Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bass Tears Into Lieberman

Wow. This editorial by Paul Bass is one of the harshest and most unflinching portrayals of Sen. Lieberman's political career that I've ever seen.
The Bush administration values Joe Lieberman because he has been a crucial ally in efforts to free Enron-style corporate crooks from regulation, transfer wealth to the wealthy, hound gays, trample on the rights of government critics and sacrifice the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis to dishonest, dangerous military adventurism.

Lieberman understands how, in campaigns, you can make people forget all that. You can change the subject by making fun of your opponent for being rich. Then, with millions of dollars from wealthy donors, you can reinvent your record. (Bass)

There's much, much more. One of the principal defenses of Joe Lieberman has been his high ratings from liberal interest groups. Bass dismantles that notion:
Now it's true that Lieberman earns high marks on Democratic interest group "report cards." That's because he plays a shell game in which liberal interest groups are complicit. He gets the "right" mark for voting against Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, for instance. But he gives the Bush administration the vote it needs to make Alito a judge, by voting to stop a filibuster.

Similarly, he held back on voting for Clarence Thomas's nomination until the first Bush administration saw it had the votes. Then Lieberman could safely vote against Thomas and earn the "right" grade. (Bass)

Bass describes Lieberman as the quintessential Washington politician, who will do anything to stay in power while simultaneously turning his back on the people who put him there. Bass says "Good people do awful things when power tempts." He's right. They do.

The list of charges Bass brings against Lieberman is exhaustive. What's worse is that I'm sure it's only scratching the surface. I know there's more.

Lieberman's greatest strength is that he appears to be a decent, honest, regular guy who fights for what he believes in. He appears to be a man of conscience, a rare statesman in a time of partisanship.

But what if that's not entirely true? What if Bass is right about Lieberman, even only just a little bit? What if Lieberman has become too much a creature of Washington, and too little the New Haven attorney general we sent to the Senate eighteen years ago?

If so, Lieberman has arrived at a very, very dangerous moment. This is one of those rare years when national winds are blowing against incumbents-- all incumbents-- and Connecticut Democrats could find themselves hungry for change for the first time in a generation.

Read the article. Then tell me: is this the end of Joe Lieberman?


Bass, Paul. "Seasonal Memory Lapses." Hartford Courant 4 June, 2006.


TrueBlueCT said...

Wow. I mean wow, wow, wow.

Paul Bass absolutely nails Lieberman where he most deserves it, -- on his record.

If the Connecticut media continues to make this a race on the issues, Joe is heading towards an early retirement.

Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith has been running a campaign in which we are all presumed to be idiots. What if we aren't?

BRubenstein said...

I read the article..and it states the bad votes and bad positions of Lieberman as i remember them.

Here is what Lamont has to do in order to win;

1. have a successful " U to D" program in place and operating.
2. update the voter file.
3. Use the petition signatures as a prime voter list.
4. have a good statewide AB program in place.
5. amalgamate the town chairs,elected officials and delegates into a cohesive field plan.
6 Obtain the support of as many labor unions as possible and amalgamate them into the field plan.
7 seek the help and support of the anti-war groups
8 Run as many " house parties" town by town as possible.
9. fundraise off the net and liberal high donors as much as possible.
10 Do good multi-layer media targeted ads that highlight Ned as more than a 1 issue candidate,
11. seek endorsements and support from other base groups traditionally supportive of the democratic party.
12 maximize the turnout...on the theory that the higher the turnout the better for Lamont.

TrueBlueCT said...

The best thing Lamont has going for him is Joe Lieberman himself. Look back to Joe's approval ratings during his 2004 Presidential run. What is clear is that the more people see and hear of Senator Fuddy Duddy, the less they like him.

Can't wait for the debates.

BRubenstein said...

Now to the numbers;

This 2006 primary has no historical precedence.In 1994 curry vs. larson about 26% of the dems voted.Here we have 2 primaries...for gov and the theory is that it willl be a higher then 26% turnout,but moderated by the August primry date instead of the usual September date...which in theory would be lower...especially when you assume the wealthy and middle class dems would tend to be away and on vacation( but elgible for AB use)

So knowing all that i tend to believe the turnout will be 30-40% and lets go thru the numbers;

There are almost 700,000 registered dems. assuming a 30% turnout, it means the vote total will be roughly 210,000 or 105001, needed to win. There are 350,000 labor members,their relatives and retireees elgible to vote.About 50% of them are either republicans or independants, leaving 175,000 democratic union members elgible to vote.Assuming a 30% would have almost 53,000 union votes out there for the total 210,000 voting..or about 25% of the total vote cast.

