“When the character of a man is not clear, look at his friends”

Ned Lamont flanked by fellow irate moderates Al Sharption and Jesse Jackson

Martin Peretz has written a scathing post at The Plank on Ned Lamont’s buddies on the dais:

So Ned Lamont did defeat Joe Lieberman. But Lamont won by just under four percentage points, a far cry from the huge margins he’d captured in the polls just a week ago. Lieberman’s concession speech was also a declaration of intent to run as an independent where there are more potential independents than Democrats and Republicans . But, if Lamont is trying to put himself forward as a new face in the Democratic Party, the two men who planted themselves right in back of him on the stage at the victory party gave it all away. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are hustlers, and racist hustlers at that. They have accomplished nothing for African-Americans, nothing. Jackson keeps himself alive by conning big corporations out of bags of cash. He is a one-man reparations racket. Sharpton is the reverend with the big silver jewelry, and it isn’t a cross. He sups off his perennial political campaigns and has been known not to pay taxes besides. His ugly history includes leading the riots against a Korean-owned grocery in Brooklyn, the violent picketing of a store on 125th Street store that ended in a fire and in a death, and the 1991 rampage in Crown Heights during which an Australian Orthodox Jew was stabbed to death. And, of course, Sharpton was the chief incendiary of the utterly fraudulent Tawana Brawley case in which vicious lies tripped off his mouth for a year and more. Ned Lamont, the candidate from gentle-mannered Greenwich, should be ashamed to have had two such thugs as his intimate supporters.

C’mon, Marty. Maybe Ned doesn’t know anything about the race-baiters either?

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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. lily says:

    I thought Peretz’s piece was similar in tone and content to the writings of the unmedicated paranoid schizophrenics at the mental institution where my psychologist boyfriend works.

  2. randall says:

    I’m a white male southern red-neck Republican and I have a question,in the photograph accompanying the article if you look to the right of Rev. Jackson isn’t that O.J. Simpson standing there? Just kidding. As a guy who spent 20+ years working on an airport ground crew I have seen and met them all. It does not matter what party they are affiliated with, if they are into politics they are into $$$. They are not worth their weight in dog crap.

  3. Jim Henley says:

    Since I am about to spend a week of my precious vacation time with my father-in-law, I see no reason why I should be subjected to the angry ravings of yet more bitter old men in my BLOG reading.

  4. Greg Tinti says:

    What about what Peretz writes isn’t true? He might be bitter but he also has a point.

  5. walter66 says:

    hey, didn’t I see that Iranian spy Ahmed Chalabi sitting next to Laura Bush at one of President Bush’s State of the Union speechs?

  6. Jim Henley says:

    He has a point that Sharpton has a goonish past and Jackson has been something of a con man, yes. But this is America, where the most otrageous and even menacing characters age into acceptability and even respectability. It’s an artifact of celebrity culture: merely persist and your omnipresence domesticates your image. It’s not altogether good – it’s even bad in a lot of ways. G. Gordon Liddy and Ted Kennedy have made nice careers for themselves, despite the fact that Liddy was a crook who, on the account of his taped conversations, would have killed Nixon’s political opponents had Nixon but asked, and if Kennedy wasn’t guilty of negligent homicide I don’t know what that crime entails. Oliver North gets a national radio audience instead of ridicule. For all of these people, including Sharpton and Jackson, their worst misdeeds took place years ago. Ain’t that America!

    It’s only in the fevered mind of Peretz – or the calculating brain of a Republican partisan crying crocodile tears – that the presence of Sharpton and Jackson on the podium is overridingly important. Lieberman has played nice with Sharpton when it was politically convenient for him. You don’t have to go far to find pictures of Lieberman and Sharpton in a far more intimate clutch than the podium photo that has Peretz all in a dither. Lieberman accepted Sharpton’s support of the Gore ticket in 2000. Lieberman reversed his opposition to affirmative action that year to appease people just like Jackson and Sharpton.

    IOW, when it suited Lieberman politically to play nice with Sharpton and Jackson, he played nice. When it has suited Lieberman politically to play the race card, he’s played the race card. (Scroll down to the part about Lamont’s club memberships.) That’s politics. I don’t like it – if I did, I wouldn’t be a libertarian. But it’s the business. It’s a big deal to Peretz because he’s always believed that the first job of Democrats who are not his personal pets (Lieberman, Gore) is to denounce Democrats Peretz doesn’t like. As a recovered Non Republic subscriber I used to believe that kind of thing myself.

    Interestingly, it’s harder to find photos of Jackson and Lieberman together even though, surely, Jackson’s sins are milder than Sharpton’s.

  7. anjin-san says:

    When the character of a man is not clear, look at his friends”

    That door swings both ways. Remember the President’s good friend “Kenny Boy”? How many hard working American’s were robbed of their retirement by GW’s good buddy?

    Or the days when Saddam was a friend of Rumsfeld & Cheney?

    Or all the members of the “Absolute Power” gang who were buddies with a certain DC lobbyist?

    All politicians end up with some sleazyy people around them. Or if there are pols who have avoided this, I would like to meet them and shake their hands.

    Is a cheap “gotcha” the best shot you can take at Lamont?

  8. Jim Henley says:

    Greg, I had a response post, but it got et. I e-mailed Dr. J about it so it may reappear at some point. An Akismet issue? Dunno. And here I’m even working on conforming better to the civility policy . . .

    Short version: Lieberman himself has engaged in varyind degrees of embrace of Sharpton and Jackson when it made sense politically. Peretz simply cuts his hero a break on this score because it’s his hero. Peretz is looking for any reason NOT to support Lamont and you, as a partisan Republican, are doing likewise. In both cases, you’re sincere when you try to magnify a podium moment into an overriding issue, but your sincerity is driven by your interest. It’s like an athlete psyching himself up before a game.

  9. DC Loser says:

    Where’s that pic of Dubya with Abrahmoff?

  10. Anderson says:

    I’m not too thrilled by Jackson and Sharpton’s being there either, but then, it’s not like Lamont was overwhelmed with friends, pre-primary.

    So it would be demanding a bit much of him to tell the two (who would seem to be his most prominent visitors that night?) to get the hell out of his celebration.

  11. legion says:

    As Anjin-san notes, the door swings both ways. Who are Liebermnan’s closest friends? Bush, Rove, and Cheney. I know there are still plenty of people in this country who like those guys, but really – is _anyone_ (besides Joementum himself) surprised that the Dem voters of CT disapprove? Peretz is almost as dissasociated from reality as Joe.

  12. legion says:

    I got two words for you:

    Ahmed Chalabi.