The old warhawkolic is hitting the battle again. There he was, telling Face the Nation that he wanted the President to spy on Americans, just so long as he promised to stop flagrantly violating the law. But it got worse, Lieberman talked about how "the military option had to be on the table" on Iran. Lesson from someone who rarely walks away down from the table - never put chips down against someone who knows that you are drawing dead. You won't even get time to kiss them good bye before he cleans you out.
There's no nice way to say this: Schmoementum has settled on Connecticut's most famous Senator. He's an embarassment - with poor judgement, and an itching to become the next Zellout Miller of the Senate. It's time to ring down the curtain on this painful play at being a Democrat, and send someone to Washington that will represent the best interests of the American public, and not coincidentally, Connecticut's residents.
Here's five easy lessons on why Ned Lamont is getting coverage, and praise on his possible run for Senate.
1. Ned Lamont is Can Do - Lieberman is Pie in the Sky
Lieberman yammers on about how America can attack Iran, and continue to fight in Iraq and Afgahnistan. Perhaps his TIVO is broken, but Osama bin Forgotten is still releasing direct to video threats against the US, and the Iraq, according to the DoD, is now in the midst of a sectarian civil war. Even the Pentagon spokesman have abandoned circumlocutions and dissembling, and admitted that the situation in Iraq is very grave. Lieberman backed, and backs, and will continue to back, this pie in the sky venture, without the integrity to demand revenue increases to pay for it. Liberals pay as they go - Lieberman's borrow it forward. Not only do they young get to bleed for Iraq, they get to pay for it too.
Lamont's record is as an entrepreneur. He understands that Iraq and tax policy are joined at the hip as "wrongheaded" and "ill-advised. He realizes that health care is an economic issue, key to basic American competing in the world, and that there is "overwhelming" support for it, and yet no progress - despite the burden it places on small business.
That's Schmoementum lesson one: Lamont wants to save your life, Lieberman wants to throw it away.
2. Ned Lamont talks to the people, Lieberman kicks the base.
Salon.com put it this way.
No current Democratic politician so maddens the party's progressive grass roots as Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. And it's not just that he supports the war in Iraq. Other high-profile Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have declined to repudiate the Iraq campaign (or apologize for their votes authorizing it) without losing the support of the Democratic rank and file. The problem with Lieberman is that he has defended not only the war but also the administration's rosy view of it, insisting that things are going well at a time when other hawks -- from Congressman John Murtha to Iraqi dissident Kanan Makiya -- are warning of impending disaster.
Lieberman is now seen as the most important Democratic apologist for the White House, a man who shores up what little credibility the president has left, while undermining his own party and refusing to own up to the debacle in Iraq has become. Increasingly, people in his own party want to take him down. As the 2006 midterms approach, some major Democratic funders, despite their dream of reclaiming at least one house of Congress, are prepared to spend a lot of money and energy defeating one of their own.
Party's don't win unless people feel good about being members. Lieberman's famous quote from the 2004 race was that he wouldn't hesitate to tell his friends they are wrong, and his enemies they are right. That's just plain not true, he hasn't told his good friend George Bush anything bad in ages. It's good to be Joe's friend, it's just not good to be in the same party.
Lamont has already been holding meetings around the state where he fields open questions and gives real answers. Ned Lamont has already talked to bloggers and party loyalists more in the last two months than Joe Lieberman has in the last 6 years.
That's Schmoementum lesson two: Ned Lamont sells the Democratic Party, Joe Lieberman shorts the Democratic Party.
3. Lamont can get tough with the press.
Lamont nails Lieberman's irresponsibility saying that the "Bridge to Nowhere" got his blood boiling, and that the "War to Nowhere" was an enormous policy blunder - echoing General Clark's "the greatest strategic blunder of the Post-Cold War Era.
How did we get here? Lamont says that it is because "we didn't ask the tough questions". Not just the Congress, but the Press as well:
And we never asked George Bush the tough questions the whole leadup to the war. We never asked him tough questions when he said this battle 's going to be easy. We never asked him questions when he said were going to be greeted as liberators, that it's going to pay for itself, weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat. We didn't ask those questions along the way and our Senator, Joe Lieberman, not only did he not ask the questions, he was a cheerleader for the president every step of the way into the war in Iraq. And I think those that got us into that war ought to be held accountable.
That's Schmoementum lesson three: Joe Lieberman slathers on the pander and slander cable narrative of Big Man Bush - while Lamont is going to knock the statues to King George down.
4. Joe Lieberman is disloyal.
Let's get this straight, in politics, loyalty is crucial. The loyalty of the Republiborg congress has allowed them to turn 48% support into 110% power - going above and beyond what the Constitution allows. Being "disloyal" is the ultimate knock. Even the party leadership has admitted that Joe is often off the reservation, and there has been wide speculation that Lieberman would take a job in Republican cabinet. Ned Lamont's loyalty is one of the first things he talks about - where rumor has it that Lieberman would take a third party run if he looses the nomination - Lamont is a team player and with the party.
Loyalty means nothing to Lieberman. If it did he would know that loyalty means not playing up to the right wing while they are a trying to smear the Democratic Party as traitors in league with Osama bin Laden. Loyalty means lying to the American public about Iraq.
Schmomentum Lesson Four: Let this be a warning to the beltway insiders: Lieberman is about to give you a bottomless cup of Schmoe.
5. Lamont believes in smart - Lieberman believes in smarm
What's Lieberman's big contribution? The Department of Homeland Security. That's right, the biggest bureaucratic boondoggle of all time. The department that couldn't even read a weather report, and can't even get New Orleans the money it needs to stay solvent. This is more than just voting for someone elses trillion dollar mistake - this is making one of his own. Lamont is connected with the Brookings Institute - he already has a top policy coordinator, and has reached out to top policy talent in the Democratic Party.
If we are going to move the party in the right direction - towards taking care of business, and not taking care of big business - towards building an economy, and not bombing a country - towards a balanced budget, a balanced economy and a balanced foreign policy - and away from spewing meaningless threats while toothlessly allowing proliferation of the weapons that do almost as much damage sitting around as they do being used - then it is time for us to get out and push.
No more Schmomentum - win, lose or draw, it is time to send a message to the party machine, and to the carnival of corporate consultants, that Democrats won't vote for any broken down hack who wears the party label.
Let's face it, Joe has always been the first rat off the ship - whether it was stabbing Clinton in the impeachment, deserting Gore during the election struggle, standing mouth to pelvis with the administration on Iraq, creating DoH! - and now talking about writing George Bush another blank check for another war we can't win, with a budget that can't afford it.
That's not just one mistake, that's a streak of futility that stretches back to the days when .com wasn't a punch line. In sports they say the "big Moe" is everything. Well, we all know who has the "big Schmoe".
That's the last lesson in Schmoementum: whose the bigger schmoe? The schmoe who votes for "the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time" - and will vote for the next one too - or the schmoes who let him get away with it?