May 19, 2006

"It's absolute Democratic cannibalism."

Fighting Joe Lieberman from the left. (The quote is from John F. Droney, a former Democratic state chairman in Connecticut.)
A growing cast of prominent activists is backing [Democratic challenger Ned] Lamont. Markos Moulitsas, who advised the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004 and founded the blog Daily Kos, is appearing in a campaign commercial for Mr. Lamont....

"A very simple thing happened that changed Democratic politics dramatically, and that was that the war turned bad," [said Al From, the founder and chief executive of the Democratic Leadership Council], adding of the senator's critics: "There's a group in our party that makes a lot of noise and I don't think they've ever won an election. They're trying to take out one of the great statesmen our party has and that's wrong."
Ah, it's sad, this message that there no such thing as a liberal hawk. I wonder what Hillary's thinking about all this.


Seven Machos said...

Hillary is probably shaking her head in disbelief. I always thought her to be a callous political schemer. If she sticks to her guns here, either she is still a callous political schemer because she understands that flip-flopping like John Kerry will get you nowhere, or she does have a spine, and a maybe even she is reasonable.

I hope Leiberman wins. I also suggest that coming out in support of him could be Hillary's Sister Souljah Moment. And this it: no more free political advice for that shrew from me.

Balfegor said...

This makes me think of Kos's ongoing dialogue in Slate. He is the consultant who has hijacked his party!

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what Hillary's thinking about all this.

"Better they concentrate on him than me."

I have no problems with Democrats running against democratic incumbents. I think it's healthy! I don't think it really becomes newsworthy in a National Sense until you have something like what happened in Pennsylvania, where Republican leaders in the legislature like Robert Jubilerer lost their primaries to Republican challengers. I guess that was Republican cannibalism.

P_J said...

Here's hoping that Kos' endorsement will work its usual magic.

Anonymous said...

Joe Lieberman has made a career out of criticizing other Democrats and the Democratic party. No one should be complaining about the fact that some Democrats now have the guts to call him on it.

knox said...

Sad that it's become so utterly intolerable that a Democrat support the war (a stance which is inseparable, apparently, from supporting Bush) people like kos are willing to take (practically speaking) foolish risks like this. If I still identified as a democrat, I'd be so discouraged right now.

Pastor Jeff, good point.

Henry said...

A little more of this and I could imagine Lieberman volunteering for a Republican cabinet position in 2009. I can't imagine him switching parties, but if, say, McCain wins in 2008, I sure could imagine Lieberman as Secretary of Defense, in the William Cohen tradition.

Simon said...

"I wonder what Hillary's thinking about all this."

She's probably thinking "so when this Lamont clown bombs, is that going to make Kos 0 for 16, or 0 for 17? It's so hard to keep track of all the failed endorsements of the Kossacks."

You'd think that the Kossacks would by now have figured out the correlation that candidates they endorse keep losing, but then again, we already knew from their refusal to tackle social security reform that aren't any good at math.

Bissage said...

Look! It's a grownup! GET HIM!!

Richard Dolan said...

gj says: "Joe Lieberman has made a career out of criticizing other Democrats and the Democratic party. No one should be complaining about the fact that some Democrats now have the guts to call him on it."

Do you think that there's nothing to criticize? When McCain or Hagel or Chafee criticizes the Administration's policies, is that the same kind of betrayal meriting the same response? And, to show that political cannibalism doesn't only exist on the Dem side of the great divide, just look at Chafee's problems in RI.

gj's comment gets to the essence of partisan gridlock. As Guiliani has been saying while campaigning for Ralph Reed in GA, we're better off as a nation if the two parties are both "big tents," organized and held together by a collection of beliefs but without an obligation for every standardbearer of the team to sign on to each and every one of them. On most issues, Leiberman is a pretty standard-issue Dem. Too bad for the Dems that so many want to throw him out of their tent.

As for Hillary, she's always had the flexibility to bend with the prevailing winds. What's not clear is whether she will have the agility to dance through all the contradictions after getting the nomination, to make it look like she's making "sense rather than nonsense" (to borrow Sunstein's line from a few days ago) from her "deeply held beliefs". And, more important for her, that she eve has "deeply held beliefs," other than a desire to win for its own sake.

The same problem reduced Kerry to incoherence and he ended up looking foolish, weak and disingenuous. Against a candidate like McCain or Guiliani, Hillary needs to come up with a better plan. She's not quite the wooden stiff that Kerry was. But unlike Bill, dancing through the contradictions between her prior positions and the demands of her base has never been her strong suit.

alkali said...

Sad that it's become so utterly intolerable that a Democrat support the war ...

Given that the war has been a colossal failure, refusing to tolerate the politicians that supported it is an entirely rational response.

I recognize, of course, that one major political party takes the view that mendacity and incompetence should be rewarded by renewed loyalty. Unfortunately for Joe Lieberman, he is not running in that party's primary.

Unknown said...

Pennsylvania's recent Republican shakeup at the state level (12 incumbents forced out at the primary level) suggests that similar action may be happening on the right.

knox said...


