They're Not Robots

First Jonathan Chait and now Spencer Ackerman have escaped Marty’s grasp reached beyond their New Republic home to oppose Lieberman. Chait’s contribution is a logical attack on Joe’s justification for his run (if surprising, given the source).

What’s the point of running to uphold Democratichawkishness when you’re running against the Democratic Party and itschosen nominee? Lieberman is fighting on terrain that, from theperspective of the liberal hawks, could not be less advantageous.

Ithas stopped being a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party andbecome a battle for Lieberman to keep his prestigious job. If the ideasthat he professes to value above all else are really his highestpriority, he should drop out of the race.

While Ackerman expands on Chait’s point to refute Joe’s claim to be strong on defense.

  1. emptypockets says:

    Personally I would have gone with â€The Robots Have Gone Berserk†(or, one of the opening lines of a recent Star Trek movie, â€The android is out of controlâ€) — but I guess I need to expect this kind of precision from a Capek scholar.

  2. Mimikatz says:

    It can’t be overemphasized that a large part of the opposition to Lieberman is his constant denigration of the Democratic Party aqnd hi9s effusive praise for Bush, symbolized by â€The Kissâ€. But another factor few mention is the small size of Connecticut. I can’t imagine an insurgent primary challenge to Dianne Feinstein having any degree of success, for example, because of the size of the state and the many expensive media markets. Similarly, talk about challenging Hillary Clinton is sheerest fantasy, and would have been a year ago.

    Chait and Ackerman are rightly to be applauded for engaging in this important debate. And thank the gods someone is pointing out how much more unsafe we are with a foreign policy based on fear and aggression than a more traditional internationalist policy of alliances and containment. The idea that we are in greater danger now than we were in the Cold War or during WWII is just addled nonsense.

  3. jonnybutter says:

    I think their public criticism of Joe is important, insofar as it presents a direct challenge to the unquestioning hawkishness of some Dead-enders in the DLC wing of the party.

    Yes. FINALLY. They’re implying the ’forbidden’ but obvious thing: this administration and its policies make us less safe – not ’mistakes have been made’ nor ’not as safe as we should be’, but ’less safe’. Admitting that is sort of a rubicon for dems to cross; it’s kind of a collective unthinkable, since Bush is in office for 2 more years. Feingold all but called this reticence ’covering our tracks’ (he was talkling about Lieberman and Iraq). It’s a sort of vaguely ’Peace With Honor’ heebee jeebee that no one knows how to deal with politically (well, deft leadership would work, but aside from that).

    Waiting for this to happen has been like staring at a dangling shoe – for a year+ – waiting for it to drop: infuriatingly boring. I guess this stuff takes time, but GEEZ.

    Mark Schimitt is right about this I think; from a review of young-fogey Jacob Weisberg’s Slate piece:

    [2006] is more like 1974 than 1972. And 2008 will be even more so. In 1974/75, everyone understood that U.S. involvement in Vietnam, a decade after Tonkin, had to end. That’s where we are with Iraq, and the only people who don’t seem ready to be part of figuring out how to end it are George Bush, Joe Lieberman and the Wall Street Journal editorial page. But folks like Weisberg, who see everything as 1972 all over again, aren’t making it any easier to get to that point.

  4. Meteor Blades says:

    …a position so inexplicable as to be nearly insane.

    Doesn’t this comment make Ackerman at least an associate member of the â€Taliban wing†of the â€Defeatocratsâ€?

  5. fantasticsam says:

    this needs to be said. Marcy Wheeler is a fucking cunt. She thinks she knows everything and claims to scoop big media with her bullshit blog posts. in reality, Marcy Wheeler is a stupid bitch who needs to be slapped upside her ugly, ugly head. Marcy, you’re a fucking idiot. You’re blog contains no facts. You are insane to think that you’re better than other real reporters. Go fuck yourself you cunt.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sure enough, Leopold, masking your IP, but we did capture you here under 69.108.85, awfully close to the IPs you used when you can as: Harry Shep Jason Leopold Jason Leopold Adam Yorkshire tom marconi

  7. kaleidescope says:

    â€She thinks she knows everything and claims to scoop big media with her bullshit blog posts.â€

    Yikes, when did Peter Beinart start posting on TNH?

