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April 15, 2008

A "Good" Question
Posted by Michael Cohen

The continuing decline of Joe Lieberman into embarrassment and self-parody continues. Here is the "Independent Democratic" Senator on Fox:

NAPITALIANO: Hey Sen. Lieberman, you know Barack Obama, is he a Marxist as Bill Kristol says might be the case in today's New York Times? Is he an elitist like your colleague Hillary Clinton says he is?

LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I must say that's a good question. I know him now for a little more than three years since he came into the Senate and he's obviously very smart and he's a good guy. I will tell ya that during this campaign, I've learned some things about him, about the kind of environment from which he came ideologically. And I wouldn't...I'd hesitate to say he's a Marxist, but he's got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.

Off the bat, let's just make clear that there is nothing about this question that can be characterized as "good." It's quite clearly a "gotcha" question intended to propagate the notion that Barack Obama is a Marxist or possibly an elitist. It is quite simply a disgusting and contrived political attack -- and I wonder how Joe Lieberman would respond if someone alleged that John McCain was a "fascist." Do you think he would characterize that as a "good question?"

Yet in fairness Lieberman did make clear that he would only "hesitate" to call Barack Obama a "Marxist" so at least there is some wiggle room. That notwithstanding, I wonder what "positions" Obama has taken that Joe Lieberman thinks "are far to the left" of mainstream America. Could it be Obama's endorsement of a single payer health care system; his call for massive tax increases and the redistribution of wealth; or maybe it's his rabid support for gay marriage - oh wait a minute, Obama doesn't support any of those "far left" proposals.

Hmm, well I guess it must be Obama's opposition to the Iraq war. But of course with nearly two-thirds of Americans opposing the war in Iraq the person most "out of touch" with mainstream America would actually be . . . Joe Lieberman.


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What Joe Lieberman, John McCain, and to a certain agree Hillary Clinton have all stated that somehow Obama is a radical on foreign policy issues and can't be trusted. But as Obama has stated numerous times the real radicals are those that want to mantain the status quo. It is indeed radical not to talk and threaten the use of force to nations that we do not like or start a new Cold War by building a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. Barack Obama is the only real moderate in this campaign by his willingness to settle disputes diplomatcally with leaders whom we don't like and to sign a treaty with Russia that would eleminate nuclear weapons.

But being moderate is radical! It's a Bizzaro World where peacekeepng is war in a twisted logic where everything is the opposite of something else and nobody speaks the truth.

As for Lieberman, he seems rather thankless for Obama's past endorsement of him in Connecticut. And to think that he might have been a heart-beat away from the presidency!

Here's the problem: presidential campaigns used to be roughly 12-month affairs. Now they're four-year affairs. This one started the day after Election Day 2004. So now, 3 1/2 years into the 2008 campaign, no one has anything new or interesting to say. Yet, we have a much-enlarged pack of journalists, pundits, bloviators, bloggers, and talk show screamers with nothing left to do but dissect every sentence, every word, every syllable of everything the candidates say and do. So, Obama's bowling score is an issue. His asking for orange juice instead of coffee at a diner is an issue. He makes an innocuous and empathetic remark about the economically disenfranchised and gets assaulted for being an out-of-touch elitist. Hillary and McCain, those champions of the dispossessed, who really know what it is to struggle to make ends meet, roll out all the invective and faux outrage in their arsenals and blast away at him, neither of them really believing what he/she is saying. Barack Obama is a good and decent and honorable man. Only in an American political campaign can that be seen as a liability.

It's 'innocuous' to toss in 'religion' in a list of things that liberals righteously hate?

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