"Given that the war has been a colossal failure"

obviously, I'd disagree.

Seven Machos said...

alkali -- How has the war been a failure?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Hillary's thinking about all this.

Hillary Clinton Life Lessons:

1. 1998: Not okay to be kissed on your privates by shameless wh*re
2. 2005: Not okay to be kissed on your lips by shameless wh*re.

We are all hoping she draws the right conclusion: Not okay to be a shameless wh*re.

Joe said...

So we took Baghdad in a few weeks, Saddam is on trial, there is a new constitution and elected government in Iraq, 3 successful elections with significant Sunni participation. The war had a historically low casualty rate and the damage to infrastructure and injury to civilians was also minimal compared to prior wars. It has sparked reforms in Libya among other nations.
Yup, colossal failure alright.

Ross said...

It's sad, this message that there is no such thing as a liberal hawk.

Well, if Lieberman wins, will that be a sign that the liberal hawk endures, if only in Connecticut?

As noted above, party moderates often get jumped on from the base. See Chafee. See Specter.

Bissage said...

Jacques Cuze: What happened to the whimsy of your other names?

Come on, you can do better than this.

Here's hoping.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's not turn this thread into a discussion of the details of the Iraq war. I think it's possible -- and desireable -- to be a hawk in the war without endorsing every single aspect of the war. Even assuming you think the administration has done a bad job conducting the war, that does not mean that you must be opposed to finishing the war successfully and making up for whatever mistakes were made. Often wars go badly, but hawks don't conclude that's why we should have never started fighting in the first place.

My issue here is whether the Democrats are trying to exclude hawks from their party. I think that's terrible. I consider myself a liberal hawk, and I get the message that the Democrats don't want me. The way Lieberman is being treated says a lot to me, and I'm interested in what Hillary will do in this climate. Can we talk about that?

Scott W. Somerville said...

Susan Sarandon has endorsed Hillary's primary opponent...

Joe said...

I actually wanted to respond to the original thread but Alkali threw me off. It is bad for the democrats that a man like Lieberman is castigated for wanting to defend the country. The dems have a low tolerance for dissent within their ranks - they won't allow a pro-life speaker at their conventions, and the moveon wing controls the primaries now.
The republicans are nearly as bad - a proven wartime leader like Rudy will probably not get the nomination because he is pro-choice, pro gay rights, pro gun control. But IMO the republicans are slightly more open to candidates who deviate from the party line.

KCFleming said...

The proposed strategy, for Democrats to go even more leftward than before, is thus shown to be operative.

Lieberman, like Zell Miller before him, is shown the door, banished from the liberal's ever-shrinking tent. While expelling the unbelievers worked for Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, success with that strategy requires absolute control over all possible venues of dissent. Damn democracy! You can't ever get anything done in it!

MadisonMan said...

Even assuming you think the administration has done a bad job conducting the war, that does not mean that you must be opposed to finishing the war successfully and making up for whatever mistakes were made.

These neatly encapsulates my thinking. My problem is that I don't think the current administration has the ability to see any mistakes that have been made. See, for example, news reports on CIA operatives being forced out for writing honest ground assessments re: conditions in Iraq.

My problem with Lieberman, other than his kowtowing too much to Insurance companies (natural, given his Nutmegginess) is his whiny voice. That makes me incredibly shallow, I know.

Anonymous said...

It's happening on the right at PoliPundit where the immigration issue is destroying a widely read conservative group blog.

Laura Reynolds said...

Hillary has her own problems, given that Susan Saradon has endorsed her opponent. (I assume for the same basic reason) I know conservatives are upset that the Republican Party supports Chafee (as it did Specter) so this effect goes both ways.

No doubt a form of republican self mutilation in 1992 and 1996 (AKA as Ross Perot) helped Bill Clinton get elected, Hillary must surely be hoping that happens in 2008.

Adam said...

It's a bit more nuanced than just being a "liberal hawk". The chief complaint you'll hear from the left about Lieberman isn't that he supported (and supports) the war effor as that he constantly criticizes other Democrats for not having done so, and seems too eager to support the President and not ask tough questions.

Because you'll see a lot of netroots support for Bob Casey Jr. this year, whose views on core Democratic issues are generally worse than Lieberman's. But he won't be going around attacking other Democrats.

Beth said...

Is his stance on the war the only reason to oppose Lieberman? He's also taking heat for his filibuster stance, his position on abortion and contraception rights, gay marriage...he's seen as a Democrat in name only. It's not just the war. There are other pro-Iraq Democrats who aren't seen as such a suckup to the right. I'm not convinced that Lieberman losing would be the end of liberal hawks. Nor do I think that being pro-Iraq is synonymous with being pro-defense, but that's another issue.

Coco said...

This looks like it might turn into a shouting Iraq-fest, so I'll veer into an equally important direction: Lieberman was very funny and self-effacing when he was on Jon Stewart. He took some good natured ribbing about his political stances and riffed on them himself - even telling a pretty ribald joke if I recall correctly (it was many months ago).

