Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lieberphobia

These are indeed halcyon days for those of us attempting to unmask Joe Lieberman. The last two days offer real hope that the nation as a whole will soon recognize Joe for what he is: a sanctimonious and cynical warmonger of a neoconservative stripe; the most partisan and least civil national political figure on the contemporary scene.

Jeffrey Goldberg's profile of Lieberman in The New Yorker went online yesterday. I was remiss in not immediately linking to it. A brief excerpt:

As Lieberman spoke, Clinton’s mask of equanimity seemed to slip for a moment, until she could assimilate the idea that Lieberman had, in essence, accused the Democratic Party of encouraging America’s enemies.

When it was her turn to respond, Clinton spoke with heat: “I very sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree with those who are trying to once again up the rhetoric about our position in Iraq instead of taking a hard look about what will actually, on the ground, change the behavior and actions of this Iraqi government.” What she wanted, she said, was “to send a very clear message to the Iraqi government that they cannot rely on the blood and treasure of America any longer.”

Then she delivered a polite rebuke to Lieberman, saying that she rejected the idea put forward by her “friends on the panel who think that statements of disapproval are somehow going to undermine our effort, when I think they will send the clearest message.” (Last week, Democrats agreed to a milder, compromise resolution, sponsored by the Republican Warner; Lieberman still opposed it.)

Three days after the hearing, I went to see Lieberman in his office. He was cheerful and easygoing and more convinced than usual of the essential rightness of his vision. I asked him if he thought that Democrats who voted for the resolution would truly be giving encouragement to the enemy. “The enemy believes—Ahmadinejad has said this repeatedly—that we don’t have the will anymore for a long battle,” he said, referring to the President of Iran.

When I asked him if he understood why Hillary Clinton might have reacted the way she did, he said, “I can’t explain why she did that.” Then he shook his head, apparently in sorrow.

Glenn Greenwald was more alert than I and quickly posted on Goldberg's striking profile of Lieberman. Again, here's a money excerpt from Glenn's post:

That is about as vivid a profile of the neoconservative warrior mentality as one can get: paranoid and frightened guys who derive personal and emotional fulfillment by giddily cheering on military destruction from a safe and comfortable distance -- who see war as a fun video game to play, through which one can feel the pulsating sensations of power and triumph -- combined with an obsessive focus on, really a paranoia of, the threat of Islamic fantacism to the seeming exclusion of every other issue and danger.

Combine those two traits and one not only finds the principal sentiment that drove us into Iraq and will keep us there for the foreseeable future, but also the primary reason why a majority of Americans now believe that the U.S. will soon be at war with Iran. Lieberman also smears unnamed colleagues who are opposed to the "surge" by claiming: “A lot of Democrats are essentially pacifists and somewhat isolationist," even though there is not a single Democrat, at least not in the Senate, who could be accurately described that way. Lieberman now even wields the lowest smear tactics used by people like Mark Steyn.

And finally Chris Floyd of Empire Burlesque skewers Joe in his own inimitable fashion in a post entitled "Sick Joke: Joe Lieberman in the Dark." Chris's take on Lieberman is nearest my own.

I must confess something here. I honestly thought that Joe Lieberman was a cynical operator through and through, on the Dick Cheney model. Sure, he had the same bees in his bonnet about power, privilege and domination that Dick and Rummy and the boys have, but I thought that Lieberman, like that those twin terrors from Nixon's nursery, could see through his own bullshit, and knew that he was laying down a line of twaddle for the rubes while covertly pushing the Dominationist agenda

I didn't really comprehend, until now, how genuinely ignorant, dull-witted
and emotionally stunted he is.

Chris goes on to suggest that Lieberman may be more simple than cynical, a man who actually believes his own tripe and takes it seriously, tripe so transparent that it could only be taken seriously by rubes. But I would argue to Chris that Joe Lieberman is at once both a cynic and a true believer, and that this is the wonder of Lieberman.

1 Comments:

Blogger gchaucer2 said...

Thanks for the heads up on The New Yorker article. Finally received my copy yesterday and the piece was pretty cutting. I did have one objection where Ned was referred to as ineffectual. If my memory serves me correctly, wasn't it Ned Lamont who started the national debate on the war? I think time will show that Lamont will be much more effectual than Joe (I have no friends but Republicans) Lieberman.

4:54 PM  

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