Monday, August 07, 2006

Torch This "Straw Man" For Good

I currently have the Editorial page of yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer spread out in front of me. I’m rereading it, and I still can’t believe my eyes.

(Note: This is another Lieberman post, so be advised; I’m hoping this will be the last one, and I DEFINITELY hope that there will be no need for any others after tomorrow.)

I realize it’s a long shot that any members of the Inquirer editorial board are actually reading this, but if by some chance they are, I have a request (probably vain and futile, but a request all the same):

Cease and desist now and forever with these “side by side” columns where you try to lambaste both liberals and conservatives at the same time. You published something like this months ago in which PA Repug wingnut Pat Toomey (who almost defeated Arlen Specter in ’04 in the primary) attacked conservatives, and someone named Chuck Williams attacked liberals.

Yesterday, you published (under the mystifying heading “Civility Under Fire”) side-by-side columns concerning the latest incarnation of the Swift Boat Lying Liars for Lies attacking John Murtha for speaking out against the failed Iraq war, and next to the Murtha column, one appeared blaming those looking to boot Joe Lieberman from office; you concluded that the only reason for Lieberman’s trouble was his support of the war. In doing so, you implied that there was some sort of non-existent equivalency between the people smearing Murtha and those supporting Ned Lamont who want to see Joe Lieberman tossed out of office (of course – why miss an opportunity to take a shot at those nasty, unkempt, profanity-using liberal bloggers again, that sad rabble that is grinding our august democracy into the dust, actually going out and reporting in its fashion on the news THAT YOU REFUSE TO REPORT YOURSELVES??!!).

Your Toomey/Williams set of columns was a joke, but this is even more ridiculous.

Apparently it is necessary for me to link back again to the L.A. Times article written by Duncan Black that explains that Lieberman’s trouble is not with the bloggers, but with the voters of the state of Connecticut who are TIRED of his “Repug-lite” act.

If you want more reasons to be unhappy with Joe Lieberman, here are a few:

- As Cenk Uygur points out here (in this very detailed and well-sourced post), there is no indication that Lieberman would vote against John Bolton’s official confirmation to the U.N. (which should be a no-brainer given that that entire area of the world is in flames, and rather than bringing an extinguisher, Bolton could be counted on to top it off with a heaping dose of lighter fluid, so to speak).

- Lieberman also hasn’t renounced the delusional neo-con fantasy of attacking Syria and Iran also, as Cenk notes (are their fantasies of this type anything BUT delusional?).

- Also, Lieberman opposed emergency contraception for rape victims because, according to Joe, it was unnecessary because victims could just take “a short car ride to another hospital” for emergency care.

- Oh, and do you even need to ask whether or not Lieberman supported the confirmation of "Strip Search Sammy" Alito?

So no, Inquirer editorial board, people aren’t just POed at Lieberman for his support of, in your words, “this fiasco of a war.” And it’s not as if Lieberman isn’t losing support from longtime Senate colleagues also, including Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey as noted here (and I love the quote from Holy Joe about "looking at what reality is,” or something like that…why should Lieberman break with tradition?).

Finally, I think it’s worth noting that, as stated in this story, this campaign has led to an increase in Democratic voter registration in Connecticut (and this is bad?).

To argue that the opposition to Lieberman is solely because of his support for the war and his tendency to speak “a kind word to the other guys” across the aisle in Congress, as the Inky puts it, is rank disinformation.

I’m grateful that there was a time in my life when the craft of journalism was practiced impartially and across the board by courageous men and women of conscience and dedication, particularly during the period when this country last fought a highly divisive war halfway around the world. Under this current climate, if Walter Cronkite had said that Vietnam was lost, he would have been unceremoniously fired and possibly clapped in irons after enduring every time of media scorn imaginable.

Actually, truth be told, I think what the Inquirer published yesterday was more than mere disinformation (bad enough as that was). It was their attempt to shame those who have called out the phony Lieberman for what he is, and to me the only reason why they would engage in this slovenly exercise is, ultimately, to silence dissent.

And speaking of Walter Cronkite, his mentor had something to say about that.

No comments: