« The Reverse Lieberman Maneover | Main | Bolton Time »

Stand With Dogmatic Leftism!

Saith the Moose:

If the plutocratic G.O.P. is ever to be defeated, Democrats will have to win the confidence of the American people that they are a tough party that will vanquish our enemies. That is why Joe Lieberman is so vital to the donkey. If those on the left have their honest disagreements with him or any other Democrat, that is fair and to be expected. However, the Moose would argue that those voices on the left who would transform the party into a dogmatically left-wing party serve the wishes of Rove and company in a profoundly significant way.
That's all true, except for the part about Joe Lieberman. I've been, shall we say, reporting on the subject of efforts to dump Joe. Most of the people involved have serious disagreements with Lieberman about national security policy, but also recognize that a range of views on this subject is inevitable and, to some extent, desirable. Their security-related complaint with Joe is that he's soft on torture. If the Moose wants to stand with Lieberman on this subject, he ought to say so. Beyond that, people don't like what Lieberman did with the bankruptcy bill, people don't like him playing footsie with Bush on Social Security, and people don't like him cozying up to the likes of Sean Hannity. Meeting the standard of being against torture, for Social Security, and against putting the squeeze on debtors is hardly an exacting standard of ideological rigitidy. Barbara Boxer meets the standard, but so does Evan Bayh. It's Ted Kennedy and it's Byron Dorgan. Some products really won't sell outside the big cities of the coasts, and one should guard against excessive rigitidy in a party that's going to have to be a coalition between self-described liberals and self-described moderates if it's going to build a majority.

I don't really think Joe Lieberman needs to be hounded out of the party, but at the same time I'm quite glad he's facing some pressure to stay on the reservation as we head through this Social Security debate. If he pulls the trigger, then he's mud in my book, and in that of a lot of other Democrats. The DLC has gone on at great length -- and persuasively -- about the need to close key gaps on culture and security, but this is economics. You don't defeat "the plutocratic GOP" by selling out to it on the plutocracy's key issues.

March 14, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345160fd69e200d834229cf953ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stand With Dogmatic Leftism!:

» Joesdive from Politics and War
Response to Marshall Whitman's defense of Lieberman has not been positive. (See: Ezra, Matt, Atrios, and Brad.) I agree with all of them, but I especially want to expand on Ezra's sentiments. I want to start by telling a little... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 15, 2005 4:12:58 PM

» Joesdive from Politics and War
Response to Marshall Whitman's defense of Lieberman has not been positive. (See: Ezra, Matt, Atrios, and Brad.) I agree with all of them, but I especially want to expand on Ezra's sentiments. I want to start by telling a little... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 15, 2005 4:13:57 PM

» Joesdive from Politics and War
Response to Marshall Whitman's defense of Lieberman has not been positive. (See: Ezra, Matt, Atrios, and Brad.) I agree with all of them, but I especially want to expand on Ezra's sentiments. I want to start by telling a little... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 15, 2005 4:16:03 PM

Comments

we might also note his squishiness on his very own homeland security concept (although actually, of course, it was a terrible concept) when bush used it as a means of playing anti-union games.

i'm a big fan of the moose, but yes, he's got to do some more homework about lieberman and why people have learned to dislike him so much.

Posted by: howard | Mar 14, 2005 10:28:27 AM

OK, I'm just an amused observer, not someone who can get too deeply involved in these things, but this seems to me to be just plain wrong:

Their security-related complaint with Joe is that he's soft on torture.

Their "security-related complaint" is that Joe supported the war. Secondarily, it is that he strongly supports Israel (rather than the Palestinians).

What's the support for my position? That all of these "Dump Joe" people hated him long before we heard anything about Abu Ghraib - witness the loathing he inspired in the Democratic primaries.

Posted by: Al | Mar 14, 2005 10:34:55 AM

Lieberman also has a holier-than-thou way of talking that people just don't like. But he gets invited on tons of TV shows, because he reliably crunches his own team. And quite frankly because Fox can count on him to make the Democrats look bad. He Senator Colmes.

But he's a media hog, who just eats up the attention. So what are the Democrats going to do with him? That's the issue that Bull Moose and the rest of DLC'ers never address: he's a terrible mouth-piece.

And yes, Biden really isn't much use either.

