Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

JOE LIEBERMAN WATCH....Ezra Klein comments on Joe Lieberman's almost palpable eagerness these days for a U.S. attack on Iran:

There was a period when the anger between Lieberman and the Democratic Party really did seem to center around a limited disagreement on the path forward in Iraq. At this point, though, Lieberman's hawkishness seems more of an unthinking positioning device. But it's very serious, and will undoubtedly receive a warm reception on the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

The WSJ and the Weekly Standard, along with the rest of the mouth breathers, will undoubtedly continue their love affair with Joe. But am I the only one who thinks that the mainstream media is mostly treating Lieberman with only barely concealed ridicule these days? His more-hawkish-than-thou schtick has gotten so over the top in the past few months that he seems almost a figure of pity more than anything else.

If I were less lazy I'd troll around in Google for some supporting evidence on this, but I don't really feel like spending my morning on Joe Lieberman research. And it's a pretty subtle thing anyway. So I'll just throw it out: Does anyone else get the sense that the press is treating Lieberman with a notch less respect than it used to? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?

Kevin Drum 12:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Joe Klein yesterday:
http://time-blog.com/swampland/2007/09/crocker_and_me.html
Joe Lieberman was again notable yesterday for moving to the right of most of the Republicans on the panel, asking General Petraeus if it might be a good idea to invade Iran and take out the Revolutionary Brigade facilities allegedly supporting the Shi'ite militias. Petraeus said he had no authority outside Iraq. But you can see where Lieberman is heading now--and it's atrocious.
(The Senator, by the way, expressed his displeasure yesterday with what I've been writing about him, even though he claimed not to have read it. He said I had attacked him personally. I told him my recollection was that I'd attacked him for the calumnies he had directed at his fellow Democrats, especially the use of the word "surrender" to describe their position. And for finding common cause with lunatic, literalist Christian Bible-crazies who believe in the rapture. I can now attack his foolish anti-Iranian warmongering. That's not a personal attack though: I just find his position very dangerous and prohibitively wrong-headed.)

Posted by: Elvis Elvisberg on September 13, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman is more loyal to Israel then he is to the USA. It's the only justification I can concoct as to what this guy is thinking and spewing. The state of CT should be ashamed of this guy and now we get him for 5 plus more years.

Posted by: dee on September 13, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Joe isn't a D or a R is simply a Likudnik...

Posted by: Yoni on September 13, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman is the Brittney Spears of politics.

He's interesting to the press only because of how bizarre he is, and how washed-up.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 13, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a video of Joe Lieberman practically begging General Petraeus to ask for permission to start a war with Iran. The General took a pass.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 13, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wishful thinking. He just has not been on as many Sunday morning programs as he used to be. I expect that to change as the administration gins up for the next war against Iran.

Posted by: Teresa on September 13, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think I've seen the media treating him that way, but I'm not a big consumer of MSM.

I can't recall seeing anything about Lieberman in the mainstream media recently.

Posted by: Swan on September 13, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, I think Joe Klein isn't representative of the MSM on this one. Holy Joe's still pretty popular on cable TV and his positions, though insane, are generally treated as wise and serious by the DC-based media. I moved to CT six months ago and am still trying to figure out who voted for him. Maybe a Dem landslide in '08 will make him truly irrelevant. His time is limited. This state won't make the same mistake again.

Posted by: JK on September 13, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

If Joe was around during Vietnam, he would be advocating attacking China since they were helping the Viet Cong. What a simple-minded fool!

Posted by: objective dem on September 13, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else get the sense that the press is treating Lieberman with a notch less respect than it used to?

He is getting the same amount of respect as his buddy Hannity.

Posted by: gregor on September 13, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

If Joe Lieberman tomorrow announced that Iran had enlisted Cap'n Crunch to lead an armada of invisible aircraft carriers to attack the US with Saddam Hussein's WMDs, the media would report it as the unassailable truth. Any idea that he is given less respect (or considered less "serious") is, as you worry, wishful thinking.

Posted by: Midwest Product on September 13, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

No Kevin, you're not the only one.
I've noticed Joey boy's decent into Dante's inferno and instead of taking a less from it all, he's actually thinking it's a good thing.
What a contemptuous tool.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on September 13, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Dave Broder still likes him. Or why is it that Joe is always "Exhibit One" when "The Dean" calls for "Bipartisanship."

Posted by: richard locicero on September 13, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

[Rolling eyes, embarrassed to be a member of the same tribe as that warmongering old fool]

Here is hoping someone whizzed in his tzimmes yesterday.

Thanks a whole hell of a lot, Connecticut. Give yourselves a collective dope-slap for me, would ya?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 13, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Joke Lieberman is panderer extrordinaire. He knows who writes his paycheck - the mil-industrial complex and Israeli rightwingers. Now, all those in the press willing to stand up to Joe and his power base, please step forward...
Bueller ... anyone...? I didn't think so.

Posted by: jmannyc on September 13, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

If Joe was around during Vietnam, he would be advocating attacking China since they were helping the Viet Cong.

He was around. And taking student deferments. Just like Cheney and Rove.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 13, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

By next year, we can kick Holy Joe out of the caucus.

Posted by: bob on September 13, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

What is the MSM/press these days anyway?

For every coverage that seems like it might be half way factual there are 100 that are written with an agenda.

Joe is a true blue and white Israeli. It seems he promised his money backers a war with Iran if they got him re-elected...that's all he talks about or works on.

In W&M's "Israel Lobby" they named Lieberman, Lantos, Wexler, Waxman and Nadler as among the top Israel/AIPAC activist/enforcers in congress.

I think you are doing some wishful thinking, the MSM is still dominated by the Bomb Iran crowd.

Posted by: Main Street on September 13, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else get the sense that the press is treating Lieberman with a notch less respect than it used to?

Since the corporate press/media held him in worshipful awe as the paragon of thoughtful, principled, bi-partisan virtue, the fact that Lieberman is a notch or two lower hardly means that he and his pronouncements are treated with the contempt and derision they deserve.

And check out the poll results on Open Left: Republicans like him now as much or more as they did in the 2006 election. I am certain that Bush/Cheney feel the same.

I am also certain that a majority of Democratic "leaders" still have nothing but respect for Holy Joe and will never admit that they betrayed their party and their electorate when they ensured his re-election as an independent against the candidate of their own party.

Other than the stand they took on social security, on which they had Republican help, I cannot think of a single moment of decision in the last ten years where the Democratic congressional "leadership" did not completely screw up.

Tell me again why I should give any of them my time, money or vote?

Posted by: James E. Powell on September 13, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

What's perhaps more interesting will be what the Democrats do after November 2008, assuming (as expected) that they pick up a couple of seats in the Senate. Then Lieberman isn't the deciding factor in who has the majority (although he's still important on close votes, cloture, etc.). Will the Senate leadership decide he's not so necessary to be extra special nice to?

Posted by: Not a lawyer, but ... on September 13, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Connecticut:

Birthplace of Bennedict Arnold, George W. Bush, and Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: * on September 13, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Here is hoping someone whizzed in his tzimmes yesterday."

And a Happy New Year to you, too!

Posted by: David in NY on September 13, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Rolling eyes, embarrassed to be a member of the same tribe as that warmongering old fool

Why? The point isn't that you're both Jewish. Are you a whining warmonger who reflexively defends Israel's every action, managing to get it wrong so consistently that you make Israel less safe? No, you are not.

Besides, Joe could never love either Israel or the U.S. as much as he loves himself. He is the Party of One, and one of my major life regrets is that I didn't slap him silly when he was only two feet away from me.

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone read DailyKos today? If Connecticut did it over, HoJo would lose this time to Lamont. Independents hate this war as much as the Democrats do. It's too bad CT didn't wake up ten months ago.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on September 13, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"He was around. And taking student deferments. Just like Cheney and Rove."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.)

Joseph Smith Almighty! Not another one! Got a list somewhere, Blue Girl? These guys need to spend a few months just outside the Green Zone.

Posted by: slanted tom on September 13, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

slanted tom: I recommend Connecticut Bob for all your Lieberman bashing needs. The link goes to a post highlighting Lieberman's anti-anti-war sentiments - in 1965 when he could have played along over there!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 13, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Should we not think about drafting Jews to serve in the Army being that this occupation of Iraq is a bennift to Isreal as much as the united states.And to be fair we will make Holy Joe a Commander of the front line assaut team.

Posted by: john john on September 13, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure I'll have fun at Connecticut Bob's. But I was looking for list of politicians who were draft deferred but are now Iraq war supporters. Those people are dishonorably evil. And you named three.

Posted by: slanted tom on September 13, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

According to the Great Orange Satan, there is buyer's remorse in CT.
Too little, too late: you're screwed, Connecticut.

Posted by: Mike on September 13, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

When you're taking potshots at Connecticut state dems, just remember one thing - Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in the state last Fall and subsequently ran, and WON, as an Independent.

And even though he received some of the Democrats vote in the state (a loyalty factor) it was still a minority compared to the number of Dems who voted for his Democratic opponent, Lemont.

On the other hand, he did receieve a plurality of the vote from the state's G.O.P. voters, thus retaining his seat.

Posted by: ny patriot on September 13, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody needs to write an article, "Is Joe Lieberman Good for the Jews?" The answer right now is a resounding, "No."

Posted by: David in NY on September 13, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

My ears are burning. Is someone using my name in vain? We hear about whether Barak Obama is "black enough." Is Lieberman "stupid enough" to finally run as a Republicun?

Posted by: CT on September 13, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

The whole Lieberman scenario really illustrates how poorly equipped a democracy is to react to individuals and whole parties determined to game the system. There are remedies available but they take too long to implement in a timely fashion when weasels are hard at work.

