Nancy Johnson strikes out
She's no batter, she's no batter...SSSWWIINNNGG batter!
I had an oppurtunity to interview Ned Lamont in Danbury today (with the assistance of the great CTBob) and during the interview (which will be posted tomorrow), Ned challenges Joe Lieberman to an "old fashion kitchen table" debate.
...and while I'm at it, can you ask Joe these easy questions.
Will Joe support the winner of the primary?
Will Joe deny that he's planning to jump ship and run as an independent?
Joe, Ned's ready to debate. Are you ready to take him up on his offer?
(cross post from Hat City Blog)
Please read Spazeboy's account of his meeting with President Bush's favorite Democrat. It's by far one of the best pieces I've ever read and I sincerly hope his post is picked up by the national blogs.
Immediately, the Senator was mobbed by cameras and reporters outside. I later heard that three Lamont supporters met Joe outside and asked him about setting up debates with Ned Lamont, but I could neither see nor hear this from my table. Meanwhile, the patrons all around me were finishing their meals and leaving. I thought they simply could not wait to speak with Senator Lieberman, but watched as they worked their way out to the parking lot and drove away. If I were being generous, I would say that the dining area I was in was about 1/2 full. It really seemed like I was waiting quite a while, but Senator Lieberman was now indoors and talking to reporters (and presumably restaurant staff) immediately around the corner when my waitress, Rachel, appraoched me. Rachel said she had a question that she was embarrassed to ask (Uh-oh, she got the wrong idea about my generous $5 tip!). I tell her to go ahead, so she asks, “Is he a Democrat or a Republican?“You think that's good, please go and read his full account of his encounter with DinoBoy, I promise you'll laugh your ass off.
Want to see what's happening at Yearly Kos? Never fear, you can watch all the action online as C-SPAN is covering the big event.
DING! Give that woman a prize.
Weeks ago Karl Rove said Iraq “looms over everything.” That’s true not only for Bush but also increasingly for Democrats. Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, is facing the first serious challenge in his 18-year Senate career. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Lieberman’s margin of victory dropped eight points in the last month, from 65 to 57 percent, and his favorable rating among Democrats slipped to 49 percent, a red flag for the upcoming Aug. 8 primary. Wealthy telecommunications executive Ned Lamont polled just 19 percent a month ago against Lieberman; he’s now at 32 percent and the darling of a growing antiwar movement to take back the party. The primary is in the dead of summer when only the most passionate turn out, which bodes ill for Lieberman, a Bush ally on the war and a middle-of-the-roader on most issues.
Here’s the dilemma for Lieberman: He could lose the primary, but if he ran as an independent, he would win. He polls much higher among all voters than Democrats. To get on the ballot as an independent, Lieberman needs 30,000 signatures, which would be no problem. The catch is that under the rules, he would have to present them on Aug. 9, the day after the primary. But if he starts to gather signatures now, he likely loses the primary.
“It’s like saying to Democrats, ‘I’m going to run anyway.’ It’s a slap in the face and an admission of weakness,” says Matt Bennett with Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. On the other hand, if Lieberman doesn’t follow through on a fallback position, “He’s gambling with his Senate career,” says Bennett. Party regulars worry that if Lamont is their candidate, he could lose and take Democratic House challengers with him. Republicans have an appealing local district attorney waiting in the wings if Lamont is the candidate. History shows from George McGovern to Howard Dean that doves are not rewarded at the ballot box. If Lieberman were to lose the primary, or to start collecting signatures, it would be evidence of the power of the antiwar grass roots—something the Democratic leadership has been working hard to keep a lid on.
I've wanted for some time to comment on the Lamont/Lieberman race -- basically on whether I think it's a good idea, what it says about the direction of the Democratic party and so forth.Attaboy!
I have to confess that I find myself ambivalent. But it's an ambivalence I'm not particularly impressed with. At some basic level, I have a hard time not liking Lieberman. I have friends who either used to work for him or remain in his orbit. And that probably has some effect on me. And it's quite true that his actual voting record is far more solidly Democratic than the atmospherics surrounding him and his reputation.
