Archive - Jun 19, 2006

Knowing Is None Of The Battle

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Memo to Joystick Joe: TOLD YOU SO.

If you ever want a definition for "ahead of the curve", just think of me and Joe Lieberman. I mean, not to toot my own horn, but I can date my leftist disillusionment with Lieberman back to at LEAST 1998, and that's with documentation. It predates that by at least several years.

I based this on a simple truth I knew even then. Any politician looking to make hay about violent video games either had problems with his brain, or was pandering to people with problems with their brains. And either one has always elicited my particular brand of disapproval.

So it's nice to finally see a critical mass of you people on board at last. Lieberman's in the midst of a tough primary challenge in Connecticut, facing off against Ned Lamont, who is making the astonishing claim that for a Democrat, Joe Lieberman sure does love fake family values, attacking the entertainment industry, cozying up to Bill Bennett, and kissing Dubya's ass.

I've often believed that if you want to know what a person is really like, poke them with a stick a few times. Literally or metaphorically, how people respond when bumped out of their comfort zone is a pretty solid indicator of their character. And judging by the past few weeks, I was right all along - Joe Lieberman's a putz.

Our first example came early last week, from the mouth of Lieberman ally John F. Droney Jr. Droney suggested out loud what's been rumored for months - that Lieberman may ditch the Democratic party and try running as an independent if he gets shot down in the primary. But Droney used some interesting language while doing so. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I think to be terrorized through the summer by an extremely small group of the Democratic Party, much less the voting population, is total insanity for a person who is a three-term senator."

Yes, you read that right. Droney compared being criticized by the Democrats, and potentially being unseated in a primary, to BEING TERRORIZED. I know the victory rate of incumbents is crazy high, but I didn't think it had actually been enshrined as part of the American way of life. I can only assume the voters hate Lieberman for his freedoms.

Lieberman's camp quickly disavowed Droney's suggestion, but an interesting thing happened. Some part of Droney's message must have struck a chord with Joystick Joe. Check out this quote that appeared yesterday in the Washington Post. ACTUAL JOEMENTUM TIME!

""I know I'm taking a position that is not popular within the party. But that is a challenge for the party -- whether it will accept diversity of opinion or is on a kind of crusade or jihad of its own to have everybody toe the line. No successful political party has ever done that."

Mmmm. Jihad. Is there a single more loaded word in the language circa 2006? OK, maybe "pedophile", but "jihad" is much more versatile. You can just slide it into a sentence the way Joe did, and all of a sudden, your opponents are sporting full beards and kaffiyeh. It's not that he's built up a critical mass of positions over the past decade that has caused his constituents and observers on the left to decide he no longer represents them. Oh, no. Joe Lieberman is being personally terrorized by jihadists!

And if that isn't enough to convince you that Lieberman's a bit desperate and defensive. you should see his latest campaign ad. It's a cartoon. Literally a cartoon.

In it, a bandaged-up bear representing Lowell Weicker* exhorting Neil Lamont to run against Lieberman because the Weickerbear is still bitter over losing his senate seat to Lieberman 18 years ago. Lamont is portrayed as a squeaky-voiced bear cub under Weicker's thrall (and also secretly a Republican). I. Shit. You. Not. I shit you so not that I'm going to link to the ad, which I normally eschew. Because even I can't describe the amateur-hour smear campaign Joe's put out there to try to save his ass from the fire. It's like a bad editorial cartoon come to life.

Apparently it's supposed to echo a similar ad from the 1988 campaign that portrayed Weicker as a fat lazy bear. I'm guessing Joe had a staffer visit a Hot Topic, and the staffer reported that the kids today, between rounds of bloody murder simulators, just can't get enough of shitty 80s cartoons.

Still, it's nice to see Joe running on the issues - if you're in Connecticut, and you're concerned about squeaky-voiced jihadists under the command of injured bears terrorizing our incumbent senators by daring to vote against them, by all means, raise your voice and shout. YO JOE!

*Moderate Republican / independent and part of CT politics for decades.