Yesterday Joe Lieberman berated local Connecticut columnist and radio host Colin McEnroe about taking a comment "out of context" and badgered him to read the whole speech.
I’m not sure he’ll be happy he made the suggestion. McEnroe follows up:
So I did read the speech. And what did I find?
The speech, overall, is an exercise in self-massage. It congratulates Lieberman for being Lieberman. It urges everyone else to be …more Lieberman.
I sought out what Lieberman said was the key paragraph, the one that followed his undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril line. It’s worthwhile to read the two paragraphs in sequence.
It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.
It is time for Republicans in the White House and Congress who distrust Democrats to acknowledge that greater Democratic involvement and support in the war in Iraq is critical to rebuilding the support of the American people that is essential to our success in that war.
So…the first paragraph says: Democrats who don’t like the president should shut up.
The second paragraph says: Republicans should make more room at the table so Democrats can join them in supporting the war.
Are those equivalent statements?
No, they are not.
The speech also contains a favorite Lieberman trope:
That is why I feel so strongly that it is time for us to set aside for now the arguments about why we got into Iraq so that we can work together on how we can get out best in victory and honor with the job done.
Forget about our rationale for getting into the war. After all, we have.
Now, of course, Lieberman will have to lash into all the other people who quoted those exact words out of context. He can start with Bob Schieffer. Think he will?
In all of this McEnroe comes off as a pretty down-to-earth guy; even when Lieberman is railing at him he doesn’t take the bait. He doesn’t sound like a partisan, he sounds like a reasonable Connecticut voter with average concerns. For Lieberman to be treating him like an upstart peon and lashing out at him for his presumption demonstrates just how out-of-touch he is.
This just cannot look good to the folks at home.