If I also recall correctly, Lieberman's voting record overall is pretty core Democrat. He's simply not some fringe conservative/Republican hiding out in the DP. And every party needs some dissenting voices within its power circles. The fact that the Democrats have this in Lieberman and Clinton is a strength for them...if they would only capitalize on it.

P_J said...

Kos' personal appearance in Lamont's commercial is fascinating.

What's the value of this from a marketing or political standpoint? Is Kos personally a selling point for voters?

What does it communicate that the consultant breaks into the commercial to deliver people for Ned, sits on the couch with him (while everyone else is standing), tells the candidate to "hurry it up" and has the final shot focus on himself?

The camera even moves away from Ned during his policy statements to follow the Kos crowd.

You could not craft a more obvious statement about who really matters.

ChrisO said...

I guess the message from people criticizing Lieberman's opponents is that incumbency should be perpetual, and once a Democrat wins a seat he should be unopposed from then on. It sure will save a lot of money cancelling all those primaries.

There are many Democrats who have views on the war that cross the political spectrum, and they aren't getting the criticism Liebrman is. Lieberman has done a lot to try and mitigate criticism of Bush at a time when his actions needed more scrutiny, not less. And he has been very critical of other Democrats.

If Lieberman wins the primary, I'm sure the vast majority of Lamont supporters will vote for him in the general. How is that destroying the party?

And anyone with any familiarity with the Club for Growth will recognize that this is not strictly a Democratic issue.

The comment I found most hilarious was that Zell Miller was "shown the door." Yeah, something about standing on stage at the Republican Convention and criticizing the Democratic Party that can make people question his commitment.

And seven machos, other than the fact that it's a Republican talking point that has become part of conventional wisdom, how is Kerry a flip-flopper?

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Often wars go badly, but hawks don't conclude that's why we should have never started fighting in the first place.

Is it okay if that is A reason, one of many? When is it alright to conclude a war should never have been started? Evidence of lies to the people that had to fight it? Evidence it was never winnable? Evidence that any "successful" conclusion could lead to greater regional instability?

Is it ever okay for a "hawk" to decide not to fight today?

Lieberman's democratic woes go far beyond the war. He has been on the wrong side of the abortion votes, the bankruptcy bill, and civil liberties bills, Terri Schiavo, universal health care, and energy. He has done alot of this in ways in which he failed to support the liberal progressive platform at critical moments while voting for the pre-ordained to defeat bills later on.

Why would you insist of framing this all in terms of Iraq? I think you are projecting your own issues onto this race.

Why is it you want to be a "hawk?" What does "hawk" mean to you? I am looking for Democratic candidates that can bring security to the nation in terms of physicial, economic, and moral and spiritual security. This often means to me candidates from the fighting dems,

Ann, if you want to find people that have progressive values and will not shrink from a fight, start there, and not Senator Lie.

Seven Machos said...

Kerry was a Vietnam war protester, the he voted for the war in Iraq, then he voted against it, then he was for it again during the general election and now, last I heard, he is against it again. This is flip-flopping.

But, Chris, if you want to nominate the guy again for president, more power to you.

Having disposed of that: the lefites here are right. Primary challenges are good can be good for the party and are certainly good for democracy.

I think the larger point is: why on earth would Connecticut Democrats want to banish a very powerful senator who has shown the ability to craft compromise and votes straight enough downn the liberal line on social issues to make Norman Thomas happy?

I don't want this thread hijacked over Iraq and I am kind of sick and tired of talking about the war, too, but the issue has obviously driven the left batty.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have never really figured out why Hillary is more hawkish than many of her fellow Democratic Senators. Partly, I do think that she is more hawkish then even her own husband, being apparently taught at a young age to hit back, and to hit back hard.

The other side though is that no matter what those on the vocal left think, someone who has attacked the war in Iraq strongly throughout is not going to win the national election. There are just too many people out there who think that it is somewhere between unpatriotic and treasonous.

Add to this that it is hard to make an cogent argument that you oppose the war in Iraq, but are strong on protecting this country from terrorism. And, in the end, I suspect that there will still be enough people who remembered 9/11, the WTC crashing, etc., to not elect someone weak in this area.

So, I also see Hillary gambling here. She knows that if she goes left, she would most likely would get nominated, but, esp. with her past track record, would get creamed in the general election. But if she stays somewhat in the middle in the war, the nomination will be harder, but the general election would be winnable.

And that is what you have to remember - she still has the inside track on the nomination. She will be able to out fundraise all of her opponents, maybe even combined.

Also, let me note that her stands are starting to look more and more principled (whether they are or not), in comparison with her principal opponents. Kerry, for example, was able to do as well as he did, most likely because he had managed to straddle well enough that he couldn't be tied down. But since then, he has obviously prostituted himself for liberal support (remember, his Iraqi deadline was four days ago).

I don't think that Hillary is panicking yet as to her chances of getting the nomination. She isn't acting panicked. And even if she were, the fact that it isn't apparent would be important in terms of leadership.

Drew W said...

Look! It's a grownup! GET HIM!!

Congrats, Bissage, on summing up the Loser Left mindset in six words. Probably a new record.