Assume labor's favorite governor candidate ( jds) gets 2/3 of that vote ( curry in 1994 did) then JDS would get 2/3 or roughly 35,000 and DM would get roughly 18,000 of the union votes,leaving a total of 147,000 votes in which DM must get 57% which would total almost 83,300 votes to JDS's 64,000. That will be hard to do...but its doable.

As to Lamont...he needs the spport of the roughly 25% of the party that is violently antiwar and the support of the unions to win....if the unions come out for JDS and work,Lamont's task will be to try to get them for Lamont.

The problem here is that DM's hometown gave Lamont more delegates then JDS did...Slifka ( jds's running mate is a DLC member also) assumes Lamonts support was pretty evenly divided between jds and dm.

If the unions make Lamont a priority ( none have endorsed him as of today) then i think he may well win..if will be a close race without historical precedent.

ive already done the numbers for 40% in a prior posting.

BRubenstein said...

Now once again at 40%...there would be 280,000 voting...assume 40% of labor votes, that would total ( 350,000 less 40% rep and independants less 40% expected tournout) equalling about 85,000 union votes of 280,000 voting or about 30% of all votes.assume a 2/1 historical split ( curry v. larson in 1994) you would have 37,000 votes for jds and 17,000 for dm. DM would need 55% of the remaining 195,000 votes, DM would need 107,000 or 55% to win..hard but doable.

Now here ladies and gentlemen are 3 variables i cant predict and ask for your comment

1. will labor come out for this election higher then i have guessed 30-40% and if so, do they split 2/1 for jds as historiacally they did for curry?
2. given jds's poor staff and operatives performance at the convention..if the same folks run the primary...what does it mean?
3. the anti-war folks that arent dems tend to not like electoral politics,can they be convinced to register and vote for Lamont...and how do you do that in time for the primary?

TrueBlueCT said...

I bet you a nice dinner out that there will be no primary. The tenor of today's articles on this race make me feel pretty certain that Joe will drop out and retreat to November. Lamont is gaining significant traction and Joe has nothing to hit back at. Lieberman can't go negative without looking like a loser, and while sure, he can try to run on his record, Swan and Co. stand poised to shred Bush's favorite Democrat to pieces.

BRubenstein said...

trueblue....the bet is on...and..i hope you are wrong...i want to see this primary for the soul of our party go forward.

Brassett said...

Wow. Quite a compelling indictment of Lieberman.

I was a Lieberman delegate and plan to vote for him in the primary because my primary goal is to see at least one house of Congress flip to the Democrats. My fear is that a three-way race will allow Schlesinger to sneak in ala Weicker in 1970 or, far worse, Damato in NY in 1986. In addition, while I thought starting the war was an incredibly stupid idea, we've ruined the lives of ordinary Iraqis and I feel we owe it to them in install some semblance of social order before we leave.

All my friends and family are voting for Lamont and Bass's piece makes it more likely that, in spite of the foregoing, I might do the same once the voting booth curtain closes on August 8th.

Derby Conservative said...

This whole scenario is beyond the average Republican's wildest dreams...Go Schlesinger!

BRubenstein said...

Trueblue... If anyone can get the numbers of the connecticut residents who so far, or as of the end of the quarter, have given money to lieberman and would begin to see the " hot" vote for both and would be an indication of how it will be on primary day...lieberman and lamont im sure are watching that amidest their polling.

Lieberman, with much less ground troops, i believe must make a decision soon about if he will stay and face a primary or bolt to be an independant.

Remember,many of his delegates and elected official's will not help him gather signatures, so he probably will have to pay for a staff to do it. I think he would need a month or so to accomplish it.That means he must "act" and go to the SOTS for petitions sometime in the late part of June to July in order to turn in enough by the cutoff date,August 9th i think.

Lieberman will be polling right now to a fixed date they made in the campaign, in order to make that decision.

ctkeith said...

Heres what you folks are missing,

Go stop at a Truck stop on I95 for breakfast and just sit at the counter and listen.Don't say a word.
Better Yet,Stop at the Diner where all those Municipal Public Works guys you love to hate for getting time and a half to plow snow for 50 hrs. straight and Listen.

When your done with that ask the next guy you see who owns a very small Cape and has a couple of kids and a wife and mows his own lawn which way he's voting in Aug or Nov.

Then go to your local Senior Center During your lunch Break.Be Prepared though because alot of these guys saw action in WW2 and they're pissed as all hell.

Reagan Republicans are Flooding back home and that may be the Biggest Legacy yet of George W Bush.

Have a sparkling Sunday Evening Derby Conservative.

turfgrrl said...

