Joementum column


One state’s voters get chance
to break partisan death grip

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor

A WONDERFUL thing happened in Connecticut last week — something that could bode very well for the political direction of this country:
    A man who six years ago came within a hair’s breadth of the vice presidency broke with the partisan insanity represented by the Democratic and Republican parties and launched a general election campaign for the U.S. Senate that he has a good chance of winning.
    If he succeeds, it could change everything. It would show sensible people that it is possible to take our country back from those with an interest in keeping us bitterly divided — the parties, advocacy groups, 24-hour TV news and a bunch of self-justifying idiots in the blogosphere.
    The exciting thing about Sen. Joe Lieberman’s independent candidacy is that voters are actually going to be given the option of voting for a viable, highly qualified candidate who was not chosen by a vote of extremists on either the “right” or the “left.”
    In fact, that system actually chewed him up and spit him out. As qualifications go, I’d put that right up there along with his 35 years of thoughtful, principled, sterling public service to his state and to his nation.
    Do you still doubt that the two parties have lost their narrow little minds? How can you, when the proof was on such stark display last week? (And not only on the Democratic side. A Republican Schwarz2congressman in Michigan was expelled for being too centrist.)
    The ultimate proof was not Sen. Lieberman’s primary defeat by a rich political neophyte whose only qualification was a capacity to tell the more extreme elements of the Democratic Party what they want to hear. (Supposedly about the war, but the senator’s real “sin” was daring to agree with the hated George W. Bush.) That was just the warmup.
    The real craziness started when all the “mainstream” Democrats who had supported Joe Lieberman in the primary, and had in fact seen challenger Ned Lamont as a harmful force, endorsed the winner.
    Among those individuals who surrendered their consciences to “party unity” were Bill and Hillary Clinton. You know, fellow Democratic Leadership Council stalwart Bill Clinton — who had stumped for Mr. Lieberman in person in recent weeks — and his wife the senator, who has been almost as identified with support of our effort in Iraq as Sen. We-No-Longer-Speak-His-Name.
    Not long ago, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid begged Eli Pariser not to oppose Mr. Lieberman, for the sake of the party and its chances of retaking the Senate. After last Tuesday, he announced that “The results bode well for Democratic victories in November.” Ow. Whiplash.
    You don’t know who Eli Pariser is? He’s the 25-year-old who heads up, a major force in the left wing’s push to dominate the Democratic Party. His take on the situation was typically, dogmatically priggish: “This puts the political class on notice that they have to pay attention to people outside the Beltway.”
    Young Eli hasn’t noticed that most politicians pay minute attention to “people outside the Beltway,” letting polls override the judgment they are elected to exercise. Nor does he understand that most people outside the Beltway have very different values from those held by him and his friends in the blogosphere.
    Joe Lieberman is one of the rare pols who actually sticks with what his conscience dictates. This is frowned upon within the Beltway, where you’re supposed to surrender judgment to whichever howling mob claims you.
    Some Democratic leaders — and some in the media — act as though Joe Lieberman is the deluded one. In a story called “Lieberman defiance,” The Associated Press quoted various “analysts” in an effort to diagnose the senator’s inability to “accept the reality of defeat.”
    “He was in denial,” said one political scientist. Former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta said of poor ol’ Joe: “You have to, in some ways, kid yourself. It’s more a psychological mechanism than it is reality.” The general consensus was that the shock of defeat had pushed him over the edge.
    Think for a moment, people. “Poor ol’ Joe” has more money, more support in the general electorate and far greater qualifications for office than either Ned Lamont or his Republican opponent. That was true Monday, and it was just as true Wednesday. One would only say otherwise if one believes the momentary whim of a party is more important than the good of the nation.
    How did it become conventional wisdom that people doing all they can to defeat a fringe candidate one day — for the very good reason that he would be bad for the state, the nation and their party — should embrace him the next?
    The dynamics that boosted Mr. Lamont to victory, and that induced “mainstream” politicos to go where only the likes of Eli Pariser and Al Sharpton would go before, are precisely the same ones that keep giving us choices between, say, George W. Bush and John Kerry. Seldom do those of us who are revolted by the options forced upon us by the extremists who dominate primaries get the opportunity to choose a candidate we can respect.
    Well, the voters of Connec
ticut now have such an opportunity. I hope they appreciate it.

