Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Liberalism is alive and well!

Not really. Not really at all. Ned Lamont just happened narrowly to defeat Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary, which I was closely watching, having grown up there. (I went to school in quite a conservative school district for blue Connecticut, which canceled out redhurt's absurdly liberal district in Colorado, where his teachers were Noam Chomsky and Susan Sontag and he did Aztec math for 18 years.)

Lamont on the race:

"I want to thank Sen. Lieberman for his campaign. I want to thank him for the dignity and decency in which he has represented our state and our country, for many, many years. I'm hoping that over the next few days that he will come to the conclusion that the party is going to stick together and go forward united."

And Lieberman:

"The old politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot, I will not let this result stand."

The old politics of partisan polarization? I mean, I'll give him +10 for the alliteration, but who's the partisan? The guy who won fair and square, or the guy who refuses to support the winner? Phrases like that are total BS that don't mean anything. It's almost like Lieberman is saying that the simple fact that Lamont would run against him in the primary is an affront to him personally, and not a challenge to his office. "Old politics of partisan polarization" belongs in the mouth of Karl Rove, not in the mouth of a Connecticut Democrat. Our blood runs blue, we can't make up our minds about anything, our views are nuanced, and we lose elections.

Vote Aztec.


At 10:45 AM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

The biggest winners in the Connecticut primary are Karl Rove and the Republican Leadership. Lamont is Dean-esque in that he is supported by a bunch of very passionate people with a radical agenda. He represents far-left fervor, and he does not appeal to the majority of the population in the US. Now, for him that's fine, because he's not going to be elected by the rest of the population, only his state. But Rove can use this in 2008 to say "look at what Democrats want, they want to replace sensible leaders like Lieberman," who happens to appeal to most centrist types, "with radicals like Ted Lamont. This is not a party that we can take seriously and is certainly not a party we can trust with national defense." Maybe it won't work, but I know that hard-core Republican types are quite pleased with the Lamont win.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

"Lamont is Dean-esque in that he is supported by a bunch of very passionate people with a radical agenda."

That's not true. There's nothing radical about their agenda. That's a gross oversimplification.

"He represents far-left fervor, and he does not appeal to the majority of the population in the US."

That's not true. Lamont supporters aren't any more fervent or angry or radical than anyone else. Lamont is a self-made millionaire businessman with tons of contacts in CT, and he will be very good for its economy.

Rove can use this in 2008 to say "look at what Democrats want, they want to replace sensible leaders like Lieberman."

That's absolutely true. Rove is a freaking genius.

"Hard-core Republican types are quite pleased with the Lamont win."

I don't care.

I'm going to give Lamont some money and pray that he wins the general election.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous giw said...

I knew you'd be discussing this today. :) I think it's sad that Lamont won. I think they're choosing one issue and ignoring everything else in their voting. I've been told voting for one issue isn't the way to do it because there are other important things to think about too. I guess in the democratic party if the issue is siding with Bush about war it's the only important thing though. Then again, I didn't even know the primary was coming up until Monday so maybe there's more to it than I know... most likely lots more. Ok, I commented finally, go back to your serious discussion.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

I think lieberman is a souless heap of undead bone and gristle. I don't know anything about lamont. And...that's all I've got.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

StandInCold, it's Ned Lamont...

At 2:00 PM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

"GOP Strategist Charles Black said Lieberman's defeat would reinforce the soft-on-defense accusation leveled at Democrats since Vietnam. " I hate those soft on killing innocent people Democrats.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

The problem with Lamont is not Lamont as much as it is his supporters. He's not a Dean in that he is not crazy and he's not, at least from what he says, trying to lead a crusade. But many of his supporters are. People like Jane Hamsher, the crazy left-wind blogger who posted a photoshopping picture of Lieberman and Bill Clinton that showed Lieberman in blackface and campeigned with Lamont, and Markos Moulitsas, who was a feature figure in a Lamont ad. These people represent the far-left, theirs is the party of Michael Moore. And theirs is not a party that the majority of the country wants to be part of. The struggle for the Democrats from now until 2008 is to keep that party from becoming their party.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

that should say "photoshopped picture" not "photoshopping"

At 2:58 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

(1) I don't know who Jane Hamsher is.

(2) There's nothing "far left" about Markos Moulitsas--he was in the Army for 3 years and has a sweet blog.

(3) Michael Moore has nothing to do with any of this.

(4) The struggle for the Democrats, in form, is no different from the struggle for the Republicans, or the Green Party in Germany, or any party: it's to come up with a consistent message and win elections.

(5) Do you download your comments from the O'Reilly factor?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Hans-Georg Gadamer said...

"Liberals are the stupidest idiots who are really stupid when they don't like America and want to do stupid stuff to it. Stupids!" - Bill O'Reilly

At 3:32 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

What would it take to make someone "far-left" in your opinion? I don't see how Kos serving in the Army has anynthing to do with his political stance.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

I probably wouldn't use the term "far left", just as I wouldn't use the term "far right" the way the left does. They make discussion difficult.

Supporting and opposing the Iraq war are both reasonable positions. Supporting and opposing universal health care are both reasonable positions. Being openly racist is pretty unreasonable, just as actually equating the United States (not just some of its historical actions) with some of the terrorist states we fight is pretty unreasonable.

In conclusion, good question--I don't have a neat answer. How about for you?

At 4:15 PM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

Far Left- Hippies, basically no longer exist.
Far Right- Bill O'Reilly, often seen criticizing everyone for being a liberal.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...


