Purging Pro-Iraq War Democrats

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lieberman-bush.jpg
The Los Angeles Times ran a lead editorial yesterday:

PURGING ANTIWAR DEMOCRATS


even though the substance of the piece was about progressive Dems supporting Connecticut Senate challenger Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman.
First of all, editorialists should stop referring to everyone who OPPOSES THE IRAQ WAR as “anti-war”.
This is not a battle between pacifists and hawks within progressive circles.
This is a battle between the appropriate times to deploy force and go to war and when not. Going after bin Laden and toppling the al Qaeda-harboring Taliban made sense and could have furthered American interests. Expanding this legitimate fight into the invasion of Iraq and a broader crusade in the Middle East has punctured the mystique of American power in the world and harmed America’s security.
Joe Lieberman is unapologetic in his support for the Iraq War — which I agree with former National Security Agency Director William Odom may be “America’s greatest strategic blunder of all time”.
While I have respected Lieberman’s work and advocacy for a serious national technology policy and for progressive work on gay rights and civil rights, his support for the expansion of a significant challenge from Osama bin Laden into a crusade in the Middle East and war against Iraq calls for serious electoral consequences.
Lieberman has helped empower the course that we took and has not stepped back from his support of Bush on the Iraq War — which has threatened America’s global standing as well as moral and military credibility. Our security has now become more complex and our options in the future more limited.
Opposing Lieberman has nothing to do with being “anti-war”, it has everything to do with being “anti-Iraq War” and trying to prevent the same kind of dangerous calculus from being followed in the future. If Lieberman helps empower thinking so potentially dangerous to American national security interests, he should be purged from the party.
The Los Angeles Times needs to rework its headline.
— Steve Clemons
Ed Note: I will be on Air America’s “Al Franken Show” with guest host Sam Seder at 1:30 p.m. today. I see from the link that Ned Lamont will be on during the show as well — as well as the super-cool and super-smart Joe Conason.
Update: This discussion between Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus on Bloggingheads.tv highlights some parts of the same debate about Democrats, war, and purges. Some of the exchange is just friend to friend banter — but be patient. This blog post is briefly mentioned.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

72 comments on “Purging Pro-Iraq War Democrats

  1. online community says:

    I just think myspace users really don’t have the knowledge of how to change the code or even want to try they just want the easy way…
    http://www.mylayoutspace.net

    Reply

  2. Kathleen says:

    Senator Chris Dodd is so different from Joe Lieberman, I’m disappointed in his position. By different I mean when 9/11 happened, he was the first to question the lack of intel on it, while Joe L just licks Repugnican boots.
    9/11 did change everything. The loyal opposition vanished. I’m with you, POA. Don’t lighten up.

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    I saw Senator Dodd on Imus this morning…he says Liebermen HAS to be re-elected….haw,haw…I wonder if Dodd has any idea how many dems no longer give a flip about what “the party” says?
    Out with the old in with the new. Vote them ALL out. ALL of them, the entire congress, they are incapable of learning, incapable of reforming, They have all been there so long they think we work for them and not visa versa…just get rid of them. Period.

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Hmm since I am making up my own words like Dubya does let me change that spelling to Corporotarians.
    Posted by Steambomb
    Why not? I mean, if we are going to live our lives in servitude to a Corporatocracy, we might as well learn the lingo.
    Gives new meaning to the request, “Bend over”, does it not?

    Reply

  5. Steambomb says:

    Hmm since I am making up my own words like Dubya does let me change that spelling to Corporotarians. Corporatarians sounds too latino to me.

    Reply

  6. Steambomb says:

    Although I do not think that I could or would us the same vernacular as POA, I do agree with him on all his points especially his last one. America is at a crossroads and if this society doesn’t wake up and get a clue our Democracy could very well be taken completely over by politicians + Corporations = Corporatarians.

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  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “why don’t you sit down, take a deep breath and TRY to lighten up?”
    Ooooh yeeeeeeeeah, thats what we need to do, is “lighten up”! Heck, we gotta a fuckin’ moron stealing elections so he can lie us into war, shit all over our constitution, and alienate 99.9 % of the world’s population. We gotta VP thats gleefully endorsing shoving light sticks in Muslim assholes in our quest for “intelligence”, and we have a democratic party that left their balls hanging in the trophy case in Kenneth Blackwell’s office. Meanwhile, the economy is headed for the crapper, we have told the entire black population of New Orleans that they can go fuck themselves, and we are paying over three bucks a gallon so those fat cats kneeling under Bush’s desk making slurping sounds can enjoy triple the profits they made last year. Uuuuhm, have I mentioned the clusterfuck in Iraq yet????? Or sending billions to Israel so they can drop sound bombs over Palestinian children, murder beachgoers, and raze farmlands???
    Yeah, WTF, lets all just lighten up and SMILE while these bastards shove it to us. But hey, if I gotta smile about it, shouldn’t they AT LEAST have to use vaseline????
    Look buddy, you better be praying that WHOOOOLE LOT of us get just as pissed as I am, and SOON, or you can count ths so called “democracy” good bye.