40 thoughts on “Joementum column

  1. Dave

    Brad, I agree with most of your conclusions but I do think you are over reaching in the sense of making this a war on partisanship up in CT. Look at it this way, if Cynthia McKinney decided to put herself on the ballot as an Independent in Georgia, would we categorize that as win for centrism? Other than one single issue, albeit an extremely critical one, Iraq, Joe isn’t a whole lot different than LaMont. I could be wrong but I don’t think Joe was a member of the Gang of 14 in the Senate who look at themselves as moderated voices of reason. My opinion is that Joe’s actions are a reaction to the insane actions of the national Dem party, a party hijacked by extremists who if they could would impose socialist programs on us and work to disarm this nation even in a time of war. So my take on this is that what we are seeing is a diminishment little by little of the Democrat party. They stand to be the big losers in all of this come November. And that has to be good for the nation in general.

  2. bud

    Brad sometimes I think you’re so blinded by your support of the Iraq war that you don’t analyze the facts thoroughly. This is an example. Dave makes some good points. The Lamont win was not about Lieberman’s support of the president. He probably voted against the Republicans on many social issues. No, the Lamont victory was due to one issue and one issue only: The war in Iraq. Polls are showing a growing majority (now about 60%) of all Americans (and a larger percentage of Connecticut Democrats) favor us pulling out within 1 year. The McKinney vote in Georgia is proof that extremists are not taking over the Democratic party. (The same can’t be said for the Republicans). I’m pulling for the sensible, pragmatic, mainstream candidate (Lamont) in the Connecticut senate race this November, not the extremist, out-of-touch, fringe candidate (Lieberman).

  3. Jim

    Brad, Joe Lieberman lost because he no longer represents the will and voice of the majority his constituents, not because he was too centrist or too civil. The “representative” component of our democratic system worked as intended with a record turnout-it didn’t “chew him up and spit him out.” The policies of this administration are deeply unpopular and the majority of Dems want a serious counterweight to the unrestrained one party rule of the past 6 years.
    Almost two thirds of the country now recognize that the neocon policies of “creative destruction” in the ME are counter-productive and have united the Muslim world against us. Previous US policies of proactive diplomacy, realism, multilateralism, and an effective law enforcement rather than military approach to terror threats were seen as weak and received the derision of this administration. After 9/11, the Pres. stated “When an entire region simmers in violence, that violence will eventually reach our shores and spread across the entire world.” How are we doing now? We need new approaches, ideas, and policies other than more killing and bombing, which has a tendency to produce additional resentment and hatred.
    I can understand why Republicans are sorry to see Lieberman defeated-he provided no opposition to their policies and lent further credence to the storyline that Dems are “weak on defense” as he threatened fellow party members who dared oppose a reckless and counter-productive war. If you have seen Lamont interviewed on TV, you will realize that they were given a clear choice, and they chose a new direction.

  4. Nancy Padgett

    Brad. I hope you have calmed down by now.
    The only commentators I have seen who were really upset by Leiberman’s defeat were Republicans. The biography of his parents and the horrors of the Jewish camps undoubtedly played a part in his support of a president who supports Israel. The news reports from Connecticutt indicate that he had been so engrossed in Washington that he had forgotten the Republicans back home. And the last time I heard Lamont interviewed he sounded like a sensible moderate to me. And what’s so bad about using your own money to fund a campaign?

  5. VOA

    Brad, you make some good points, but you don’t have enough courage to extend them closer to home. While I would have voted for Lieberman had I been living in CT, why not make a couple of additional points on the same line: 1)Zell Miller’s silence at the blackguarding of his former colleague Max Cleland by the GOP (in favor of “Saxby Shameless”) and John Kerry and 2) The GOP’s apparent insistence in painting John Spratt, who is recognized for his work across party lines, as a liberal, are also examples of partisanship run rampant. Or does bipartisanship only apply to the Democrats and only to states a long way from SC? While it’s been many years since I voted for either a Democratic presidential candidate or a Democratic nominee for governor in SC, I think it’s high time the GOP got its head handed to it this fall. I doubt it will happen.