Posted by: Kenji on September 13, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone else think Lieberman has a pretty good shot of being the Republican VP nominee?

Posted by: Algernon on September 13, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think Romney's too smart to do it, because he'll try to run away from the war. But if it ends up being Rudy, Fred, or McCain, I think this is a serious possibility.

Posted by: Algernon on September 13, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Should we not think about drafting Jews to serve in the Army being that this occupation of Iraq is a bennift to Isreal as much as the united states.

Comments like this, and lesser ones about Joe behaving the way he does because right-wing Israelis pay him to, are why I loathe Joe Lieberman discussions as much as the man himself.

Posted by: Brittain33 on September 13, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

the democratic party should be ashamed of themselves for throwing ned lamont to the wolves during last year's election...they have no one to blame but themselves for lieberman to even be a member of congress. connecticut should hold a recall vote.

Posted by: jackything on September 13, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

they have no one to blame but themselves for lieberman to even be a member of congress.

The guy who went on vacation for a week after squeaking by in the primary, and sat around on the beach eating lobster rolls while Joe Lieberman launched a new campaign and vowed to fight on for "Team Connecticut," bears a little responsibility for losing his election by a relatively large margin of 10 points.

Posted by: Brittain33 on September 13, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just a word from this CT Democrat praising WTIC-AM's Colin McEnroe, who pretty much was the first CT media personality to give up on Joe Lieberman first.

We have a small, almost inbred, media community, in which McEnroe gave up on Blowmentum back when it was not a safe or popular thing to do. He knew Joe for 20 years as a personal friend. Ned Lamont, and the idea that one could trump an incumbent, connected D, due to neglecting his constituency, was not even on the horizon.

Thanks a whole hell of a lot, Connecticut. Give yourselves a collective dope-slap for me, would ya?

BG, don't blame us Nutmegger Dems. Try the pantywaists in the Republican party, and the national Democrats who wouldn't line up behind a primary winner. All those "I know Joe, he's so reasonable" Beltway Inbreds are the epitome of High Broderism.

Posted by: ThresherK on September 13, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Daily Kos commissioned a poll, and it seems that the Connecticut voters feel that they made a mistake. If they could vote today, Ned Lamont would soundly defeat Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 13, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

BG, don't blame us Nutmegger Dems. Try the pantywaists in the Republican party, and the national Democrats who wouldn't line up behind a primary winner. All those "I know Joe, he's so reasonable" Beltway Inbreds are the epitome of High Broderism.

Yes, the national Dems should have come out a lot harder for Lamont.

But getting down to the people who actually voted in this race: Republicans were just being Republicans, supporting one of their own in the form of Joey Leebs. And yes, some Connecticut Dems were stupid and backed Joe, but as has been pointed out, these were probably recipients of Lieberman's pork and mostly old-school Dems who couldn't let go of the Joe they (once kinda sorta) knew.

It's the Connecticut independents who put him over the top, thanks to the--what was it, $13 million? 15?--raised by out-of-state Republicans to support this "Democrat." It's hard to forgive these self-styled iconoclasts for not seeing what was right in front of them. Given Joe's record on the war, why in the world would anyone believe that he was going to support troop withdrawals after the election? It's not like the guy didn't have a record of mendacity, weaseling and self-service a mile long.

Posted by: shortstop on September 13, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman would not be caucusing with the Democrats unless the Republicans want him to.

Posted by: Boronx on September 13, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I did a brush survey of this question in mid-July, to resolve one of those "wishful thinking" questions.

It appeared that JL's media stature was as high or higher than before last year's challenge - and he was just as frequently cited as a exemplar of bipartisan sentiment.

60 days on, has his canoe finally slipped over Media Falls? Let me know what you discover.

Posted by: RonK, Seattle on September 13, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

not much reported but Lieberman joined 23 Republicans to make up the minority of 24 voting to allow Mexican truckers access to American highways. I think there is no sense in which he has any ties to the Democratic Party

Posted by: della Rovere on September 13, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

even disregarding iraq, lieberman deserves derision because he is a sanctimonious prick.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on September 13, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

A fitting end for Lieberman would be to extraordinarily rendite him to Israel to be held in a cell with the recently arrested Jewish neo-nazis.

The trick would be getting Israel to go along. Do you think if we stapled a beard on him that they would believe that he is a Muslim terra-ist?

Posted by: Disputo on September 13, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Don't waste your time. GOP Joe is not worth a Google search.

Posted by: Pansycritter on September 13, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

Joe fits both bills, and he's losing his mind.

Posted by: notthere on September 13, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman's positions and ideas are as likely to harm Israel as they are to harm the US. People who think like him want both the US and Israel to "kick ass", assume that nothing can go wrong, and let others suffer for their ideas.

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 14, 2007 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

I would guess that Petraeus has no wish to be the Custer of the 21st century, and that he will put a stop to any plans afoot.

Posted by: bob h on September 14, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK
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