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Hey Joe, where you going with that petition in your hand?

You’ve got no arms left. — Yes I have. — Look! — Just a flesh wound.

 Hey Joe, where you going with that petition in your hand?

So, a Republican-friendly vote is feared lost in the Senate on Tuesday as Lamont defeats Lieberman and the alarms sound for incumbents who’ve supported the administration’s Iraq policies and are facing challenges this November from coast to coast. The response? Terror Alert!

Haven’t we seen this movie before? I know it’s a classic but really, must it be remade every two years? I’m not suggesting that the recent arrests in London weren’t entirely real or that the threat to planes from those involved wasn’t grave. Still, it’s either extremely coincidental, or perhaps an Inconvenient Truth that these evil terrorist plots just seem to show their ugly heads in time to startle and scare voters in the months proceeding national elections over and over again.

Another thing that makes me suspcious of the reaction to this story by the administration and subsequently the media is the wording of the reports. As we’ve seen in the past, this administration choses what information to divulge based on how it will correspond with their needs at the time. For instance, prior to invading Iraq we were all made privy to the intelligence which suggested Iraq either had or was creating a stock-pile of WMD’s. That promoted the administration’s cause in gaining public support for an invasion.

At the same time, we weren’t told about the large number of estimates and agent reports which completely contradicted the idea of WMD’s existing in Iraq. You remember, the intelligence information which was actually accurate but was dismissed by officials and left out of the public briefings and releases.

Given this history, it makes it hard for me to accept the face value of what comes out of the administration now. It’s that whole ‘boy who cried wolf’ thing. And I become even more suspicious when I hear or read terms about this story like the plan “had a footprint to al-Qaida”. Are those the same footprints that we were told led to Saddam Hussein before?

Getting back to Lieberman’s defeat, I think members of both parties have been looking at this all wrong. Not that this would be something new, but many seem to believe this result was based strictly upon Lieberman’s support for the administration on the Iraq war. Democrats are seeing this as a wedge they can use against incumbent Republicans and incumbent Republicans are fearing that the same sentiment may show in voters nation wide come November.

I have a few friends in Connecticut whom I’ve spoken with at length about this race between Lamont and Lieberman. I’ve also followed the Connecticut news online pretty closely and I’ve come to the conclusion that to see this as just a vote on the Iraq war is to miss half of the picture. I believe what this really displayed was the growing angst in America towards Old Guard politics.

It’s a natural reaction from voters to prolonged inaction from Washington. I’ve suggested already that the threat of terror has been politicized by some, and while it may have been effective to a degree there is a consequence to doing that. At some point, people want the threat to actually be dealt with, or to at least be able to see some actual evidence of positive results. Yet, here we are five years after the 9/11 attacks and at the highest level of alert ever.

We’ve approached the war on terror and in Iraq with an old Cold War mentality, administered in part by former Cold War politicians. But this is a new world, a new kind of war and those tactics so far haven’t impressed the American public very much.

On the domestic front, continued tax cuts given to the wealthiest 2% (formerly known as Trickle Down Economics–which didn’t work in the 1980′s either) doesn’t seem to be ‘cutting it’ today with the other 98%. Constant bickering, finger pointing and territory battles between the parties and various agencies of government have done little to instill a vision of hope for the future.

Sure, the Iraq war played a role in Tuesday’s primary results, but there’s a bigger picture to see and message to be heard. The people want new ideas for this new era. If you’re a member of the Old Guard, regardless of party or philosophy; watch out.

One final note for Senator Lieberman: Joe, no means no. Perhaps you were left with the wrong impression after 2000. You see Joe, when you lose, you’ve lost. Game over. It’s not “half-time” once a winner has been declared. When the people speak they want their vote to matter. All you’re saying now is “I don’t care what the people want.” It’s really sad.

Joe, you’re no longer campaigning to work for the people of Connecticut, you’re forcing them to consider filing for a restraining order against you. You’ve become that Johnson guy from the Kellogg’s Crunch cereal commercials. Read the memo, you’ve been fired.

Accept the defeat graciously, continue to support the Democratic party and stop this movement to subvert the will of the people in Connecticut.

Image source: Wikipedia

Administrator.thumbnail Hey Joe, where you going with that petition in your hand?


A conservative liberal with a perspicuous perspective on American politics.

Scott's writings have been published on dozens of news and opinion outlets both online and off.