  6. Mary Rosh

    Warthen once again demonstrates the laziness and stupidity that has rendered him a failure as a journalist, and the dishonesty that has rendered him a failure as a journalist and as a human being.
    Ned Lamont’s position on the war is in line with that of 60% of the American electorate at large, and with an even larger majority of the Connecticut electorate. To Warthen, this position is “extreme”. Why?
    Because Warthen supports the war. To Warthen, any position that he opposes is “extreme,” no matter how large a majority of the American people favors that position.
    But how can this be? Why isn’t Warthen’s position (a position held by an increasingly smaller minority) the extreme position? Especially given that Warthen’s position used to hold majority support, but lost support as events unfolded and persuaded numerous former supporters of the war that they were wrong.
    How is a majority position, one that was arrived at by many people after they concluded that their original view had been a mistake, “extreme”? How is a miniority position “moderate”?
    Why does Warthen trust his judgment more than that of a majority of the American people? How does he view himself as superior to the voters of Connecticut in judging issues important to Connecticut?
    Now I understand that it’s all right to have minority views, but it’s incredible to me that Warthen views a majority position as not only mistaken, but outside accepted discourse.
    Why does Warthen view himself as the arbiter of what is extreme and what is moderate? Why is Warthen, a failed journalist at a failed newspaper in a failed state, entitled to tell the voters of Connecticut that they are “extremists” because they rejected a candidate whom Warthen favors? Why should the voters of Connecticut listen to Warthen? What has Warthen ever accomplished? What has Warthen ever contibuted? What has Warthen ever done for Connecticut? What has Warthen ever done for America? What has Warthen ever done for South Carolina, for that matter?
    Lieberman parrots Republican talking points to curry favor among Republican’s; that’s what Lieberman’s “moderation” amounts to. Lieberman promotes himself at the expense of his party and his state; that’s how he “follows his conscience”. But Warthen accepts Lieberman’s self-description because he favors Lieberman’s position – that of supporting a disastrous war in Iraq and blaming its disastrous results not on those, like Liebermand and Warthen, who supported the war, but on those who point out the disaster.
    Warthen is, above everything else, a coward. He didn’t serve in Vietnam when he had the opportunity. He doesn’t shoulder any of the burden of the Iraq war. He doesn’t accept any responsibilty for the disastrous results of the war he supported. Instead, he paints as extremists those who fail to support “our” effort in Iraq.
    Well, let me tell you something. It’s not “our” effort. Warthen didn’t contribute to it any any way whatsoever. He didn’t fight or urge any of his relatives or acquaintances to fight. He doesn’t contribute to it financially. He doesn’t contribute to it in any material way.
    It’s Phillip Baucus’s effort. It’s (indirectly, although deeply felt) Max Baucus’s effort. It isn’t Brad Warthen’s effort.
    And again, what is with this phobia about Al Sharpton. I understand that Warthen is used to Negroes who see their sole responsibility as urging other Negroes to behave in ways acceptable to white people. But that viewpoint of the role of Negroes is not the only viewpoint, and is not even a mainstream or moderate viewpoint. It is, rather, an extremist viewpoint.

  7. Ready to Hurl

    At last Brad displays minimal insight.
    Yes, Brad, now you are indeed a self-admitted neo-con. All you have to do is read up on their philosophy to justify your beliefs.
    Be sure to explore the dishonest, authoritarian, anti-democratic and Machiavellian precepts of the neo-con Godfather, Leo Strauss.
    You’re approaching your conversion backasswards but at least you’ve opted to be open about your position and cease pretending to be an impartial moderate.

  8. mark g

    We don’t like it when Yankees try and tell us what to do– let the good people of Connecticutt decide who should represesnt them.
    If we want to loosen the death grip of partisanship, we can start right here in our own backyard.
    We can throw-out extreme partisans like Joe Wilson, for instance, who simply does whatever Bush tells him to do; and elect more officials like Senator Graham.
    Sen. Graham actually uses his intelligence to represent us beyond party lines.