    Reply

  8. DavidT says:

    Thanks for the comments — some more thoughtful than others in my view — however in furtherance of the discussion. Will try to ignore the nasty characterizations thrown in the direction of my post as I don’t feel that they shed a great deal of light.
    In terms of courage Mr. Valdron, thanks for the rejoinder. However I feel that the example of lynching, Jim Crow laws, and/or genocide doesn’t hold for the following reason. As I defined it in this context, guts or courage is taking a stand contrary to your own political interests. I find it unlikely that one would take a stand in support of lynching, Jim Crow laws, or genocide when one’s constituents were against them as were one’s party. I assume you don’t believe that those Southern politicians of the pre-civil rights era took their stands on principle in spite of their constituents believing that African Americans should be treated with the same respect and the same rights as everyone else, do you?
    You may not like Lieberman, you may not like his stance on the war in Iraq, but I do believe it to be helpful to recognize that he is doing it because he believes its best for the country even if you feel he’s gone off the deep end. Furthermore I don’t believe his stance is vital to the Administration’s further efforts in Iraq so getting rid of him won’t change this Administration’s policy.
    I think your examples bolster my case more than undermine it for the following reason. I would greatly admire a political figure who, even if their constituents support unequal rights and the unconsciounable treatment of their fellow citizens (or in your more extreme example, the systematic decimation of certain groups of fellow citizens) come out firmly in opposition to unequal rights and speak out against unconsciounable treatment of others even if this may hurt them at the ballot box the next time they run for reelection. That’s my point.
    I know it may be difficult to ascribe courage to someone whose stand you so dislike. However, if you don’t look at it this way I don’t know how you can look at a similar situation when the figure is taking a stand you agree with that so many oppose and feel he/she is doing the right thing.
    On the national stage and outsiders involvement, point well taken. My argument however is not that one should never get involved in another state’s race but rather to be aware of the consequences of this involvement. I believe that whatever is gained by booting Lieberman from office will be offset by the message that is sent in terms of sticking to the party line (or avoiding the outcry of people that can influence the party like bloggers and the like) and not stepping very far from the views of one’s constituents. Do you believe that Bush will have a change of heart and get out after seeing Lieberman’s loss? I find this unlikely. However if you do not, I believe the price of telling Democrats not to step too far out of line will do more harm than good to the Democrats.
    Thanks for your response Mr. Valdron and for your kind words Carroll even if you may not share all of my views.

    Reply

  9. steambomb says:

    I am not willing to say that Leiberman Sabotaged Gore in 2000 but from what I saw, it didn’t look like he was puting forth much effort either. That is why I call him a republican mole. Leiberman was a terrible choice for vp.

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  10. Den Valdron says:

    I don’t know that I can support David Trillings comments about “a senator who has the guts to stand for what he believes in… blah blah blah”
    I’m not being derogatory in the quote, I’m just too lazy to type the whole thing.
    As I understand it, however, Trillings elevates guts over just about any other quality. One can imagine a Senator who is forthrightly committed to lynching, to Jim Crow, to genocide… There were no shortage of those in American history.
    Guts in that case did not make a colour of morality. American history, even the current era, is full of committed ideologues and idealists like Tom Delay. America is not the better for it.
    Lieberman’s principal ‘conviction’ on the Iraq war is to support it at all costs, to ignore all evidence to the contrary up to and including giving every appearance of being delusional or dishonest, and bitterly and viciously attacking his fellow Democrats as virtual traitors for exhibiting any sign of dissent from slavish support for the war.
    That’s not conviction, David Trilling. That’s mania. You may respect it as ‘guts’, but I can only consider it a mad fool madly rushing headlong towards a cliff, dedicated to dragging anyone else he can grab over with him. This is not to be respected or encouraged.
    Secondly, with respect to his ‘Connecticut for Connecticut voters’ argument, my own view is that this horse has long, long, long since left the stable. The right wing, in particular, has long since made a practice of using out of town or out of state campaign money, staff, and support to knock off those they see as ‘liberal’ Democrats or ‘insufficiently conservative’ Republicans.
    I’d further note that Trillings argument particularly doesn’t hold water, given Lieberman’s voluntary assumption of a national platform. This is not a man who portrays himself as merely a ‘Senator from Connecticut’, but rather, uses his electoral position to hold forth as a national rather than local figure.
    You will recall that Lieberman has been a Vice-Presidential nominee, a Presidential Democratic candidate at least once, and a very prominent media figure during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
    So, Lieberman made his own bed, let him lie in it.

    Reply

  11. steven says:

    Pissed Off American:
    why don’t you sit down, take a deep breath and TRY to lighten up?
    surely, your anger isn’t doing anything to transform the world for the better.
    i’m glad to see that you’re trying to change. we all know that ain’t always easy.

    Reply

  12. Eli Rabett says:

    David Trillings post is a confused nonsense which boils down to Lieberman and his backers demanding that people in Connecticut vote for Joe because he opposes their views.
    Lieberman being gone would be a strong message that what we are currently doing in Iraq is a disaster, and is recognized by the people of Connecticut as a disaster. It would be a strong message to the Senate and House that they have to start exercising oversight and that we have to do something different.
    I am sure that Mr. Trilling thinks things are going well in Iraq, and that the entire enterprise has been a great success. Otherwise why would he worry that Lieberman losing would send the wrong message on the war. Stay the course, fall over the cliff.
    Trillings final paragraph is the culmination of this silly trophe. Lieberman has played coy on every one of the issues Trilling names. Of course the whole house of cards falls down when you ask what Lamont’s position on each those issues is and contrast it with Joe’s.
    Joe Liebermann has little influence in the Senate other than to provide cover for the current kleptocracy. You only have to look at his record with respect to the SEC and FASB

    Reply

  13. Matthew says:

    Question: Why does Lieberman think he gets to define the “proper” reasons to cast a ballet for or against him? I always thought that in a democracy, the people had the right to express their wishes, not the politician’s, at the ballot box.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Well David..you have some good points…
    And let me say that most of my activism on this or that politican, even the ones I can’t for or against, is purely aimed toward the corruption and special interest that has overtaken 80% of them.

