Eleanor Clift, Unclearly
Eleanor Clift uses her recent Newsweek column to rehabilitate the reputation of Rape Gurney Joe Lieberman, presumably for the benefit of fellow Villagers who’ve forgotten just what dear Joe did wrong. It must be a puzzle to the short-attention span cocktail party hostesses and Sunday gasbags who can’t exactly recall why decent Democrats despise Joe, even though they know there’s a bunch of people you can’t invite if he and Hadassah are headed to their drawing-room for brunch.
But Villager Clift tries her best to remind Washingtonians of RGJoe’s sins against the party, while getting essential facts wrong. She writes:
Lieberman himself is scorned by Democrats for adding the ‘Independent’ label to his Democratic Party registration.
Um, no, Eleanor: Connecticut Democrats removed the Democratic party label from Joe’s name in a primary on August 8, 2006. The Independent label he added to his name was a necessity. He was denied his party’s nomination, by those pesky voters.
Regarding RGJoe’s support of Maine Republican and war-enabler Susan Collins, Clifty sez it’s all about “good character:”
Lieberman doesn’t feel obliged to do the Democratic Party’s business and help knock off Collins. She’s in a tough race, straddling opposition to the war with loyalty to the president, and she’s at the top of the Democrats’ target list. Another politician in a similar bind of conflicting loyalty might choose to stay neutral, but Lieberman is upfront with his support
Don’t you find it fascinating that Eleanor neglects to mention that Lieberman’s upfront support of Collins energized the anti-war base in a way that matched the dollars generated by Lieberman? MoveOn raised $350,000 for Tom Allen simply because RGJoe was hosting a DeeCee lobbyist-stuffed fundraising event for Tom Allen’s opponent. (And we helped!)
The power of Joe, indeed. He might be upfront with his support, Eleanor, but do you see other 2008 candidates pleading with Lieberman to do fundraisers? I thought not.
Equally unclear on this Senate’s organizing rule, Eleanor puffs up RGJoe’s importance to Harry Reid’s remaining Majority Leader, not knowing (or caring) that Democratic control is firmly established regardless of party or personnel changes:
In a 51-49 Senate, he’s the Democrats’ firewall. If he goes, so goes their majority.
Finally, Miss Clift resurrects that chestnut Lieberman used last fall to scam Nutmeggers to believe he was really still a Democrat:
Lieberman votes with the Democrats 90 percent of the time.
Except, of course, when American troops are dying in a foreign desert for the amusement of our fratboy President.