Posted by: Smauel Knight | Mar 14, 2005 10:40:31 AM

If the plutocratic G.O.P. is ever to be defeated, Democrats will have to win the confidence of the American people that they are a tough party that will vanquish our enemies.

1> Which enemies? The Iranians? The Chinese? The Greys? The actual South? Michael Moore? Patrick Buchanan? Etc.?

2> To be perceived as tough, you have to BE tough.

Some products really won't sell outside the big cities of the coasts

Yes. Is Joe Lieberman a product that sells outside of Washington, D.C., and NYC? If anybody answers yes to that question, can you tell me what you're smoking and where I can get some to sell? That'll make me a lot of money.

Clearly tho, the indications are that what pro-Joe Schmoe muckety-mucks think America wants is the same as what DC & NYC Republicans tell them Americans want.

Do I need to point out how entirely brain-damaged this is?

That is why Joe Lieberman is so vital to the donkey.

"If you won't [goddamn] fight, what [fuckin'] good are ye, then?"

[On second thought, I'm not being blunt enough] Josh Marshall has BALLS. Joe Lieberman apparently was forced to consume his at Republican Party Cabal meeting.


ash
['Grrrrr.']

Posted by: ash | Mar 14, 2005 10:42:17 AM

"I don't really think Joe Lieberman needs to be hounded out of the party."
Few want him hounded out of the party. Out of the Senate, now, that's different. He can vote Democrat till his dying days, just like me, and more power to him. He did good, quite a bit, back when. I don't think he has any interest in going GOP.

Posted by: John Isbell | Mar 14, 2005 10:45:54 AM

Their security-related complaint with Joe is that he's soft on torture.

One other thing: what exactly is the evidence that Joe is "soft on torture"? The only thing I'm aware of is that he said, at one hearing, one time, that the abuse was very very bad and we are right to apologize for it, but he added that other bad people have done bad things to us for which they never apologized. Is there anything else? Because, I mean, that's very, very flimsy evidence of being "soft" on torture. What else is there?

Posted by: Al | Mar 14, 2005 10:46:06 AM

Good title btw.

Posted by: John Isbell | Mar 14, 2005 10:46:27 AM

Al, for the record, don't be silly: the Democrats nominated someone who supported the war. there were a lot of people who took on that foolish position and that's life.

and yes, the democratic party is just full of israel-haters, of course. Absolutely. we see them everywhere.

whereas here in reality land, lieberman had his choice on gonzalez and he made the wrong one so that some moderate republicans would pat him on the head and say "good dog." that's the problem.

the rest is your amused fantasy.

Posted by: howard | Mar 14, 2005 10:47:21 AM

The Moose is insufferable.

If the plutocratic G.O.P. is ever to be defeated

Please. Would the Moose please stop pretending that his problem with the GOP is anything other than the fact that he got his ass kicked out the party by a bunch of people who were tougher than he is.

Fortunately for him (but unfortunately for us) the Democrats still give the Moose the time of day. That is kind of nice. It feeds his ego and makes him feel like a player even if Karl Rove would laugh at his sorry ass if he registered on the radar. The only downside is that those pesky Democrats keep talking about Democratic issues. Sheesh! Would someone tell them to shut up already?

The Moose has a fantasy where he can reshape the Democratic party into the GOP...only he's running the show instead of those arrogant, "plutocrats" from Texas.

If the plutocratic G.O.P. is ever to be defeated, Democrats will have to win the confidence of the American people that they are a tough party that will vanquish our enemies.

Earth to Moose. The Democrats will never win the confidence of the American people if they support, as Lieberman has, half-baked neoconservative pipe-dreams implemented using George W. Bush's faith-based management techniques because that road does NOT lead to vanquishing our enemies.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe, Bush is on to something. In which case, could the Moose do us all a favor and just switch to the GOP? I'm not saying he should be kicked out. But for God's sake, if there was a party that I believed was vastly superior in terms of making America safe, I would probably support that party and have my "honest disagreements" within the party with regard to the bankruptcy bill or other lesser issues.

Posted by: space | Mar 14, 2005 10:51:41 AM

The problem with the Moose is simple: He wants to be a Republican, but they've gotten too damn crazy and inept to vote for.

He wants the Dems to become what the Republicans [i]were[/i], back before they went over the edge.

The problem there is simple -- between party identity and the Religious Right, there simply [i]aren't[/i] enough "Sane Republicans" (like the Moose) to elect anyone.

