the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
I’m trying to avoid posting too often about the Connecticut Senate race, but sometimes Lieberman’s buffoonery (along with my interest in a state where I lived for a while) makes it impossible to resist. The Lieberman campaign has released a new ad that’s being ridiculed across the web (including some YouTube comments that were deleted).
The strangest thing about the ad, aside from its lack of content, is that it features a sunset — not be the best image for a politician who’s trying to convince people that he’s not in the twilight of his Senate career. When asked about the image, Dan Gerstein, Lieberman’s communications director, true to form, lies through his teeth:
In an interview, Gerstein took issue with the idea that the sun is setting. “It’s actually a sunrise,” Gerstein said. “It’s very much a sunrise.”
Judge for yourself. Here are two images, the first from 10 seconds into the ad, the second from 23 seconds:
If the Lieberman campaign thinks the sun gets lower when it’s rising, it’s no wonder their campaign is in trouble.
For further confirmation that the image is a sunset, and far from Connecticut, commenter JeffW at MyDD discovered that the ad uses segments of two stock video clips from Getty Images. The first clip is described as “Wide shot sun setting over ocean / birds walking along water’s edge / Santa Barbara”, while the second is “Wide shot sun setting behind clouds with ocean in foreground / Santa Barbara, California”. So give it up, Dan — it’s a sunset.
Update (8:49 pm): Gerstein admits it’s a sunset.
Via Atrios, I see that Joe Lieberman has an op-ed in the Hartford Courant this morning. The overall theme of the piece — that Lieberman, the 18-year incumbent, is an agent of change, while Ned Lamont represents the status quo — is ridiculous enough, but the passage about Iraq is delusional:
I believe that the best way for us to win the war in Iraq is to come together — the administration, Congress, and Republicans and Democrats — to find a solution that will allow our troops to come home with Iraq united and free, with the Middle East stable and the terrorists denied a victory [and everyone getting a pony].
Lieberman is asking us, like the White Queen, to believe six impossible things before breakfast:
The Lieberman-Lamont primary has certainly had an effect on Rahm Emanuel, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. On Friday, days before the primary, he was already pretty harsh on Lieberman:
What’s playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening.
Then right after Lamont’s win, he got harsher:
This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means. […] This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.
If this keeps up, I may have to reconsider my moratorium on donating to the DCCC.
And Emanuel is one of the DLC folks. If he’s really feeling this way about standing up to Bush now, maybe he can put in a word for cutting off the DLC’s support of Marshall Wittmann, who has no business being a spokesperson for any Democratic organization. Wittmann is an independent who doesn’t even claim to be a Democrat, and he goes much farther than Lieberman ever has in bashing Democrats as weak on security for not falling into line behind Bush.
The Lieberman-Lamont race has driven Wittmann into hiding, or at least taking a vacation from his Bull Moose blog. It would be great if he could come back from vacation to find his walking papers from the DLC.
Update: I forgot to mention that Wittmann adopted the fashionable new insult “nutroots” last month, thus enhancing the already high standards of his prose.
[N]o matter what happens later today, Wednesday will be the worst day of press for the progressive netroots in years. If Lamont loses, we will be branded as ineffectual, irrelevant, extremist, and destructive. If Ned Lamont wins, we will be branded as powerful, relevant, extremist, and destructive. Both descriptions are inaccurate and unfair because this goes so far beyond the blogosphere, but if I have to choose I would much rather have the second one be the story. If we are going to get trashed and be forced to take credit for the fantastic work of others, I would at least like to get trashed as powerful and relevant.
Things are going to get ugly (or uglier).
When Lamont’s challenge to Lieberman started, I thought at least that by giving Lieberman a scare we could get him to stop being such a Bush enabler. How wrong I was! Via Americablog I see that even now, on the verge of losing the primary, Lieberman is out there trashing Democrats, spreading the Republicans’ message that anyone opposed to the Iraq war is weak on defense and can’t be trusted:
[Lieberman] said a victory for Lamont will send a message to the country: “In the Democratic Party, there’s no room for strong-on-security Dems.” He said that would be disastrous for the Democrats. “You can’t win in this country,” he said, “unless you assure people” that you aren’t going to compromise on national security. He said he has backed the war on terror because he never forgets about the “radical Islamic terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and want to do it again.”
