Saturday, May 20, 2006

Beltway wisdom?

Digby refutes the
...false impression about the netroots support for Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman as an expression of anti-war fervor....It's not about the war. That's just the most visible example. It's about having no standards, no loyalty, no principles --- and losing because of it!

This great statesman Joe Lieberman supported the president in his illegal, immoral war, sold out his party on numerous occasions and is being challenged for it. You'd think that a great student of the Talmud would see the good old fashioned message of divine retribution in that.
Once again, the beltway types just don't seem to get it.

I noticed this on a daily basis during the 2003 primaries; the majority of political reporters couldn't figure out what made the movement--the perfect wave--behind the Dean campaign tick. They made phone calls to political operatives working for the different campaigns, their friends in high places. They had their access, but what they did not have was their fingers on the pulse of the public. Their minds were in the ether; their feet were not on the ground. The Dean phenomenon was just the beginning of my becoming aware to this fact.

They talk about angry, immature bloggers, as if there was only one person to ever disseminate their thoughts via a weblog, and that person was only 13 years old. Actually, according to a recent survey, the average political blogger is in his/her 40s. They talk about us like Marie Antoinette spoke about the masses.

No, we are not left-wing radical children (well, some might be); we are doctors and lawyers and professors and cafe owners and authors and reporters and politicians and teachers and actors and waiters and farmers and entrepeneurs. We are accomplished people--people with our own understanding and experience of the world. A blog is just a medium. You can't speak about "bloggers" in conventional, stereotypical ways. You can, but you'll miss it; you'll miss the scoop.

Now, back Digby and why there is so much support for Senator Lieberman's challenger in Connecticut among grassroots' and netroots' activists:
There are quite a few Democrats who voted for the war. They certainly have some work to do to convince many of us that they have seen the light. But the reason the netroots are taking on Joe Lieberman is because he enables Republicans on a host of issues and consistently shows disloyalty to the party in a hyper-partisan era. Alone among Democrats at the time, he went on the floor of the Senate and excoriated Bill Clinton for personal failures (that's what the speech was about) and gave support to the hypocritical Republican witch-hunters. Then, once again, alone among Democrats, he stood up for George Bush as it became obvious that the justification for the war in Iraq was based upon lies and hype. These are just two telling examples of where Lieberman tends to come out on issues that mean something to the Democratic party in a larger sense.

He comes from Connecticut. There is no excuse that he's in a Red State and has to pander to conservatives. He does this completely for its own sake. And inevitably, he gets the highest accolades from Republicans for doing so; he actually seems to revel in his position as George Bush's favorite Democrat. It is understandable that a Democratic senator lauded constantly by the right wing noise machine is going to be suspect among Democratic partisans.

There was a time when a vital center coalition existed in the Senate, where there was room on both sides for trading votes across party lines. The Republicans destroyed that coalition and Liebermann, inexplicably, doesn't seem to get that. Even worse, when the shit comes down, he inevitably sides with them. Many Democrats took a long time to learn the harsh lessons of GOP political hardball and had to lose to a bunch of thuggish right-wingers before they began to recognise what they were up against. Lieberman still refuses to accept the fact that his high minded centrism is a weapon in the hands of the radical Republicans.

The netroots are bringing some heat from the partisans and even if Lamont loses maybe this will move Lieberman's ass a little bit back to the party that brung him. That is not illegitimate politics. It is the only way to educate him apparently. He certainly has not listened to anything else.


Blogger Rob said...

Kos has made a very incisive comparison in the past between Senator Lieberman and Senator Nelson of Nebraska.

Nelson actually votes with the Democratic Party far less frequently than Lieberman. He's from a very red state afterall. But Nelson doesn't bash fellow Democrats on Sean Hannity's show the way Lieberman has. Nelson would never impugn the values or patriotism of his fellow Democrats or liberals.

Whenever Nelson is asked about his differing viewpoints he says something like, "I have to reflect the views of my constitutients. But I very much appreciate that the Democratic Party has a big tent for differing views."

Yet Lieberman who represents a very blue state will dump on Democrats.

I'm rather saddened by the turn Lieberman's career has taken. As a Jew I'm proud of him for risking his life as a young man in the deep south to register black voters in the sixties. And make no mistake, a Jewish person doing this at that time was taking his life in his own hands.

Many of today's liberals who bash Lieberman probably would not risk their lives like he did. I'm also proud of his presence on the 2000 ticket and breaking a barrier for other Jewish Americans. But he showed bad judgment with the Iraq War, is primarily to blame for the debacle that is the Department of Homeland Security, and has impugned the patriotism and values of liberals for too long. I respect the man's life and values. But feel like he doesn't respect mine. It's time for him to go.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Wulingren said...

Great comments! I was also happy when Gore chose Lieberman. Like Margaret Carlson, I believed it was a bold decision. I even found Lieberman quite humorous and humble on the campaign trail. I don't see that humility anymore. I see a man who doesn't listen to his consituents, other than the powerful ones, that is. His behavior throughout the entire 2003 primaries was very disturbing, but it was the following comment that was the final straw for me: "A Bush recession will be followed by a Dean depression," implying that one of his fellow Democrats would actually be worse for the country than was Bush. Then I discovered he makes these kind of comments all the time.

8:33 AM  

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