The New York Times Endorses Ned Lamont…

…and throws Joe Lieberman in front of the bus on the way. It’s really quite a piece of work, if you take the time to read the whole thing. It’s late, so I’m not going to go through all of the things The Times cites as evidence against Lieberman at the time of this writing. Perhaps I’ll update this post tomorrow. But, in the meantime, I’ll just say that every specific charge The Times makes seems like a reach with some instances that can not be described in any other way than incredibly petty.

And this lack of substantive reasons shows when The Times immediately informs us that “this race is not about résumés.” Really? No kidding. It can’t be about resumes because Lamont’s political experience is, at best, measly. And that’s probably why The Times spends a total of 34 of 924 words of the editorial actually talking about Lamont. And the best they can conjure up is that he “seems smart and moderate” [my emphasis] and has “showed spine” to challenge Lieberman even though he “does not have his opponent’s grasp of policy yet.” Wow! That really sounds like a ringing endorsement to me.

No, this editorial is not about Lamont. And it isn’t even about “Mr. Lieberman’s legislative record,” as The Times wisely informs us. That would be just plain silly. This is about Lieberman falling “in love with his image as the nation’s moral compass” and “his warped version of bipartisanship.” It’s about civility. And Joe Lieberman, unlike many of his Democratic colleagues, has refused to sink to the rhetorical lows that have come to define his party epitomized by DNC leader Howard “I hate Republicans” Dean. Perhaps had Lieberman just called the President a war-monger or compared America’s treatment of detainees to that of the Nazis, Soviets, Pol Pot or others, he wouldn’t find himself in this predicament.

BY THE WAY: My utmost respect to anyone that can explain the rationale of the following also from The Times editorial: “…and despite some unappealing rhetoric in the Terri Schiavo case, he has strongly supported a woman’s right to choose.”

UPDATE: The Washington Post likes Lieberman’s “warped version of bipartisanship.”

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, Congress, Race and Politics, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,


  1. Tano says:

    You are not making your point very well. You claim that this endorsement is about civility, and thus, I guess, you think that the Times sees its interest in lowering civility.

    First off, that might make for a snarky retort, but it is not a serious argument. You can’t really believe that that is what the Times cares about. Secondly, the Times endorsed Lamont, not Dean. In what way has Lamont been uncivil?

    Why is it so hard for you to simply acknowledge the obvious? The Times has a different view than you, or Lieberman, on the major issues of the day. They find his advocacy on the war to be mistaken (as do the majority of Americans, btw), and his moralizing really is grating, especially to northeasterners.

    News flash. The NYT is liberal. The people of Connecticut are, largely, liberal. Lieberman is conservative on a large number of important issues that are relevant today. Why does their disinclination to endorse him require some extraordinary explanation?

    Whats so hard to understand about the Schiavo-choice quote? The Schaivo issue was pushed by people who tried to join the enforcement power of the state to religous views, and to thereby deprive an individual from having her end-of-life choices respected. Clearly analogous to the efforts of anti-abortion activists. Does Lieberman’s moralizing extend to making efforts to place intimate life decisions in the hands of the state rather than the individual? That is the question the quote addressed.

  2. The NY Times endorsed Joe Lieberman to be Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Al Gore in 2000, and now he should be chucked out for a newcomer that possesses little more than passion. Is Joe the same man he was six years ago? I think so. Is the NY Times the same paper it was 6 years ago? I think not.

  3. McGehee says:

    This is about Lieberman falling �in love with his image as the nation�s moral compass�

    Well of course. The nation has only one moral compass, and that’s the New York Times.


    (Though I think I may need to close that tag more than once to cover it.)

  4. Bithead says:

    Well, if anyone had any doubts about the position of the DNC, and Howard Dean, they should have doubts no longer. The times has done two things with this article; they reveal themselves as the house organ for the DNC, and they have done its bidding.

  5. Tano says:


    I dont see the sense in your comment. Its a very different world today than it was 6 years ago. Its seem rather bizarre for you to claim that the NYT changed while Lieberman didnt (even if true, why do you think that is a compliment to Lieberman? – is failure to learn from experience a good thing?).

    Lieberman campainged against Bush 6 years ago. Today he is a freindly supporter. How does that amount to “not changing”.

    And it is all besides the point anyway. The NYT endorsed Lieberman over Cheney. It wasnt Lieberman vs. Lamont for Senate. I suspect that, were it possible, the NYT, the DailyKos, even Ned Lamont would gladly substitute Lieberman for Cheney, even today.

  6. DaveD says:

    Tano, I think to say Lieberman is a friendly supporter of the President is inaccurate. I believe Joe Lieberman’s particular views of the Middle East are aligned with those of the President’s because that’s what he believes. I don’t think he agrees with the President for the purpose of doing Bush a favor. Lieberman has many conflicting views with Bush on other issues. I cannot think of a single good reason why Lieberman would subject himself to all of this invective just to be a buddy to Bush. Geesh. And I think Lieberman appears “friendly” because he respects the position of the Presidency – he is a gentleman. The Democratic Party goes rabid over anyone who in ANY way sides with ANY of Bush’s views. Look at the fine line that even Hillary Clinton has to walk. Why Howard Dean is the paragon for the way a typical Democrat is expected to behave these days is beyond me.

  7. jpe says:

    Bithead, your reasoning is question-begging.

  8. Bithead says:

    OK, I’ll bite: Why so?

