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Sunday, July 09, 2006

And from the whiny-ass titty baby (™ Atrios) file....
Posted by Jill | 8:04 AM
David Brooks is all up in arms about those nasty bloggers being so mean to poor widdew Joe Lieberman:

What's happening to Lieberman can only be described as a liberal inquisition. Whether you agree with him or not, he is transparently the most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of men. But over the past few years he has been subjected to a vituperation campaign that only experts in moral manias and mob psychology are really fit to explain. I can't reproduce the typical assaults that have been directed at him over the Internet, because they are so laced with profanity and ugliness, but they are ginned up by ideological masseurs who salve their followers' psychic wounds by arousing their rage at objects of mutual hate.


Presumably at this point, Brooks had to loosen his corset, fan himself, and lie down langourously on a chaise longue.

Remember, this is a guy who is an apologist for people who think Ann Coulter represents civilized political debate.

Brooks just doesn't get it. Our disgust with Joe Lieberman isn't about hate for Lieberman himself; it's about his complete abandonment of everything that a Democrat should stand for in favor of the short-term political expediency of acquiescing to George W. Bush's notion of an unaccountable, imperial presidency.

So these days, for example, one hears that Lieberman is a crypto-conservative, a Bible-Belter. In reality, of course, this is a man who has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign. He has a Christian Coalition rating of 0.

But a lifetime's record is deemed not to matter any longer. For in the midst of the inquisition all of American liberalism has been reduced to one issue, the war. Just as some edges of the pro-life movement reduce all of conservatism to abortion, the upscale revivalists on the left reduce everything to Iraq, and all who are deemed impure must be cleansed away.


No, a lifetime's record doesn't matter -- not when a politician has done a complete turnaround on too many important issues. Staying the course in Iraq is an insane policy. Lieberman stood in front of a podium in last week's debate expounding on how wonderful things are in Iraq -- just like the Republicans told him to; just like the so-called "journalists" who are being vetted for embedding by the Administration only if they toe the party line on positive reporting. Whether one believes we should withdraw now because the insurgency is driven SOLELY by our presence, or if you believe we should set a timetable for a gradual phase-out, either notion is preferable to mindless adherence of a Bush policy that is going nowhere.

Planned Parenthood's endorsement of Lieberman is a mystery -- and appalling, in light of Lieberman's callous statement that "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital" if a rape victim's closest hospital refuses to give her emergency contraception "on religious grounds."

In the recent NJ primary for the 5th Congressional District, I took a fair amount of heat from some people for having the temerity to believe that offering voters a choice of candidates, even in a primary, was a good thing. Brooks seems to believe that Lieberman, by virtue of incumbency, is to be somehow exempted from any scrutiny of his positions, and that a primary challenge is somehow unseemly. This is a disservice to the voters. It is for the Democratic primary voters of Connecticut to decide who should represent them, not armchair pundits.

But perhaps the most offensive aspect to David Brooks' apologia for Lieberman is his quite deliberate use of the word "inquisition" -- implying that the progressives' distaste for someone so callous about the lives of our soldiers and to the needs of rape victims is somehow related to anti-Semitism. I've been tubthumping about bigotry weekend, and believe me, growing up Jewish in a largely Christian town and then going to a small, church-related college where I was actually asked a) where my horns were; and b) why I drive an old car if I'm Jewish; I know what anti-Semitism is. But for Lieberman and his apologists to play the anti-Semitism card when there are legitimate reasons to oppose him for another term, is unconscionable, and all too reminiscent of Clarence Thomas trying to liken questioning at a confirmation hearing to being kidnapped, strung up on a tree and butchered. Asking Joe Lieberman to defend his position on the war is hardly the same as being tortured, then burnt at the stake, sawed in half, or slowly disemboweled, and frankly, it cheapens the suffering of Jews who were so victimized during the Spanish Inquisition by using this word to describe Joe Lieberman's so-called travails.

Republicans love to say that racism and bigotry no longer exists, until it's time for THEM to play the race or religion card. I suppose this is another example of "Everything is OK if you're a Republican."

Or if you fall in line behind them like a good little sheep -- or like Joe Lieberman.
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