Re: M. Cuze's comment:

Hillary Clinton Life Lessons:

1. 1998: Not okay to be kissed on your privates by shameless wh*re
2. 2005: Not okay to be kissed on your lips by shameless wh*re.

What is it about those two sentences makes me think that Suha Arafat deserves a place in there somewhere?

But let's not get so harsh with those anti-Lieberman Dems. They simply want to return this great nation to the eight years of peace and prosperity it enjoyed during the McGovern Administration.

Joan said...

Some evidence that the war in Iraq is not a complete disaster:
Is Iraq a quagmire, a disaster, a failure? Certainly not; none of the above. Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe todays Iraq, the only one that has a ring of truth is messy. Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are. Since when is that a reason to declare a baby unworthy of life?

I'm fascinated by the Democrats' ability to hang onto the delusion that "the war is a disaster." And to hold onto it so firmly that any heretic must be expunged from the party.

Anonymous said...

Bob Casey is a good example of the Democratic Party's tolerance for dissent. Many Democrats (including Kos) support Casey in spite of the fact that he has right wing views on many issues.

They support him because he has shown loyalty to the Democratic party even as he has taken strong contrary positions.

That is not what Lieberman has done. Lieberman has a history of taking cheap shots at other Democrats and at the party as a whole. He is perceived as being self-promoting in a particularly destructive way, i.e. at the expense of the party as a whole. He knows he can always get a quote in the New York Times if he lambastes other Democrats, so he does that.

This isn't a matter of intolerance of dissent, or of intolerance of hawks. It's a matter of intolerance of people who aren't team players at a time when the Dems need more team players. (CF Ann's latest post about the problems that liberal religous groups have.)

As for Hillary: people I know don't dislike her because she is a hawk. They dislike her because she comes across as a focus-group-driven cipher who stands for nothing other than her own goal of being elected. She is perceived by much of the country as a "Northeastern liberal" and would be a divisive candidate. She has lots of money in the bank, but I don't know why people insist on trumpeting her as the likely Democratic nominee in '08. Given her performance to date, I don't see how that could possibly happen, all the millions aside.

Palladian said...

"I am looking for Democratic candidates that can bring security to the nation in terms of physicial, economic, and moral and spiritual security."

Ugh, I don't want "moral" and "spiritual" security from government. See the "politics in religion" post from today. You're, by any chance, wearing a tunic, are you?

And how "universal health care" and "economic security" can coexist in the same party platform is a mystery to me. Maybe what some Democrats (and former Democrats) want is a party that is not lead, ruled and dictated by "liberal progressive" policies, but sound, pragmatic, optimistic ones, that is defined by what it is rather than what it isn't (i.e. "we're not Bush!").

"Progressive" is just a code word for soft socialism.

Seven Machos said...

So, gj, when we strip your argument down to its basic components, your position is:

Dissent is only acceptable when dissenters are "team players."

How can you dissent and remain a team player simultaneously? Also, dissent from WHAT? When did the party platform become to officially OPPOSE the war? I'd like to know, and I'd like to see the documents, because I think my side could make some serious hay with it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Jacques Cuze

I don't follow Lieberman that closely, but what impresses a lot of people is that he does take stands that are unpopular with his base. Somewhat akin to what a lot of people think about McCain.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am glad that Joan got that Iraq article cited. I was going to do it, but Ann asked that we not concentrate on refighting the Iraq war.

Adam said...

How can you dissent and remain a team player simultaneously?

By expressing your own views without attacking fellow Democrats as being weak for having their own. By not saying things like "we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." Etc.

Bissage said...

Bruce Hayden: I keep telling people it's going to be McCain/Lieberman in '08 but they keep telling me I'm crazy.

P.S. I suspect they're right.

Seven Machos said...

Okay, so when a senator says, "we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril," that's Ugly, Bad dissent. Check.

Just for fun, let's play a couple of games. First, let's play the Cold, Hard Logic Game. Imagine, if you will, Adam, just for a second, that you are a person simply judging statements in terms of truth and political acumen. Ready? Okay, let's give it a shot:

"We undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

Is is still a viscious attack?

Second, let's play the shoe-is-on-the-other-foot game. Let's pretend that Bill Clinton is president and it's 1998 or so. On the eve of a big deposition over a blow job President Clinton got in the Oval Office, suddenly! just like that!, the USA drops some bombs in Afghanistan. A Republican -- say, Tom Delay -- says it's a shameful attempt to divert attention. Then, another Republican -- say, Olympia Snowe -- says, "we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

Well, is it STILL a viscious attack?

Richard Dolan said...

Ann says: "My issue here is whether the Democrats are trying to exclude hawks from their party. I think that's terrible. I consider myself a liberal hawk, and I get the message that the Democrats don't want me. The way Lieberman is being treated says a lot to me, and I'm interested in what Hillary will do in this climate. Can we talk about that?"

