Since Holy Joe seems to be channeling the ghost of Lee Atwater of late, some are speculating that Bush’s favorite Democrat has taken on Karl Rove as a campaign strategist. Says Paul Bass in the Hartford Courant about Joe’s new ad (above):
The commercial evokes one that helped Lieberman first win his seat in 1988. That 1988 ad depicted the then-incumbent, Lowell Weicker, as a fat lazy bear who never showed up for votes in his third term in office. The ad was significant for two reasons: It inaugurated a new era in Connecticut of low-grade personal TV attack ads that belittle opponents, make fun of their appearance or magnify minor or out-of-context portions of their record. And, once he too was firmly ensconced in his third term in the Senate, Lieberman himself repeated Weicker’s absentee record. Lieberman spent much of 2003 running for president–and away from his job as senator. He skipped 54 percent of all Senate votes that year. He was absent for every vote on 63 of the 115 days in which the Senate cast votes. According to one estimate, that meant the taxpayers overpaid Lieberman $38,828.79 in salary that year.
The new ad brings another modern Beltway campaign attack mode to Connecticut: Bush adviser Karl Rove’s strategy of taking your own weakness and turning it into your opponent’s weakness instead, through relentless misrepresentation of facts.
(I’ll just pause here for a moment and declare my open admiration for local journalists like Bass and Colin McEnroe, as well as local Connecticut bloggers, who are savvy about the history and the permutations of state politics and unafraid to write about them honestly.)
But back to Turdblossom. He’s going to bat for Holy Joe:
"The Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party has served as a way to mobilize hate and anger — hate and anger, first and foremost, at this President and Conservatives, but then also at people within their own party whom they consider to be less than completely loyal to this very narrow, very out-of-the-mainstream, very far Left-wing ideology that they tend to represent."
Seems pretty clear to me — Rove thinks it’s a travesty that we’re encouraging a challenger to Holy Joe. Lieberman has also agreed to debate Ned Lamont, which seems to indicate he’s not planning to bolt the party before July 6 anyway. Since he’s collected the prestigious endorsement of Bill O’Reilly you have to wonder at the wisdom of this — what will he do without all his Republican pals to back him up?
Update: Even Sullivan wonders if this is the Worst Ad Ever. Lordy this one is a gift.