Let me make one thing clear: I hate Joe Lieberman as much as, if not more, than the next guy. I hate his fake sanctimonious, concern-troll tone as he went against everything he stood for his whole life and campaigned against Barack Obama.
And while I understand why Obama sent the lifeline he did to Lieberman, I don’t like that Joe made it out of yesterday with a slap on the wrist. I also don’t like that he was removed from the environmental committee - the one issue he was pretty good at - but retained the Homeland Security committee, the one he was terrible at (of course, my solution to this is to get rid of the Homeland Security department all together).
Having said all that, and understanding and being a part of the anger so many of us shared, yesterday was perhaps the most embarrassing day to be a member of the liberal blogosphere that I can remember. It was the Great Lieberman Temper Tantrum of 2008.
I know I'm going to get flamed for this. But understand I'm writing this because I care about DKos and I care about the liberal blogosphere. I'm sure many of you disagree with me, but I believe that the way so many of us reacted yesterday played right into the hands of those who would marginalize us. I believe that our anger was completely justified, but there was a way to deal with it rationally and intelligently - and many people here did (more on that soon).
But in general, I’ve never seen so many ostensibly educated, reality-based, and “mature” people behave like petulant babies en masse like I did yesterday. From threats to run primary challenges against all of the 40-something Senators who voted to protect Lieberman, to accusations of treason against Harry Reid and Howard Dean (wait, aren’t we supposed to love Howard?), the reaction fulfilled every stereotype of “wild-eyed liberal” that the pundit-world could have hoped for and then some.
Perhaps most disheartening was Kos writing snarky lectures to Barack Obama on what it takes to govern, drawing a false equivalency between what he did for Lieberman to what he should do to former Bush aides. Markos Moulitsas, a guy who has been on Meet The Press, written two books, and expects us to take him seriously as an analyst, wrote the following passage about Obama:
Since he doesn’t want “purges” to be the order of the day, perhaps he’ll make sure to keep the thousands of Bush appointees in their respective offices, from Cabinet secretaries on down? That would only be consistent with his meddling in the Senate.
I half-expected his next sentence to be, “And I’m going to hold my breath and stomp my feet until I get what I want!” While at first I wrote this off as anger speaking on Markos' part, his follow-up was equally childish.
Once again, let me reiterate, while I understand why Lieberman was given a reprieve yesterday, I don’t like it at all and strenuously disagree with it. And I believe there was a way to be angry and strenuously disagree that would have bolstered our case much more (and in no way am I suggesting that we shouldn't be pissed).
But the juvenile, petulant manner in which many here and on other liberal blogs had a mass freak-out yesterday, led by the very people like Markos who have argued (I felt, as a blogger for 6 years now, rightfully) that bloggers should be taken seriously, was an embarrassment.
To be fair, there were many who behaved much more maturely, on all sides of this issue, from Hunter's great post on "Why It Matters," to Argyios' passionate diary defending the decision of the Senate Dems.
But if we're meant to be taken seriously as a player, analyst, and force in politics, it's time we react to difficulties by behaving like serious players, and not be just blurting out the first angry thing on the tip of our tongues.
Cross-posted at Strategy '08
UPDATE: Many commenters are scanning my diary and leaping to "I disagree! The Senate Dems were wrong to do what they did!" Clearly many people aren't reading my diary. I happen to agree that the Senate Dems were wrong.
My diary is NOT about Lieberman. It's about us and the way we react to these things. Not about the rights and wrongs of yesterday's actions.