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August 09, 2006

Ding, Dong The Witch Is Dead!

It’s no secret that I’ve been a Joe Lieberman-hater for most of his 18 years as my Senator. Indeed, one of the proudest moments of my life happened when he crashed one of my Head Start events, saw my nametag, and looked over his shoulder to see if his security showed up. Therefore, it will not come as a shock that his defeat warmed the cockles of my heart.

Joe tried to paint Ned Lamont as a one-issue candidate. That wasn’t the case – the Democratic electorate didn’t care for Joe’s lack of attention to local concerns, and for some reason Democrats were equally concerned about his unproductive closeness to the president. But as it turns out, it would have been more than enough.

According to exit polling, three out of four people who voted in the primary were opposed to the war. This will have a major impact upon those running in November all across the nation. It is not good news for Republicans, and it is not good news for the dickless Democrats – in other words, nearly all of ‘em.

Joe lost by more than 10,000 votes, and that doesn’t count the record-setting number of absentee voters. And that’s despite a last minute surge of Republican and independent pro-war crossover voters that ate into Ned’s 13 point lead. The pollsters only polled Democrats, which shows up the fault of the process.

Joe filed as an independent candidate. So why do I say the witch is dead? After all, the same polls that gave Joe the 13 point lead said Joe would win in a three way race against Ned.

Well, for one thing, Connecticut is a blue state, the Republican candidate doesn’t even have the support of the Republican party (last month they tried to talk him into quitting the race), and the heavy-hitter Democrats like Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton who supported Lieberman in the primary were tripping over each other to make good on their promise to support the winner of that primary. Typically and hypocritically, Hillary already started damage control last week.

But, most important, Joe Lieberman is a three-time loser. He lost (effectively) the 2000 vice-presidental race. In fact, he had so little confidence in Al Gore that he simultaneously ran for reelection to the senate, which all of a sudden doesn’t sit well with Connecticut Democrats. He ran for president in 2004 and couldn’t even make that “three-way tie for third place” he bragged about. And now he couldn’t even get his own party’s nomination for another term. That almost never happens.

Come November, Ned Lamont will become Connecticut’s next senator.

Posted by Mike Gold at August 9, 2006 05:55 PM

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Look for the Republican candidate to drop out at the last minute and endorse Lieberman.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 10, 2006 08:01 AM

For more on Lieberman and the Dems, go here (starts at fourth item on front page):


Posted by: Marilyn at August 10, 2006 10:58 AM

It warms the cockles of *my heart* when Democrats eat their own and especially one of the few Democrats with sense, you know, one of the ones that wants to protect America? Lamont is worse then Kerry and no Democrat will win on an anti-war platform. There's only history since 1968 to back this up. You guys are going to lose and lose big. Good luck on not cracking up after that...

Posted by: Carl at August 11, 2006 12:19 PM

Hey, I'm cracking up right now! And I'm not even a Democrat.

According to this week's polls, 60% of the American public is opposed to the current war in Iraq. That's been a very steady figure for months and months, within a couple of points. Approximately 4 - 6 percent are uncertain. Support for the war hovers around one-third. But, of course, you probably think these polls are made up by Communists and Wiccans.

If running on an anti-war platform is death at the polls, then there are an ever-growing number of truly stupid Republicans out there, because a great many have been weaking their support and some have come out against it. And it's clear that they'd rather poke their left eye out than have the Idiot-In-Chief campaign for them.

Of course you don't believe any of this. It's published in the "drive-by" media. It's sooooo much more comforting to invest your brainpower in liars and lunatics like Rush, Bill and Geraldo.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 11, 2006 12:31 PM

I'm so glad that brave men like Joe Lieberman aren't afraid to "protect America" by invading a country that didn't attack us and had a vastly diminished capacity to wage war on anyone after ten years of sanctions. And of course, it's no accident that the terrorists decided to strike us again, right after Joe lost, because they undoubtedly sensed our weakness when we turned our backs on Patriot Joe.

The majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. The most recent plotters are Pakistani and got their funding from sources in Pakistan. Both countries are rife with madras schools that teach children to hate and take up arms against the west. We sure showed Saudi Arabia and Pakistan by invading Iraq!

