Lanny Davis, the latest "Democrat" to take to op-ed swamp of the Wall Street Journal quotes a handful of obscure anti-semitic blog commenters and indicts the whole blogosphere for McCarthyism. Par for the course. But this is beyond ironic:
A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event--where he asked the candidate some critical questions--some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety.
First of all, poor little Richard Goodstein (who this obviously is) has no reason to be in fear for his physical safety but I guess portraying him on the pages of the macho WSJ editorial page as a whimpering little baby is something his friend thought was useful. Hey, if Dick doesn't mind, then I guess I shouldn't. But really, he should be a man and go back to Connecticut. Republicans are laughing at him.
But that's not what's astonishing about this piece. It's that Richard Goodstein came to the attention of journalists and observers in Connecticut during the Ted's Burger joint stunt where a bunch of Lieberman supporters ambushed Lamont in a small restaurant. What made Goodstein stand out was that he was screaming "Are you a Sharpton Democrat or a Clinton Democrat" over and over again. That's called race baiting, folks.
But he wasn't alone. This was a campaign talking point.Lieberman himself said it. You have rich white guys from Washington in white Connecticut neighborhoods saying there's a difference between an "Al Sharpton Democrat and a Bill Clinton Democrat" and demanding to know which side Lamont was on. There's only one reason to use Sharpton rather than, say --- Michael Moore, and we know what that is, don't we? (Lamont, to his credit, said "I'm both.")
This was cheap racial politics especially after Lieberman played such a martyr over the blackface graphic that called him out for being two-faced on race --- a fact which he then had his pal Richard Goodstein go out and demonstrate with no sense of self-awareness at all.
The blogs later found out that Goodstein was a DC lobbyist, but they weren't the ones who made him famous. It was the local press who happened to be at the event and quoted Goodstein on the front page the next morning.
"It was supposed to be a laid-back event and (they) ruined it." "We're just using our right. We're just exercising our rights to enjoy a burger," said Lieberman supporter Alex Hoffman of Boston. Supporters of each candidate debated outside on the sidewalk while many Lieberman supporters continued to badger Lamont, who acknowledged most questions. Richard Goodstein, one of the most vocal Lieberman supporters, repeatedly shouted, "Are you a Bill Clinton Democrat or an Al Sharpton Democrat?" Lamont calmly said he supported both.
This particular line seemed to be Goodstein's specialty, since he showed up at a rally the next day with a sign that said "Lieberman = Clinton, Lamont Weicker = Sharpton." He was taped giving an interview to the local press in which he said "Lieberman has the support of Bill Clinton who speaks for inclusion and Ned Lamont has the support of Al Sharpton who speaks for divisiveness."
You'll notice there was not a bit of irony in his voice, by the way. Nor did it seem to occur to him that Joe's black constituents might just find such a statement a tad provocative since it was given to an all white crowd. It would seem that at this point, Lieberman either must have given up the african american vote or he assumed that no black person would see this white middle aged jerk publicly dissing Sharpton like he was Willie Horton. Either way, the man was playing a low-down game.
As for Lanny, well, nobody takes him seriously. He was the single most inept Clinton defender ever. When he would show up on Fox or MSNBC back in the Lewinsky days I would cringe knowing that whatever blond former prosecutor harpy they had on would rip him to shreds. (I swear, he must have uttered the words "deplorable" and "reprehensible" at least 15,000 times.) I knew they hired him for just that purpose and I have heard that there is no love lost between him and the Clintonistas, which doesn't surprise me. He's still at it. In the course of his usual ineffectual non-defense he's managed to make both his friends Joe and Dick look like hanky wringing losers which is fine by me.
And, make no mistake, Lanny Davis is a Bush fan, just like Joe. He's a frat brother who, just days after the recount was settled, wrote an opportunistic brown nosing op-ed in the NY Times attesting to Bush's good character. (Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. I'll never forgive him for that.)
I, for one, am thrilled to finally have him pitching for a different team than mine. I hope the WSJ gives him a regular spot in the rotation. He only hurts the ball club.