  9. Phillip

    1. Though I’m not familiar with Lamont’s positions on every issue, I’m guessing that he and Lieberman are in agreement on the vast majority of issues, except of course the Iraq War and a general neo-con approach to problems in the Middle East and terrorism, where Joe went with the Bush approach.
    Therefore, Brad, if Lamont is a “fringe” candidate, he must be one simply because he advocates withdrawal from Iraq. Surprise— you disagree with that position. So is that why you call him “fringe”? Because in almost every other respect, he does not differ from Lieberman.
    2. You cite Lieberman’s “35 years of thoughtful, principled…public service” and say he’s “one of the rare pols who actually sticks with what his conscience dictates.” I agree with you wholeheartedly, imagine many of Lamont’s voters would as well. I believe Lieberman is sincere in his support of what we’re doing in Iraq.
    It just so happens that millions of us in this nation believe his position is wrong, and that has absolutely NOTHING to do with being partisan, or extreme, no matter how much you try to slanderously characterize it as such.
    There are millions of people who sincerely oppose our direction in Iraq and in foreign policy in general, also from a position of true conviction in their hearts. Many of us are in accord that this issue goes so much to the heart of who we are as a nation (think about torture, civil liberties, definition of what America’s role in the world should be) that it indeed is THE main issue that overrides all others.
    3. As this majority grows, it is increasingly your position, Brad, that could be characterized as “fringe,” as you belong to an ever-shrinking number who feel as you do. Now, I won’t practice “turnabout is fair play” in this case and call you partisan or fringe or extremist, tempting as that is, because I believe that you are sincere in your beliefs on these matters.
    4. Therefore, I politely urge you to please refrain from flattering yourself and your “Unparty” and Joe Lieberman as being somehow “above” partisan politics because of your positions. Nonsense. You are a neocon Democrat, progressive on some social policy, not so on others, and definitely harking back to an old-school Cold Warrior Democrat style. Fine. I respect your right to those positions.
    But when you engage in trying to marginalize and trivialize the passionately held convictions of millions who want many of the same goals as you but disagree on the methods, that in itself, (the words you chose for today’s column) is a form of very strong partisanship. Maybe not on behalf of a currently existing party, but on behalf of a geopolitical philosophy very much in power at the moment. (Not for much longer if we can help it.)
    5. Lieberman did NOT lose because he dared to agree with the President. He could agree on any number of issues with Bush and it would not have resulted in his primary defeat. If he agreed on immigration that would not have brought him down. If he agreed on drilling ANWR, that would not have brought him down. But he agreed on Iraq, and since that issue is such a principal crisis facing our country, that is why he lost.

  10. LexWolf

    Lieberman lost because he’s a heretic refusing to follow the liberal left religion. In the old days, he would have been burned at the stake.

  11. Dave

    So Phillip, to your point on Joe losing on the one single issue Iraq; if Joe wins in the fall, and he is ahead in polls now, does that indicate that the majority of people in CT support the Iraq war?

  12. Phillip

    Maybe, maybe not, Dave. I’m sure many feel that Iraq is just one issue out of many, and they prefer to stick with Joe on the basis of many other issues. Lieberman is getting a temporary bump now in CT from Republicans as a result of all the “he’s in the tradition of JFK, Truman” hogwash from folks like Cheney and Rove, but that may dissipate as true Republicans remember that Joe is after all, fairly progressive on most domestic issues. They’ll come back to the Republican candidate to some degree and drain hawkish votes from Joe.
    Anyway, even if a majority does support the Iraq War, those who oppose it and believe it to be the central issue of our day must stand up and be counted, regardless. Krauthammer had an interesting piece the other day where he traced back Democrats’ electoral woes to short-term intraparty success in toppling Johnson and 4 years later, nominating McGovern, essentially over the Vietnam issue in both cases. I read it and thought, well, he’s probably right in many ways about the electoral ramifications that resulted, but so what? In the end, the anti-war people were right. We were wrong to be in Vietnam. Simple as that.
    Krauthammer’s op-ed was one more example of a trend I find absolutely fascinating: the vast majority of those who mention Vietnam in connection with Iraq are not the anti-war element, but pro-Iraq-War neo-conservatives like Krauthammer, Kristol, or Brad Warthen for that matter. I find it tremendously revealing. To me it indicates that to many of these neocons, the Iraq War is about something much deeper than “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.” It is about re-doing recent American history to have it come out more to their liking. It is about finally proving to the world that America has the might and the will to militarily shape the world according to the manner we deem acceptable. It is about establishing the fact that America must be the final arbiter of the world’s behavior, not international institutions or mechanisms, unless they are more or less under American control.
    Moreover, this itch to redo history is not limited to the international sphere. It’s been often mentioned that Dick Cheney feels that executive power was unduly trimmed by the reforms of the post-Watergate era, and he would like very much to turn the clock back in that sense as well. Hence the Presidential “signing statements,” the grand theories justifying executive branch overreach by John Yoo, and so on.
    Meanwhile, I’m curious, Brad, what you think about the Lincoln Chafee primary situation in Rhode Island…