No doubt we'll all be much safer when we can only fly naked with no luggage. And no doubt the hatred and terrorism will all go away once we've established our shining example of western ideals in whatever remains of Iraq.

Remember: We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here! And since invading Pakistan doesn't seem to be an option, let's invade the terrorists' base of operations -- Britain!

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 11, 2006 01:36 PM

"It warms the cockles of *my heart* when Democrats eat their own and especially one of the few Democrats with sense, you know, one of the ones that wants to protect America? Lamont is worse then Kerry and no Democrat will win on an anti-war platform. There's only history since 1968 to back this up. You guys are going to lose and lose big. Good luck on not cracking up after that..."

I've asked the various chickenhawk farmers before, and I'll ask again (drumroll please)


Posted by: Manny at August 12, 2006 03:26 PM

One could make an argument that our government has no great desire to catch Osama -- because if they did, it would soon become clear that it makes no difference. Al Qaeda is now more an ideology than a sinlge identifiable organization. The conspirators arrested in the most recent terror plot were almost all born and raised in Britain, plotted in Britain, and planned to carry out their act of terrorism in Britain. Our ill-conceived invasion of Iraq did nothing to make us "safer" from this particular plot. If anything, our actions in Iraq made this plot (and others) more likely by further enraging Muslims around the world -- and there are over a billion of them worldwide. How many Muslim countries to we plan to invade and subjugate before we will be "safe"?

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 13, 2006 11:02 AM

This may be somewhat off base, but since Mike did bring up the subject of the drive by media and "liars and lunatics" like Rush, etc., I'm curious to know how some of you may feel to know that your views on the war have probably... hell, have definitely been manipulated by fake news reports and photoshopped news photos over the last few years?

I find that especially ironic when just a year or so ago, we were told we couldn't trust the embedded journalists, who had to depend on the safety the soldiers provided, to be objective in their reporting.

Now, not only do we find out that news photos are being manipulated, or outright staged. Or that numbers of the casualties in places like Qana are wildly inflated. Women and children are being used as props to support Hezzbollah, and I suspect, Al Qaida.

So where are the voices on the left that decry this blatanat manipulation? They're too busy gasping at Mel Gibson's drunken stupor or the photoshopped photo of Joe Lieberman in blackface by the Ned Lamont supporter. (Good thing Democrats aren't bigots and racists, I guess or Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have said something. Wouldn't they?).

So Mike, you raised holy hell (so to speak) about Mel Gibson. Nothing to say about "Reutersgate"?

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 13, 2006 04:06 PM

Damn! I missed the shot of Joe in blackface. I wonder what the point was. I saw the Photoshopped shot of Jane Fonda and John Kerry. I'm not bad at Photoshop myself; maybe I'll track that one down and drop Whoppi Goldberg and Ted Danson in.

My favorite Photoshop incident happened on St. Patrick's Day 1927 when the New York Daily Graphic carried a full-page front page photograph of Rudolph Valentino and Enrico Caruso standing side-by-side in heaven. "Rudy Meets Caruso!" the headline read.

Yep, the media's been playing it off the cuff since the days of Hamilton and Burr. We know this. Not only did Joey Pulitzer and Billy Hearst invent the Spanish-American War, but Orson Welles invented the "you supply the pictures and I'll supply the war" line. The flag raising at Iwo Jima was a staged picture dutifully reported by the media as fact. The media reported all of Bush and Powell's lies as fact, and they rarely point out their endless contradictions and fabrications.

There's been some attention played to the Lebanon staging -- I've seen or heard or read some coverage of it about every third day, but that's not enough, in my opinion. Maybe the media's still in shock over the fact that the Jews have been losing a public relations war.

So getting outraged over "Reutersgate," as you put it, is like getting angry over the sun raising in the sky each day. You've got to follow a range of media in order to get the picture, and you always have had to.

As for Mel, well, hell, it's lonely being his only voice of support. Such as it was.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 13, 2006 04:25 PM

I haven't paid too much attention to "Reutersgate" because it's just another side show. It sheds no light on the causes of or solutions to the current conflict in Lebannon. There are certainly those on the left that cry "Israel kills innocent civilians!" and those on the right that cry "Hezbollah hides behind innocent civilians!" Both claims are probably true. War does not have a particularly good record for bringing out the best in people.