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  1. 9 Responses to “Hey Joe, where you going with that petition in your hand?”

  2. By Michael Bridge | Reply to article

    Quote: “One final note for Senator Lieberman: Joe, no means no. Perhaps you were left with the wrong impression after 2000. You see Joe, when you lose, you’ve lost. Game over. It’s not “half-time” once a winner has been declared. When the people speak they want their vote to matter. All you’re saying now is “I don’t care what the people want.” It’s really sad.”

    I agree 100%. I just wish that Al Gore, John Kerry, or anyone else in the left wing extremist party agreed with that same sentiment.

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  3. By Scott Bannon | Reply to article

    Mike, I’m glad you agree with me but let’s not make the temper-tantrum antics of refusing to accept defeat a partisan issue. Republicans do it as well, perhaps even more blatantly. Most recently there were California’s recalls when they didn’t get the Governor they wanted and the redistricting in Texas to specifically steal 5 seats from Democrats. These tacts are no different than Lieberman forming his own independent party to circumvent the will of the people in Connecticut.

    Politicians of both major parties clearly have little-to-no regard for the will of the people. It’s not a partisan thing.

    I could point to the Sproul & Associates deal in the last national election, a consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states which was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. Again, working to subvert the will of the people. Then there’s the tens of thousands of eligible voters (overwhelmingly Democrats) who were purged from the registration rolls in Ohio by Republican administrators. Go back even further and we can find dead Democrats turning out to vote in record numbers in Chicago.

    Again, I don’t offer any of this to reopen old wounds or debates. Just to display that neither major party really cares about the will of the people in American politics. Both hold a ‘win at all costs’ mind-set and have shown a complete lack of morals in ensuring their victories over the public wishes in elections.

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  4. By Michael Bridge | Reply to article

    I am not saying that it is only a 1 party issue. But lets face facts, we STILL have people who call Bush the “appointed president” and Al Gore was an embarrassment with his recounts. Then we get Kerry and his lawsuits claiming that Ohio was stolen. So whether both parties are guilty of not knowing when they lost, there is one party that stands out as the ones who can’t ever accept it.

    Sore Loserman ’00!!

    As for the recall of Grey Davis, it wasn’t because they didn’t get the (republican) governor they wanted. It was because he had completely destroyed California’s economy.

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  5. By Scott Bannon | Reply to article

    Mike, are you suggesting that there’s some sort of moral superiority to those who use seedy tactics prior to the election to rig the results in their favor over those who would point out the fouls afterwards?

    To compare Lieberman’s actions now with incidents in 2000 and 2004 where American’s votes were suspected of being ignored or refused is apples and oranges. There is a difference between ensuring that every vote counts and refusing to accept the final count as Joe is doing in Connecticut now.

    We have a different view on the California recall. As I remember it was Enron’s manipulation of the California energy market that caused a budget short-fall for the state and those roaming blackouts that led to the vast public disapproval for Davis which Republicans used as an opportunity to get Gary Coleman, the Governator and a stripper on a special election ballet. Good times in America.

    Just a side note, but if I’m correct wasn’t it Congresswoman Jones and Senator Boxer who originally challenged the Ohio results in ’04, not Kerry?

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  6. By Michael Bridge | Reply to article

    Lieberman in 2000, Lieberman in 2006. Coincidence? I think not. I am agreeing with you that he should admit his loss. And he should have in 2000. I am not making any statements about (alleged) voting irregularities, which haven’t been proven, and are a convenient excuse for a political loss.

    As I recall, Edwards conceded the election and it took Kerry a while because he wanted to make sure that Ohio was properly contested. But whether it was Kerry or Barbara Boxer doesn’t change the fact that the Dems were again crying foul because they couldn’t believe they lost.

    In Lieberman’s case, in 2000 it was the republicans who beat him and in 2006 it was the democrats. All that says is that neither party wants him in office.

    As for miscounted or ignored votes in Florida, a friend of mine was one of the lawyers who oversaw the recounts in Florida and he said that it was the shadiest deal he had ever seen. According to him, those counting would put any vote that wasn’t clear one way or another in the Gore vote pile. The only ones that went in the Bush pile were the Bush votes. So it seems like the recounting irregularities were coming from the same party who were crying foul… so no there is no moral superiority between the cheaters and the losers who cry foul.

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  7. By Michael Clark | Reply to article

    Scott, considering we seldom go more than three months between terrorist arrests or foiled plots, I find your suspicions on the political motivation behind the most recent arrests puzzling. Rather than being a “movie remade every two years”, recent apprehensions in London should be offered up as support for continued diligence in the War on Terror.

    If you’re searching for political machinations between terrorist attacks, you needn’t look further than the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid (which occurred right before Spain’s general elections) or the July 2005 bombings in London (which further weakened British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s already dismal approval ratings).

    Both of these attacks—as were the 2003 Istanbul and Saudi Arabian bombing and the 2005 Egyptian resort bombings—were tracked back to Al Qaeda.

    The “boy who cried wolf” screamed to draw attention to himself, feigning terror at an imagined adversary. Though weakened, Al Qaeda is a real and continuing threat. Far from it being an expedient or fabricated connection, the real “Inconvenient Truth” is that—just three days into the investigation of this most recent plot—at least one of the London suspects has been linked directly to the Al Qaeda terror network.. These aren’t exaggerated threats or false alarms. Initial evidence points to the fact that—unlike the boy in the story—we’re crying because the monster really WAS on the attack again. It had already fed during stop offs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Spain, London…

    I’m not Lieberman fan. His voting record, save for some crucial support for Israel and the War in Iraq, is left-of-center. But Senator Lieberman is running for the U.S. Senate, not to become a Democratic National Committee member. It is his right to run as an independent. Lieberman’s not “subverting the will” of the citizens of Connecticut. He’s offering the independent voters, which outnumber both registered Democrats and Republicans, an alternative. The Democrats have already christened their candidate. We’ll know if Senator Lieberman will continue to “work for the people of Connecticut” after all the votes have been tallied in the November election. Until that time, the people’s voice hasn’t been heard.

    Now, if Joe loses the election and refuses to empty his Capital Hill office, THEN he’ll be subverting the will of the people. Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that he bears a striking resemblance to the Emperor from the Stars Wars movies?

    Sorry. I lost focus there for a moment.

    In case any children stumble across this site—and to save myself from depositing any money in my “Swear Jar”—I won’t write what Senator Lieberman REALLY owes the Democratic Party. (Let’s just say, if it were gesture, I could express it with only one finger.) Party “friends” that he’d served beside in the U.S. Senate for 18 years renounced him like he was a Congressional pariah. Getting back to your stance on questionable political motivations, the sad truth here is, though Lieberman’s “anti Clinton” stance during the impeachment hearings, his strong Jewish faith or his hawkish support for the U.S. military may have been convenient in the 2000 presidential election, they’ve since worn out their welcome.

    One last note before I turn in for the night. The Bush administration certainly does not decide what information is divulged to the media. Far from it. The mainstream press has been decidedly anti-Bush from the moment he took the Presidential oath. The same media representatives that have published classified information on intelligence programs will be the same to excoriate him when, and not if, another terrorist attack is perpetrated on American soil.

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  8. By Scott Bannon | Reply to article

    Mike, a few points on Lieberman and Connecticut. The majority of Unaffiliated voters in Connecticut has significantly declined recently. In the past couple months alone over 11,400 Independents changed their registrations to party affiliated. Over 90% of those registered as Democrats. They clearly wanted–and got–a say in this primary, and acted to prevent not having the choice of Lamont (or any choice other than Lieberman) in November; which a primary victory for Lieberman would have meant to all those who oppose Schlesinger.

    My criticism of Lieberman isn’t because I oppose Independent candidates in any way. I oppose any candidate running twice in the same cycle by switching parties after a loss. Lieberman stayed with and used the backing (including last-minute campaign stumping support from the Democrats’ so-called Rock Stars) of the Democratic party for all he could squeeze out of it, and is now tossing that same party under a bus.

    I don’t doubt that Lieberman might even believe–at some level–as you suggest, that he’s simply offering voters an alternative by going this route now. That still doesn’t negate the fact that accepting and using the backing and support of the Democratic party for all he could and then switching partners with a win-at-all-costs attitude comes across as a slimy, adulteress move.

    If he’s held the belief as he says that the Democratic party has been taken over by radicals and that he’s defending/restoring Democratic principals by leaving it, then why didn’t he have the honor, scruples and character to leave it much earlier? Not milk it for all he could get first.

    The single finger salute you suggest he owes the party, that seems pretty twisted to me. As the incumbent Democratic candidate the party gave Lieberman full-out support. Some of his most vocal critics within the party for years spoke publicly in favor of him on the campaign trail and in the media. It wasn’t enough to sway the Democratic voters and he lost. Lieberman immediately jumped ship and filed to run as an Independent. Of-course the party is going to back Lamont now, their loyalty is to protecting and furthering the Democratic party, not any single individual. Lieberman received far more than he deserved in support from the party right through Tuesday night in my opinion, then he cut and ran.

    On the media (NOTE: the following is not directed specifically to anyone’s comments above but a general response to comments I’ve received from many), there’s just no point where Republicans and Democrats are going to ever see the same thing here I think. It’s like the story of a Republican and a Democrat who watched a dog get hit by a truck… one of them declared he saw a dog who wanted to off itself.

    I know, the media keeps publishing our big secrets. Of-course, it’s been members of the administration who leaked those secrets to them in the first place, but it’s the media who’s to blame. For some reason that escapes me, some folks feel the media should respect the ‘Classified’ status of information when administration officials disregard it. That somehow the responsibility and accountability for protecting our National Security has shifted from the federal government and officials to the New York Times. Why won’t those darn editors just accept their new assignments already?

    And sure, it’s evident that the media has been out to get Bush in a grand conspiracy of personal attacks all along. Just look at how the major media organizations only devoted 2 short years to the coverage of Clinton’s Oral Office, yet went on and on for several whole months about Bush having been ‘missing from duty’ while serving in the National Guard during Viet Nam and his self-proclaimed “nomadic period of irresponsible youth” which some police departments and the courts actually refer to as disorderly conduct, theft and DUI. And it’s not as though any reporters–especially none of the major media icons–have been held accountable for disseminating inaccurate data in any of these stories.

    Then theres the mountain of degrading coverage (I’ve seen at-least 7 articles) over Cheney’s 5 draft deferments because he “had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” Give the man a break already you mean, media bastards! The country didn’t even need him back then, we had that whole Viet Nam thing wrapped up almost before it began. I’ve seen the rewritten history books.

    In conclusion, it’s obvious when you look at the disparity in disdainful coverage it becomes clear that these prolonged, vicious and libelous tactics of the media are designed to diminish and degrade the current administration in a way we’ve never before seen. It’s detestable, dastardly, diabolical, disgraceful and down right yucky.

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  9. By Michael Clark | Reply to article

    Scott, yes the Democrats clearly had their say in the primary. This includes the 12,000 formally independent voters who changed party affiliations to cast a vote in the Lamont/Lieberman contest. But this sudden shift in voter registration isn’t the groundswell of opposition that you claim it is. The 12,000 voters who registered as Democrats account for less than 0.006% of the 1.95 million registered voters in Connecticut.

    Even after the pre-primary switch, Connecticut has an electorate comprised of 850,000 unaffiliated, 675, 000 Democrat and 430,000 Republican voters. Each of these citizens has a voice in November. The Democrats may have made their choice, but judgment day for the remainder of the populace is three months away.

    Why is the party primary your end-all, be-all in terms of public decision? Lieberman isn’t running twice in the same cycle. The midterm election is in November.

    I must have missed the overwhelming support Democratic Lieberman enjoyed throughout the primary season. It certainly wasn’t coming from former Presidential running mate Al Gore, House Minority Leader Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senior Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Junior Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, outspoken Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich or Democratic Committee Chairmen Howard Dean.

    If I’ve overlooked any member of the Democratic leadership who did support Senator Lieberman, please let me know. Though, I must admit, a former Democratic member of Canterbury, Connecticut’s City Council did say that Lieberman, “threw a half-decent curve ball” during a 1992 DNC softball tournament. Okay, I made that last part up. My imaginary City Council member, as a Democrat, doesn’t like Lieberman either.

    As for Lieberman receiving “far more support than he deserved” during the primary, what is the going party support rate for a three-term Senator? In the recent history of our two-party system, it’s always been the practice to support the incumbent. Or, at the very least, not to offer overt support to his opponent. Ask Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter—whose “independent” voting record garnered general disdain from conservative talk-radio shows, outspoken Republican voters and internet bloggers—if any of his party supporters abandoned him in the last election.

    Much like the Lamont/Lieberman option facing the voters of Connecticut this November, I exercised my right not to cast a vote for Senator Specter. Connecticut electors will have the same opportunity.

    It also appears that Lieberman—much like former Georgia Governor and Senator Zell Miller, a life-life Democrat—chose to remain a Democrat despite disagreements with the party line on certain key issues. The fact that he worked, until recently, from inside as a passionate party supporter doesn’t call into question his integrity or character. Rather, it elevates it. He didn’t cut and run at the first sign of disagreement. Instead, Lieberman fought to the end to remain a party member, and to restore the party from within. When the Democrats didn’t award him support, he changed affiliations to serve the rest of Connecticut.

    Yes, though our representatives often forget, they are elected to serve the people, not their political parties.

    And, please take note, Lieberman’s currently enjoying a 5% lead in the polls over Lamont.

    Though your sarcasm seeks to diminish the impact, the media does keep publishing intelligence secrets. I would argue that it isn’t the secretive “administration” that is leaking classified information. Bush’s staff members—much like the President himself—pride themselves on loyalty and support for the office of the Presidency.

    Most likely, the information was provided by some disgruntled employee at one of Washington’s lumbering bureaucracies; much like Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department employee, leaked the classified “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times in 1973. (Not that this, in any way, warranted Nixon’s paranoid response of illegal break-ins and obstruction of justice.)

    I also fail to see how one Federal Employee providing a media source with “leaked” information is on the same scale of a major publication—like the New York Times—publishing said information on the front page, despite White House, National Security Council and State Department admonishments that such publication harms national security.

    I’m not sure if you’re closing paragraphs were a response to my earlier post, or to emails or like responses you’re received from other people. However, I didn’t suggest any “grand media conspiracy” to “get Bush.” I only stated that the mainstream media is—by and large—anti Bush. And, yes, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard and Fox News are decidedly more conservative. From past discussions, I know you have the intellectual honesty to admit that our factual “news” depends on the source. Considering millions of Americans get their news from NBC, CBS and ABC—which do have a decidedly liberal view—it’s not a far reach to suggest that their news may paint a less than ideal portrait of our Commander in Chief.

    For the record, I read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette daily. I also listen to conservative talk radio, read the N.Y. Times online edition, subscribe to Time, U.S. News and World Report, and Newsweek. Depending on when you catch me, I could be surfing the Internet for recent news on the Drudge Report or watching C.N.N. Headline News. Given my wide range of sources, I feel fairly confident in my ability to offer an assessment on the mainstream media. (Though—reading through the above again—it seems my life at 28 is as exciting as a 64 year-old retiree in Florida. Either that, or I’ not getting enough sleep. I’ll go with the latter.)

    The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, Bush’s National Guard service and Cheney’s deferments have been done to death. This is not a knock on you, but it’s honestly not worth my time to address them again.

    As an aside, why is it that I don’t get any hate mail? I feel neglected. Am I not abrasive or “far right” enough? If so, I can change and ramp up my rhetoric.

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  10. By Scott Bannon | Reply to article

    Mike, we’ll have to agree to disagree on Lieberman. No matter how it’s spun the fact is he wasn’t complaining of this radical movement overtaking the Democratic party nor working from within to fight it prior to facing a personal threat at the polls. It’s an excuse he’s created to justify his philosophical split with the party and subsequent jumping of ship in my opinion.

    The only other point I would like to make on your comments (because I’m short on time right now) is that most certainly an administration official/employee leaking classified information is far more grievous than a newspaper later publishing that leaked information. The administration official/employee has an obligation, an oath they’ve sworn to and that is legally binding, to protect the secrecy of that information. The news media has no such obligations, period. One can certainly argue on moral obligations that the media should or could have regarding each individual story, however the only legal obligations rest squarely on the shoulders of the administration official/employee.

    Would it be nice to know the media could and would keep a vital secret in the interest of National Security? Sure. It would also be nice if we could all believe that corruption and scandal didn’t exist among our elected officials (a non-partisan occurrence) or that at times abuses of power (again a non-partisan occurrence) wouldn’t be cloaked under the veil of National Security. If all of that were true, we could–and I would support the effort–add limitations and restrictions to the ‘freedom of the press’ verbiage within the First Amendment with regards to federal government activities since there’d no longer be need to scrutinize our government’s actions and motives so. I won’t be holding my breath for that time to come though.

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