No, Lieberman’s sin is of a different order.
Lieberman stands condemned today because he didn’t recant. He didn’t say he was wrong. He didn’t turn on his former allies and condemn them. He didn’t claim to be the victim of a hoax. He didn’t try to pretend that he never supported the war in the first place. He didn’t claim to be led into support for the war by a group of writers and intellectuals whom he can now denounce. He didn’t go through a public show of agonizing and phony soul-baring and apologizing in the hopes of resuscitating his reputation, as have some noted “public intellectuals.”
These have been the chosen tactics of self-preservation ever since events in Iraq started to go badly and the war became unpopular. Prominent intellectuals, both liberal and conservative, have turned on their friends and allies in an effort to avoid opprobrium for a war they publicly supported. Journalists have turned on their fellow journalists in an effort to make them scapegoats for the whole profession.
Politicians have twisted themselves into pretzels to explain away their support for the war or, better still, to blame someone else for persuading them to support it. Al Gore, the one-time Clinton administration hawk, airbrushed that history from his record. He turned on all those with whom he once agreed about Iraq and about many other foreign policy questions. And for this astonishing reversal he has been applauded by his fellow Democrats and may even get the party’s nomination.
Apparently, amazingly, dispiritingly, it all works. At least in the short run, dishonesty pays. Dissembling pays. Forgetting your past writings and statements pays. Condemning those with whom you once agreed pays. Phony self-flagellation followed by self-righteous self-congratulation pays. The only thing that doesn’t pay is honesty.
If Joe Lieberman loses, it will not be because he supported the war or even because he still supports it. It will be because he refused to choose one of the many dishonorable paths open to him to salvage his political career. He is the last honest man, and he may pay the price for it.
At least he will be able to sleep at night. And he can take some solace in knowing that history, at least an honest history, will be kinder to him than was his own party.
It was also a stupid thing not to admit to being wrong because he was; if politicians can’t admit their mistakes and if/or they really think going into Iraq was a good idea then they do not deserve to be reelected. So the title should aptly “Not the last but A Stupid Man”.
He won’t sleep well either because he made quite a few bad decisions not all having to do with the war. He is also furious and that does not lend itself to a good nights sleep.
After Hollywood producer and liberal blogger Jane Hamsher posted a photo retouched to show Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in blackface, his Democratic primary challenger, Ned Lamont, distanced himself from Miss Hamsher.
“I don’t know anything about the blogs,” Mr. Lamont told WTNH-TV in New Haven. “I’m not responsible for those.” In fact, columnist Michelle Malkin points out, Mr. Lamont has close relationships with Miss Hamsher and other liberal bloggers who have supported his anti-war campaign.
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of the DailyKos.com appeared in Mr. Lamont’s first TV ad, Mrs. Malkin noted yesterday, and Mr. Lamont posted his own DailyKos “diary” in May.
This was stupid and is why I am with cooper when she says she rarely reads any mainstream ” two finger surround” blogs, blogs which others consider the ” blogs to read”.
These blogs are often wrong and as nail on the chalkboard as Michelle Malkin and when they lower themselves – which they often do – to such a level while pretending they are above it all in their pristine perfection; it makes me sad for the people who have thought so highly of them.
Not for the voters because again I agree with cooper on that. “The voters” in this country do not read blogs. The academics read blogs. The want to be “famous bloggers” read blogs. The people voting – in both Maryland where I vote and Rhode Island where I go to school – are still not reading the blogs. These people are listening to their friends, and reading newspapers, manning the polls just as they have for years, but they are not concerned with the poor lack of judgment of someone posting in a blog called firedoglake. They may have been to Firedog Lake but that is about all. Maybe they will be reading blogs in 20012, maybe the next presidential election but I doubt it . So this means little excpet to the people who write and read blogs.
This whole thing just shows these people are exactly what they cry out against – now that is something worth blogging about.
This post was done with the cooperation of alice from the Looking Glass Group. If Alice doesn’t link me to her blog now I will hang myself from the highest treetop because she is the “blog to read” as far as I am concerned.