At 5:09 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

Well, I started thinking about it before I asked you and it seems like the term "far-left" is, for me, a term without a very concrete meaning. It is a term that I probably shouldn't use because I can't nail down a good definition of what it means. I guess I tend to use it to mean "more liberal than the average person in the US will tolerate." But if that's what I mean that's what I should say rather than using general terms that create artificial, undefined groups and obscure discussion.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

Who needs Karl Rove when you've got Fox News? They're already saying exactly what you said they would, complete with the pro/anti war misnomer attached to oversimplify the equation. It's here.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

And come on - there's aboslutely an O'Reiley equivalent on the liberal side. If you want to reminisce about some great O'Reiley level BS spewed by his dean-ness, check out the nbc interview I posted about earlier this year, and if you don't want to admit to Dean, pick your own, but don't go acting like the republican's are full of weirdo extremists and the dems are a party of moderate, well-reasoned centrists.

Firstly, there's nothing essentially well reasoned about being a centrist, and secondly, putting a hippie in a suit doesn't make him a centrist. I'm not going to try to ignore the fire-spouting idiots in my court - do us the decency of returning the favor?

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

A couple of things-

1) I'm really not that familiar with the race, or with either candidate, but Lieberman was one of the few Democrats who didn't make me throw up a little in my mouth every time I heard his name. I respected the fact that he was for the war, but not unequivocally. I think he may have regretted being as pro-war as he was in the days after 9/11, but he realized that the way to solve this was not to just cut and run, but to attempt to win since we were there. I respected that.

2) That said, I don't think it is going to play a big role in election politics, if I lived up in wherever it is that they are electing them, I don't think I would have voted for Lieberman over a repub challenger, and I don't think that it would matter in a solidly blue state.

Verdict- Lamont wins the seat.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

"Trying to win" the "Iraq war" is like trying to win Monopoly when all your property is mortgaged and you just landed on Boardwalk. You said "since we're already there" we might as well try to win well then before we invaded would it be logical to say since we're not already there we might as well not go in at all?

At 12:20 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

Thanks for the good discussion. The more I read analysis of this election online and in newspapers, the more I'm amazed at the utter lack of content in the articles.

Here's Lieberman, from

"I'm [going to run as an Independent] because Lamont really represents polarization and partisanship."

Ken Mehlman:

"[Lamont's victory is] an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism and a 'blame America first' attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous."

And here's Darth "A vote for Lamont is a vote for Al Qaeda" Vader, from the NYT:

"Vice President Dick Cheney went so far as to suggest that the ouster of Mr. Lieberman might encourage 'al Qaeda types.'"

Jacob Weisberg from, NOT oversimplifying:

"[This] election was about one issue and one issue only: the war in Iraq."


"Connecticut is uncharacteristically liberal, even for a blue state."

Shallow, vapid BS from everyone.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous dadman said...

I think Brian's analysis was flawless.

But I have to add another question to Jacks--Iraq is currently fighting a civil war with American troops on the sidelines watching. When you say we ought to try to win, whom exactly do you envision us winning against? The Shi'a? The Sunni? Both?

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous dadman said...

Lieberman's defeat was Iraq but not just Iraq. CT Democrats got sick and tired of Lieberman attacking them with Republican talking points. He made nicer with Republicans than with his own party members, and he went down. No surprise.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

Look, "win" was a poor choice. 90-some odd senators voted to go to war, and then half of them flipped at some point and started clamoring for an unconditional withdrawal (as talking points, they never voted for it). Lieberman was one of the only democrats who said (I can't quote this, but this is my impression of him) that, "Yeah well, we're there, maybe we shouldn't be, but the best course of action now isn't just to get out, we need some plan to get out that we didn't have initially" or something.

A "win" would entail us getting out without a widespread civil war, a gigantic power vacuum, or leaving Iraq at the hands of the wannabe caliphate. This ISN'T accomplished by just bringing everyone home right NOW! I think most politicians understand this (by not voting for immediate withdrawal), but very few on the left will acknowledge this.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

So you admit it was a bad idea in the first place but now we should stay the course?

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous dadman said...

Hey, I'm on the left, jacks, and I'll acknowledge that things in Iraq would go to hell if we brought everyone home NOW.

The problem, my friend, is that things are already going to hell and we don't have enough troops there to stop it. We went in light, following the Rumsfeld doctrine and not the Powell doctrine.

We would need to commit more troops to straighten things out, and that's not going to happen. Very few folks even on the right even dare to say such things.

Given that Iraq is broken, and the people who dreamed up the invasion have lost interest in fixing it--I don't know what to ask for but to start bringing Americans home. Start, mind you, not "everyone out of the pool now!"

We've spent 300 billion dollars and over 2500 American lives, not to mention the wounded and the over 30,000 Iraqi civilian lives (I would guess more like 100,000, but even President Bush has acknowledged 30,000).

And all we are told is "It's hard work. We can't cut and run. The world is a dangerous place. 9-11 taught us a lesson."

Right. Right to all of that. But what the heck is our PLAN for Iraq? I wouldn't be saying pull troops out if anyone could show me a plan. Pal, there isn't any. We are in a world of hurt.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

Dadman- My reply was too long for comments and we're getting far from Charles' original topic, so I hijacked this thread and put it up over at

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous dadman said...

Thanks, I'll check it out there.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous dadman said...

To go back to the original topic, I can't believe Charles Krauthammer in this morning's Washington Post. That is such a farrago of lies, half-truths and smoke and mirrors I'm astonished. Now we're supposed to believe that the Viet Nam War was actually a good idea, but Ned Lamont would not have supported it! What? Then he goes further, using the H word, yes, you know what I'm talking about. By analogy, Lamont would have negotiated with Hitler!

Could all these people get a grip? It's 2006. Viet Nam was a mistake and a bloody mess. American involvement in WW2 was presided over by a Democratic president.

Focus, people, focus.

And jacks's threadjack to his blog is well worth reading.


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