Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lieberman, the Ego Maniac

Look at me guys, I'm Joe Lieberman and I'm going to do whatever is best for me, Joe Lieberman

I've refrained from writing about the whole Lieberman-Lamont primary basically because I'm not in the business of endorsing candidates. For me to do that fairly I would have to do much more research into both sides so I could talk more intelligently on the candidates. But this guy just keeps doing things that pushes me closer and closer until finally I just have to tell him to please take your ball and go home already.

If I lived in Connecticut, I would definitely vote for Lamont. And it would be at least as much a vote for Lamont as a vote against Lieberman. I'm not going to go through my reasons here, but I suggest you check out Lamont's website if you are interested in understanding where Lamont stands on the issues. Needless to say, I feel that Lamont is closer to my beliefs and will FIGHT for those beliefs better than Lieberman. But what do I know - I've only given this race a little bit of thought.

But based on this, Lieberman has finally pushed me over the top. That's right, the little baby has named his new party Connecticut for Lieberman. What a frickin' egomaniac. And that, in a nutshell, is my problem with Lieberman. It's all about him, it's always been about him, and always will be about him. He cares so deeply about the Democratic Party that he's petitioning to get his name on the ballot as an independent if he loses. All he cares about is being a senator and the power that affords him. Who knows, maybe Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly will stop returning his phone calls or inviting him on their shows if he isn't a senator. Either run as a Democrat and deal with the consequences of the primary or run as an Independent. It's similar to 2000, when he ran for Vice President and the Senate. That's right, he ran for both. That way, the worst case scenario was that he got to keep his powerful Senate seat.

This has been going on for a long time. He's a prime example of the problem with incumbency in our political system. He doesn't care about the people he represents; rather, he cares about what will get him in the spotlight. Case in point - social security. When Bush and the Republicans were trying to destroy social security, Lieberman refused to take a stance. That would be fine if he either held the belief or his constituents did. But his constituents were overwhelmingly in favor of the current system and he had always supported social security. So why hold out? So he could be the point person on a bi-partisan agreement and get his name out there. Damn his own beliefs or the will of his constituents.

He's also been playing this sneaky little game on judicial appointments and other partisan legislation. It's called voting to end cloture then voting against the appointment or bill. See, the Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress. As long as everyone is kept in line, any Republican bill or appointment will be approved. And the last 5+ years has seen the Republicans stick together unbelievably. So much so that the real vote is over ending cloture, which will end debate and put the appointee or bill up to vote. For many, this is the vote. Yet time after time, Lieberman will vote to end cloture and then vote against the appointee and the bill. He can then go home and tell his constituents he voted against, when his cloture vote really was a vote for. I wouldn't be so outspoken against this if Lieberman wasn't the main offender of this tactic. Democrats in Red States will often vote to end cloture but then vote for the appointee or bill. At least they're being consistent. Lieberman is just trying to curry favor with the Republicans while still looking like he represents his constituents. What a fraud.

So next time you see Lieberman on TV just remember that he represnts himself and only himself. Guess it makes perfect sense then that he belong to a political party named after himself. Even Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, etc weren't that egotistical.

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Anonymous J. Pepper said...

From the Ned Lamont Website:

"I am a strong supporter of affirmative action and equal rights for all Americans"

Cynical, pandering contradiction. One cannot simultaneously support equal rights for all AND afirmative action, which gives some people an advantage over others based soley upon skin color, or gender, or whether your ancestors were slave owners from England (you are annointed the evil oppressor) as opposed to slave owners from Spain (you get Affirmative Action, for some insane reason).

At least Lieberman periodically opposed affirmative action. This guy Lamont's another Mondale.

7/11/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Tom G said...

I'm not a believer in affirmative action but that issue has very little if any importance to me so I don't use that as a litmus test. The way I've always understood the theory of affirmative action is as a factor to be used if 2 candidates are equal, not explicitly as preferential treatment. Does that mean it's misused in practice? Certainly, which is one reason why I'm not a supporter of it.

