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The Tiger Clause

Was David Broder Always *This* Stupid?

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps.

Yes, Washington Post, each David Broder column you publish flushes your reputation further down the toilet.

Yesterday he wrote:

Voter Anger That Cuts Both Ways: when I went to Connecticut three weeks before the primary, it was evident that he was going to be overwhelmed by the passion to "send a message" through Lamont of frustration with the war in Iraq, the Bush presidency and Congress. Lieberman, as I wrote, represented a candidacy, while Lamont embodied a cause -- and it was clear that the cause would prevail...


Simply no.

Not true. A switch of two percent of the voting electorate would have given Joe Lieberman a victory. If Joe Lieberman had announced that he was going to live or die by the result of the Democratic primary, spent his $2 million in the bank on the primary, and gotten all the extra Democratic politicians who would have been happy to campaign with him under those conditions into the state--he would have won. If Lieberman had made up his mind whether Lamont was really a Republican from Greenwich or a tool of the far left that believes Osama bin Laden is not a threat, he would have won. If Lieberman had been willing to talk this spring about how Bush could handle the situation in the Middle East better--he would have won. If Lieberman had been willing to call for mass resignations from the Bush administration for failed implementation--he would have won.

Lieberman had to work very hard to lose this one. In claiming that "it was clear" that Lamont would prevail, David Broder is simply being a very rare species of idiot.

But that's not all!

Broder writes:

Lamont found his most prominent support on the far-left flank of the Democratic Party. His organization was a hand-me-down from the Howard Dean presidential campaign, bolstered by a blizzard of Internet blogs from outside his home state. His roster of visiting campaigners was uniformly of the same political slant -- notably Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Rep. Maxine Waters of California...

That's equally stupid. In contrast to this garbage, the shrill and reality-based Gail Collins and her posse put her finger on it as they write:

Revenge of the Irate Moderates - New York Times: Ned Lamont, a relative political novice, said he ran against Mr. Lieberman because he was offended by the senator's sunny descriptions of what was happening in Iraq and his denunciation of Democrats who criticized the administration's handling of the war. Many other people in Connecticut may have felt that sense of frustration, but no one else had the money and moxie....

Mr. Lieberman's supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals.... It's hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it's hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution.

The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates.... A war that began at the president's choosing has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration's contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.... [T]he political discussion in Washington has become a captive of the Bush agenda. Traditional beliefs like every person's right to a day in court, or the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win, wind up being portrayed as extreme. The middle becomes a place where senators struggle to get the president to volunteer to obey the law when the mood strikes him. Attempting to regain the real center becomes... radical...

And, of course, Broder commits further acts of stupidity:

Lieberman could claim 18 years of Senate seniority... a reputation for personal integrity...

I do not believe that Michael Schiavo sees Lieberman as having any personal integrity whatsoever. Having seen Lieberman's response to being warned that the "delaying Social Security reform a year costs us $600 billion" Republican talking point he was using was false--Lieberman kept on using it--I don't see himn as having any personal integrity either. Nor did he show personal integrity when he blocked the attempts of the experts at the Financial Accounting Standards Board to reform the accounting treatment of options. Nor did he show personal integrity when he expressed his views on Abu Ghraib--that under Rumsfeld the U.S. army had been pulling random Iraqis off the street and torturing them for no particular reason: "We're in the middle of a war--you wouldn't want to have the secretary of defense change unless there's really good reason for it and I don't see any good reason at this time."