    Reply

  15. David Trilling says:

    Impressive and spirited discussion. I hope this warms Steve Clemons’ heart.
    A few thoughts.
    First off — on the subject of “antisemitism.” Whatever your views on Lieberman, on support for Israel, on the role of some of the most prominent “neoconservatives” associated with this Administration such as Wolfowitz, Perle, and Kristol, I feel its unfortunate to suggest such anti-semitism under most circumstances, and to go there without citing innumerable examples, irresponsible. Yes there are anti-semites out there (as there are “racists,” anti-Muslims, anti-Catholics, and so forth.). Rather as Samuel Johnson famously said “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels,” calling others names particularly of this insidious nature, in my view, is the last refuge of a less than compelling arguer. No disrespect intended towards anyone, however suggesting anti-semitism is a way of closing off discussion (suggesting that someone else is a jew hater in my mind is suggesting that because of this they don’t belong in the conversation — and yes I am Jewish — so I feel more comfortable saying this). I think cutting others from the conversation through this method is both irresponsible and undermines their own interests since by shutting others up it deprives them of those other’s points of view that need to be contended with whether on display or silenced (is it not a problem that many people in this country are fearful of criticising an African-American for fear of being called a “racist”? Is that really in the interests of society and / or the person not receiving the feedback?).
    Secondly, with respect to Lieberman. I feel everyone has the right to hold whatever views they may on him whether related to Iraq or otherwise. In addition, I feel that if you are a citizen of Connecticut which I am not you should vote your conscience. That’s the beauty of Democracy.
    However, for those who are not Connecticut citizens, I feel it behooves them to recognize certain implications of this vote and the message they help to send by getting involved in this race to oust him. By ridding themselves of Lieberman, what message does this send to the rest of the country? Assume that the message sent extends well beyond major decisions we must make with respect to our involvement in Iraq. Will this be a positive message?
    What if the bulk of the party and its constituency were strongly supportive of a particular war / particular foreign policy / particular sensitive initiative, would you wish a politician to remember back to Mr. Lieberman’s situation and ask themselves, “If I come out strongly opposed to this war, will the activists who will consider this inappropriate mount a campaign to end my tenure?”
    In addition, I know many opponents of Lieberman insist that his stand on Iraq is only one of many issues they dislike of his. However, how many of those opponents believe that in two years when others are looking back on this race those other views will be remembered as significant contributing factors to his defeat? Is it not much more likely that what will be remembered is that you must be careful what you stand for if you don’t wish to alienate the blogosphere and certain other powerful activists?
    Again, I don’t believe our position in Iraq will in any way be improved if Mr. Lieberman is gone. However, I do feel that with so many problems that our national leaders aren’t really confronting, such as our impending health care crisis, our impending government revenue shortfall crisis, the problems of our schools, and the negative influence of money in our politics, and so on that a Senator who has the guts to speak out for what he believes, even if I don’t agree with him, is what our country needs more of, not less of.

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  16. Shaneekwa says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060710/ap_on_re_as/nkorea_missiles;_ylt=ApwkOjBPhRgYI0NcLdwjidas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ–
    Steve,
    What do you think of this contemplation by Japan of preemptive strikes against North Korea?

    Reply

  17. MG says:

    A clarification.
    My remarks on anti-semitism are being misinterpreted.
    I am only pointing out that the vitriol against Lieberman and the “Israeli lobby” is out of proportion.
    Why pick on Lieberman alone? Why not other pro-war Democrats?

    Reply

  18. Carroll says:

    BTW….this is one of the posts in the comments thread on the Davis-Lieberman diary. I never saw this at the time but it sure nails Lieberman on all charges…the Israel thing and the turncoat dem thing. I don’t know anything about newmaxs so you might want to double check Joe’s little speech in Fla. on google.
    But hey Joe..why should support for Israel concern most Americans? As a matter of fact why should American Jews insist that American representives support Israel? Shouldn’t they move to Israel and vote in Israeli elections if they want to vote for Israel?
    Lieberman Praises Bush, Chides Kerry
    Dave Eberhart, NewsMax.com
    Friday, Oct. 15, 2004
    Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman took the unusual step of praising President Bush while chiding John Kerry during a campaign stop in Florida Wednesday.
    Lieberman, with just three weeks left before the election, praised Bush strongly for his support of Israel, America’s lone democratic ally in the Mid-East.
    “We are dealing with a president who’s had a record of strong, consistent support for Israel. You can’t say otherwise,” Lieberman told an audience of 600 near Delray Beach, Fla, the Palm Beach Post reported in editions Thursday.
    Lieberman also added that any criticism of Bush vis-à-vis Israel would be “unjustified.”
    After the speech, the paper said Lieberman spoke to reporters and suggested that “Bush appears to have made inroads with Jewish voters, who voted Democratic by an estimated 4-to-1 margin in 2000.”
    But Lieberman indicated Kerry’s support among Jews may be softer, and he chided the Democratic nominee for not coming out more strongly for Israel.
    “And I think John Kerry, to reassure people, has to himself be explicit” rather than having surrogates deliver the message, the Post quoted Lieberman as saying.
    Lieberman alluded to worries among Jews about Kerry’s position on Israel. Lieberman bluntly revealed that he has asked the Kerry campaign to have John Kerry himself discuss his views on Israel because “only John Kerry can eliminate those doubts.”

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    opps, sorry about that..here you go..
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/9/94814/84530

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  20. Carroll says:

    Oh my, looks like desperation in the Lamont-Lieberman fight is on display.
    A friend sent me this link to a dairy on dkos about Lanny Davis being on c-span to defend Lieberman. Evidently some of the callers to the show questioned Lieberman’s support of the Iraq invasion and his ties to Israel as perhaps being part of that support and Davis went off on everyone calling them bigots and anti-semites.
    The dkos dairy is actually by a Jewish poster who called in expressing his concern about Lieberman and Iraq and was told by Davis he could be jewish and still be an anti-semite. A bit over the top I’d say.
    Talkingpointsmemo is asking for anyone with a transcript to send it to them. I didn’t see the program myself so can’t vouch for what actually went down or what was said.
    LOL…I am starting to look forward to the elections after all…maybe America is ready to demand all the dirty laundry be hung out.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/9
    /94814/84530

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  21. Nancy/Ca says:

    Thank you Steve for articulating exactly how this Democrat feels about war; Bin Laden absolutely! Iraq? Hell no! And please keep up your courage when writing about Israel…someone needs to get to the bottom of what Im slowing learning re.AIPAC….it is so frustrating when anyone tries to question their motives only to be attacked as “anti-semitic” It feels the same as a Karl Rove type “attack the messenger” campaign!