But I'm not sure how much all that amounts to.
Last year, when I devoted most of this blog for several months to the Social Security story, Lieberman was one of most frustrating and inexplicable hold outs. I'm much more willing than others to let Democrats in marginal states and districts take positions suited to their constituencies rather than those embraced by Democrats nationally. To me that just makes sense on every level. The premise of my thinking on Social Security, however, was that there was just no political downside to supporting Social Security no matter how red a state you were from. Abortion rights or gay rights may stand principle against expediency or even political survival. But Social Security was just a gimme, a no-brainer.
Still, when we were going after some of these folks I could see that some of the resistance out of the Fainthearted Faction was based on ingrained habits of political survival and real disinclination to defy a Republican president who still seemed very popular and politically powerful.
But what was Lieberman's excuse?
Certainly it wasn't political, at least not in the narrow sense. Lieberman didn't have anything to worry about in Connecticut. If it was ideological, what's that about? It's a core Democratic issue. Not a shibboleth or a sacred cow. But a core reason why most Democrats are Democrats.
In the end it just seemed like a desire to be in the mix for some illusory compromise or grand bargain, an ingrained disinclination to take a stand, even in a case when it really mattered. There's some whiff of indifference to the great challenges of the age, even amidst the atmospherics of concern.
This of course doesn't even get into everything on Iraq or the pussy-footing over running the Pentagon for President Bush.
I think the most generous read on Lieberman is that he's just out of step with the parliamentary turn of recent American politics which I myself, Mark Schmitt and many others have discussed. But I think that's too generous. The whining in Washington that it's somehow an affront that Lieberman's hold on his senate is being threatened is entirely misplaced, a good example of what's wrong with DC's permanent class.
I have to confess that I haven't spent enough time yet finding out Lamont's positions on various issues; and I'll try to rectify that. And just between us, I'm happy every time I see him go higher in the polls.
Josh, I went to see Ned Lamont at a Democratic Town Committee sponsored meeting in Glastonbury, CT several weeks ago largely to answer some of the questions you have about his stands on the issues and to get a feel for the man in person. About 150 people attended, which is about 100 more than had attended a similar event for Joe Lieberman (which Joe did not attend).That's "The Lamont Effect" plain and simple.
For perspective, I am 59 years old and a life-long Democrat who wants someone to represent me and my views. To be frank, I have grown tired of folks who represent this race as about the unseating an establishment politician by the netroots and who wears the pants in the Democratic Party. This a real political choice for me not some inside the beltway or blog-land brouhaha.
Lamont was bright, energetic and articulate. I thought his stands on the issues were very mainstream/progressive and his reception was very enthusiastic. His central theme is the Iraq war and how it is affecting our country in so many ways at home and abroad. He avoided going for the cheap applause line on impeachment saying that given what we know now, it was not appropriate and then, chuckling, he said Cheney is a scary thought. He would vote for censure.
Beyond the specific stands on the issues, I thought he was a stand up guy. He took all the questions, some not so friendly and did not parse words or sound like a poll-driven candidate. Authentic.
Oh man, more bad news for President Bush's favorite Democrat.
Anti-war Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont has gained ground on Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and now trails the incumbent 55 - 40 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, including undecided voters who are leaning towards a candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.People, trust me, this is the nail in the coffin for Joe and it's just a matter of time until he announces his plans to run as an independent. Ned Lamont is killing Joe across the state and Ned's improvement in the polls have nothing to do with the convention as his poll numbers would of improved regardless.
Among all Democrats, Sen. Lieberman leads 57 - 32 percent, compared to 65 - 19 percent in a May 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
All Connecticut voters approve 56 - 32 percent of the job Lieberman is doing. Democrats approve 49 - 38 percent, down from 60 - 31 percent May 2.
