Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mental Images I Never Wanted To Have

Joe Lieberman... rarely do I blog about what a disgrace you are to my current home state of Connecticut. Still, some things simply can't be resisted, and pointing out how nauseating the mental image caused by the video below is seemed, well, unavoidable.


Just goes to show, Ole Joe really shouldn't try to be clever. Clearly clever isn't working for him.


Venice said...

Why the hating on Lieberman? I disagree with him on a host of issues, especially his views on free speech, but there on other things that I admire him for. He's been a strong advocate of gay rights (for a mainstream politician) and for some fairly progressive environmental measures. He's also continued to support NAFTA and CAFTA during a time when bashing them is very popular. In fact, some of the areas where I disagree with him are areas where he takes a very Democratic viewpoint: e.g. guns and social security. There are plenty of politicians in both parties that worry me more than old Joe!

John said...

I just think he's a master of the bait-and-switch, and while you and I used to comically give ourselves this title on the radio I think in Lieberman's case I mean to say that he comes off to me as basically a caricature of bipartisanship (or a mask put on capitulation). Perhaps what I see as capitulation would be more fairly labeled as the places where his beliefs and my own are radically different, but here are some quick examples (edit later... these didn't end up being quick):

1. I don't understand what the story is behind him traveling to Iraq to have photo ops wandering around in a flack jacket and claiming all is well. That seems like crap to me, and bothers me on so many levels, no matter how much he might claim to be interested in helping rally our troops. Still Joe seems to think that the Iraq War is a necessary project that is making America safer. I disagree. He also seems to suggest with some regularity that further active military action in the Middle East will promote stability in spite of the fact that the track record seems to show quite the opposite.

2. In 1995 and 2005 he supported and/or voted for legislation to limit product liability damages ('95) and the ability of plaintiffs to file class action lawsuits against corporations ('05). His pro-business stances are, simply put, very different from my own.

3. He founded an organization with Lynne Cheney, and others that has criticized American universities after 9/11 for evidence of "anti-Americanism." A move that strikes me as deeply troubling, yet in line with some of his other stances around censorship (video games, movies, etc.). While I suppose I could mark some of this up to well-intentioned disagreement , doing so doesn't stop me from worrying about such behavior and the dangers of it.

4. Roberts and Alito. Don't need to say much here. I know he voted no on Alito, but he also played a central role in ending the Filibuster of Alito's nomination (and some other pretty extremist judges) as part of the Gang of 14.

Still, I'll close by saying that Joe and I agree on some things such as stem cells, education, etc. His radical militarism that scares me most, but the thing that irks me more often is how I think he rails against partisanship, but seems to promote partisan bickering as much as (if not more than) anyone else.

Please, please, provide me reasons why I'm wrong, but I'm guessing you won't be able to convince me that he's more of a moderating voice than say the Republican senator from my home state of PA, Arlen Specter. Don't get me wrong, Specter and I disagree on a lot, but I think he's more of a moderate voice and more of a bipartisan character than ole' Joe.

John said...

Honestly, I was going to post a follow-up comment to retract a bit of my venom and say that I agree... there are certainly many scarier politicians than Joe. Still, he represents a state that voted for Obama in the democratic primary, and hence I just don't see his positions as representative of the fine nutmeggers of CT.

THEN THIS WEEKEND... It's like Joe knew I was bitching about him and wanted to give me ammo. This pisses me off SO MUCH:

Why? Because it is the ugliest of politics peddled by two guys, Lieberman and McCain who talk about acting in bipartisan, reasonable ways. I would like to see more politicians act in the way McCain and Lieberman describe themselves, but this shit is ridiculous.

The best response I've seen to McCain's line on this and now Lieberman's came from Mr. Sullivan over at the Atlantic:

"Honorable campaigns do not allow foreign agents, especially terrorist organizations, to insert themselves into American presidential politics. No respectable foreign governments do such a thing; and the gambits of al Qaeda, Hamas, or any other grouping to play one candidate against another should in general be ignored, not exploited."

John said...

Here's the vid... didn't copy over into last post

Venice said...

Haven’t looked at the video but am pretty sure that I know the comments that you’re referring to. They are indeed deeply disturbing and I wish McCain would disown and apologize for them.

That being said, I must strongly disagree with you on McCain’s bi-partisan credentials. He has a record of working across the isle, at times even at great political risk. An obvious example is the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, which nearly cost him the nomination. He sponsored a bill that was clearly unpopular with many Republicans and he did it as he was running for the nomination. Sure, he probably underestimated the extent of nativism within the ranks. But he also chose to co-sponsor it with Ted Kennedy, perhaps the most hated liberal of them all. And that’s not even mentioning he work on campaign-finance or environmental issues. With a record like this I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a desire to work across boundaries.
This record compares well, in my opinion, with Obama. Obama often talks about being post-partisan, but his policies strike me as being pretty well in line with mainstream Democrats. (Much as I like Mr. Sullivan, I suspect he sometimes projects his own political beliefs onto Obama, making him look more conservative than he really is.) I am no kind of legislation wonk, but I can’t think of any legislation that Obama has sponsored that compares with McCain-Kennedy. People are tired of the bitter partisan divide of the last 10 years or so. There is a real opening for a campaign that emphasizes unity and Obama has been very effective in articulating this message. McCain hasn’t been as effective or as consistent in his message (he is, after all, no where near as articulate as the competition). But it seems to me that if you were to look at what they’ve done in the Senate and what they have proposed to do in the white house, then, well, it’s McCain that looks like the committed bi-partisan.

John said...

I was critiquing Lieberman's bipartisanship not McCain's. I think Johnny Mac actually builds better coalitions and works more across the isle than the "Independent Democrat" from CT.

John said...

ok... sorry, posted something very brief a moment or two ago... needed to augment. My critique of Lieberman started with his bipartisanship and veered more into his persistent habit of undermining the party that was largely responsible for electing him into office. I think Lieberman ends up looking like a bipartisan dude in cases where he's actually a conservative working with other conservatives... but he just happens to be the guy in blue not red.

McCain is a whole other matter, and I think you're right, his bipartisan credentials are impressive, and cause me to feel hopeful about how things might go if he were to gain office. What scares me about McCain are his extreme views on choice, spending on the military, promoting equal opportunity (or not). Like you point out, I think his stances on immigration and stem cells (he's on the right side of that debate, right? I mean to say the left side) are impressive and courageous.

Venice said...

Good point about JoLieb then. on many issues he's basically a southern conservative who happens to hail from Connecticut. Pretty weird. About to take my last law school test ever so gotta go. ope to talk to you soon!