Question for you - if you are so opposed to affirmative action, are you also opposed to legacies and athletic ability in college admissions. If so, why do you think opponents of affirmative action are not as vocal about these unfair practices as they are about affirmative action? Just curious, since I've never had strong opinions either way about this issue. And when I refer to athletics I mean people like a cross country runner in HS who did not get a scholarship but was admitted into Duke because he would run for the cross country team.

7/11/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous J. Pepper said...


* I am equally opposed to Legacies as Affirmative Action. Why do we hear more complaints about Affirmative Action than legacy preferences? The cynical answer would be to speculate that many of those who are vocal opponents of Affirmative Action may themselves or their children be benificiaries of the legacy system. More likley it's simply that preference for legacies just doesn't disturb as many folks as readily and intensely as racially based preferences. Legacy preferences also don't stigimatize and divide people into polarized categories of oppressor class and oppressed class. It's often not even rational. Consider that Asians, a non-white minority that is certainly not immune to prejudice, are rarely if ever on the list of those elegible for Affirmative Action, while white Spaniards (whose ancetors were in fact oppressors, not oppressed) are always Affirmative Action elegible.

* Athletic scholarships? I am opposed to illiterates who get 700 on their SATs going to school for free because they're great athletes. I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to the idea of athletic prowess being considered as one factor among many in th eadmissions and scholarshiops awarding process.

Joe Pepper

7/11/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous J. Pepper said...

"The way I've always understood the theory of affirmative action is as a factor to be used if 2 candidates are equal, not explicitly as preferential treatment." - Tom G

Discriminate between two otherwise equal candidates on the basis of race. So, they;re qual in all ways except race. Why should this be construed as something other than explicit preferential treatment?

I say, if two candidates aren't equal, pick the more qualified canididate. If two candidates are equal (say, by some objective scoring method) hire them both. Or flip a coin. Or better yet - have a Brady Bunch style 'house-of-cards' contest.

Personally, I don't see "the all things being equal, choose the minority" approach as "kindler, gentler Aff Act. However, this has never actually been the offical guideline by which Affirmative Action is implemented. It's usually a simple quota system, often coupled with race based handicapping (ie. 'race norming' on standardized tests and so forth).

I'd probably be more open to the idea if it were limited to demonstrably needy, black Americans with roots sufficiently deep in this country so as to plausibly argue that their problems derive in part to past discrimination. Even then someplan for ultimately doing away with the policy should be in place - it shouldn't be permanent. Also, no white or Spaniards or recent immigrants of any stripe shuld qualify for it.

In the end,
Affirmative Action is really just gov't sanctioned racial
profiling of white people?

J. Pepper

7/11/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tom G said...

The intentions behind affirmative action were worthy and justified but the policy itself was never the correct way, imho, to implement. As I understand it, affirmative action was meant as a way to help erase years of slavery and institutional discrimination. At its inception, it probably wasn't a stretch that those who benefitted were poor and needy. But extending it to women and other minorities never made sense. And the idea that either you have it or you don't never made sense. If anything, it should have been implemented with a plan to phase it out over time. Now it serves no useful purpose. My mother taught at a great public school in the suburb of Michigan and saw tons of unqualified kids get into great schools based solely on race or gender.

At the end of the day it's just easier for people to make decisions based on race and gender instead of evaluating each candidate and rewarding people from poorer backgrounds - if equal I think it's perfectly reasonable to take the person who grew up in tougher circumstances. There's at least some justification that they work harder and have more natural ability. But that would be hard to do and isn't it enough to see the statistics and feel better about yourself for the number of minorities you admit or employ.

7/11/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

jill eilperrin- fight club politics i think is the name of the book. she is a journalist with the washington post and covered politics. i saw her on stewart's show. sorry to be so vague but it's f---ing hot and i hate july. anyway, 98% incumbency rate and now with gerrymandering upheld from delay by the court- we are in for more of the same.

7/11/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous J. Pepper said...

Tom G-

Re: latetest ost on Af Ax-

Well said...

J. Pepper

7/12/2006 10:00:00 AM  

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