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  22. Den Valdron says:

    The important votes on both Bankruptcy Reform and on Alito were the Cloture votes. In both these cases, Lieberman voted schizophrenically, voting against the measures when his vote was not going to make a difference, and voting for the measures and against cloture when his vote was critical. The end result of his conduct was that both passed.
    Cynically, I’m persuaded that given his recurrent history, when the chips are down, he goes with the republicans. His ‘no’ votes on Bankruptcy Reform and Alito were simply shills for his constituents, so he could claim the street cred. But over and over, when push came to shove and his vote could have made a difference, he backed the Republicans…

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Well I finally caught the Lieberman-Lamont debate on c-span re run.
    I must say I was impressed with Lamont. He sounded fresh and clear. Joe sounded like the old time yada,yada,yada, politican.
    And I may be wrong and don’t have the quotations at hand, but I think Joe made several statements that contridict his other recent statements about bases remaining in Iraq.

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  24. Friendly Fire says:

    Is “Lieberman, I have other loyalties” Jewish?

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  25. Kathleen says:

    I’m talking specifically about the Motion for Cloture on the Alito nomination debate. 42 Dem Senators voted against Alito’s nomination, which included Joe L. but when the Motion for Cloture was introduced, Harry Reid had only 40 Dems to vote against the MOTION FOR CLOTURE AND HE NEEDED 42 TO STOP IT I’m not trrying to make Joe L look any way other than how he is tooooo conservative for me and always wanting to hedge his bet, so he voted against Alito and for the Motion for Cloture, not very supportive of the Dem party principles. Because I called everyone on the Judiciary Committee, I was paying very close attention to the debate and the votes.

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  26. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. Steambomb may have something there. I dunno though, I think that it strikes me as contrary to human nature to be able to actively place moles in the opposition. There’s always a risk of the mole turning, being exposed. And unless you’ve got a mole who is passionately dedicated to the point of being lunatic… well, that’s tricky.
    More likely, one of the ongoing tactics of the political players is to locate and cultivate members of the opposite party who are most ‘corruptible.’ Suddenly, in the name of bipartisanship, they’re chopping holes in their own boat.
    The pretty much described Lieberman, a man who is seduced by the right and right wing interests, as regards his lockstep support for crony appointments, extremist judges, tort, social security and bankruptcy reform, Enron enabling deregulation, etc. Here’s a guy who is a regular guest on Hannity and ‘colmes’ and who is a darling in right wing circles.
    He performs a valuable role for the Republicans in that he divides and confuses Democrats, creates a bipartisan sheen on Republican initiatives.

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  27. Steambomb says:

    Leiberman is a repuglican mole inside the Democratic party. There is no other way to explain his actions. Same with Zell Miller. The repuglicans run their party in such a manner. They work for planting people inside the opposition to undermine their opponents efforts. They have been doing it since Nixon.

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  28. Steambomb says:

    Ah Hillary. All one would have to do is keep posting that picture of you each day up until the 08 primaries and your aspiration for president would be over.

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  29. Den Valdron says:

    The fact that we may not be happy with Lieberman doesn’t mean we are happy with every other Democrat who sells out. But Lieberman has made himself the poster boy for selling out.
    You like him? You go and vote for him.

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  30. GQ says:

    Harry Reid had 42 votes against the nomination and 40 against the motion to end the debate. ONLY Joe Lieberman and Senator Salazar did not stand with their party.
    Actually that’s not quite the case. There were more than two Dems who voted FOR Alito and significant number more who voted for cloture. You’re numbers are off to make it seem like Lieberman alone is “abandoning” the Party. (In fact, Blanche Lincoln was the sole Dem who voted for repealing the estate tax and no one really criticized her–that’s probably the stupidist move a Dem has made in the last 5 years, IMO.)
    I disagree with Lieberman on a number of issues, but don’t think the criticism of him by the net folks/bloggers are quite honest. This statement as a case in point. Pick a real reason to be angry with Lieberman, don’t make crap up.

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  31. Jay C says:

    Oh, and Carroll:
    Yes, I’m aware that Sen. Clinton has taken (and continues to take) considerable heat from portside over Iraq: however, I think her situation is different from Joe Lieberman’s in two important ways:
    1. Hillary faces no credible challenges (or challengers) in the New York Party: there may be a moonbat or two pushing to get on the primary -or general- ballot on an anti-war platform: but HRC probably won’t need to call the movers come November.
    2. More importantly: one can easily imagine Hillary Clinton changing her tone over the war (past comments notwithstanding). Maybe not to Cindy Sheehan levels: but despite the dislike of her from the Left, she is too smart a politician, imo, to either depend on an “extremist” bloc, OR to completely alienate them. Joe Lieberman doesn’t have that option: he has tied himself to the Bush Adminstration on War policy – and, being Joe Lieberman, will cling to it regardless.