War sucks. The civilian death toll often far exceeds military losses. War should be avoided if possible, but sometimes it's necessary. Was Israel's latest invasion of southern Lebanon really necessary? That's one of those gray areas that warrants a far more in-depth analysis than most people have the patience for. They prefer black-and-white factoids like "Hezbollah uses babies as human shields!" and "Israel deliberately targets nursing homes!" It's so much easier to formulate an uninformed opinion than an informed one.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 14, 2006 11:11 AM

I disagree that photo manipulation by the press is a nonissue. I lost a lot of trust in the media a long time ago, but as a journalist, I still believe that journalistic ethics matter and media manipulation of any sort is wrong. Journalists with integrity need to take back information dissemination just as much as politicians with integrity have got to take back our government.

By the way, can we PLEEEEEZE retire (blank)-gate? I absolutely hate it.

Posted by: Marilyn at August 14, 2006 03:04 PM

Marilyn, that's nice to hear. Perhaps I've been watching too many movies of journalists with no ethics sticking their mikes in front of people who are suffering and asking them how they're feeling? I've become rather cynical of the media. So when you have people like Jayson Blair or Adnan Hadj crop up, it's not that hard to believe.

Rick, would you at least agree with me that Israel is NOT targetting civilians? I think there's a big difference between an army that fires on, and targets innocent civilians in the first place, then hides among the population to draw fire, so they can parade the dead in front of cameras and cry on cue, and one that unfortunately creates collateral damage.

Hezbollah wouldn't last ten minutes in a straight up fight with Israel. They know it and everyone else does too. which is why they fight the way they do. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to cheer for the underdog, even when they're blatantly wrong.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 14, 2006 03:54 PM

BTW, Mike, you note that Joe Lieberman had so little confidence in Al Gore that he simultaneously ran for senator. Well, I think you should remember that by the time the primary was over and Gore chose Lieberman that he had already been campaigning for his seat. He had no notice that Gore would choose him. He had already won the primary (if there was one) and there was no way to get a new candidate prepped and ready for the campaign. If he had quit the race, the seat would have most likely been given to the Republican by default. If Lieberman won and had been elected VP, the Governor could have appointed someone to fill the seat, most likely another Democrat.

Hey, I didn't see Kerry quit to run full time. And Edwards was forced out by his own party so they COULD put someone on the ballot. So it's a little disingenuous to single out ol' Joe for doing the same.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 14, 2006 04:09 PM

EC - There are actually a lot of journalists who believe as I do. Unfortunately, the mainstream press has gotten very timid about going after real stories and, instead, has moved toward the sensational news made profitable by Rupert Murdoch. I loathe the stupid "how do you feel?" bimbo reporters ask someone who's child has just been shot. Fortunately, that particular blight seems to have faded. But when are the reporters going to take the kid gloves off and hold politicians, businessmen, and other accountable for their actions and stop obsessing about the unimportant misdeeds of instant celebrities???

Posted by: Marilyn at August 14, 2006 04:27 PM

Would I agree that Israel is not targeting civilians? No -- but I wouldn't disagree either, since I've heard too many conflicting accounts and don't think either side has any strong motivation to be truthful. I do, however, think that Israel's bombing strategy could best be described as somewhat indiscriminate.

As for a "straight up fight," I have no idea what that means in the context of war. One can argue that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski was justified because it ended the war sooner, saving countless American lives -- but one can't get around the fact that these were essentially civilian targets, chosen to maximize human carnage. Was that "straight up"?

There's little doubt that Israel went into this campaign with a willingness to sacrifice a large number of Lebanese civilians in their pursuit of Hezbollah. Did they deliberately target civilians? I'd like to think not, but the civilians are just as dead either way.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 14, 2006 05:31 PM

Earl, I said that Joe's running for the Senate didn't still too well with local Democrats. That's a fact I should have qualified with the addition of the phrase "a great many."