Before getting to Hillary, why "whether" in your first sentence? Of course Leiberman's sin is his support for the Iraqi war and the GWOT in general. He was booed for that during the 2004 primaries, and nothing has changed. When the commenters in this thread say that the real problem was Leiberman's taking "cheap shots" at the Dems, what do they have in mind -- his criticism of Bill for the Monica mess, when he was the first Dem even to speak sensibly or honestly about that mess? When it comes to support for the Iraqi war, there's no room for "whether" on the Dem side, particularly among the activists and the sources of Dem money.

As for Hillary, she'll continue to do what she's been for some time, trying to have it both ways and elide the problem -- Bush messed it all up, he's an incompetent, just look at [Fallujah, Katrina, you name it]. That's her way of going with the anit-Iraq, isolationist flow in the Dem base, without ever having to disavow her votes in favor of the war.

Perhaps she is just taking a slightly longer view, since things may look quite different in early 2008 when the primaries are in full swing and the pressure will really be on. Keeping options open in that way is just standard operating procedure for candidates in her position. Just as the primaries made it impossible in 2004 for the Dem candidates to walk that line, just as the pressure from Dean ultimately pushed Kerry into impossible positions that ultimately sank his campaign, Hillary is in danger of getting caught in the middle as she tries to have it both ways -- hawk in dealing with terrorism in general but harsh critic of the "Bush war" in particular.

For now, I think she just wants to stay with the "it's all about competence" theme (Hillary as Dukakis redux, now there's a winning image). She knows how nutty the "quit now" approach is, but I'm not sure she has any core belief other than a burning desire to win. How she ultimately squares this circle will tell a lot about her as a politician and potential president. It will certainly present her with a real "Sister Souljah" moment or two.

MadisonMan said...

Bob Casey is a good example of the Democratic Party's tolerance for dissent. Many Democrats (including Kos) support Casey in spite of the fact that he has right wing views on many issues.

I suspect he is tolerated, also, because he is polling ahead of his opponent. (I know my parents will vote for him, but Oy! Consider his opponent!). Casey's most right-wingish views are so very far to the left to the views of the Junior Senator from PA who really lives in VA.

SeedFreak said...

I am concerned that the Lamont Team is actually a front for Daily KOS, that Lamont's name is being used to PROMOTE Daily KOS, and that its founder, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, is the one looking for political gain and will use-up what capital in money and followers that Lamont has. This is the proverbial wolf disguised as a sheep.

Lamont's followers will be deflated and angered should this become true--that they are worked and used, emotionally abused, for a misrepresented purpose. It appears that the blogging and TV attention to Daily KOS has become equal or greater than the attention being given to Lamont. That should be a clarion cry that something is dreadfully wrong with the leadership and direction of Lamont's campaign. It is clear, IMHO, that Lamont's campaign has been hijacked and taken as a vehicle to promote Daily KOS, which will endure, but that Lamont and his followers, used up and wasted, will be left in the dust.

Historically, as a nation, we have prevailed in ousting evil despots, dictators, and madmen who hurt and destroy their own people for personal gain. We have done this in Iraq, but the mistakes began with an occupation that was not planned for. We won the freedom of the people from a psychotic, murderous leader, but lost the peace without planning for it, only because of the arrogance of the Bush Whitehouse believing that the people would welcome democracy with open arms, thus the insurgancy was assured. You cannot force Judeo-Christian principles down the throat of another religious society, and even worse, globally, money always talks; forcing extremist capitalism on any nation, American or not, is going to get everyone up in arms.

Removing a dictator--Good,
Losing the Peace--Bad
Looting the American, EU, and Iraqi treasuries in the name of greed--Sinful, Awful, the Worst you can do.

"Mission Accomplished" did not mean that the war was one. Instead it was a signal to the The Bush Adminstration Friends that a wartime economy had been set up and the profiteering could now begin.

I do not blame Senator Lieberman for supporting a war to remove a heinous, vile dictator from office. This was a just cause. I do blame the Bush Administration for extending the action into one meant for profiteering and, far worse a crime, the gnawing away of our constitutional rights.

Zuniga is working the field of democrats using a tried and true tactic--Conquer and Divide. Zuniga will gain above all and the Democratic Party will be left accusing its individual tangents of war between themselves as the cause. Democrats--Liberal, Moderate or Centrist--need to unite to prevent their being used by Zuniga to promote himself and his personal issues and desires.

Unite to defeat Zuniga, do not be divisive as he wishes, steers us, and goads us to break apart, or we lose it all to him--a wolf who will consume the sheep he protends to shephard.


Adam said...

7M, I don't believe I've referred to anything as a "vicious attack", but I do believe Lieberman can't expect to have many liberal-activist supporters after having made it.

Just like when Arlen Specter took on the Christian Coalition during his 1996 presidential bid and stated that "neither this nation nor this party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant Right that we end up re-electing a President of the incompetent Left."

Laura Reynolds said...

Madison Man: You are exactly right about Casey, its not about him its about Santorum.

reader_iam said...

Trudi: !!!!

Dead on.

knox said...

palladian said: Ugh, I don't want "moral" and "spiritual" security from government.

I second that "ugh".

Why in the world would anyone look to the government for "spiritual security"??? Not that I'm even sure I understand what "spiritual security" means...

reader_iam said...

