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Thursday, August 10, 2006

White House, GOP and national media support their man

Oh, who didn't see this one coming?
Karl Rove, a close advisor to the President, has expressed interest in assisting Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in retaining his seat, despite a loss in the Democratic Primary last night, ABC News has reported.

Rove was, according to the report, acting on behalf of President Bush.

George Stephanopoulos, writing for the World Newser blog at ABC, wrote that a Lieberman aide had shared with the news agency a message from the White House: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do."


The White House might help Lieberman by putting the kibosh on any move to replace the weak Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, with a stronger candidate.

And it might be able to convince Schlesinger to drop out of the race and endorse Lieberman in the final week or two, when it's too late for another candidate to fill the GOP slot. A quiet White House effort to steer some money in Lieberman's direction is another possibility.

If you think Lieberman and the Republicans aren't working together, you're fooling yourself. You know Lieberman approved the following messages...

At breakfast time, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman was in Cleveland, decrying "an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism, and a blame- America-first attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous." In early afternoon, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow told reporters in Crawford, Tex.: "It's a defining moment for the Democratic Party, whose national leaders now have made it clear that if you disagree with the extreme left in their party they're going to come after you." And an hour or so later, Vice President Cheney told wire-service reporters in a conference call: "It's an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy."
So now let me get this straight...a vote for Lamont is a vote for Al Qaeda?

Will someone please tell me why the media prints this garbage without challenging the messenger? I mean really, printing a string of GOP talking points is outrageous and insulting to the record number of people who came out to vote and give Joe Lieberman is pink slip on Tuesday. After years of Republicans misleading the public with the assistance of certain media outlets (FOXNews, NBC), reporters (Judith Miller) and pundits (Armstrong Williams), you would think the mainstream media would have the courage to set the record straight regarding Lieberman.

Mike Allen should be ashamed of himself. He should know better than drinking the kool-aid from Rove and Melhman and writing such a obvious smear piece on Democrats. Unlike Allen, Democrats in Connecticut proved Tuesday that they aren't fools and won't fall for these silly Rove tactics.

Fortunately, Josh Marshall nails it with his analysis of the fall of Lieberman.

What's really sad is that the nexus of national press and political operative bigwigs really needs to get over itself a bit here. Because once they do, they may actually be able to get over Joe Lieberman.

Joe Lieberman is not a world-historical figure.

He's not fighting some long twilight struggle.

He thinks he's both. But he's not.

I really don't think the Missouri senate race is going to turn on Jim Talent challenging Claire McCaskill on whether she'll endorse Ned Lamont and abandon Joe Lieberman. I don't think most voters around the country really know or care that much about Joe Lieberman. And to the extent that they know who he is, outside of the committed partisans on both sides, they don't realize or think or imagine (as the Russert/Kristol/Matalin/Broder axis does) that he's this symbolically resonant figure on whom the fate of the nation may alas rest.

The heart of the matter here is that everyone knows Joe in DC. They like him. They think he's a nice guy, which he is. His staff likes him, which also makes him seem like a nice guy. He's schmoozed the city for two decades.

But really he's just a pol who ignored his constituents, went into serious denial about a major foreign policy disaster, was more lockstep with the president's non-policy than many Republicans, and got bounced by his constituents.

That's politics. And that's accountability. And, really? It's not that big a deal.

Many Americans are not comfortable with the idea of just pulling out of Iraq. But the war is really unpopular. I think most Americans realize that the president thinks his Iraq policy is a rousing success and most Democrats don't. They get that. They see it. They understand it. If Republicans think the Martyrdom of Joe is going to be their killer issue, let them have at it. They're trying to knock the Dems off their stride but they're showing their desperation. The whole thing is, in both the most serious and frivolous senses of the word, a joke.

Amen Josh!