) have used "the views of [dk]." You are also kind enough to offer some other alternatives, for which I thank you. Sadly, none of those constructions seem to include the voters of CT.

My dear CO, it is incumbent upon you, not your poor ignorant readers, to make your meaning clear.

PS: While this has been fun, I must take my leave. Do keep up the invective; it's so much more fun than discussing facts.

Mark T said...

A few additional thoughts, in response to a bunch of classic smears of Democratic points of view on terrorism.

1. Iraq - The notion that democrats are soft on terrorism because they are rightfully unhappy with the Iraq war is one of the most effective head fakes in contemporary politics. Not one Democrat I know -- NOT ONE -- was opposed to invading Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11, because the Taliban was harbored Al Qaeda. The reasons for shifting attention from bin Laden to Iraw turned out to be totally wrong (there were no WMDs, there was no real connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda that existed before the invasion, the spread of democracy is little more than a very ambitious and naive neocon nation building adventure, but in a nation that is divided into three ethnic sects that are very hostile toward one another, etc.). The conduct of the war has been nothing short of a disaster, and the diversion of military resources away from much more important threats to the West (Iran comes to mind) have led all but the most stalwart supporters of the Bush administration to conclude that the war has been a mistake, a diversion from the real global war on terror, and nothing short of a complete disaster. But most Democrats I know, including me, also know that we are there, and we can't just abandon the place into the abyss. But we can start working on new and more creative strategies for making progress beyond the very worn-out "stay the course" pablum that the GOP is selling, and we can also begin planning and implementing a pullback that will lead to a US withdrawal. We need to move beyond "GOP political talking points" to real leadership. It will take a change in control over the Congress and then the White House to begin that process.

2. Democrats did not kick Lieberman out of the party -- he was defeated in a free election. That is democracy at work. Even though the primary involved only a small percentage of voters who will likely turn out in the general election, it was nevertheless considered a very high turnout for a primary. Although the GOP needs to make an issue out of this in order to attempt to reverse the sharp decline in its own popular support (and, for what it's worth, it does not appear to be working, except among the mainstream media), most people see it exactly as it is -- an incumbent who was defeated in a primary for reasons that are entirely rational and, in the current anti-incumbent atmosphere, a harbinger of things to come in November. Also, let's not forget that even if re-elected as an independent, Lieberman has pledged to caucus with the Democrats. Nice try, but it won't sell.

3. Some here have theorized that the British arrests demonstrate that some erosion of our civil liberties may be needed to protect us from terrorists, akin to the British model (i.e., 28 days arrest without charges, etc.). Well, to those who seem to have forgotten, our forefathers initiated a revolution against the British, and adopted the Bill of Rights, because we deliberately rejected the British model, and its disregard for privacy, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the like. We chose liberty and freedom over tyranny, and it carries with it a price, which is accepting some lesser degree of central control and security than you get in a tyranny. If you want better protection from terrorist threats, having a totalitarian government in the model of Saddam Hussein, Josef Stalin, and others, will go a long way to providing security . . . but at what cost? I for one prefer to take the risk of terrorist attack that might theoretically exist if our government actually complied with the 4th amendment to the Constitution, instead of standing by idly while the executive suspends the 4th amendment over a tenuous claim of war powers. This nation exists because we rejected the notion that government could suspend our civil rights except under the most extreme circumstances. The violation of our 4th amendment rights by the Bush administration is something that should worry all true conservatives and libertarians, much more than the threat that by observing the 4th amendment, we might somehow let some terrorist slip through the cracks. That is the price of freedom.

4. Last point - How many of you so called conservatives swould feel confortable if the President who fabricated the basis for war, who unilaterally suspended the 4th amendment, and who has been conducting warrantless searches, wiretapping, and other domestic surveillance under a claim of war powers -- and then lying or equivocating about it to Congress -- were Hillary Clinton instead of George W. Bush? I thought so.

ChrisO said...

CO

Elizabeth doesn't call everyone she disagree with a liar. She calls you a liar, because you can't seem to post without stating an untruth. Well, you may be a liar, but at least you're insulting, as well.

"MY example of one Democrat who supports withdrawing our troops immediately is John Kerry, who was the Democratic candidate for President in 2004."

Great, except you were saying that in response to a conversation about Democrats not supporting the war on terror. Opposing the war in Iraq is not tantamount to opposing the WOT. Not only do you keep posting misinformation or downright dishonesty, you personally insult everyone who disagrees with you. I guess when you're unable to present cogent arguments you've got to fall back on something.

Simon said...

"Democrats did not kick Lieberman out of the party -- he was defeated in a free election."

Let's see. Democrats did not kick Lieberman out of the party; sure, he was simply defeated in an election in which everyone voting was a Democrat. If Democrats did not eject Lieberman,who was voting for Lamont?

"4. Last point - How many of you so called conservatives swould feel confortable if the President who fabricated the basis for war, who unilaterally suspended the 4th amendment, and who has been conducting warrantless searches, wiretapping, and other domestic surveillance under a claim of war powers -- and then lying or equivocating about it to Congress -- were Hillary Clinton instead of George W. Bush?"

Well, the President didn't fabricate the basis for war, didn't lie about it to Congress, and certainly hasn't suspended the Fourth Amendment (ludicrous hyperbole is the surest sign of a liberal gone wild), and yes, if Gore was President on 9/11, I would absolutely have supported giving his administration the authority the Patriot Act gave to the Bush administration, at least to the extent that act isactually Constitutional.

tjl said...

Simon:

You overlooked another choice nugget from Mark T's rant:

"We deliberately rejected the British model, and its disregard for privacy, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the like. We chose liberty and freedom over tyranny, and it carries with it a price, which is accepting some lesser degree of central control and security than you get in a tyranny."

"Tyranny" isn't the first word that comes to mind when you think of the British parliamentary system. If Mark T feels that Tony Blair is a tyrant, what terms does he have left for someone like Kim Jong Il?

Hyperbole at this shrill a pitch doesn't inspire much confidence in the points Mark T is trying to make.

ChrisO said...

Simon

Lieberman was defeated in a primary by Democratic voters. Prior to this election, would you honestly have referred to a candidate who lost a primary as having been "kicked out" of his party? The election was about whether Lieberman would be the Democratic nominee, not whether he would be allowed to stay in the Democratic party.

Kirk Parker said...

Mark T,

Your point #3 is fine, and quite coherent. But anyone who accepts it can hardly make the simultaneous claim that the British arrests prove the LE model of antiterrorism works!

Mark T said...

tjl - In 1776, which is the period I was referring to, the tyranny in question was personified by King George, and it was exercised towards the British colonies. I am not suggesting that the current British government is a tyranny, but these particular provisions of law are a carryover of a Britich criminal justice system that has its historical antecendents in the approach of the monarchy toward individual rights. In any event, I am not about to give up the Bill of Rights because a terrorist may occasionally slip through the cracks. As long as we are a free society, we will always be a target of Islamofascist terror. We will NEVER be able to protect ourselves absolutely and I would not want to sacrifice civil liberites earned through the blood of our forefathers because of the fear that continuing our free society puts us at greater risk.

PS - If you want to do all of this wiretapping, etc., there is a legal way to go about doing it. The objection is to the President's unilateral power grab -- his belief (I think errant belief) that, without any congressional action, he could (under the invocation of seemingly unlimited war powers) ignore FISA and the 4th Amendment.