  13. kc

    Hey, Mr. W, I hate to break this to you, but John McCain made it clear Sunday that he endorsed Lieberman’s Republican opponent. Appearing on one of the Sunday shows (I forget which one) McCain said something like, “I’m a Republican and I endorse Republican candidates.”
    So it doesn’t look like he’ll be signing on to the Unparty anytime soon.

  14. Preston

    Brad, this article is total junk. Joe Lieberman is not doing this out of any principle. He is merely another egomaniniac who was voted out. If he had a shred of dignity, he would follow the will of the voters and accept defeat with grace. Instead, he is using an election loophole in CT.
    You call the bloggers “self-justifying”? Joe Lieberman is a disgusting self-promoter. He is no independent, as you characterize him. He is merely another corporate yes man, scared of what remains of his life now that the politcal gravy train may be pulling out of the station, leaving him behind.

  15. Ready to Hurl

    You know that something stinks at the RNC when the Ken-doll Mehlman, whose main job is electing Republicans, won’t endorse the CT Republican candidate.
    Be sure to read the last question. I clipped Mehlman’s answer red herring/strawman answer but you can read it here.
    From “Meet the Press” (8/13):
    MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the Republican candidate in Connecticut, Alan Schlesinger. You’ve been going around the country…
    MR. GREGORY: …and been very clear…
    MR. GREGORY: …and forceful for your support of Republican candidates. Are you endorsing Alan Schlesinger to be the next senator from Connecticut?
    MR. MEHLMAN: There’s nothing more important to me, as you know, than electing Republicans. It’s what I spend my life doing; it’s my passion. The way I do it…
    MR. GREGORY: So, yes?
    MR. MEHLMAN: The way I do it is to work with our leadership in the states, and what my leadership in the state has said to me is, “You ought to stay out of this one. You ought to focus on the House races and focus on the governors’ races.”
    MR. GREGORY: Why endorse candidates all over the country but not do it here?
    MR. MEHLMAN: Again, I do it based on the leadership in the state.
    MR. GREGORY: Do you want Senator Lieberman to win, to, to expose the Democratic Party as divided and weak?
    MR. MEHLMAN: I’m following—I’m following the advice—I’m following the advice of my leadership, which is I’m focusing on making sure that Chris Shays and that Nancy Johnson, and that Rob Simmons is re-elected, and that Governor Rell is re-elected.
    MR. GREGORY: Do you support Senator Lieberman as senator?
    MR. MEHLMAN: I do not.
    MR. GREGORY: You do not?
    MR. MEHLMAN: I, I, I think it is up to the people of Connecticut. I’m certainly not endorsing Joe Lieberman who, while I agree with him on some issues, I disagree with him on most issues.
    MR. GREGORY: Beyond Connecticut, there are new, troubling signs for the Republican Party. There’s a new AP-Ipsos poll. This is the reporting on it. Put it up on screen for our viewers and you. “An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president’s approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president’s decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.
    “More sobering for the Republicans are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in November’s congressional elections – 19 percent.”
    And here’s a look at a generic congressional match-up from that same poll. Fifty-five percent supports Democrats taking over Congress, 37 percent Republican. Is the party in trouble?

