"Why the Left is furious at Lieberman"

In an op-ed for the L.A. Times, Duncan Black (aka Atrios) lays out the case for why the progressive blogosphere doesn't like Joe Lieberman, the quisling from Connecticut (to borrow a phrase from Mannion). Most important in the piece is the reminder that ol' Joe has jumped right on board with one of the most dangerous bits of political dogma emanating from the Right these days—that administration critics undermine national security.

Late last year, after President Bush's job approval ratings hit record lows, Lieberman decided to lash out at the administration's critics, writing in the ultraconservative Wall Street Journal editorial pages that "we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." In this he echoed the most toxic of Republican talking points — that criticizing the conduct of the war is actually damaging to national security.
It's one thing (though not a small thing) to depart on a big issue from one's party and particularly the party base; it's quite another to essentially accuse them of treason.

Duncan clearly makes the point that the aversion to Lieberman is not just about the war, although he leaves out (for reasons of space contraints) one of Lieberman's most significant problems of late: His record on women's issues is appalling. Lieberman refused to support the Democrat-led filibuster to challenge to the SCOTUS nomination of conservative Sam Alito, not an ally to reproductive rights advocates, voting instead for cloture. Then, in March, female eyebrows (and none too few male ones) raised all over the progressive blogosphere when Lieberman asserted that Catholic hospitals shouldn't be required to dispense emergency contraception to rape victims if they didn't want to, instead providing transportation to another hospital. "In Connecticut," he said, "it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital."

Suffice it to say, this did not go over well in the feminist blogosphere—even among women who weren't being directly represented by Holy Joe. The conventional wisdom among the punditry may be that the blogosphere is rife with "blogofascists" who are out for blood, but they might do well to consider that the liberal female voters of Connecticut—not to mention liberal men with wives, daughters, sisters, mothers—may be out for something, too. Like a Senator who actually reflect their interests.

(Crossposted at AlterNet PEEK.)

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