Following Lieberman is just another way towards electoral defeat -- we won't get enough crossover votes from the GOP (those that were going to get off that trainwreck already have) to offset what we lose from the left. Maybe if party identity weren't so strong, or if the GOP wasn't quite as good at masking it's wingnuttery, someone with Lieberman's voting record would have a chance.

As for Lieberman personally, it's time he picks a side.

Posted by: Morat | Mar 14, 2005 10:52:10 AM

It isn't surprising that Al can't recognize whether Lieberman is soft on torture, seeing as how Al is not only objectively pro-torture. He is also subjectively pro-torture.

Posted by: JP | Mar 14, 2005 10:57:04 AM

Is Joe Lieberman a product that sells outside of Washington, D.C., and NYC?

What? You question Joe "Nascar" Lieberman's heartland bona fides?

If anybody answers yes to that question, can you tell me what you're smoking and where I can get some to sell? That'll make me a lot of money.

By the way it's called Laughing Buddah and I like to pick it up in Amsterdam.

Posted by: space | Mar 14, 2005 10:57:35 AM

I used to like the Moose very much, but he clearly got played by Lieberman's transparently disingenuous manuever. If he'd own up to it, if he had a post that said, "I guess I made a mistake", I wouldn't have the serious reservations about his judgement that I do now....

Posted by: sglover | Mar 14, 2005 11:00:32 AM

the Democrats nominated someone who supported the war

Kerry supported the war??? Stop the presses! Really, that's a pretty silly thing to say, howard.

But I think I mistyped anyway. I should have said that Democrats don't like Joe because he STILL supports the war. I think most Democrats forgive Dem Senators who voted for the war resolution in 2002 as long as they came out later (certainly before the 2004 primary) and said that the war was a big mistake. Joe not only didn't say that the war was a mistake, but he said that he still supports it. THAT is the big issue with JOE, at least from my outsider position.

Also, I don't think that voting for Gonzales can be described as the reason that Joe is "soft on torture", since I don't see any "Dump Mary Landieu" or "Dump Bill Nelson" websites...

Posted by: Al | Mar 14, 2005 11:01:36 AM

Well, of course, the Moose is simply begging the question here. Lieberman voted against the horrible bankruptcy bill, and issued a press release denouncing the bill, which the Moose quoted admiringly as an example of true progressivism.

All very well, except that Lieberman voted with the Republicans on cloture for the bankruptcy bill, thus helping to ensure its passage.

The linked post is the Moose's response to all the criticism he drew for his post about Lieberman and the bankruptcy bill. It looks like the Moose still hasn't figured out how Lieberman played him for a fool--except that the Moose is too smart and too savy about politics not to have figured the whole thing out long ago.

Theodore Roosevelt, the Moose's hero, would have pointed out that Lieberman has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair . . .

Posted by: rea | Mar 14, 2005 11:05:05 AM

Lieberman's a man who's in dire need of either a strong primary opponent or an invitation from the GOP to switch parties. His support of the bankruptcy bill is a disgrace. His waffling on Social Security is unacceptable. And his personal vanity, is, well typically Senatorial. We don't need someone who is absent whenever the party needs it and annoyingly present when it doesn't.


Go away, little man.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Mar 14, 2005 11:11:23 AM

Yeah, tough to be a moderate Republican these days - no one wants you in their party.

Well, he could join Sen. Jeffords in his 'party of one'. Or he might want to wait for 5 minutes until the Democrats move further to the right.

Posted by: abb1 | Mar 14, 2005 11:13:37 AM

The other thing that irritates me to no end is the Moose's attempts to co-op the "vital center" for himself.

Moose, many of your critics are just as "centrist" as you are. We agree with you on most ideological issues. We just beleive that you (and Al From) are LOSERS with incredibly bad political instincts and not a lot of integrity. Pointing this out doesn't make us A.N.S.W.E.R.-supporting lefty ideologues. It just means that we see the stupidity in publicly kissing your political opponents on the floor of Congress and trying to remain a viable opposition party.

Posted by: space | Mar 14, 2005 11:17:06 AM

I disagree entirely. The dems have triangulated for so long now without standing up charismatically and forcefully for our own principles, that every step Lieberman takes reaffirms the Limbaughian smears for the populace.