I'd part company on the profiteering bit in significant ways, but otherwise I'm with you.

knox said...

"Mission Accomplished" did not mean that the war was one. Instead it was a signal to the The Bush Adminstration Friends that a wartime economy had been set up and the profiteering could now begin."

Right about here's where Oliver Stone would insert some creepy, ominous music....

SeedFreak said...

There was a sorta cheesie movie made of Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, it was a sequal to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. THAT music would be appropriate.

Movie URL

knox said...

Is it nutty, leftist, conspiracy theory music? If so, yeah.

SeedFreak said...

I dunno, it's creepy sneaky music. The play it often at "Haunted Mansions" and other such entertaining things.

It would make good Rove and Cheney backgound music too.

Anonymous said...

Moral and spiritual security is treo speak when driving.

But lots of folks these days look to government for choices regarding marriage, abortion, atheism and religion, drug use, war use, sex, ....

I would like a moral government and one that allows me to be secure in my own spirituality, whatever that might be. That means a government that does not promote religion, nor does it force my religion on others, or vice-versa.

But a moral government is not a goverment that violates its constitution, nor condones cronyism, corruption, stealing, or class warfare.

Lieberman's statements and votes on abortion, the bankruptcy bill, torture, Iraq, Terri Schiavo, and tax cuts make me wonder how moral his government would be.

Palladian said...

J'accuse: "I would like a moral government and one that allows me to be secure in my own spirituality, whatever that might be."

What the hell are you talking about? Do you want the government to wrap its warm, comforting arms around you when you wake up from a bad dream too?

"But a moral government is not a goverment that violates its constitution, nor condones cronyism, corruption, stealing, or class warfare."

Well that about rules out most of the Democratic party then, doesn't it?

Seven Machos said...

Jacques, Your post made no sense to me when I read it the first time, so I read a few more times. Now it strikes me as positively bizarre.

A moral government? Secure in your spirituality? Terry Schiavo? What are you talking about, dude?

Palladian said...

A friend of mine had a weird slip of the tongue and said "Katrina Schaivo" recently.

I think Schaivo is one of those political Pavlov words that causes extreme salivation on the part of the initiates. Schaivo! Katrina! Halliburton! Activist Judge! Diebold! Hillary!

Steve White said...

Seven Machos writes:

Dissent is only acceptable when dissenters are "team players."

And then goes on to disparage this idea.

I'd suggest gently that the statement is actually one of the core beliefs of a political party -- any political party. You can dissent to a fair degree from the current tenets of the party (whatever those are, to the extent that they can be articulated coherently), but if you go off the reservation and start attacking the party, or its members, or its other elected officials, you open yourself to the possibility that you won't be seen as a member in good standing.

Zell Miller (whom I admire) has the same problem and the same perception: whatever his dissent was, when he stood up at the RNC, it was pretty much over for him as a Democrat (to his credit, he didn't care, and said so). But one would excuse other loyal Democrats for being angry with Zell.

Ronald Reagan used to proclaim the eleventh commandment: "thou shall not criticize another Republican". That didn't stop Ronnie from the occasional sneaky attack, but it did make clear that Ronnie was a believer in team play. To him, there were indeed limits as to how far you could dissent and still be a Republican.

So while Seven Machos disparages the idea, I think it's the correct one. I'm willing to consider a wide range of Republicans for office, but I won't consider one who isn't a loyal member of the party.

Ken Wheaton said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Kos is the heir of Bob Shrum. Every time he mouths off about politics, the record of the candidates he's supported should be printed in poster size.

What is he now, 0 for 16?

Seven Machos said...

Steve, I disagree. The problem is, what is the "reservation"? If Democrat X criticizes the war effort and Democrat Y criticizes Democrat X in response, I say Democrat X is right in principal, because you don't PUBLICLY as criticize a war effort as an elected offical, and right strategically, because Democrats will get slaughtered at the polls if they take an anti-war position (which is NOT the Democrats' official position, anyway, so WHO is off the reservation?).

I'm a conservative/libertarian Republican. I think my "team" should be cordially criticizing to high heaven all these graft-ridden, big-spending Republicans and their various pork-addicted buddies. I think Duke Cunningham and Trent Lott and even Senator Stevens from Alaska should be lambasted and shamed, in a cheerful way, of course, and run against in primaries.

And I still don't see how saying "we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril" is an attack. Grow a skin, kids. Any skin.

Seven Machos said...

Excuse me. Democratic Y would be right.

Seven Machos said...

Ken -- We had this discussion before. The Kos Kids are apparently 2 for 21 or so.

The Drill SGT said...

I like Lieberman overall. The only time I have ever been concerned was during the 2000 campaign when Lieberman knuckled on some of positions to align himslef with his Party's top of the ticket: Gore. That bothered me.

I liked honest Lieberman, not team player Lieberman

With those trips to Iraq and "We undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

I guess I want the old days back when our politicans:

1. genuinely supported the troops
2. didn't speak ill of the country or the President when overseas
3. Didn't speak ill of the President when he was overseas
4. Presidents after leaving office Didn't speak ill of the President

There's a common thread there, but it isn't cuz I'm strongly pro-Bush. I just don't remember Bush 41 for example calling for the impeachment of Clinton 42 as an example. I think Bush 41 was very civil after losing.

