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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Paul Bass rips into Lieberman in Courant Op-Ed

WOW Paul, tell us how you really feel about DINO Joe.
Medical researchers have identified a host of causes for amnesia, from encephalitis to traumatic brain injury.

I've discovered another cause: political campaigns.

Exhibit A: The current campaign in Connecticut for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

In the wake of challenger Ned Lamont's surprisingly strong showing at last month's Democratic convention, the race has begun to take shape. Both candidates are trying to define the race - and each other - early. Lamont seeks to cast incumbent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an out-of-touch apologist and crucial helper of President Bush's Iraq war and environmental, economic and health-care policies. Lieberman seeks to identify his opponent as an out-of-touch plutocrat. (Lamont, a tech entrepreneur, is worth between $90 million and $300 million.)

Meanwhile, in ads and public statements, Lieberman portrays himself as Regular Joe, a fighter for the little guy, in touch with blue-state Connecticut and mainstream Democrats on all issues except Iraq.
NOTE: When I read the above statement that I highlighted in bold, I spilled my coffee on myself and freaked my wife out. I mean really, Joe LIEberman being a "regular" guy is like saying Paris Hilton is a good role model for kids.

Now back to the program...
And somehow we - not just Lieberman - keep a straight face, as if he hadn't just spent 18 years helping Republicans hijack the Constitution and pick on little guy after little guy.

[...]

The Bush administration values Joe Lieberman because he has been a crucial ally in efforts to free Enron-style corporate crooks from regulation, transfer wealth to the wealthy, hound gays, trample on the rights of government critics and sacrifice the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis to dishonest, dangerous military adventurism.

Lieberman understands how, in campaigns, you can make people forget all that. You can change the subject by making fun of your opponent for being rich. Then, with millions of dollars from wealthy donors, you can reinvent your record.

Watching Lieberman and Lamont these past few weeks, I had to wonder: Am I the one with amnesia?

So I went up to the attic and pulled out my Lieberman file, with clippings and documents collected from covering him during his three terms in Washington.
It's always a bad sign when Bass goes for the news clippings...this guy is good as you'll see.
It was true. My memory was faulty. I had remembered that, out of the eye of voters back home, Lieberman developed working alliances with the most hypocritical and dangerous right-wingnuts like Ralph Reed and Charles Murray and Bill Bennett. But I had forgotten just how extensive a record he had accumulated.
Now hold on folks, this is where Bass does his magic...
I had forgotten how he played the leading role in 1993 to thwart Democrats who tried to close loopholes allowing companies to cook the books on millions of dollars of stock options. Thus began the regulatory abandonment that spawned Enron and its sibling rip-offs.

I had forgotten how that same year, Lieberman joined with Republican Sen. Alphonse M. D'Amato of New York and against Democrats to "work the cloakrooms" of the Senate, in the words of a news account, to "line up unanimous support so that a tax break eagerly sought by the real estate industry could be passed without senators having to vote on the record."

How many Connecticut Democrats remember that their senator was one of only two Democrats who voted with Republicans in 1995 to kill a lobbyist-gift ban? Or that he called affirmative action "un-American?" Or that in August 1994 he voted in favor of a proposal by Republican Jesse Helms to cut off all federal money from schools that offer counseling to suicidal gay teens by referring them to gay support groups or in any way suggesting it's OK to be gay?
Ahem, Human Rights Campaign, did you catch that? Joe's anti-GAY!!!!
Or that Gov. John Rowland and Lieberman had the same fundraiser, Michael Lewan, raising the same campaign cash from the same fat cats, because, as Lewan told the Courant, "they're two like-minded guys?"

Did most Connecticut Democrats even know that Lieberman helped Lynne Cheney found a McCarthy-style group called the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which hounded liberal university professors for criticizing American foreign policy, including the president of Wesleyan University?

No wonder Lieberman could vote to confirm an attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, who wrote the legal opinion excusing torture. Most recently, Gonzalez threatened to start prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information in order to silence government critics. But that was weeks ago. The new Fightin' Joe is on our side. A real Democrat.

Now it's true that Lieberman earns high marks on Democratic interest group "report cards." That's because he plays a shell game in which liberal interest groups are complicit. He gets the "right" mark for voting against Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, for instance. But he gives the Bush administration the vote it needs to make Alito a judge, by voting to stop a filibuster.

Similarly, he held back on voting for Clarence Thomas's nomination until the first Bush administration saw it had the votes. Then Lieberman could safely vote against Thomas and earn the "right" grade.
Oh, I can't take it any longer. Bass is ripped DINO Joe apart and believe me, he just got started. Go give his op-ed a full read to get the full effect. While you're at it, go to his website and show him some love as he's pushing online media into the mainstream with the New Haven Independent.

...and for goodness sakes, whatever you do, don't give this guy a hard time on the phone. You've been warned.