Froma Harrop profiles the Lamont campaign in her column this morning and concludes with the following:The second big question is: What will Lieberman do if he loses to Lamont? Some think he will run as an independent, as which he could pick up conservatives who wouldn't be voting in the Democratic primary. Whatever, Connecticut voters are in a raw mood, and that does not bode well for the senator many call "Bush's boy."
In possible general election matchups:It's simple Joe, stop wasting everyone's time and just announce that you're jumping ship. I've talked to several "people" over the last couple of days and I know that's what you're going to do so just get it over with.
- Lieberman defeats Republican challenger Alan Schlesinger 68 - 14 percent;
- Lamont beats Schlesinger 37 - 20 percent, with 34 percent undecided;
- Running as an independent, Lieberman gets 56 percent, to 18 percent for Lamont and 8 percent for Schlesinger.
Dan Malloy and John DeStefano will be debating each other today at the Rockville High School in Vernon at 1 p.m.
Sorry for the long delay but once again, Blogger was down and I was unable to post anything yesterday.
Oh boy, you almost feel sorry for those Lieberman volunteers. I mean, Joe's sending out these volunteers to get slaughtered by the Lamont challenge and it's getting tough to watch. BrandfordBoy gives the scoop on the latest stumble by team Joementum (and it's not pretty):
I attended a campaign kick-off event for my great State Senator, Ed Meyer, yesterday. My Lamont button drew a lot of interest and several people asked for buttons of their own.NOTE: The DINO boat is sinking fast. You poor volenteers should jump off while you still have time. Trust me, I'll telling this for your own good.
Ed Meyer graciously invited a dumpy young man, who was apparently serving as a Lieberman surrogate, and Ned to say a few words. The Lieberman guy was stumbling, so politicially tone deaf State Rep Pat Widlitz tried to help (I guess) by pointing out that the picturesque lighthouse that can be seen from Ed's house was brought to Long Island Sound by Joe Lieberman.
When Ned spoke (briefly and well) he pointed out that thanks to Joe's whoring for the energy lobby (my words, not his), we may soon be thanking Joe for a floating eyesore in Long Island Sound, an ugly and unnecessary natural gas facility from Broadwater, which will be a prime terrorist target.
After that, I had to jog to the car to replenish my supply of Lamont buttons and Ned Lamont buttons started popping up on chests throughout the party.
To coin a phrase, "This is what a movement looks like."
Hey, the image might be harsh but that is what this stupid attempt to amend the Constitution boiled down to...discrimination, hatred, and bigotry. It's that simple and don't be fooled, the Republican party is pandering to the scum of their party purely for political gain.
This vote was better than expected. The gay bashers were claiming that they would have a majority. Our side picked up two GOP votes, Specter and Judd Gregg. Chris Dodd and Jay Rockefeller, who would have voted with us, were absent. Chuck Hagel, who would have voted against us, is in Omaha with the President. If everyone was present, the vote would have been 50-50. That means the Vice President would have had to break the tie. Now, that would have been interesting.
Oh, this is good TV (Ned even mentions my blog, how cool is that).
Here's an oldie but goodie from the Democratic State Convention (taped 5/19/06). I originally posted this on My Left Nutmeg but since two weeks have pass, I felt that it was a good time to post it on this site now.
Oh boy, what a bad week for George Bush's favorite Democrat (and it's only MONDAY).
After years of ardent support for the Iraq war, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman could become that conflict's first big political casualty in a Democratic primary race fueled by rising anti-war anger.Joe's in deep doo-doo right now which is why this part last paragragh of this article tell the whole story.
Lieberman, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, faces a growing challenge from a political neophyte who has rallied Democrats angered by the senator's enthusiastic backing of the war and willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on other issues.
Challenger Ned Lamont's underdog bid to unseat Lieberman in Democratic-leaning Connecticut could offer an early gauge of the intensity of anti-war sentiment ahead of November's midterm elections, along with a measure of the influence of the Internet activists and bloggers who have flocked to his cause.