  9. Tano, I believe that Joe Lieberman’s core principles are essentialy the same as they were six years ago. The fact that 9/11 and all that then followed happened doesn’t require him to chance his core beliefs. FWIW, I don’t think my core beliefs in freedom and liberty have changed. What has happened since 9/11 just strengthens and confirms them. It’s only those who keep getting mugged by reality who need to check their core principles, and I don’t think Joe Lieberman is one of those peopel. That’s not to say I agree with Joe Lieberman on everything, because I don’t. But I do have a great deal of respect for him as someone who understands what he believes and stands behnd it rather than pandering to the extremists in his own party who seemingly, and desperately, want a confrontation with those on their side of the ramparts more than those on the other side of the ramparts.

    Joe Lieberman only supports George Bush on foreign policy with respect to the conduct of the GWOT, so far as I can tell. If you look at his positions on domestic policy, I don’t think you can find much that he is in agreement with the president on, certainly no more than just about any other Senator in the Democrat caucus.

    You seem to base your disdain for my comments on a belief that clearly the US has adopted the wrong strategy in fighting the GWOT, and that this error is so egregious as to make you a single issue voter, if not a voter who now finds it necessary to spin everything else so as to make the demonization of Joe Lieberman complete. You are entitled to your belief, however, your assumption is far from obvious to me. I find much of the hand-wringing even today about Iraq, Afghanistan, et al, rather ahistorical.

    Be careful what you ask for when it comes to changing the status quo, because you might get it in ways you don’t like. I can envision scenarios that would change the rules of engagament for our forces and make us even more lethal than we are today. If anything, I wish we’d go harder and faster in identifying and eliminating the threats we face, but perhaps it is fortunate that I don’t get to make this call. Meanwhile, I certainly will not support cut and run strategies or tactics and then wait for the next inevitable challenge. Capitulation buys you nothing but a more aggresive enemy. Joe Lieberman understands this. The pseudo-pacifists of the Angry Left either don’t understand this or don’t care, thinking they can play this game close to the edge witout fear of it getting drastically worse. That’s not a bet I am anxious to take based upon my reading of history. I use the term pseudo-pacifists, because the Angry Left today appears to me to be motivated by Bush Derangement Syndrome moreso than actual pacifism. Eventually, a Democrat will be elected president and when this happens I don’t believe the Angry Left will be as pacific when it comes to protecting American, Americans, and American interests, but your mileage may differ.

    To the extent I adopt a partisan tone concerning the NY Times editorial policy, I am glad they have endorsed Ned Lamont. It is going to help more people see just how craven the NY Times endorsemetns have become. They could always be relied upon to favor Democrats, but it should be clear to even the casual observer now that their received and delivered wisdom now consists of little more than the automatic knee-jerk gainsaying of anything President Bush says or does.

    Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.

  10. Tano says:


    Come back down to reality man.
    Geez, where to begin.

    FWIW, my principles about freedom and liberty havent changed either. WE all love freedom and liberty. How to go about securing them is another matter, and that matter is not a question of “core principle” but of strategy and tactics.
    Bush laid out a strategy and tactics. De-emphasize the fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban (now coming back) and binLaden (still on the loose), and rather, invade Iraq. Bad strategy. The manner of the invasion and occuptation revealed horrid tactics. These are not wacko lefty assessments, but are mainstream views, held by the majority of American citizens.

    The issue is not whether anyone changed their “core beliefs”, but rather whether one can learn from experience in the arena of strategy and tactics.

    I am not a single issue voter, but the war certainly is the most important pressing issue of the day. That said, if Lieberman does win the Democratic nomination, I would certainly support him over any Republican. So no, there is no impulse to “complete demonization”. I would predict that the NYT would probably agree, if that is the way the ballot looks in Nov.

    The rest of your post is just an argument for a Bush-like foreign policy. You have the right to your opinion – even though it is an increasingly small minority opinion. It makes no sense though, for you to pretend that your view is mainstream, and that war-opponents are a fringe. Have you not read any polls in the last many months?

    And makes no sense for you to claim that the NYT should endorse someone also holds a discredited and minority opinion on a major issue of the day. One does not need to be motivated by BDS or any other irrational impulse in order to decide to support a candidate that agrees with the mainstream on a major issue.

  11. Tano, I try to always face reality and call them as I see them. Being popular isn’t a sign of being right any more than being unpopular is a sign of being wrong. Expectations for what can be readily accomplished in the GWOT are seriously out of whack in our instant gratification culture. Combined with common misperceptions of the type of war we are fighting and the steady drumbeat of anti-anything-Bush-does reporting, this isn’t terribly surprising. Again, history can be a very useful guide.

    I apologize if I put any words into your mouth, because that wasn’t my intent, and rereading my previous post, I don’t think I did. Anyway, there’s little point in proceeding so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  12. Pug says:

    Joe Lieberman’s problems are with the Democratic voters of Connecticut, not The New York Times. Connecticut Democrats don’t seem to like him very much anymore. It’s always a problem to have the voters not want to vote for you anymore.

  13. Jim Henley says:

    Here’s a quote from Paul of Power Line, writing just before the Toomey-Specter primary vote in 2004:

    �The time to consider a pragmatic vote for Specter will be in November.�

  14. Linda E says:

    BY THE WAY: My utmost respect to anyone that can explain the rationale of the following also from The Times editorial: “…and despite some unappealing rhetoric in the Terri Schiavo case, he has strongly supported a woman’s right to choose.”

    Is it really so hard to do a bit of research?

    Can you so quickly forget little hypocrisies such as Bush cutting short a vacation to sign the unethical and unConstitutional Schiavo bill, yet ignoring 1300 dying Americans afloat in New Orleans for three full days while he vacationed in the sunny and dry American West??

    Read up on it. Lieberman supported the Schiavo fiasco, and I guess we bleeding heart liberals ought to be glad he did. That’s when the public started to wake up to just how invasive and self-righteous these