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  32. Jay C says:

    Anyway, more free opinion on the phenomenon of the Ned Lamont challenge to Sen. Lieberman:
    Despite the imbecilic simplification of the situation like in the execrable LA Times article cited by Steve, I think there isn’t just one, but a series of converging factors that have led Joe Lieberman into his present imbroglio:
    It isn’t just his initial, or even his continuing support for the Iraq War – many Democratic Senators voted for it in 2002: most haven’t recanted – but Joe Lieberman seems most often not to be merely a cheerleader for the war itself, but blindly approving of the Bush Administration’s conduct of it.
    It isn’t just his buddy-buddy act with the President: Senators (majority or minority) have to live with an Administration: heck, maybe Joe really likes Dubya (weirder things have happened) – but Lieberman looks to go out of way to court Republican goodwill: his own Party be-damned: and, in the process made himself the poster-boy for Bush-era “bipartisanship” (i.e. do whatever the Republicans want).
    It isn’t just his sniffy neo-puritanism, or his preachy attitude towards Bill Clinton’s improprieties (many others shared them): but Sen. Lieberman seemed to be oblivious to any political dimension to the Clinton impeachment fiasco – and it only fed into the caricature of him as “Holy Joe” – not a compliment, btw, – and a negative that has stuck.
    And finally, it isn’t even just his incredible arrogance in seeming to assume his Senate seat is some sort of divine birthright, and demeaning the whole (small-d) democratic process by threatening to bolt the Party if he loses (although this kind of self-obsession is SO rare in American politics). But put all these factors together, and the idea that he would sustain a serious primary challenge doesn’t seem so outré after all.
    Although, sad to say, the simpleton version of “left-wing anti-war radical/netroot purge” is a lot easier to fit into a news lede. But then again, it IS the LA Times.

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  33. Carroll says:

    To Jay C..about Hillary
    I think if you check out some of the well known progressive and lefty blogs that I consider the grass or net roots, you will see that Hillary is taking a hell of a beating….I don’t see any support for her there at all…I know I did a 180 in my support of her when she got on her war horse and started pandering to the right.

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  34. Carroll says:

    It’s enough to dislike Lieberman because he “still” supports the Iraq invasion “despite” the fact that every sane person knows it is a utter failure. It doesn’t even show any signs of righting itself without going thru a civil war to decide who/what will rule.
    And his support of setting up US bases there? I don’t see how that is for any reason than than to advance and carry out the original neo plan of realigning the ME.
    As for Joe’s loyalty to Israel and their interest, I’ll say it again, about Joe and the others like him…you can’t have a wife “and” a mistress or a husband “and” a lover without one of them being betrayed.

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  35. Jay C says:

    Well, to kinda-sorta answer CalDevil’s question way above: why has Sen. Hillary Clinton (certainly no darling of the “anti-war” crowd) escaped the vilification Joe Lieberman has gotten – including a credible primary challenge?
    Maybe it is because Hillary has retained more than just a semblance of Party loyalty: she is most definitely a Democrat, and carries that affiliation proudly: whatever policy difference NY Dems might have with HRC, there is, and never has been, the slightest suspicion that “Democrat” is merely a label-of-convenience: and unfortunately for his future prospects, Holy Joe Lieberman can’t say the same.

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  36. Mark S. says:

    It does seem to be the case that there are plenty of people willing to sling the anti-semitic charge whenever someone disagrees with Israeli policy, which is pretty amazing when you consider the breadth of the debate within Israel itself.

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  37. Pissed Off American says:

    According to Israel radio (in hebrew) Kol Yisrael, Peres warned
    Sharon Wednesday that refusing to heed incessant American
    requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger
    Israeli interests and “turn the US against us.”
    At this point, a furious Sharon reportedly turned toward Peres,
    saying “every time we do something you tell me Americans will do
    this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear,
    don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish
    people control America, and the Americans know it.”

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  38. Pissed Off American says:

    Foreign Minister Peres, October 2: “The first principle is to give priority to the campaign against Iraq. We face tow threats – nuclear and terrorist. The nuclear threat is no less severe… We must give priority to the United States to carry out its policy.”
    Ra’anan Gissin, senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, August 16: “Postponing the action to a later date would only enable Saddam to accelerate his weapons programme and then he would pose a more formidable threat…”

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  39. Pissed Off American says:

    “Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.”
    BTW, I am a little curious. What do you think happened to this “evidence”??? Gee, perhaps it was sent the LONG WAY. Through Feith’s office, maybe? Gee, it musta got shredded accidently, or surely we would have seen it by now, eh?

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  40. Pissed Off American says:

    “The anti-semitic, Zionist – conspiracy talk is very disturbing.”
    On another thread I posted a link that pretty convincingly advances the premise that the resolution in the house that cuts off aid to the Palestinians was drafted at the behest of AIPAC, and there is credible insider allegations that the actual wording is an AIPAC construct. So tell me, is it your opinion that a lobby for a foreign country should be writing OUR foreign policy resolutions?
    I am no longer allowed to call you people, (that resort to such tactics as quoted above), “assholes” on this forum, so I will respectfully honor Steve’s admonitions and desire for civil discourse here. But I gotta tell you, calling me “anti-semitic” is every bit as insulting, in spades, as it would be if I called you an “asshole”. But I haven’t, have I?
    See, Steve, I CAN be civil. Its a shame that the Israel apologists cannot be so, eh? Aren’t YOU just a little sick of this “anti-semitic” mantra as well???

    Reply

  41. Mark S. says:

    bp, with all due respect, your standard of proof — verifiable proof of causality — seems like just a cute way for you to feel like you’ve won the argument. Life is generally a confluence of factors and the comments section of a web log isn’t a court of law, so please, just chill. POA’s links are sufficient rebuttle, and if you’re still not convinced, well, that’s usually the case, isn’t it? Inside players know the truth, and the rest of us have to rely on media.

