Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Great article calls BS on holy Joe's 'blame the bloggers' meme

Recommended at Daily Kos and Booman Tribune

It really is too bad that nobody really reads the New York Observer. Because the latest edition has a great article that calls bullshit on Lieberman (as well as the wingnuts and the talking meatsticks) in their "woe is me, those evil lib'rul bloggers want to ruin me for no reason" line of garbage.


Titled Lieberman's Allies Blame the Bloggers, the article effectively lays out a number of reasons why this is such a farce of an argument, how pathetic of a response is, and frankly, how much Lieberman is missing the point of what CT voters (as well as many people in the US in general) want from their elected officials.


The article is written by Joe Conason, whose pretty impressive resume includes writing and appearances for The Nation, Guardian, Salon.com, Air America and The American Prospect. And man, does it start off with a bang:

The conventional narrative of what may become Joe Lieberman's final campaign for public office--parroted faithfully by pundits and politicians who admire the Connecticut Senator--is a moving tale of courageous dissent in the very maw of fanatical extremism. It is the story of a supremely decent public servant, purged by party activists with a mean-spirited, shortsighted, single-issue obsession. And it is a fable with a familiar moral, supposedly proving once more that the Democratic Party cannot be trusted to protect America.


Compelling as this account of the beleaguered Democrat's travails may sound, it is very much like his position on the war in Iraq: wrong, superficial and divorced from reality.


According to the standard version, Mr. Lieberman is the victim of ferocious "liberal bloggers" from around the country. Dispersed across the United States, these meddling left-wing activists somehow conspired to launch Ned Lamont's primary challenge, and then somehow mesmerized voters, perhaps via the Internets, to reject the Senator they had chosen three times before. Combining Internet technology with progressive ideology, the miasmic and unwholesome blogosphere now threatens to swallow poor Joe in a cloud of angry, buzzing bytes.


Damn. Not a pretty thing to be reading if you are part of Team Lieberman's sinking ship. But the article isn't really a slam against Lieberman's blind hypocrisy as it is a knock on the "lazy journalists and anxious consultants" for failing (possibly willfully?) to dig past the very superficial surface of this primary battle. It talks about Lamont launching his campaign only after trying to get others to run against Lieberman, how Lamont didn't need the "bloggers" for our fundraising power, how these same band of "crazy liberal activists" also support Jim Webb and Bob Casey (ok, not as much but still....) and aren't targeting Hillary in a primary election.


Hell - it even gives props to the big orange sandbox by name:

As for the liberal bloggers, they seem considerably more calm and pragmatic than their distraught critics. If the legions of Daily Kos are truly hell-bent on an ideological purge, why would they endorse Senate candidates Jim Webb, the "Reagan Democrat" and former Republican Navy Secretary running in Virginia, and Bob Casey Jr., the "pro-life Democrat" running in Pennsylvania? For the same reason they haven't targeted Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, another blue-state centrist with a pro-war record--because they prefer races that can be won.


The article finally moves on to the real reasons for the intense opposition to Lieberman - not only by us "evil angry fringe activists", but by voters in general. From Joe's staunch support of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, to the parroting of the Administration's talking points, to his cozying up with the neoconservative war criminals - his position is so accurately noted as being out of line with the "strongly negative" view of the occupation of Iraq. Unfortunately, it doesn't go much more into all of the other positions and reasons why Joe must go, but the thrust of the article wasn't going in that direction anyway.


What Conason does do is shatter the myth that is being peddled about how this is not Joe's fault. How Joe was so wrongfully targeted by unappreciative rabble rousers. How this is not about "the bloggers" but is about Joe and Joe's positions. And Conason ends his article just as he started it - with a smack at Lieberman's lack of recognition of what is going on in the real world:

The American public now understands that the Bush administration deceived them about its reasons for invading Iraq...They are beginning to understand that his belligerent foreign policy has been a sham, and that his management of the war on terror has been a shame.


Unfortunately for Mr. Lieberman, he understands none of those things. He doesn't comprehend that a war costing thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars is not just a "single issue." He doesn't realize that repeating White House talking points about the war is not going to win him any votes this year. He has left the reality-based community for the never-land of neo-conservatism--and if he loses, that will be why.


Well, it will be one of many reasons why he loses. And it certainly is refreshing to see the press outside of Connecticut pick up on how this asinine "woe is Joe" defense truly is. And how a once proud and formidable Senator manages to sink to a new low with each passing day.

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