  16. bud

    RTH, sadly the Dems probably have to have a 10 point lead in the polling in order to actually be declared the winner. Remember how favorable the exit polling was for Kerry in 2004? And Lamont was 13 points ahead just a week before the CT primary. He ended up winning by less than 4. (Lieberman really is a Republican).
    I’m very cautiously optimistic for the Democratic cause at this time but the voters are fickle and Republicans control the voting machines.

  17. bud

    Phillip, you articulated this subject very well. I would only add this little obvious fact, the U.S. lost in Vietnam but ended up winning the cold war. The fear-mongers of the late 60s hounded us relentlessly about the horrors that would result if we ended up losing. As it turned out, they were wrong. And the same fear-mongers are wrong today.

  18. Brad Warthen

    RTH, thanks for sharing the Mehlman thing. That’s great! If Lieberman’s continued candidacy accomplishes nothing else than getting one party mouthpiece (in either party) to refuse to automatically boost the candidate of his own party — even if he’s only implicitly supporting the independent candidate — that is a major achievement. That’s wonderful news.

  19. Mary Rosh

    Yeah, Mehlman’s support for the Lieberman for Lieberman party arises from Mehlman’s willingness to sacrifice the interests of the Republican party to a desire for greater independence among politicians. The reason can’t possibly be that Mehlman see’s Lieberman’s candidacy as advancing Republian interests even more than does the Republican candidate.
    Oh, what’s the difference between Brad Warthen and the self-justifying idiot Markos Moulitsas Zúniga?
    Markos served in the military.

  20. Ready to Hurl

    I’m glad that you’re so heartened by the calculated political betrayal of the Republican senatorial candidate.
    I’m certainly not weeping about it but you, as is your tendency, draw exactly the wrong conclusion. This knife-in-the-back of Schlesinger isn’t motivated by some high civic-mindedness. It’s just cold, partisan politics a la Rove.
    Rove knows that Schlesinger is a weak, hopeless candidate. He’s making lemonade from lemons. If Loserman wins the general election (highly unlikely) then Bush has a reliable ally and the Dems have one less vote. In the mean time, the Repubs feed the hapless media all the garbage propaganda about how “weak on terra” the Dems are; how Lamont’s victory seals the coffin of FDR-Truman-Kennedy strong on defense Dems.
    Here’s some more “good news” for you. The titular head of the Republican Party (through his official flack) also refuses to endorse the Republican nominee for CT.
    From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:
    Bush Refuses to Back GOP Candidate
    White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said this morning that President Bush will not endorse Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Alan Schlesinger (R) over Sen. Joe Lieberman even though he’s the Republican nominee.
    Update: Tom Swan, Ned Lamont’s (D) campaign manager, responds: “It is not surprising that Joe remains Bush’s favorite Senator, he is looking to run the exact same campaign that Bush did in 2004. Fortunately, the voters of Connecticut were smart enough to reject it then and we are confident they will again. It is alarming to see how far Joe will go, undermining every candidate across the country from his former party, to cling to his spot in Washington.”
    Update II: The White House released a transcript of Snow’s remarks. When pressed for the reason Bush isn’t supporting Schlesinger, Snow refused to answer saying, “I’m just not going to play.”

  21. bill

    Here’s some more wonderful news:
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A White House spokesperson announced President Bush is reading successfully at the sixth grade level.
    “The President is absolutely thrilled at his latest achievement,” said Edward Thurut. “And he wants the American people to know just how far he’s progressed the past year. He’s been officially tested by the D.C. school board, and the results arrived at Pennsylvania Avenue earlier this morning. The President wishes to thank all those who believed in him, especially First Lady Laura, the lovely librarian who won his heart so many years ago.”
    While Bush supporters were celebrating the good news, several leading Democrats used the moment to paint an entirely different picture of George W. Bush.
    Said DNC Deputy Chairman Clarence Slaughtery: “This man is the President of the U.S., and he’s just now reading at a sixth grade level? What were the American people thinking reelecting him?
    “You know, I’ll even go so far as to suggest that Dick Cheney takes the reading tests for him. After all, this is the guy who runs the White House anyway.”
    While many educators across the U.S. have applauded the President’s persistence in trying to improve his reading comprehension, there’s a growing concern over his mathematical aptitude as well.
    “It’s clear the President’s mathematical comprehension is also on par with a junior high school child,” said Constance Souron, William and Terri University’s Dean of Education. “That’s ironic, considering it’s our children who will be left dealing with this outlandish budget deficit he created.”