  8. Meteor Blades says:

    Jason, huh? I thought it was somebody off his meds. But if it’s Jason, then it’s just another day at the office.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yup, it’s Jason. He has posted under two different IPs in 10 minutes, because he’s masking his true IP, which is the same as he has used in the past when he sock-puppets over here.

  10. simian says:


    Marcy Wheeler knows all. The cunt has a crystal ball. Stupid whore bag. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. You’re a fucking ugly bitch you know that you little whore? You are one butt ugly woman. Yeah, that’s right.

  11. jonnybutter says:

    Speaking of simians, Josh has an item up now about George Allen’s calling a Webb volunteer who is from Virginia but is of Indian descent something â€which sounded like ’Macacaâ€â€™ (a kind of monkey or, if spelled with a ’k’, a town in S. Africa).

    Allen’s wrapping up the Jon Wayne vote early.

  12. merciless says:

    Love the logic. â€I can’t refute anything you say, so, you’re ugly!â€

    Jeebus. Go play minesweep or something.

  13. emptyhanded says:

    Hey Jason,
    Any new scoops on Treasongate? I’m not ready to give up on you yet. Maybe you could boost your credibility by attacking Hajj for doctoring photos. I imagine you are a big time Lieberman supporter too, right?

  14. Mimikatz says:

    Macaque is the monkey. Maybe he meant Macau? Maybe the sunspots are overactive today or something. Lots of fried brains.

  15. emptyhanded says:

    Hey Jason,
    Any new scoops on Treasongate? I’m not ready to give up on you yet. Maybe you could boost your credibility by attacking Hajj for doctoring photos. I imagine you are a big time Lieberman supporter too, right?

  16. al-Fubar says:

    Well, at least now I know ew’s real name! Does â€Jason†always foam at the mouth like this? Somehow I’ve managed to never see him till now.

    Mimi – CT is geographically small, but isn’t much of it in the very pricey NYC media market? I suspect that if DiFi had gone in the tank for Bush the way Joementum did, she might have faced a serious challenge even in CA.

  17. Sara says:

    CT is compact, and even in the towns near to New York, they easily get the Hartford and New Haven TV stations. You can drive from one corner of the state to another in just an hour or so — meaning you can run a very efficient campaign. A candidate, or someone speaking on their behalf can do four events in different parts of the state in one day, and still have time to eat. The place is just a little less dependent on TV than, for instance, California where one would have to buy five or six media markets.

  18. JohnLopresti says:

    Lamont needs to address ways to develop a path to peace.

    Beyond that, my personal imperative for his autumn election campaign strategy, I offer here only some links to topics in the news these past seven days which reminded me of items ew might find piquant.

    British citizen muslim leaders letter to Blair re: need for diplomacy, weak spot in US-British tandem foreign policy in Iraq and arab lands. The article is a subtle putdown of BushCo, written with a zest likely salient to the British reader but opaque to BushCo, and especially confounding to stalwart ideologues, of whom Lieberman often has either been one or worked from the infrastructure to support those who would be more public in statements.

    US advanced date for London raid from 12th to 10th, surprising a few allies.

    Lieberman loses election October 8th; announces bolt from party. Does this put him in same category as Sen Jeffords? The person Lamont defeated once had Gore’s public confidence; maybe Gore can help soothe the savage breast of the old campaigner. I think the Democrats tent is going to be so large these next two elections that even a crumbling segment in CT will produce little effect, and Lamont will go on to reidentify a very important part of the political legacy of CT; these are different times but I find CT’s Abe Ribicoff coming to mind.

    Bureaucracy turf divisions in Clinton administration security departments; this recent article discusses the 1997 epoch, yet, continues an interesting part of history of parts of the executive branch in which ew has expertise. In ongoing repartee the author, Levinson, a libertarian, constitutional law professor at U.TX; Levinson usually likes to take a fresh view of very staid institutions.

  19. John Casper says:

    emptywheel, I am embarrassed by what I read from Jason tonite. You have treated him with nothing except kindness and patience. You are a great gift to this nation and your readers. With great affection and the deepest respect. You handled this latest outburst with consumate grace and skill.

    When pretending to be Harry Shep, Jason made specific physical threats against DHinMI. I hope you and DHinMI will at least consider filing a police report so there is an official record. It’s the kind of â€tough love,†that I think Jason needs.
    John Casper

  20. Anonymous says:

    â€macaqe†is apparently â€nigger†in his mother’s mother tongue.

    just saying, it is clearly racist.

    He may be too dumb to realize it, but it is his parents racism seeping through…. he see’s and siezes on the one difference. Color.

    How deep of him . Allen should be tarred and feathered.

  21. Dismayed says:

    The thing to do is point out when it’s Jason from now on – then COMPLETELY ignore him. Yikes, I new he was prone to predictive scoops, but that guy is seriously off his rocker. As always, EW remains a class act. — And I just gotta throw this out there. Seems Hezbollah knows they won, Isreal knows they lost, but not George, not a clue, says Israel won (clearly a guy with one dry oar). I’d love to be a fly on the wall with George and Jason in a conversation over a beer. It’d be like watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit while riding a tilt-a-whirl on acid. Wheeeee!

  22. jonnybutter says:

    Allen should be tarred and feathered.

    Nobody should be tarred and feathered. It’s like lynching. He should be laughed at, ridiculed for the thuggish moron he is. Sanctimony legitimizes him too much. Allen will never be president, and VA will be blue one day soon. I just thought we needed a laugh in this thread, and Allen’s always good for that. I know sociopaths can be canny, but they aren’t impossible to figure out, for god’s sake; I don’t see a real threat from Allen. He’ll probably win another term and that will be it.

    Serious mental illness, OTOH, is no laughing matter – well, it can be, but only when you have the luxury. I have much more compassion for Jason than for Allen. Allen is terribly responsible for what he says; Jason, who I’m sure is pretty functional and well-meaning a lot of the time, not so much. We have a funny way of dealing (ie not-dealing) with mental illness in this country. Some kinds are OK and some aren’t. That’s where I draw the line anyway, FWIW.

  23. freepatriot says:

    you’re scaring the shit out of people now, ew

    one doesn’t generate such attacks by being wrong

    you hit a bulleye somewhere

    and to the troll-jason, thanks for your vote of confidence

    feel free to let us know when you’re agitated again, cuz that’s what we live for

  24. jwp says:

    my 2 cents worth

    I think that Lieberman is the new Swift Boat diversion. It is a circus meant to highlight that Dems are in the middle — flip floppers — not sure what to do.

    Part of it is Joe throwing grenades at liberals — soft on defense, cave in to terrorists stuff. Useful repetition of Rove talking points.

    But I think the bigger theater is to have the public see the Dems struggle to disown Joe. Watch them make excuses, and try to make defensive little distinctions on policy.

    And it will drag on and on and dominate the media. Democrats as Hamlet. Cannot be trusted to run the national security.

    Dem leadership, if there is any, needs to savage Joe hard and fast, and take a clear position for more effective action against Al Queda and for getting the hell out of Iraq soon, no if ands or buts.

    We’ll see.

  25. pow wow says:

    Way, way, way over the line, Leopold.

    No excuse – none, whatsoever, for the venom you spewed above toward a very good, very decent person. Deal with your demons without projecting your self-hatred onto innocents. You’re wallowing in the George W. Bush model of destructive behavior.

    Emptywheel is a downright cute, charming, and obviously whip-smart gal. The oaths you hurled at her yesterday reveal ugliness alright – ugliness emanating solely from an apparently self-destructive Jason Leopold.