Paul Bass on Joe Lieberman over the years:

From 2004: Throughout the '90s, right-wingers like Cheney counted on the Connecticut U.S. senator to provide "Democratic" cover to rev up the army and kill innocent people around the world, to unleash American corporate greed from regulation or taxation, to dismantle the wall separating church from state.

From 2000: Once in Washington, Lieberman continued running right, harder than ever. For the next constituencies he had to conquer inhabited the Beltway, and the nation, constituencies more conservative than the voters back home. The anti-war Lieberman of the early '70s had evolved into G.I. Joe, a Democrat who supported the Persian Gulf War and every new weapon and military-budget hike as fervently as any Republican. The civil rights volunteer became a death-penalty convert and critic of "special interest" agendas (except big business's special interests). He even toyed with voting to confirm civil-rights nemesis Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court; Lieberman waited until the last minute, when Thomas' confirmation was assured, to cast a "no" vote that would protect him with angry constituents back home. He supported Republican tax cuts. He accumulated the most pro-corporate record of any Senate Democrat -- and the millions of campaign dollars that came with them.

So what can we say about the latest salvo from Mr. Bass? More of the same, he's been pounding the anti-Leiberman drum beat for quite awhile now. He didn't have to go to his attic to rummage through his anti_Lieberman rhetoric, he has never sung from any other hymnbook.

Will his Courant audience react any differently to his Advocate audience? Only time will tell. But let's focus on two things: 1- The anti-Lieberman left wing of the Democratic party is a minority of the Democratic party. 2- When the fringes of a political party set fire to those on the opposite spectrum of their views, bad things happen, I submit Florida 2000 and the Naderites pillory of Gore. Having just seen An Inconvenient Truth, I was reminded again how much every Democratic principal of this great country has been trashed by the fringe minority of the Republican party.

BRubenstein said...

derby....don't get too excited...there are about 550,000 republicans and if Joe bolts to be an Ind you be be assured of about 10-20% of them voting for Joe as an Indep and another 2-5% voting for Lamont.YOur total numbers assuming a 70% vote in Nov are something near 320,000 plus maybe 20% of the u's who vote ( 70% of 800k= 560,000 and 20% is 112k for a total vote of 432,000 or so........... verse Lamonts...assuming a traditionally smaller vote % of 60% equals about a total of 420,000 dems voting...assuming about 20% go to Joe...and about the same going to Lamont from U to D...Lamonts total could be 450,000, less 5% D to R ( 20,000) That doesnt count about 1-2% of the voting rep's for Lamont ( about 10k) or the anti-war unregistered voters who will vote for him on November..( and that would be the difference to victory)

There are about 850,000 indep voters...assuming a 70% turnout..the total vote is about 600k voting...assuming 20% go to lamont and 20% to schlesinger it leaves Joe with a base vote of 360,000 assuming joe gets 20% of the rep vote you would add in an additional 60,000 votes,making joe with 420,000..then he would get 20% of the dems.( an additional 80,000 votes) for a grand total of 500,000 votes.


Joe 500,000
lamont 440,000 ( plus anti war unreg voters...assume their are 500,000 total unreg voters, and Lamont gets only 20% of them...add in ( 500k at 70% ( turnout)= 350,000 at 20%= 70,000 additional votes for Lamont..making his grand total 510,000 and a how Lamont does with the anti war crowd who arent dems..will hold the key to victory or not.

BRubenstein said...


33% of the delegates voted against liberman ( many under extreme pressure were forced to vote for Joe who wanted to vote for Lmaont..and who will not work for joe and who will vote for Lamont in the privacy of the voting booth.)

They are not a " fringe" part of the democratic party and may well be a majority....time will tell.

MikeCT said...

CT Blogger has video of Ken Dautrich on CT Newsmakers, saying Lieberman is in for the fight of his life, based in part on the kind of Dems who are likely to show up to vote in a primary.

My fear is that a three-way race will allow Schlesinger to sneak in ala Weicker in 1970

Don't let fears and threats of a non-Democrat decide your vote. In any case, it will have to be clear long before the primary if he will go Independent. So no need to commit yourself now to someone you don't really want. Work for Lamont and you can change your mind later if you feel you must.

we've ruined the lives of ordinary Iraqis and I feel we owe it to them in install some semblance of social order before we leave

I think you have it backwards. There will be no social order until the U.S. leaves.

turfgrrl said...


Your math skills must be on par with your lawyering skills. Good one there, go on thinking that 33% represents a majority.

GMR said...

I'm not convinced that even in a three way race, the Republican would win. It'd be a closer race, of course, but not a guaranteed win. There just aren't that many Republicans.