    Reply

  42. Kathleen says:

    MG,
    Joe Lieberman is NOT being scapegoated because of his stance on the Iraq War. He is being opposed by the residents of his State because he is no longer repesenting their views but his own position on the Iraq War AND other issues, like school vouchers, Social Security, and the MOST devastating in my opinion, his refusal to stand with the Democrats in the Senate on the Motion for Cloture on the Alito nomination.
    Harry Reid had 42 votes against the nomination and 40 against the motion to end the debate. ONLY Joe Lieberman and Senator Salazar did not stand with their party. Now for God knows how long, we have an EXTREMELY conservative Supreme Court, one that is stacked in favor of the unitary executive theory, which I think completely alters the balance of power between the three branches of government. This is far more consequential than any other issue.
    And then there’s his support for the administration position on torture. CT is the Constitution State. We expect our Senator to uphold it, not circumvent it. This is enormous blot on the history of our State.

    Reply

  43. Punchy says:

    “The anti-semitic, Zionist – conspiracy talk is very disturbing. ”
    Oh man, here we go AGAIN! To suggest Israel may have wanted Saddam out is anti-semitic? Say what? I’m sorry, but I cannot fathom why anytime Israel is criticized (and they’re SURELY not in this thread), it’s considered “anti-semitic”. Quit wielding that rhetorical hammer when it’s neither necessary nor appropriate.

    Reply

  44. MG says:

    I don’t agree with Lieberman’s war stance.
    Yet, why scape-goat him? Why not target all the other Democratic elected officials that support the war? The anti-semitic, Zionist – conspiracy talk is very disturbing.
    Principled debate is good for democracy, and challenging incumbents is a good thing. Yet, in Connecticut, the working class and minorities remain loyal to Lieberman. It is the democratic elite that supports Lamont. Democrats cannot afford a “class war”.

    Reply

  45. hj262sd78 says:

    The use of “anti-war” is a deliberate attempt to conjure up Vietnam war protest hatreds that are the epicenter of the ever-widening Left- Right, Liberal- Conservative rift since the late 60s. “Anti-war” is code for Right wing hate, the original source of Right wing hate.
    In the summer of 2004 I was flipping through channels, saw Lieberman on FOX, stopped and listened, and he was talking like a Republican giving their stock answers to leading question. Screamed at him; knew he was an out and out traitor to the Democratic Party; CT, throw him the hell out.
    Scowcroft said that Sharon had Bush wrapped around his little finger. Israel/AIPAC/JINSA is the most powerful lobby in the US. Israel/AIPAC/JINSA had influence over the Office of Special Plans run by Feith in the Pentagon. bp32 wants to rewrite history; play us for fools; wants to make us have to rehash the whole thing all over. We KNOW Israel/AIPAC/JINSA was involved in our attacking Iraq. We are not all stupid. KNOW! and have enough circumstantial evidence over very many years to KNOW.

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  46. bp32 says:

    Pissed off American
    Again, you misunderstand my argument–I am not arguing that elements within Israel didn’t want Saddam gone–of course they did, it makes strategic sense for them. My argument was that this alone does not prove that pressure by Israel, AIPAC, or whoever else MADE the US invade Iraq. It didn’t CAUSE US decision makers to decide to invade Iraq. It wasn’t the difference maker. In a counterfactual world without any kind of ‘lobbying’ pressure you would still have seen the Iraq War.

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  47. bob h says:

    This is right on because our nation cannot afford many more blunders like Iraq. We have to remove the people whose record shows that they have learned nothing and will enable such blunders.
    Had a man of Lieberman’s stature said in 2002-03 that the evidence against Iraq on Al Qaeda and WMD was weak, and that we ought to slow down the march to war, the war might have been avoided. But he did not.

    Reply

  48. Peter Eggenberger says:

    You write, “first of all, editorialists should stop referring to everyone who OPPOSES THE IRAQ WAR as “anti-war”.
    This is not a battle between pacifists and hawks within progressive circles.” But surely the LAT chooses its words EXTREMELY CAREFULLY. The LAT editors fully intended to refer to Iraq war opponents as anti-war. You seem to think that these verbal inaccuracies can be settled between friends, over a good chablis and brie, after which we’ll get accurately phrased LAT editorials. Are you really such a fool?

    Reply

  49. Pissed Off American says:

    I figured there would be more reasonable commentators at this blog.
    Posted by bp32
    Me too. I mean……what kind of idiot would think that one of Sharon’s top aides would give a press release on Israel’s position on the Iraq war without Sharon’s explicit permission?

    Reply

  50. Ducktape says:

    I’m a bit confused about the vehemence of the opposition to Lieberman, especially when other Iraq war supporters seem to be given a pass.
    Well, I became disgusted with Joe for two fundamental things:
    ANTI-REALITY: On the planet where he lives, the Iraq War is going just swimmingly. That’s either intellectual dishonesty or pure incompetence.
    REPUBLICAN SUCK-UP: This is, for me, the reason that he needs to go. It hasn’t been lost on a lot of people that we keep seeing George Bush signing bad bills, surrounded entirely by Republicans except for a smiling Joe.
    BI-partisanship begins at home — one has to first be a member of ONE party before reaching across the aisle. Joe doesn’t reach across the aisle — he fucking lives there and just keeps the Democrats as a mailing address.

    Reply

  51. bp32 says:

    Matthew,
    You really are delusional, right? I really hope you aren’t suggesting that I am some kind of “plant” here trying to convince people not to look at “the man behind the curtain”–if so it�s a shame. The distinction between circumstantial evidence and causal proof I was trying to draw is pretty reasonable–unless you can show me that the lobbying efforts of AIPAC actually led decision-makers in the US to choose the policies they did then you can’t say they caused the Iraq War, or that we are in there because of them. Pretty simple really, and quite a reasonable position. Nothing nefarious there.
    I figured there would be more reasonable commentators at this blog.