Jacob said...

Lamont does have a pretty awesome commercial though...

Bongo Journalist said...

My God, if Susan Sarandon, that great political goddess, has endorsed someone, then it's all over but the shouting!

woof111 said...

I skimmed the comments and didn't see anybody noting that Senator Lieberman RAN FOR VP AS A DEMOCRAT. We on the Republican side were dismayed when he subordinated some of his middle of the road policies like school choice to support crazy Al.

He is a hero to stand apart from the ever more left party and look at the war through an object lens. Too bad more of his party can't see that there are some good goals (regional peace, safety of our ally Israel) and our national interest at stake.

Oh for the days of Scoop Jackson.

Frank Warner said...

Joe Lieberman is one of the U.S. Senate’s last real liberals. Sadly, Democratic doesn’t mean liberal anymore.

Remember when Democrats were for recognizing facts, defending the defenseless and freeing the oppressed? That's when they were liberal.

Bill Dalasio said...

I'm going to pose a bit of a conspiracy theory here. I'm not saying I beleive it. But its looking more and more plausible as time goes on. Lets say you're Hillary Clinton. Its 2002. You really don't have a significant record to run on. The incumbant President, a member of the other party, has an uncertain level of popularity going into the election. You're pretty sure, though, that you don't have the wherewithal to take him. But this creates a problem. If someone from your party takes him out, well, you're going to have to wait at least eight years to make your play for the White House. Interparty insurgencies, after all, are notoriously unsuccessful. No, you want to run in four. What do you really, really want? You want the incumbent to win. Let the public grow sick of him. The only question is how? Well, you've got that group of true believers that your husband put together during his impeachment. You'll have to avoid any direct connection with them, but that should be relatively easy. After all, they were formed under the premise of independence from you. So, you trot them out, only this time angry and radicalized. Any plausible candidate is going to have to run in an untennable position to get their nod, and anyone who flirts with their position is going to get squeezed as a flip-flopper. Bingo, "your" candidate loses the election!! Now it might seem you've created a monster. After all, they're out for the sort of red meat you don't want to give them. But, this is also an opportunity. Your husband after all, made his candidacy with a "Sister Soulja" moment. This is your chance to do the same. Moreover, your likely primary opponent has cast his lot with these tools. You quietly begin pulling the resources that allowed the radicals to take on such a role in the Party. All the while, you give them reason to believe they're winning. They decide to take on a pretty well-liked Senator. Now you're approaching the end-game. Its very likely that the Senator in question will handily defeat the insurgency. However, if you time it correctly, you come in with a very public endorsement, even chiding the radicals you created as extremists who don't represent your party. Now, if the Senator wins, you've got your Sister Souja moment. But, even if he loses, you come away wounded, but still viable. After all, you can chalk your support up to party loyalty.

kmg4 said...

It's all good. No matter what the anti-American left does, America will still be the only superpower in the world in 2030.

The left has no hope.

Jeff Faria said...

"I wonder what Hillary's thinking about all this."

Excellent point. As the Times article concludes (paraphrasing), 'There are many on the left who make a lot of noise but have never won anything.' After Lieberman's election, none of that will have changed. The politics of Marcos is 'submit to our viewpoint or we'll destroy you'. Yeah, that's effective.

SeedFreak said...

"The politics of Marcos is 'submit to our viewpoint or we'll destroy you'."

This IS emotional strong-arming, and again, as I said before, emotionally abusive.

This man, his politics, his control of Ned Lamont, is certainly not good for Ned Lamont and it is most assuredly worse for America.

Is he our century's new Rasputin?

M. Simon said...

I look forward to the good old days when the Democrats were anti-war and had an anti-war general leading the ticket.

I pine for 1864.

i.e. this is nothing new.

PS the Rs were not very good at supporting the war 1941 - '45. They were full of complaints. Some R leaning papers leaked intel secrets.

i.e. this is nothing new.

PS. Thomas Dewey is head and shoulders above most of the mopes in contention for nomination today.

The ins have hubris and the outs have insanity. Twas ever thus.

P_J said...


You sound oddly familiar.

Great minds, etc., etc.

nedludd said...

Because you'll see a lot of netroots support for Bob Casey Jr. this year, whose views on core Democratic issues are generally worse than Lieberman's. But he won't be going around attacking other Democrats.

You'll see that activity for him because he has a chance to knock off one of the left's boogiemen, not because of any love for him. The netroots moveon types ran Pennacchio against him in the primary to try to derail him. He is distrusted and disliked by that crowd.

Yes, Casey will get support, no that he is their only option, but don't think it is because the netroots groups like him. They like him no more than they did his Daddy, a man who was stopped from addressing the Dem convention in 92 because he wanted to advocate a big tent for the Dems, allowing pro-lifers to be equal in the party. As I said, he was blocked from speaking (ironically it was said to have been Carville and Begala who blocked him. Casey was the first big campaign they worked on, kneecapping Bill Scranton Jr in the final days of the campaign with ads showing when Scranton was hanging out with Yogis in the 60s).