  22. Dave

    It’s all about winning, not finishing a dignified second or third. So Schlesinger couldnt win if he were spotted 50% of the vote, so the real win is keeping a rabid leftist out of the US Senate and keeping a semi-leftist, Joe, in there. A win is a win.

    And Bill, that would be comical if the DC School Board knew how to read or speak. How about when they say this – ” Ya, we be testin da Bush man, ‘n him at da si grade leva. Yassih, dat’s our prezman” Phonics anyone?

  23. kc

    Of course you realize, Mr. W, that the ONLY reason Lieberman “broke with the partisan insanity” as you put it is because he LOST his party’s primary.
    Had he won, he’d obviously have been only too happy to continue accepting the support of the Democratic Party and of prominent Democrats like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, etc.

  24. SGM (ret.)

    This is all pretty entertaining. I can’t wait to see how the Connecticut race actually plays out in November.
    The Lamont boosters keep claiming that he now speaks for the majority and that Lieberman has deserted the same. So I looked around to see if there were some real numbers to back that position up. Just curious, you know.
    I couldn’t find any reliable estimate on the breakdown between Dems and GOP in Connecticut, but, to read all the remarks above, it must be… what?… 80:20 at least? It must certainly be an overwhelming majority. (Actually I think that’s way optimistic since just a couple of years ago the state had a Republican governor, but just for fun let’s go with it.)
    Now, the Boston Globe reported that 43% of the registered Dems actually voted in the primary. It was a big deal, and by many standards an historic high. Of course, that included some 30,000 newly registered Dems. Sounds like quite an effective grass roots effort by Lamont’s crew.
    The same Globe article said that Lamont beat Lieberman 52%:48%, and that that in absolute numbers, Lieberman lost by some 10,000 votes. Or, to look at it another way, those 30,000 newly registered Dems were what really put Lamont over the top. Good job
    So… Let’s see… 80% of the state is Dem and 43% of registered Dems voted. 43% of 80% is about 33% (rounding up, of course). So in the primary, only about 33% of the total electorate actually voted.
    Now Lamont won with 52% of the vote. So, 52% of 33% is about 17% (again, rounding up). Of which, 30,000 were brand new voters.
    17% of the state’s electorate elected Lamont in a primary. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t hang my argument on claiming that somehow Lamont is now miraculously representing the majority (except the obvious- voters in the Dem primary) in anything, much less that that his victory somehow represents anything else.

  25. SGM (ret.)

    OK, on a completely unrelated theme, since this thread has turned into a self-licking ice cream cone anyways, and at the risk of launching Brad’s “Civility III” thread…
    “Mary Rosh,” I just gotta ask: Are you really John Lott’s alter-alter-ego? If you are, very subtle. (My apologies to everyone else if this has already been covered.)
    But you know, your extremely personal attacks against poor Brad just make you come off sounding like a stereotyped, shrill ex-wife, way too “cartoonish.” I mean, that “Huckleberry Graham” remark was sublime. You do yourself an injustice with so much of the rest.

  26. Doug

    SGM – can you please apply your same statistical analysis to George Bush’s presidential vote total in 2004. What percentage of the electorate nationwide
    voted for him? 30? Less than 30?
    As Twain said: there’s lies, damn lies,
    and statistics.

  27. SGM (ret.)

    Oh, that’s very true, Doug. The difference, of course, was that wasn’t a party primary in a small New England state.