"Senator Lieberman has cheered on the president every step of the way when it comes to the invasion of Iraq, and he is too quick to compromise on core Democratic principles," Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich town selectman, told Reuters.
"He's wrong on the big issues of the day and he is not challenging the Bush administration," added Lamont, who qualified for the August 8 primary ballot by winning 33 percent of the delegates at the state party convention last month.
Lieberman has frustrated Democrats for years on issues beyond Iraq, from his early condemnation of President Bill Clinton during the 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal to his recent refusal to support a filibuster against conservative Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.
His 2004 presidential candidacy fell flat and criticism from the left has intensified, particularly after he published a Wall Street Journal article last year headlined "Our Troops Must Stay" that chided Democrats for criticizing Bush on the war.
"There is a very sizable contingent of liberal Democrats in this state who want a change," said Gary Rose, a political analyst at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. "Anything could happen in this primary. Turnout will be low."
Lieberman has refused to rule out an independent bid if he loses the primary, giving rise to Democratic fears he could split their vote and give the seat to Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, a state legislator.Skip Schlesinger for a sec (hint: he doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning), why are Democrats letting Joe Lieberman get away with not ruling out an independent run if he loses the primary (I personally don't think going to be a primary because he's going to bail before August). How can any Democrat support a man who doesn't support the winner of the primary?
Plan on walking over to Gov. Rell's office again today?
Hartford police tallied three more shootings in a matter of hours, including a double killing early Monday, hours before local legislators were to unveil a plan aimed at making the streets safer.More killings in Hartford+more bullshit politics from Mayor Perez and Gov Rell=more people dying in the North End.
The latest shootings occurred about 3:30 a.m. Monday. Police found two men lying on the sidewalk on Addison Street, near the intersection with Tower Avenue. Both had been shot. Both were taken to an area hospital where they died, police said.
"Anytime there's a shooting I'm very frustrated because there's a loss of life. Anytime you lose someone it is always a bad situation," Asst. Police Chief Daryl Roberts told WVIT-TV Monday morning at the scene of the double shooting.
Late Sunday night, a man was wounded in the neck in an apparent drive-by shooting on Capitol Avenue, police said.
Man, I don't know what to post about. I could post my piece on the situation in Hartford but people across the state are still in awe of Paul Bass' stinking article on George Bush's favorite Democrat.
...or is he just scared shitless about the prospect of Diane Farrell beating him in November?
More than three years into the Iraq war, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, regrets that he did not provide aggressive enough oversight of the Pentagon's war plan as he now believes was needed.Don't forget to add Joe Lieberman to that list.
In the leadup to the war, Shays says, he should have demanded more accountability from the Pentagon on cost estimates, which seemed low. The United States will have spent more than $320 billion by the end of the year for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I fault myself," Shays says. "I was hearing voices in my own head that this was going to cost more and I accepted the Pentagon numbers that were too low," he says. "I should have had hearings early on."
Shays spoke candidly about his eight-year tenure as subcommittee chairman during an interview at his Capitol Hill office. He was asked to respond to criticism against him by his Democratic opponent, Diane Farrell.
Farrell, a former Westport first selectwoman, claims that Shays has failed to oversee the Iraq war effort.
Farrell criticizes Shays for stubbornly supporting President Bush's Iraq policy rather than demanding a sensible plan to win the peace. "If people like Chris Shays — President Bush's most loyal supporter of the war in Iraq — would demand a workable plan to win the peace in Iraq, maybe we could accomplish the mission," Farrell says. "Instead, Chris and his allies in this Republican-controlled Congress continue to pat the president on the back and tell him he's doing the right thing in Iraq."
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.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.
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.
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.It's always a bad sign when Bass goes for the news clippings...this guy is good as you'll see.
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 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.Ahem, Human Rights Campaign, did you catch that? Joe's anti-GAY!!!!
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?
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?"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.
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.
You have to love good college professors. They have this ability to break complex things down in a way that you clearly understand.