This brouhahah went away when two things happened: 1) The Supreme Court appointed Neil and Jeb's brother as leader of the free world, and 2) Joe's Republican opposition -- Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano -- was arrested for having sex with a prostitute and two severely underage girls. No kidding. So Joe would up looking better than a guy who had sex in office with a prostitute and two severely underage girls. He got 37 years.

The real reason the Connecticut Dems were concerned about Joe's running for the Senate in 2000 was they thought he just might win. If he did, then the REPUBLICAN governor (who also later went to jail; Connecticut Republicans are beginning to look like Chicago Democrats to me) would have appointed a Republican to the seat. State and national Dems, optimistic as ever about their chances in both races, wanted their own guy for the senate in order to keep the seat blue. I'm certain they would have tapped our exceptionally popular attorney general Richard Blumenthal, who would have won easily.

For the record, Joe didn't have to run in the 2000 Democratic primary because he was unopposed.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 14, 2006 05:51 PM


You know, that's what I use to love about 60 Minutes when they first came on, the ambush interviews with corrupt politicians and crooked businessmen and trapping them on tv not answering damining questions. So few people do that anymore. I guess the politicians and businessmen learned from their mistakes.


I meant on a designated battlefield, with a front and all. Was Nagasaki and Hiroshima "straight up"? It brought the war to a swifter end and the thinking was that more lives on both sides would be saved than lost than if coventional fighting continued. I think they thought they were opting for the "greater good". Even WITH the bombings of Japan, the Allies still lost almost DOUBLE the number of soldiers AND civilians.


You're kind of losing me a bit. I'll do some research to get a better understanding of recent Conneticut politics, but if Lieberman was so disliked by the Connecticut Dems and Blumenthal would have won so handily, why was Lieberman unopposed in the primary?

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 14, 2006 06:44 PM

For the exact reason you noted: the filings for the primary happened before Joe was tagged as the VP candidate. At that moment in time, it didn't look like Joe was on the short list -- and if he was, he didn't let on.

Which was probably the appropriate thing to do, since Gore wanted Lieberman as his "anti-Clinton." This philosophy proved to be his undoing: he should have allowed Clinton to campaign for him.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 14, 2006 06:51 PM

re: "I meant on a designated battlefield, with a front and all."

You're kidding, right? That notion was obsolete before the invention of the airplane, and all the old military tactics textbooks were thrown out after WWI, which turned out to be a textbook example of how NOT to fight a modern war (even before aircraft became a major factor in the equation).

And I've obviously heard the justification for Hiroshima/Nagasaki that you present, because I alluded to it when I made the analogy in the first place -- although I doubt that Harry Truman cared all that much about saving Japanes lives. And maybe I wouldn't have either if I had been in his position.

But that's beside the point. Or maybe it is the point. You can come up with all sorts of justifications for all sorts of horrific acts. Some of them may even be valid. But guess what? The guys on the other side are doing exactly the same kind of thinking, and they're equally convinced that they're justified and you aren't.

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that Israel did target civilians. Would it be justified if they did it because they thought it would bring about a swifter end to the conflict, thereby saving lives on both sides? And if so, what other acts might be justified in the name of the "greater good"?

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 14, 2006 08:34 PM

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that Israel did target civilians. Would it be justified if they did it because they thought it would bring about a swifter end to the conflict, thereby saving lives on both sides? And if so, what other acts might be justified in the name of the "greater good"?

I'm resisting the temptation to say "Now there's a stupid question." mostly because it's based on a non-valid premise. So i'm not even going to entertain the question. At any rate, Justification is usually proven in the results not just in the intent.

I agree that Truman probably wasn't thinking about saving Japanese lives. He was probably thinking about saving Allied lives. And since he was losing more men 2 to 1, he probably thought that was justification enough. I certainly do.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 14, 2006 10:23 PM


We can't run a double-blind study and prove that dropping the atomic bomb saved more lives "on both sides" (your words). And your argument sounds suspiciously like "The ends justify the means." Which was sort of the point of my hypothetical question; so I guess I got my answer. But perhaps I infer to much. Feel free to clarify your position.

BTW: We weren't "losing" 2-to-1 when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. We had, for all intents and purposes, already won the war. The Japanese just refused to admit it.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 15, 2006 07:59 AM

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