Among the self-named progressives in eastern PA at least, they will hold their nose and back Casey because he has a real chance of knocking off Santorum. I think if the Dems had a real chance of losing Lieberman's seat you would see a closing of ranks around him.

Joe said...

Trudi says we "lost the peace" in Iraq. A wee bit premature, don't you think? Would you have said the same thing about Germany in 1946? We are still in Germany, for God's sake! Does that mean you would not have fought WWII? When Pearl Harbor was attacked, you probably would have wrung your hands and wondered why the Japanese hated us. 9-11 was worse than Pearl Harbor. It changed the risk equation.
I suppose it will take a Democrat president, a concomitant period of pulling back and appeasement before we are attacked here again and remember why we are fighting this war. And there will always be that faction who believes we should never fight under any circumstances. But they are not serious people and their views should not be seriously considered.

SeedFreak said...

Joe, you're pretty good at setting up strawmen. History will show what has happened, but we're not talking about historical events for Iraq yet. I'm saying that it looks like it here and for now. In real time. AFIC, not planning for an insurgancy has cost the peace, and it has wasted a lot of lives and helped drain our economy.

I had an Uncle who survived Pearl, and at 9/11, our family is blessed that a nephew made it out on the last subway train to leave the towers. I live in Nassau County, I can't drive 45 SECONDS without finding a home of the dead. We have lost friends. I don't know where you are, but I don't think you live in my neighborhood, so please don't assume that you're preaching to someone who hasn't done it and lived it and cried for it.

I am currently disgusted by rabid, potty-mouthed, spitting-acid bloggers. In this I don't care what they're discussing, their vitriolic diatribing is going to taint this new vehicle for expression. And THAT may become historical--writers of a free press cannabalizing their own medium.

Joe said...

Trudi, don't backpedal. YOU were the one who said that we have "lost the peace," i.e., past tense, settled for all time. I live in Westchester, I know people who survived 9-11, I work with a 9-11 widow. The difference between us is that I support those who are trying to prevent the next one.
So you think we did not plan for insurgency and are going about it wrong, but as usual for your side, you don't have a constructive suggestion.

SeedFreak said...

Yes, I believe we have lost the peace. YOU have inferred for all time, speaking future tense, I am grounded in NOW TIME And that become past tense the moment it happens, so my use of "tense" is correct.

Now, what side am I on? What are you assuming here, again? I know exactly where I am politically--so tell me what you think I am. Let's hear your assumptions spoken out so I can set your strawman on fire, you're already hot, how close are you to flaming?

Joe said...

T, you now clarify that "lost the peace" only means up until the second you said it, you did not mean the future. So essentially your analysis is completely meaningless, because it is obsolete the instant that you say it. At least that is how I see your latest attempt to squirm out of your original post. If you want me to take a stab at your views, I would say, from your original "lost the peace" post that I responded to, that you suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Without any evidence whatsoever you have concluded that we entered this war so his cronies can profiteer and that we have lost the peace - so the war is a failure. Wishful thinking on your part - I pegged you as one of those people who would rather see us fail in Iraq than Bush get credit for any kind of success. And I am still waiting for your constructive criticism on what we should have done to "win" the peace.

SeedFreak said...

I'm sorry, I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

I am a tried and true Centrist and you're, well, I'm not sure and I'm not going to assume what. I just think that you'd like to be contrary to anyone who's views don't support yours. There's no use arguing with stone.

Be well.

David said...

As a Connecticut resident I have spent the last 5 months reading between the lines. If you listen to Lamont's supporters they hate the fact that Joe clearly has a personal relationship with the president. By the by, there will be a primary in August as Ned got over the 15% he needed to force it. The democrates chose Joe 1004 to 505. Some of Ned's supporters are just lunitic enough that I think the Republicans will get fodder nationally for the 2006 elections.

joated said...

mcg (way up there near the top), the Pennsylvania shakeup had far more to do withthe legislature's passage of a huge pay raise for themselves in the middle of the night than any party affiliation or war politics.

veni vidi vici said...

Re: gj's comment of 5/19 @ 12:15 and seven machos' response a few posts later:

gj, sounds like you're onto something. I think the way you described Joe L. should be awfully familiar to Republicans perpetually outraged by John McCain's media-focussed party heresy.

Seven Machos, are you seriously disagreeing with what gj said? I don't know who you're hanging around with on the right, but many of my VRWC friends have about the same opinion of McCain -- notwithstanding his by 'n large solidly Republican voting record -- as the Kossackists' position on Lieberman. Far as I can see, the main difference is the Kossack Left is acting on their rage, whereas the Republicans prefer to look past the differences and keep McCain in the tent.

"whoop di doo", in other words.

JEGjr said...

" major political party takes the view that mendacity and incompetence should be rewarded by renewed loyalty..."

Oh, I must've missed where we switched to the topic of the New Orleans mayoral election.