    Reply

  52. JakeB says:

    He has shown execrably poor judgement and character on numerous occasions. Since being catapulted to the national stage, he has performed far more poorly than any other politician.
    Well, except maybe for his BFF in the photo above.

    Reply

  53. Friendly Fire says:

    Is Hilary photoshopped for this threesome?

    Reply

  54. Pissed Off American says:

    I’d like to read debate concerning both rather general topics: JL as a candidate; and what caused this war — but mingling both discussions within the same topic of analysis is distracting and muddies the clarity of what we want to talk about.
    Posted by DC
    Whataya think of the new Porsches?

    Reply

  55. DC says:

    “Would things w/respect to Iraq or our foreign policy look dramatically different if Lieberman hadn’t been in picture? If it would please forgive my misinformed intrusion into this discussion.”
    — I don’t think it matters whether or not JL actively influenced the US adventure into Iraq; the point is, he was convinced, as a matter of policy, that we should support it. For reasons too lengthy to state here, JL was horribly wrong. Because the purpose of elections is to make the electorate stronger, the voters of CT should weed him out as a demonstrably bad seed. It’s really as simple as that.
    Now, a lot of folks on this post are debating a separate issue: why, and what, “confluence” of factors led us down this Garden Path to war. Pro-Israel lobby certainly one of them. And traditional right-wing hawks. And Christian evangelical types ripe for baiting. And overall, a lack of “balance” — that is, pragmatic, far-thinking types — in the administration. I’d like to read debate concerning both rather general topics: JL as a candidate; and what caused this war — but mingling both discussions within the same topic of analysis is distracting and muddies the clarity of what we want to talk about.

    Reply

  56. Mathew says:

    Great post, Kathleen. Lieberman is a huge problem because by parroting Bush’s war talk he strips us of a “loyal opposition.” It’s time we acknowledged that a healthy democracy requires discussion of–and dare I say potential dissent from–on every every issue, even if those issues go beyond the water’s edge. We need to break down this phony consensus on foreign policy. Defeating politicians like Lieberman is a positive step in that direction.
    P.S. POA: I would give up arguing with bp32. As they say in the law, never argue with a man who is paid to oppose you. The proof: claiming Sharon’s lobbying was only “circumstantial evidence.”

    Reply

  57. Den Valdron says:

    Actually, there is far more at issue with Lieberman than simply his position on the war. Lieberman has consistently undermined the Democratic party and democratic issues on a variety of fronts. He has shown execrably poor judgement and character on numerous occasions. Since being catapulted to the national stage, he has performed far more poorly than any other politician.
    As I understand it, Lieberman first achieved national prominence with his hectoring attacks on President Clinton’s personal life. Lieberman’s moral outrage, remarkably, has been silent ever since then. I think the Senator can be accused of hypocrisy on this basis.
    Consider his run for Vice-President…
    1) Refused to give up his Senate seat, which he was running for at the same time. This little ‘hedging the bet’ in his VP run was chickenshit through and through. It spoke to a lack of faith in his P/VP campaign and guaranteed that if he did win, his administration would lose control of the Senate.
    2) He ineptly handed the VP debate over to Cheney in a moment that would live in infamy.
    3) He also torpedoed, the vote recount challenge, basically forcing the Democrats on live television to accept potentially fraudulent military ballots. The ultimate result of Joe shooting his mouth off on television may have been guaranteeing Bush’s presidency.
    Since then, in addition to the Iraq War, he has been out front and center on a number of issues.
    – He failed to oppose or challenge Social Security Privatization, and dithered right up to the end. He only began to oppose the plan, with every other Democrat, after it was dead.
    – With respect to Bankruptcy reform, good for giant corporations, incredibly bad for everyone else, Joe Lieberman’s support was critical. Although he voted against the act, he voted for cloture, which was the important vote guaranteeing the acts passage.
    – Then there was his telling ‘rape gurney’ comment, which was both insensitive and outrageous.
    – Remember Sam Alito? A corrupt, extremist ideological judge who got appointed to the Supreme Court? There was Lieberman blocking a filibuster.
    Lieberman has made a career lately of publicly undercutting Democrats and Democratic principles. He has made himself a darling of the extreme right. Other Senators may have differences of opinion, and may take positions that Democrats do not necessarily like… But Lieberman goes out of his way to shit in our soup bowls.

    Reply

  58. Kathleen says:

    I do live in CT. and know Joe Lieberman, personally, but for me it is the War in Iraq. Knowing that everyday people are being blown to bits, I cannot live a day without doing something to stop it. Hence, I recently changed my registration back to Democrat from Independant, so I could express my opposition to this war through Ned Lamont’s candidacy.
    Additionally, I am utterly aghast that Joe Lieberman did not stand with the 40 other Democratic Senators to stop the Motion for Cloture on Alito’s nomination. 30 hours of debate for a lifetime position that could change the balance of power between the three branches of government was disfgraceful. Lieberman didn’t even show his senior colleague, Chris Dodd the courtesy of objecting to the vote being taken before Senator Dodd had a chance to speak.
    This is not what I call being a Democrat, regardless of what you think about the war in Iraq. My family has been a part of CT. Democratic politics for many years, so I know what CT. Dems expect. My maiden name is Grasso.