It’s going to be a nail-biting evening.
“I am not a crook.”
Gave resignation speech on August 8, 1974.
Will give concession speech on August 8, 2006?
Inspired by a comment from Bemused. The story at that link is interesting too.
You’d think that someone occupying a prominent position within a political party — say, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee or president of the United States — wouldn’t have to think very long about whether to support that party’s candidate in an election (barring criminality, terminal kookiness, or something equally disastrous). But within the past week both Senator Chuck Schumer and President George Bush have danced around answering the question of whether they’d support their own parties’ candidates if Joe Lieberman decided to run as an independent in the Connecticut Senate Race.
Last night at DC Drinking Liberally Thursday we got Timberlake’s to turn on MSNBC so we could watch the debate in Connecticut between Bush’s best friend among Senate Democrats, Joe Lieberman, and his primary opponent, Ned Lamont. Yes, it cut into our time for socializing, but everyone was eager to see how the challenger stood up to the senator. I was worried about Lamont for the first few minutes, but he quickly got more comfortable and easily held his own even though Lieberman is much more experienced with debating and with being on television. And in this situation, holding his own is a win.
A few more observations:
For coverage of the race, I’ve been reading LamontBlog (currently featuring a disturbing shirtless Cheney, but that will pass), ConnecticutBlog, and the community site My Left Nutmeg, as well as the official Lamont campaign blog.
If you think liberal bloggers are hard on Joe Lieberman, check out this piece by Paul Bass from the Hartford Courant.
If you’re tired of Lieberman and are in the DC area, you have an opportunity to meet the man who hopes to put an end to his time in the Senate as Bush’s favorite Democrat. Ned Lamont, a Democrat who’s running in the August 8 primary, will be at the Take Back America conference:
Tuesday, June 13, 5-7pm
Solar Suite, Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
You don’t have to go to the conference to attend the event. Donations are requested, but you’re welcome to come and support Lamont even if you can’t afford to give.
Chris Bowers at MyDD wrote yesterday about how the media portray Ned Lamont’s primary challenge against Joe Lieberman as an attempt by extremists to purge the party of anyone deviating from their liberal beliefs, but never have similar stories about primary challenges from the right. This morning NPR’s Morning Edition had a story headlined “Democratic Hawk Faces Antiwar Primary Challenger” about Marcy Winograd’s primary challenge to Rep. Jane Harman in California. It followed the script described by Bowers, so I decided to use the contact form to send a letter to NPR:
The story by Rachael Myrow highlighted the primary challenge to Jane Harman, as well as mentioning the challenge to Lieberman, and portrayed this exercise of democracy within the system as an attempt to purge the party of anyone disagreeing with the liberals.
If such a purge is going on, it’s certainly not getting very far. Liberals are not at all in control of the Democratic Party.
Will you have a similar story about the primary challenge to Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island? It’s much more likely to succeed than the one against Harman, and it’s much easier to make a case that Republican conservatives are purging moderates from their party. It seems that you’re depicting liberals as unreasonable extremists tearing their party apart, while finding the same behavior by conservatives perfectly acceptable.
Today is Joe Lieberman’s 64th birthday. Wonder if he can make it through the day without opening his mouth to support George Bush or attack Howard Dean or otherwise help the Republican Party or hurt the Democrats?
This year Lieberman has a richly deserved primary challenge from Ned Lamont. Lamont’s campaign is just getting under way, but it’s looking better than some expected. Lieberman is much more popular among Republicans than among Democrats, but Republicans don’t get to vote in the primary. Even if Lamont doesn’t win, it’s important to at least give Lieberman a scare to get him to think about the effect of his statements before speaking.
If you want to celebrate Joe’s birthday, consider a gift to the Lamont campaign — perhaps through the ActBlue Netroots page (where you can also give to former Texas congressman Ciro Rodriguez to help him regain his seat from Henry Cuellar, who seems a little confused about what party he’s in).
To learn more about the Lamont campaign, come to next week’s DC for Democracy meeting (Wednesday, March 1, at 7pm at Ben’s Chili Bowl), where a Lamont staffer will explain their strategy and answer questions.
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