    I apologize, emptywheel, on his unrepentant behalf, for the uncalled for, undeserved, and utterly pointless viciousness of his vile words. [His undeleted comments speak for themselves, and thus I now know better than to keep cutting the guy slack – enough is enough.]

  26. Shez in MI says:

    Thank You John Casper and pow wow, et al, you expressed my feelings perfectly. Emptywheel IS a national treasure and a true Lady, I could only hope to be her when I grow up, and we’re around the same age. Furthermore I’m glad she’s from my state, it makes me doubly proud of her. She’s been at the top of my list for ages now as the person I most want to meet and emulate.

    The Leopold’s of the world would quake and piddle in their pants if they were ever graced to be in her presence in person. Only bad mannered cowards show up to hurl such degenerate, disgusting, vitriol as displayed above. Excuse us, your green jealousy slip is showing.

    To Jason Leopold, you’ll never have her impeccable credentials and brilliance. You are unbecoming and an embarrassment to blogging, to your gender, if not the human race. Why don’t you try joining it? Someone please tell me you are no longer a part of Truthout before I erase all links on my blog to it, or maybe I should have done that a long time ago. Yes, enough is enough.

    Emptywheel, we love you and admire you to no end. Thank You for everything you do and the hard work you accomplish towards getting our country back. Even a Pultizer isn’t good enough for you, we need a new special class of awards to honor you with.

  27. QuickSilver says:

    I agree about the Pulitzers, we need a different category of award. There was nothing written last year in the media anywhere about the Plame scandal, or about Judy Miller, which equalled what we read from emptywheel. I love how her work connects to the feuilletons of the 1840s. She’s really an old school pamphleteer.


    If you are smoking something, stop now. It’s obvious you are suffering in some serious way, probably manic-depression with addiction (my best guess). Whatever it is you’re on, you have to know that stuff kills. Please save your own life. Go away and get some help.

    (Jason, it’s obvious you respect emptywheel, given how much you have cribbed off of her in the past. That was very ugly and disrepectful of you, even if I do forgive your all-too-familiar symptoms of mania. It’s not as shocking to me as Allen’s macaque comment. Quel fumier ce mec-là for saying something as awful as that!)

  28. duginnj says:

    jonnybutter, dont loose us now. we continue to need your observations, and timing. EW will not pay any mind to the idiot.

  29. realtime says:

    I am surprised at Leopolds comments. I heard him on the radio in Los Angeles talking to Ian Masters about Rove’s indictment and he sounded like he had more sense. LieberBush besides being a Republican mole has no sense. Marcy Winograd who is Jewish ran against Jane Harman (of Harman-Kardon), who is also Jewish, on an anti-war platform, ran a pretty good campaign and only got 38%. I thought that was pretty good. Jane Harman is much sharper than LieberBush. Dailykos has a story about it called a â€Tale of 2 Campaigns†or something like that. Harman has a section of her district that has many defense contractors and defense workers which offsets some of the more progressive parts of the district.

    With regard to the current invasion of Lebanon, Google video has a must see interview of George Galloway August 8th or something.

  30. QuickSilver says:

    I’ve run into him a few times in LA. Believe me, Ian Masters doesn’t miss a chance to regret having Leopold on his program.

  31. emptywheel says:


    Jason has contacted me and told me he was not the person who made the comment. I assumed that, since someone who was on at the same time as the masked commenter was from a related IP to one Jason posted from under different names in the past, and since the first comment is something only three people have said in the past to me, that it was him. But Jason tells me I am mistaken.

    I do not have definitive proof it was Jason, and I’m sorry if I was mistaken.

  32. Dismayed says:

    I really don’t get all this. Call me simple. Would someone please explain why gaskets are being blown over this post? It looks like a really lousy attempt to bomb THN. Not into censorship, but perhaps the nasty non-dialog comments should be excised from the record. Or at least put in perspective.