web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

When Lieberman’s Week Of Glory Turned Sour


Media-Monitor-logo

   The announcement by Senator Joe Lieberman that he will not run for reelection when his current term is up in 2012 triggered the Monitor’s memories of the highlight of Lieberman’s political career: Al Gore’s selecting him in August 2000 to be his vice-presidential running mate.
   Media coverage was mostly positive in the days immediately following the announcement. The editors of The New Republic saw the Lieberman pick as symbolizing the tolerance and decency of American society. “America,” they stated, “represents not only a revolution in the history of the world, but also a revolution in the history of the Jews…. this is the place in which Jews, and all other groups whose collective memory teaches them to regard the world with suspicion, must learn to take yes for an answer.”
   The fear that conservative Christians would collectively vote against the Gore/Lieberman ticket out of some atavistic anti-Semitic instinct was pooh-poohed by, among others, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who described how conservative Christians “crowd around Rabbi Daniel Lapin when he speaks at a conservative gathering; they crowd around Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, David Horowitz and scores of  [other Jewish conservatives].”
   Lieberman’s outspoken religiosity inspired the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Paul Greenberg to quip, “Who would have guessed that the first fundamentalist to be nominated for vice president of the United States would be a Jewish one?” But Greenberg pointedly added: “One suspects that if Senator Lieberman were an equally committed Baptist or Mormon, many of those now hailing his nomination would be murmuring darkly about the dangers of the Religious Right.”
   For some, Lieberman’s Jewishness was the ethnic/religious cherry on top of his political centrism. Former Forward editor Seth Lipsky wrote that “what excited me about Lieberman was his willingness to depart from post-McGovern Democratic Party orthodoxy on certain issues, or at least to display an admirable indifference to questions of political correctness.”
   Even so, Lipsky feared that Lieberman, whose Senate voting record was considerably more liberal than his moderate image suggested, is not “immune to all his party’s destructive impulses…. [and he] has been right there by Hillary Clinton’s side as she has sought to obfuscate a record on the Middle East (and much else) that springs from the very new-leftist sentiments that drove so many of us away from the Democratic Party.”
   It took only about a week for the coverage of Lieberman to sour considerably as many of the nation’s pundits beheld the senator from Connecticut backpedal, prevaricate and obfuscate his way through the Democratic National Convention.
   In a devastating analysis piece, the late New York Timespolitical reporter R.W. Apple Jr. noted that since “Mr. Gore has a bit of a reputation for flip-flopping and corner-cutting on issues like abortion and trade,” it had been hoped by campaign strategists that Lieberman “would lend the ticket some stand-by-your-guns luster.”
   But “much of that [luster],” Apple warned, “could be lost if the senator seemed to be bending to political expediency at this stage.”
   Apple then proceeded to run down the laundry list of issues on which Lieberman had indeed, literally within hours of his selection, bowed to political expediency. (Among the several examples cited: Despite his having sponsored – and repeatedly voted for – experimental voucher legislation in the Senate, Lieberman, as soon as he was chosen by Gore, phoned the president of the American Federation of Teachers and “promised that a Gore-Lieberman administration would be resolutely anti-voucher.”)
   Sam Schulman, at the time a columnist for the New York Press, asked: “What price Jewish values if within a week Senator Lieberman has changed course on virtually every one of his core ideas in pursuit of his political ambitions?”
   Lieberman, continued Schulman, “has agreed to sell out virtually every principle which he has advocated in the past,” including moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
   The late Sidney Zion also weighed in that week, charging that Lieberman’s “Senate record reveals a man who has trimmed his sails more than a little to satisfy Bill Clinton and his pro-Palestinian Jewish advisers in the State Department and National Security Council.”
   And Zion called attention to Lieberman’s recent declaration on “Meet the Press” that Pat Buchanan is “not at all an anti-Semite.” In case anyone missed the point, Lieberman elaborated: “I enjoy Pat Buchanan’s company, he’s a bright, interesting guy who’s been misinterpreted.”

   It was precisely such sappy talk and political shape-shifting on Lieberman’s part, wrote Zion, that had “made some Jews stop kvelling in their tractates over the first Jew to make a major-party national ticket.”

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When Lieberman’s Week Of Glory Turned Sour”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) meets with Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Halifax, Canada on November 22, 2013.
Ya’alon Scraps Purchase of US Aircraft
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/when-liebermans-week-of-glory-turned-sour/2011/01/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: