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Let’s Talk Realities for a Moment


Hillary Clinton and Ned Lamont discussing Democratic politics in the lovely sunroom of her Chappaqua home this morning.

In this morning’s NYTimes, Dan Gerstein opened his yap, and said something so moronic, I had to highlight it for everyone here:

“Maybe in Ned Lamont’s naïve, reality-challenged world, he thinks simply by yelling loud enough he would have gotten the White House to give him what he wanted,” Dan Gerstein, Mr. Lieberman’s spokesman, said in a statement. “But that’s not how things work in Washington.”  (emphasis mine)

Let’s talk about realities for a moment, shall we?  "How things work in Washington" is exactly what got Joe Lieberman in trouble with Connecticut democrats in the first place. 

It is why Joe Lieberman is the loser of the Democratic primary.  And why Ned Lamont is the winner.

Honestly, if that is the best that you could come up with — the whiny retort — if that’s all you have to campaign on, then you need some serious help.  People want accountability, not excuses.  And the very last thing you should be doing is reminding them that you work for Joe "go along to get along, whatever you want George, how things work in Washington" Lieberman.  That is so far off the mark, I don’t even know where to start.

What people want is a Senator who will stand up to the Bush Administration and demand accountability, not a lapdog of a Senator who continually rolls over and asks for a belly rub:

Michael D. Brown, relieved of his hurricane relief duties Friday, didn’t get much scrutiny from the Senate at a 2002 confirmation hearing.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency appeared before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, then chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., when he was nominated as the agency’s deputy director. The polite 42-minute hearing attracted only four senators, and before it was over, Lieberman offered his support. (Hartford Courant via ConnecticutBlog, emphasis mine)

42 minutes. Way to go, Joe. Asking the tough questions, keeping in mind the needs of the people, the need for accountability, the best interests of public safety.  Not.

You know what people want?  Honesty, integrity and a Senator who not only understands the meaning of the word accountability — he’s willing to fight for it.

Mr. Lamont, the Democratic candidate for United States Senate who has run as an opponent of the Iraq war, asserted that having large numbers of National Guard troops in Iraq slowed the government’s rescue operations in the aftermath of Katrina a year ago, and he called the administration’s handling of the hurricane “symptomatic” of broader management problems.

“We couldn’t afford to fix those levees,” Mr. Lamont said, speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon.

He also criticized the 2002 decision by Congress, at the behest of the Bush administration, to place FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, saying it led to mismanagement. He said it should be a cabinet-level agency whose secretary reports directly to the president.

That, my friends, is called standing up, doing the right thing, and being a voice for the little guy. And not only pointing out a problem, but pointing toward a solution — back to the days when FEMA actually worked efficiently and effectively.  Yay, Ned.

But, in case Mr. Gerstein doesn’t quite comprehend that whole integrity thing, let me introduce him to another reality — Ned Lamont and Hillary Clinton met this morning to discuss what she is going to be doing to help elect a Democratic Senator for the great state of Connecticut.  

The reality of that offer of help is this: the establishment in the Beltway has reached out to Ned, because Joe Lieberman has overstayed his welcome, he has pulled one too many plays out of the GOP playbook and now…he will pay the price for it. 

We warned you, Joe, but you chose not to listen.  It’s not personal, it’s politics.

What, Dan?  You don’t understand where I am going with this.  Well, let me be clear.  Democratic donors are not going to want to cross Hillary and her political compadres, nor are consultants or other party bigwigs.  So whatever hoover-in-the-dough plan you had for them, you’d better re-tool.  And GOP-controlled KStreet?  They’ve begun to see some handwriting on the wall that all is not well in GOP-ville for the Fall elections, they are off the kool-aid, and they have begun to hedge their bets…and their Republican-funded donations to your PAC-friendly coffers are about to get a lot smaller.

And considering that Ned is closing the gap in recent polling, and that the more people see of Turncoat Joe, the less they want to see…well, you understand where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Now THAT is some reality.  But, in case that hasn’t sunk in completely, let me help you with a second shot of the great meeting that Ned and Hillary had today:


Oh, and Dan, did I mention that Hillary’s strategic coordination is going to come through Howard Wolfson, as Jane reported earlier.  Howard is a political genius, he really gets it — netroots, grassroots, all of the dissatisfaction we’ve all been trying to get into the mix — he GETS it.  And his gift is political coordination, which he is going to use on behalf of Ned Lamont, the winner of the Democratic primary in Connecticut.  In all honesty, the thought of Tom Swan and Howard Wolfson talking political strategy is…well, it’s genius.  Pure genius.

And THAT is some reality for you, Dan Gerstein, lobbyist-turned-Lieberman-spokesperson.  42 minutes to approve Heckuva Job Michael Brown?  No real record of holding the Bush Administration accountable?  The kiss?  Heckuva job, Turncoat Joe — your lobbyist-turned-spokesperson had better learn to tap dance a heckuva lot faster.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com