If Lamont wins the election, he'd be one of the most liberal senators in the country, although Bernie Sanders of Vermont would likely be more left-wing.

Nationally, it looks like the Republicans are probably going to hold the Senate. The Republicans have a good chance to pick up the Minnesota and NJ seats, and pretty much every single contested Senate seat has to swing Democrat. It could happen, but it's not likely to happen.

But the Democrats in the Senate would likely be more to the left than they are now. Certain elements within the far-left side of the Democrats, such as DailyKos et al, would likely threaten more primary fights if Democrats didn't move more to the left.

And if the Democrats do recapture the Senate, don't expect DailyKos and the rest to not be relentless in trying to push the Democrats further to the left.

This will probably end up being good for the Republican party, because the Democrats would likely be driven further to the left of the American mainstream. However, it would almost paradoxically not be good for the "conservative movement" in the country, because if the Democratic party moves closer to the "fringe left", then the Republicans will move more to the center.

If Lamont loses the primary to Lieberman, then this would likely cause many Lamont supporters to stay home on election day, therefore assuring Rell of a large victory. This would be especially true if Rell were up by 10% or 15% in the polls leading up to the election.

So in any event, I don't think Lamont's running is going to push Connecticut's senate seat to the Republican side, his run will help Republicans.

TrueBlueCT said...

The majority of the country is to the left of the current GOP leadership. The Democrats are the ones within the mainstream, and that is the reason that polls break 52-38% in favor of Democrats when people are asked the question of "who do you want to be in charge of Congress?"

The GOP is in power not because of their positions on real issues, they are in power because they kicked our asses at redistricing, and they are much better at getting their message out. (it helps to have the corporate media solidly on your side.)

The fight to elect Lamont isn't one of moving the Party to the Left. It's much more about messaging. Lieberman consistently hurts our message, what with his mantra, "Sean Hannity good, Michael Moore bad." If we get Joe out of the way, we are in a much better position to be heard. Healthcare for all, no to the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war, greater environmental responsibility, no to the Religious Right's extreme agenda, yes to fiscal responsibility.

Joe's position on the war, on torture, on the make-up of our courts, on the Bush energy bill... his coziness with America's big corporations, these things that we are fighting him on have nothing to do with the left/right debate.

As much as anything Lamont is a commonsense, straight-talking, non-politician who appeals across the spectrum to anyone sick of the status quo.

HealthcareNOW said...

I'm really impressed with Rubenstein's breakdown on the numbers, way to be on the ball man, that's said with no sarcasm at all.

As for the Bass article, holy jesus. That, sounds like the hand of God coming down and taking Lieberman by the neck. I bet you that he slammed some tables this morning. Harsh but indicative of the mood of the state and country,'s basically true too.

truth squad said...

this paul bass article is about as surprising as an I-95 traffic back up and as newsworthy as a dog chasing a cat. many things will decide thise election genghis, another one sided paul bass article disguised as journalsim isnt one of them.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

TrueBlueCT said... "
The majority of the country is to the left of the current GOP leadership."

Okay - but the majority is not to left of Lenin which is where Lamont seems to be headed.

ctblogger said...

It all about who comes out to the polls.

Look, Kenneth Dautrich has been saying something I've been screaming since the's all about the turnout and when you think about who votes in primaries, the only conclusion you can come to is that Joe is screwed.

Primary=hardcore Democrats=small town voters=Lamont supporters.

Ned's campaign stroke of genius was having Ned go to every small town in the state and make his case to the people. Go back and check the delegate count and see which towns support Ned. You think people in Hartford are going to the polls? Bridgeport? Norwalk? Hard core liberals are going to show up to the polls in busloads for Lamont and they live in small to mid size towns.

For Ned, it's not about beating Joe in the primary, at this point, it's about getting his supporters to the polls and beleive me, they're going to show up. I can't say the same about Joe's buddies (many of whom say one thing in public and will do another thing in the privacy of a voting booth).

Joe's campaign hasn't had a good day let along a week since Lamont's campaign announcement. With less than 10 weeks to go, where is Joe? Is he campaigning anywhere? Where's his supporters? I'm looking around...can't find anyone standing up for him.

I say, Joe jumps ship by July and take a gamble on the general election. If he loses the primary adn then goes for the indy route, he'll REALLY piss off Democrats and his "supporters" will cut him loose in a heartbeat (or else they'll be next on the chopping block). I think the nail in the coffin might be the next round of polls.

My two cents.

BRubenstein said...

trelgrrl...once again you misread the prior posting i did...i am beginning to think that you may have a cognitive brain problem.

