Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dan Gerstein, Joe Lieberman’s director of media relations and Public Enema No. 1.
This very enlightening piece at LamontBlog lays out a list of his crimes, in order, and one has to wonder, exactly, why this hacktastic hairball of a man still has a job. Expecially since Joe-das Iscariot fired everyone else of importance on his campaign. But apparently Gerstein’s mendacity, his insatiable desire to play the victim, not to mention his unabashed media whorishness all combine to make him Joe’s kinda guy, the ideal staffer for a campaign utterly devoid of shame but which is positively bursting with a toxic cocktail of hubris, wounded egotism, and a blazing sense of entitlement. When all this is over, Joe’s going to see if he can get Gerstein awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom like Georgie Tenet, cos, you know, he’s doing a heck of a job.
Way back in March, Howie Klein published a piece enumerating the many ways in which Lieberman has given short shrift to gay rights groups and other organizations working for human rights. Gerstein anonymously wrote to Huffington post, demanding that they censor Mr. Klein. To wit:
Last week after I wrote about my battles with Joe Lieberman during my time in the music business, the Huffington Post got a letter of complaint from someone who described himself as a "former associate of Joe Lieberman." They offered this person the opportunity to write a post of his own adressing my comments, but the individual was only interested in the Lieberman default position — censorship.
He demanded my post be cut or retracted. The Huffington Post instead printed my response, entitled No, Senator Lieberman, I Won’t Retract My Statement.
Since that time the original letter of complaint has been forwarded to me, and the identity of the person doing Lieberman’s dirty work was revealed. The man’s name is Dan Gerstein, and I am happy to address his specific complaints, even if he is only interested in censoring and mischaracterizing mine.
Gerstein took it upon himself to put numerous words into Howie’s mouth, including "racist" and "homophobe" and demonstrated an air of self-righteous arrogance throughout his little note. Howie responded by taking Mr. Gerstein to task for his Strike the Blow and Hide the Hand tactics and went on to emphatically set the record straight:
I want to point out that we’re not talking about someone who volunteered to hand out flyers at a Lieberman rally in Stamford once. Dan Gerstein was a senior Democratic strategist who worked with Lieberman for 10 years and collaborated with him on the infamous stab in the back he administered to Bill Clinton at a time when only partisan Republicans were calling for Clinton’s impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky brouhaha.
"The President apparently had extramarital relations with an employee half his age, and did so in the workplace, in vicinity of the Oval Office. Such behavior is not just inappropriate. It is immoral. And it is harmful, for it sends a message of what is acceptable behavior to the larger American family, particularly to our children, which is as influential as the negative messages communicated by the entertainment culture."
Gerstein is proud of his co-authorship of this particular speech and boasts of it quite prominently in his online bio.
Unfortunately, O Dannyboy learned nothing from this skirmish and went on to float multiple anti-Lamont smears anonymously to various media outlets, and when they appeared to not be taking, went the extra mile and came out as the source and tried again.
This adviser pointed out that Lamont had campaigned with Maxine Waters and Marcy Kaptur, two Dem members of Congress who didn’t vote in favor of a recent resolution condemning Hezbollah for its actions towards Israel. This infuriated many Lamont supporters, who thought the anonymous Lieberman adviser was trying to sow doubts about Lamont’s commitment to Israel.
Now I’ve spoken with the adviser myself, and he agreed to go on the record. The person who made these remarks is Dan Gerstein, a longtime key adviser to the Connecticut Senator who worked for him from 1994 until 2004, most recently as his communications director.
I call this technique "Strike the Blow and Hide the Hand, but When Nobody Seems to Feel or Care About the Blow, Un-hide the Hand and Strike Again. And Again. And Again Until Someone Pays Attention to You."