  28. Mary Rosh

    SGM, what personal attacks? Which of my remarks aren’t supported by an analysis of what Warthen has said? My view is that Warthen’s remarks and “arguments” show him to be a lazy, stupid, dishonest, cowardly, and profoundly evil man. Am I or am I not justified in my conclusions?
    Look at what Warthen has done. He supported, and continues to support, a failed enterprise that has endangered America and has cost the lives of 2600 American soldiers.
    He refuses to take any responsibility for the failure of the enterprise, or to admit that he was wrong. Instead, he blamse others. He blames not himself, for supporting the enterprise, but those who opposed the enterprise, for sowing “defeatism” and “failing to support our troops”. He accuses opponents of the war (whose correctness is proven anew every single day) of being motivated not by concern for America, but for an irrational hartred of George Bush. To him, the rightness or wrongness of an action isn’t the issue. To him, the issue is one of will and resolve. To him, what’s important is not whether the war achieves goals important to the United States, but whether the United States demonstrates the “resolve” to continue on a course of action he advocates.
    But the course of action doesn’t require any resolve from Warthen. He isn’t making any sacrifices in its support. He isn’t fighting, he isn’t urging any of his friends or acquantances to fight, and he is a net consumer of federal taxes, not a net contributor. So what he is doing is urging a course of action that places no hardships on him, but that causes the deaths of real Americans and real Iraqis. And he does this not because any rational argument can be made that it is good for America, but simply because he casts it as a means to show America’s “resolve.”
    He supports torture.
    He characterizes a viewpoint held by 60% of Americans as “extreme”.
    He portrays Joe Lieberman as a “moderate” for the sole reason that Lieberman supports a war that Warthen also supports. So, according to Warthen, “moderation” means “supporting Warthen’s views” and “extremism” means “opposing Warthen’s views”.
    And again, what is with his phobia about Al Sharpton?
    What argument can you make that any of my characterizations of Warthen aren’t true?
    He is unwilling to undertake any sacrifice in support of a costly enterprise he advocated, and still advocates.
    He is too cowardly to support his arguments in support of that enterprise, but instead claims for himself a monopoly on patriotism and impugns the motives of others.
    Can a credible claim be made that his desire to “remake” the Middle East” by war is based on anything other than “white man’s burden” racism?

  29. bud

    Mary, let’s set aside the stupid, dishonest, lazy and cowardly comments for now and just focus on the “profoundly evil” statement you made about Brad. Now really. Profoundly evil is a term that should be reserved for the likes of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson and Timothy McVee. Brad Warthen is misguided and perhaps a bit naive in his continued support of the failed war in Iraq, but unless you know something I don’t “profoundly evil” is just plain wrong and completely unsubstantiated by any facts you’ve presented.

  30. Mary Rosh

    Bud, what about someone who just kills one person, can’t they be profoundly evil? What about someone who contributes indirectly to the slaughter of tens of thousands of people, can’t they be profoundly evil?
    What do YOU call willful denial of a disaster that’s killing more people every single day, blaming it on a “lack of resolve” by people who accurately predicted the results and did what they could to head off the disaster?
    Bartholomew looked the King square in the eye.
    “You may be a mighty king, he said. “But you’re sitting in Oobleck up to your chin. And so is everyone else in your land. And if you won’t even say you’re sorry, “YOU’RE NO SORT OF A KING AT ALL!”
    –Dr. Seuss
    Well, we’re not sitting in Oobleck up to our chin; we’re sitting in blood – blood of Americans and blood of Iraqis. Warthen is doing what he can to keep the blood flowing, and trying, by illegitimate means, to silence those who seek a way to stop the flow of blood.
    How would YOU characterize that sort of behavior?

  31. Dave

    Hey Mary, how about for once in your useless, polluted, disgusting, self-interested, negative, Brad Warthen hating, Anti-American New Jersey confined life start thinking about the American’s blood that was shed on 9-11? That is what this is all about, that is what was profoundly evil.

  32. Doug

    Read today in Robert Novak’s column wondering what all the Republican fuss is over Lieberman, that in the 2004 primary good old Joe never got higher than 11% of any vote — and that was in Delaware. His “national” appeal is non-existent.
    His local appeal in CT is fading fast.
    Look for him either on the speechmaking circuit in six months.

  33. Dave

    Novak knows that Lieberman was put on the ballot to swing the Jewish vote in Florida. It almost worked. To the contrary, Edwards was a liability in the 04 race especially after Dick Cheney handed him his hat in the debates. Nonetheless, it makes common sense for GOPers to prefer Joe over LaMont as Joeis a conservative on the defense and military even while he is a flatout raging liberal on abortion, etc. Half a loaf here.


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