August 08, 2006
One Sunday morning on C-Span I debated Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Lieberman versus Lamont race. Afterwards I received a series of emails--many of them in ALL CAPS (which often suggests the hyper-frenetic state of these extremist haters)--that were of the same stripe as the blog posts, and filled with the same level of personal hate.It never ceases to amaze me how so many of these people aren't able to understand how insane they sound to the rest of the country. Their "passion" has become a mania - one that desperately cries out for some psychological consultation.
But the issue is not just emotional outbursts by these usually anonymous bloggers. 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.
I do not blame Joe Lieberman's political difficulties on the liberal blogosphere. Most Connecticut Democrats voting for Mr. Lamont are genuinely outraged at President Bush for his Iraq War policies. They are entitled to express that outrage by voting for him and against Sen. Lieberman on that basis alone, although Sen. Lieberman's record as a progressive Democrat and his opposition to President Bush not only on most domestic issues but also on the conduct of the war cannot be disputed--despite egregiously distortive ads paid for by Mr. Lamont with $4 million of his own money.
Moreover, the support he gets from these haters should not be attributed to Mr. Lamont--nor should he be blamed for their extremism, bigotry and intolerance. But he ought to denounce them. He hasn't as yet.
Lamont has been silent about his blogosphere buddies leading up to primary day. And he will probably not be hurt today in the vote count because of it. But when we head into the general election, with Lieberman as an independent, he's going to have to answer for their conduct. He can't dodge it for three solid months. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
I wanted to mention that I'm offended by Davis' puerile use of a tired, old - and unfounded - stereotype of Conservatives as intolerant and hateful to make his point. Each side has it's embarrassing wingnuts, but intolerance has become fashionably mainstream for Liberals these days.
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