I said in the prior posting of this tread... 33% plus those that were pressured in voting for lieberman may constitute a majority and those number arent fringe numbers.

I have ordered you a years supple of the " weekly reader" which will train you how to read properly.

BRubenstein said... you accuse Lamont of possibly communism and having positions " left of Lenin"..have you no shame? you owe an apology bud.

MikeCT said...

Authentic R,

the majority is not to left of Lenin which is where Lamont seems to be headed.

Indeed, Lamont's proletarian revolution is an inevitable consequence of the contradictions of capitalism! Once all industries are nationalized and we achieve worker control of the means of production, you will find peace and enlightenment in Ned's re-education camp. Welcome to the bright future of Our Fearless Leader!

BRubenstein said...

Healthcare...Thank you for that..the numbers i think are legit and i suspect pretty accurate...I would have thought that most posters would have responded to any of them.But then i remembered that most here have no real experience in running campaigns for state wide races.So i expect little comment.

Genghis Conn said...

I suppose that Lamont Digital Systems will be the state cable provider. Well, it can't be as bad as Cox.

Patricia Rice said...

Bass has always been a part of the radical left and his comments really mean nothing. Senator Lieberman is well respected by the vast majority of main-stream Democrats. The far left is attempting to seize control of the Democratic party and will fail.

ctkeith said...

Thanks Patricia,

I heard you were chosen as the new Spokesmodel for Sean Smiths low information voter strategy.

and you don't even have to give up that patronage Job? SWEET!!

cgg said...

I never thought I'd see the day when members of my own party would be so dismissive of the left. Just another reason to vote against Joe in the primary.

BRubenstein said...

Pat Rice....all of us lefist bloggers meetin cells...we have a secret handshake....we have to memorize das capital...and the leader of the cell is the one with the beard. We have also started a secret red will notice us by the red armbands...SHHHSSSS

MikeCT said...


You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

RumorHasIt! said...

Is it just me, or has Genghis suddenly found his sense of humor?!?

I simply love this post!
Genghis--I suppose that Lamont Digital Systems will be the state cable provider. Well, it can't be as bad as Cox.

Long live the blogosphere!

turfgrrl said...


Democratic turnout in the 2000 presidential primary:
180,304 (D)

Democratic turnout in the 2004 primary:

131,328 (D)

brubenstein advice on predicting turnout for a non presidential primary:


Keep on pontificating there, your expertise in CT politics truly does entertain.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

BRubenstein said... "
you accuse Lamont of possibly communism and having positions " left of Lenin"..have you no shame? you owe an apology bud."

Why not just call the FBI?

BRubenstein said...

Turfgrrl...those primaries were in early March..not in summer..

Additionally, they were for one position not two like we face now...

Furthermore the Senator and Governor positions are closer to the folks here at home...

Lastly...Curry v. larson 1994 primary was 26%...and that was a stand alone is reasonable to expect a better turnout for a double primary, dont you think?

Once again you are mixing apples and oranges.

BRubenstein said...

Turfgrrl...those primaries were in early March..not in summer..

Additionally, they were for one position not two like we face now...

Furthermore the Senator and Governor positions are closer to the folks here at home...

Lastly...Curry v. larson 1994 primary was 26%...and that was a stand alone is reasonable to expect a better turnout for a double primary, dont you think?

Once again you are mixing apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

I got a headache following everybody's numbers but from what I could see the bigger support for Lamont is in the suburbs and don't they traditionally turn out more voters???so isn't it logical he'd do better than the 33% he got at the convention??and has anybody seen Joe's attack on Lamont's record as a Greenwich Selectman??I saw it once maybe last Friday night -

MightyMouse1 said...

Keith, How exactly do the Reagan Democrats who you claim are coming back to the party help Lamont? I would think that moderates help Joe?

Harcourt Fenton said...

The Lamontites are the same people that voted for Nader instead of Gore/Lieberman in 2000.

They will get the same results.

turfgrrl said...


August, to paraphrase Karl Rove, is not the month you do a product launch. And, like I said, presidential races are what drives voter turnout, so without a presidential primary, the numbers will be low.


Maybe Lamont will do better in the burbs, but the numbers are aren't there. 50% of 300 voters is still less than 30% of 10000.

BRubenstein said...

turfgrrl...your numbers are too have no evidence,experience or what credence shall we give your numbers?

turfgrrl said...


The numbers came from the Secretary of State site, so your beef is there.

zhulander said...

Lieberman put Israel’s national interests ahead of OUR national interest. In addition, why would we need a politician that is pro-war and anti-trade anyways?