Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Lieberman probably hit hardest http://apnews.myway.com/article/20031209/D7VAS1580.html
Lieberman, shown a news clip from 2000 in which Gore extolled his virtues as a man who would be ready to step in as president in a national emergency said he could not explain why Gore decided to support the former Vermont governor.
"We'll you'd have to ask Al," he said, "because I'm the same person today I was when he said those very kind things about me ... to put me into position to be president in the case of an emergency."
But the truth is, he is NOT the same man who Gore endorsed. His campaign has gone nowhere, which suggests that he cannot be an effective opposition to Bush. The polls speak no lie about Lieberman's anemic campaign. Not to mention that Joe supported the war on Iraq, which is simply an indefensible position for the Democratic nominee (if you think war on Iraq was just, then you might as well vote Bush anyway).
But Gore's endorsement is not really about Joe. It's about Bush, and who is best-positioned to defeat him. The biggest priority is to remove Bush and his disastrous policies, domestic and foreign, from office. When Gore chose Lieberman as veep, it was before 9-11. It was before Iraq. It was before there were gigantic budget deficits. In all of these things, Lieberman has represented the anemic appeasement wing of the Democratic party, the wing that rolled over and continues to roll over to the GOP political agenda - and Lieberman just doesn't realize why the vast, untilled Democratic electorate is angry.
The conservative hacks, desperately fearing Dean and the energy of we, his angry and determined base (who, by the way, lent a popular vote majority to Gore last time), have seized upon Gore's endorsement as Yet Another Moral Outrage:
In other words, Al Gore not only thinks Howard Dean is more qualified to be president of the United States than Joe Lieberman was or is, he thinks that is especially the case now after 9/11. If you really let that sink in for a second, you can see what an amazingly mercenary and damn close to dishonorable position that is.
His high regard for Lieberman is touching, though one has to wonder why Gore should modulate his choices based on Jonah Goldberg's approval (which would not be forthcoming even if he endorsed Bush. That Gore is a monster is Postulate One).
And the argument that Lieberman is more wualified on the War on Terror is laughable - Bush's policies and agenda on Iraq have made us less safe. And it's Dean who we can look to for a leader who will be suitably.. angry - which is after all the single emotion that the Right holds dearest when it comes to evaluating the seriousness of a politician's determination. And as Glenn Reynolds points out, defending Dean from Goldberg:
It is rather a slam at Lieberman, but politics is politics and Lieberman's candidacy is going nowhere. Dean's, on the other hand, is looking unstoppable through the primaries.
At any rate, I'm not sure that Dean, if elected, would be as bad for the war on terror as Goldberg's post, sort of, implies, or that Dean's primacy in fact reflects a policy of surrender on the part of Democratic voters. Here's Dean's secret weapon in the general election: He's an angry jerk. Okay, he's not always a jerk, but he has his angry, jerky side. And that poses risks to his campaign that have been analyzed elsewhere.
But in the current climate (heck, probably in most political climates) an angry jerk is a lot better than a wimp, and Dean doesn't come across as a wimp. Voters may conclude, and they may be right, that a President Dean would get angry at terrorists and respond appropriately, rather than rolling over and being a wimp.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.