Was There Ever A More Self-Serving Phony?

January 30, 2007

Every Day Brings a New Abomination

By COLIN McENROE
To Wit

Joe Lieberman, who complained bitterly and repetitiously during 2006 that his opponent Ned Lamont was a single-issue candidate (Iraq), now says he will consider voting for a Republican presidential ticket in 2008 because he is so fervently concerned with a single issue (Iraq).

  • To Wit
  • PRIOR COLUMNS ON PHONY JOE

    Cool Justice
    Time For Phony Joe To Go

    By ANDY THIBAULT
    Columnist
    Law Tribune Newspapers
    January 30, 2006

    `Lamont could follow the models of New Jersey’s Jon Corzine and our own Billy Curry’

    Brother, can you spare $10 million?

    Ned Lamont probably can, and that’s what it could take win a primary against Sen. Joe Lieberman, who calls himself a Democrat but it is more popular among Republicans.

    Lamont is a former Greenwich selectman. When I met him in the late 1980’s, I had no clue he came from big money. He didn’t act like it. He was a nice guy who happened to do some public service, almost like Jodi Rell is a nice person who happens to be governor. He’s a businessman who had a head start, but didn’t squander that advantage while breaking new ground on his own in the tough telecommunications racket.

    Lamont could follow the models of New Jersey’s Jon Corzine and our own Billy Curry: Hire the children of key Democrats for good-paying campaign jobs; get the unions working in the trenches. Corzine knocked off former Gov. Jim Florio in a Senate primary by spending his money wisely; Curry’s field work and union support beat John Larson in the 1994 primary for governor.

    Republicans had a shot at Lieberman in 1994, but they blew it – perhaps intentionally after helping him beat Lowell Weicker in 1998. The GOP ran former state Sen. Jerry Labriola as a sacrificial lamb. Labriola edged eye surgeon and novelist Joe Bentivegna in a GOP primary with all the party leaders working to crush the talented challenger. Bentivegna would have crucified Lieberman in debate. Lieberman, as Al Gore’s running mate, showed his great debating skills in 2000 by making Dick Cheney look good.

    The progressive Democrats against the war and Big Brother intrusive government need to actually vote in the potential primary, which would be scheduled Aug. 8. Independent progressives need to register as Democrats.

    The president that Lieberman kisses -Bush II – is more dangerous than the last president who made a career spying on Americans, Richard Nixon. Our current president has given a blank check for torture by any private on the ground in Iraq, as has been recounted by former Army interrogators. The FBI is being used – as it has been throughout history – as a tool to spy and intimidate those who oppose the administration.

    I recall the late, great Boston Globe columnist George Frazier, who also offered regular commentaries on a Boston TV station. As Nixon’s illegal acts became more apparent, Frazier would address the president with a special salute and salutation, calling him, “The Fuhrer.” George Frazier, we really need you today.

    Lieberman struck me as a phony in 1988 – running simultaneously to the right and left of Weicker on military and fiscal issues – and he’s even a bigger phony now.

    Why has he failed to stand up against the illegal spying and the phony war on terror? We might as well have a war against orange crayons. If it was Al- Queda that attacked the World Trade Center, then why do we have a diversion to Iraq based on lies? Lieberman has offered no satisfactory explanation for any of this.

    What the country needs is an honest discussion about what we supposedly stand for. We need to say no to torture, no to phony wars and no to phony politicians.

    That can only happen in Connecticut with a Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat that is up for grabs this year. Go, Ned. And remember the words of entertainer and writer Kinky Friedman, who is running a serious campaign for governor of Texas: “Politics is the only job where the longer you last, the worse you get.”


    Note:
    The following column was circulated widely, published in The Norwich Bulletin and blogs including CTNewsjunkie, ConnecticutBlog and MyLeftNutmeg.

    Lamont: An Acceptable Alternative

    By ANDY THIBAULT
    The Cool Justice Report
    http://cooljustice.blogspot.com

    July 20, 2006

    Who woulda thunk it? As the citizens of Connecticut get to know Ned Lamont, they like him.

    Lamont is now considered an acceptable alternative to that other guy – what’s his name, The Bush Lip-Locker – for the U.S. Senate.

    And why not?

    Our modern-day version of Mr. Smith goes to Washington is a capable and genial fellow who holds his ground without stooping to the base level of the other guy. When the other guy tried to denigrate Lamont for being a rich white boy, Lamont responded with a self-deprecating ad in which his family made fun of him. Toward the conclusion of the ad, Lamont steered the discussion back to a real issue, saying: Let’s both support the winner of the Aug. 8 Democratic primary.

    Lamont’s capable performance in the debate with the other guy has resonated with voters. The Quinnipiac poll announced July 20 showed Lamont up 11 points and the other guy down 8 points from just about a month ago. Lamont is now the favorite to win the Democratic primary, 51-47 percent among likely voters. By any standard, he is a winner.

    There are many ironies at work in this race. Lamont’s hometown of Greenwich takes a bad rap, often justified, as a place of power and privilege gone amok. They don’t want regular peons on their beaches, for example. Still, after working in Greenwich for several years, I’m happy to report I encountered a lot of nice, semi-normal people as well. Ned Lamont was one of them. I didn’t even know he was a rich guy.

    It’s funny and pathetic to hear the other guy try to distort the character and qualifications of Lamont. For example, the other guy is an ultimate tool of the rich and powerful when it comes to energy policy, the war and health care. Lamont, in contrast, is a strong advocate for universal health care and unafraid to stand up to the closest thing the United States has ever had to a facist regime.

    The other guy would censure one president for getting a blow job and be a good stooge for another president who orders massive illegal spying on citizens, institutionalizes torture and weakens the country by lying about the reason for going to war — and condemning our young to die or be maimed without justification or purpose.

    Expect more intensity and more big lies from the other guy. Desperate career politicians get that way, especially when they are losing.

    How dare an upstart who hasn’t sat around and sucked up lobbyist money for 18 years dare to participate in the democratic process. The other guy will whine about Lamont’s qualifications, perhaps out of jealousy. Lamont has a record of achievement by running a successful business and meeting payroll while finding time to inspire young entrepreneurs as a volunteer teacher. As a member of his local board of selectmen, Lamont was more accountable to the public than many U.S. Senators, including the other guy.

    The Senate was never meant to be a career. It’s supposed to be public service. Public service is what Lamont will give us. The other guy, well, he’ll continue to give us phony stories about the war in Iraq going well and being in the interest of the American people.

    It is noteworthy that 70 percent of Republicans approve of the other guy, compared with 47 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of likely voters in the Democratic primary.

    Lamont’s current numbers in a three-way race are not insurmountable given recent trends. With each passing day, Lamont will look more like a winner and the other guy will be exposed as more of a loser.

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