What libs and dems need is not more triangulation, but more forceful arguments and stands for what it is we do stand for.

Loud and proud.

Posted by: jerry | Mar 14, 2005 11:17:47 AM

Is Joe Lieberman a product that sells outside of Washington, D.C., and NYC?

He sells very well in South Florida, which is why Gore won the state in 2000.

That's all I'm going to say in his defense, because I'm certainly not going to defend him on the merits. I don't like the guy any more than most other Democrats.

There are Democrats who like Joe Lieberman, and in 2000 he was a positive factor. I don't see how he is a positive factor going forward. That said, from Daily Kos I've seen that a lot of the Dump Lieberman sentiment also originates in people who hate him for being "strongly pro-Israel Likudnik" who is supported by "pro-Israel individuals outside of Connecticut" so if he loses a primary on those terms it is overall a negative for the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Brittain33 | Mar 14, 2005 11:18:28 AM

Brittain33:

Is your point that it is untrue that Lieberman receives significant pro-Sharon support from outside CT and the charges are anti-semitic slurs? Or are you saying that he does and is pro-Sharon, but that those are good things and it would be bad for the Democrats to oppose pro-Sharon policies?

Posted by: space | Mar 14, 2005 11:25:11 AM

The complaints against Joe Lieberman are almost entirely ofthe sort that he is bad politically for the Democrats. I think he had a decent schtick with the pious moderate thing, but ever since Cheney played him in that VP debate, he has shown a complete inability to recognize just how he is being played -- often basking in the spot light that (R)s are using to play him against his party.
Politically, I am not sure what dumping Joe gets Democrats. Granted he is disastorous any time he appears in the media, but he has crafted hhis image so that if he does lose a primary battle, people that do not pay much attention will take his losing that the Democrats are not moderates (from my experience with independents that pay only marginal attention to politics, Joe Lieberman is highly regarded).
What to do? I think this is where Reid needs to show some leadership, sit down with Joe and explain to him just how Republicans are owning him, and create a situation that allows Joe is precious spotlight and his moderate image while at the same time helping the party as a whole: Something along the lines of Joementum using his piousness to be truly outraged but what has become of the Republican party under Tom Delay.

Posted by: theCoach | Mar 14, 2005 11:27:32 AM

Seriously, we need to band together and stop The Moose from referring to himself in third person, again and again and again, as "The Moose." It is stupid. That kind of communication hasn't been effective since Bo Jackson.

This is a much bigger problem than Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: mikey | Mar 14, 2005 11:32:19 AM

My point is that Lieberman is supported by Jews for a variety of reasons, some of which are related to Israel in a vague sense and almost none of which are related to Sharon's specific policies. I think it's bad when people obsess about Lieberman as the epitome of evil because of issues relating to Israel, when a) he's a bad Democrat for lots of other reasons and b) almost every politician in America is effectively pro-Sharon. Yes, it bothers me. I think it betrays tunnel vision on the part of people of good will and good intent who are looking for an easy enemy and will project everything onto the one man. When people in South Florida look at Lieberman and think "what a nice man, he's making me proud to vote Democratic" they're not thinking of whatever the IDF did last week. Yet that's how their contributions and votes get categorized.

Also, being "pro-Sharon" today means something very different from what it meant a year ago, when Sharon was rather unambiguously a force for continued stasis/violence instead of someone who is now pursuing a much more complex agenda. An agenda that people who strongly support Palestinians will disagree with, but also an agenda that radical Israeli settlers disagree with, and one that offers the hope of moving us out of the current mess with the Palestinian leadership playing a role in the process.

Posted by: Brittain33 | Mar 14, 2005 11:32:50 AM

theCoach:

I think you are basically right. Except that I fear that the window of opportunity to save Joementum has passed. I fear that too much bad blood has passed between Joe and the grass roots to stave off a primary challenge. Too bad Daschle couldn't have sat the guy down two years ago.

Having said that, I hardly fear a moderate backlash. Does Lieberman receive undeserved marks from uninformed moderates? Sure. But a primary challenger could EASILY frame himself as a LOYAL moderate.

Remember, the key to triangulation is that you have to distance yourself from both sides, the GOP and the extremists in your party. You are no longer triangulating if you are smooching George Bush.

Posted by: space | Mar 14, 2005 11:36:24 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.