    Reply

  59. David Trilling says:

    I wrote a note in the Baucus blog entry — that I submitted today since I couldn’t put it through yesterday (didn’t understand the security problem). Just mentioning this since I don’t wish to sound like I’m a Joe Lieberman plant.
    I feel that criticism of the war effort is fair in my view and this Administration’s policy in Iraq and in reference to Iraq has been pretty disastrous up until now. My concern like I believe that of the L.A. Times is not that everyone who is in favor of seeing Lieberman losing his primary bid is “anti-war” per se — though I suspect that a large fraction of that group is relatively “anti-war” (whatever that means :)) even if many in that faction isn’t. Rather its that Lieberman’s defeat in this primary will likely send the message that either / both a) Democrats should not support ambitious military ventures — particularly when they are pursued by Republican presidents and b)Democrats should be careful about straying from views on major issues the party and its activists supports / opposes. I think it takes a lot of guts for Lieberman to have done what he has done. I don’t like it when he is in bed with this Administration and I mostly disagree with him on this (and quite a few other issues) but wish more politicians would speak out on issues in which the words they spoke could be contrary to their political interests (its hard for me to see how what Lieberman has done has helped him politically). How different is this initiative say from parts of the Republican establishment rallying to defeat the Alabama Republican governor’s tax initiative because raising taxes for anything is such a vile notion to the anti-tax, anti-anything that provides revenues to the government crowd. How many Republican governors will propose tax increases if they feel their state really needs one based on this lesson?
    Additionally, I guess I would be more sympathetic to this cause if I felt that Lieberman was one of the central players in framing our post- 9/11 foreign policy — of going after the “terrorists” by invading Iraq and doing it in the fashion we did (with so few troops, with so few plans for the post-invasion/military engagement phase, with so little regard to the views of the rest of the world and how to communicate with them in a respectful and diplomatic way, etc.).
    Would things w/respect to Iraq or our foreign policy look dramatically different if Lieberman hadn’t been in picture? If it would please forgive my misinformed intrusion into this discussion :)).
    Thanks for providing this opportunity to express my views and to everyone else who cares enough to participate in these discussions.

    Reply

  60. bp32 says:

    I said causal proof, not circumstantial evidence that some Israeli’s may have wanted Saddam gone (not a surprise).
    Again, confluence of interest does not equal causality.

    Reply

  61. Pissed Off American says:

    “If one accepts the proposal that the Iraq war was initiated at Israel’s urging, Lieberman’s support for the Iraq war is understandable.”
    If someone accepts that proposal, they have a screw loose since there is no evidence (besides the conspiracy type) to support such a wild notion.
    Posted by bp32
    Israel Urges US to Attack Iraq: “Sooner, Rather than Later”
    Sharon’s advisor: Urges US to accelerate aggression on Iraq, says postponement bad for Israel
    Occupied Jerusalem: 18 January, 2003 (IAP News)
    A former Israeli ambassador to Washington who is now advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has urged the Israeli government to step up pressure on the Bush Administration to accelerate the war on Iraq.
    Zalman Shuval said in an article in the Hebrew newspaper Yedeot Ahranot, published Thursday 16 January, that Israel should make behind-the-scene efforts to get the American administration to attack Iraq “sooner rather than later.”
    Continues at…..
    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=467
    Israel To U.S.: Don’t Delay Iraq Attack
    JERUSALEM, Aug. 16, 2002
    (CBS/AP)
    (CBS) Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday.
    Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.
    “Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose,” Gissin said. “It will only give him (Saddam) more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction.”
    continues at……
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/18/world/main519037.shtml

    Reply

  62. bp32 says:

    Still not buying it–show me some causal evidence. Confluence of interest and causal effect are two different things. This AIPAC meme is really making the rounds, huh?

    Reply

  63. Frank says:

    “If one accepts the proposal that the Iraq war was initiated at Israel’s urging, Lieberman’s support for the Iraq war is understandable.”
    So sorry bp32, I should have said at AIPAC’s urging.

    Reply

  64. bp32 says:

    “If one accepts the proposal that the Iraq war was initiated at Israel’s urging, Lieberman’s support for the Iraq war is understandable.”
    If someone accepts that proposal, they have a screw loose since there is no evidence (besides the conspiracy type) to support such a wild notion.

    Reply

  65. CalDevil says:

    I’m a bit confused about the vehemence of the opposition to Lieberman, especially when other Iraq war supporters seem to be given a pass.
    Isn’t Hilary Clinton’s Iraq position the same as Lieberman’s? She seems also to have run much more rightward than Lieberman of late. Yet I hear of no grassroots (or netroots) efforts to unseat her.

    Reply

  66. Sven says:

    First of all, editorialists should stop referring to everyone who OPPOSES THE IRAQ WAR as “anti-war”.
    I’d settle for not being named part of a “national jihad.”

    Reply

  67. linda says:

    whoa — nice photo; esp with hillary peaking thru the middle…

    Reply

  68. hilzoy says:

    More than that, it’s not all about the war in Iraq. (It isn’t for me; more importantly, it’s not all about that for the people I know who actually live in CT.)

    Reply

  69. Frank says:

    If one accepts the proposal that the Iraq war was initiated at Israel’s urging, Lieberman’s support for the Iraq war is understandable.

    Reply

  70. bp32 says:

    It is amazing that people cannot get their heads around this–couldn’t agree with you more Steve.

    Reply

  71. Carroll says:

    I just hope he loses….I can think of maybe a dozen politicans I would vote back into office…ALL of the rest need to go.
    We need new blood, we need to break up the good buddy ties, a total change, a complete shakeup….
    Just imagine how low DC rents would go if 90% of them lost their positions and all their wives, husbands, brothers, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and girlfriends who got a “family member” job or lobbying position suddenly didn’t have an more contact value and had to leave DC and get actual jobs.

    Reply

  72. profmarcus says:

    i didn’t watch the debate last night nor did i have any intention of doing so… and, from the reports i have read, the anger and venom that poured forth from lieberman’s mouth and his accompanying body language sealed his own doom as an arrogant incumbent outraged at being challenged ON ANYTHING, not unlike tom delay… we all know that there are more of those lurking about who haven’t yet been unmasked as effectively as lieberman has and those are the people who are killing any hopes for reclaiming our country in the name of the principles on which we were founded…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

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