That same week came the now-infamous race-baiting flyers. And I believe that particular topic has been done to death around here, so let’s move on to the day of the election, when Joe’s website spammed itself into a coma. Rather than making any attempt to solve the problem or find out the truth, here’s what Danny did:
On primary day, now in an "official" role with Lieberman, Gerstein flew into an apoplectic rage about Joe’s "hacked" website. In full-on attack mode, he called every reporter he could, falsely claiming that Lamont campaign or its supporters hacked Joe2006.com, when actually they just didn’t know how to run a website. Gerstein even went to the FBI with this bogus claim. He eventually admitted that it was all bullshit, and that they had no evidence whatsoever to back up their very serious charges of "disenfranchisement" lodged against the Lamont campaign:
Sargent asked Gerstein directly if they had any proof at all that Lamont or his backers were behind the attacks on the Lieberman site.
"Here’s the thing. We are not putting the blame on the Lamont campaign," said Gerstein. "We think it’s very important for them to put out a statement throughout the Net roots that they not only don’t support these tactics, but want them to stop."
Yeah, yeah, dickhead. But in the meantime, the entire primary day news cycle was dominated with tales of "Dirty Tricks" and the desperate lengths(!!) that Lamont and his coven of deranged attack-bloggers were willing to go to in order to win an election. Mission accomplished, eh, Gherkin? May I call you Gherkin, Dan? No? How about "Li’l Mister Pickle Dick"?
Since the election, Gerstein has attacked the Lamont campaign for allowing itself to be endorsed by Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, but you know, NOT for any racist reasons. Just cos, you know, they’re among the most "divisive and problematic figures in the Democratic Party.", BUT NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE BLACK! REALLY!
He’s also been at the root of the claims that anyone who opposes Joe for Senate this year is doing so because of anti-Semitism, because, you know there’s no other reason anyone would oppose Mr. Reasonable, "Everybody in Washington Loves Me", Joe "It’s MY Seat, Ned, Miiiiiiiine" Lieberman.
"There’s a small but vocal pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel and perhaps anti-Semitic faction of the Democratic Party,” said Dan Gerstein, a former Lieberman aide and informal adviser to the campaign. "It is a small minority but it is getting bolder, and even worse. There is a growing tolerance of it in the progressive community."
The lovely Jennifer Medina of the New York Times wrote the article that contained that quote, but fortunately declined Gerstein’s offer of a gallon of Kool-Aid and a plate of Cocktail Weenies. Yay, Jennifer Medina! (You’re such a rock star.)
And this is why you’ll find a picture of Pickle Dick in my dictionary next to the word "despicable". At every turn he has sunk to the lowest possible kind of tactical manuevering in his unswerving devotion to Lieberman’s Desperation ’06 juggernaut. Gerstein is the kind of guy who would make an utterly perfect pawn for Karl Rove. He thinks nothing of holding his nose and scooping up great handfuls of shite to throw in the name of Keeping Joe on the Throne. He’s a good Republican foot-soldier. Screw the truth! Hell, screw the goddamn voters! We have an election to win, right Dan? Pull out all the stops! The special interests of AIPAC, the insurance industry, the Pentagon, military contractors, and the pharmaceutical industry MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS! Every decision made in this campaign MUST BENEFIT THE SEVENTH GENERATION of GlaxoSmithKline shareholders!
One last note from LamontBlog:
Finally, just this past Friday, Gerstein sent out a press release to reporters touting Lieberman’s hiring of "Democrat slayer" GOP pollster Neil Newhouse, but neglecting to inform reporters that merely weeks earlier, the press secretary he replaced, Marion Steinfels, had (falsely) attacked Ned Lamont for hiring Republican consultants:
…The Joe Lieberman campaign has just announced the hiring of GOP pollster Neil Newhouse, whose top clients include Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush and Pat Roberts. But Election Central couldn’t help but notice that this announcement is strikingly at odds with the fact that in late June, the Lieberman campaign vigorously attacked Ned Lamont for… hiring a onetime Republican operative as a consultant.
This is the kind of amoral, stop-at-nothing manuevering we’re up against in this campaign. The night of the Primary, I watched Lieberman’s "My Heart Will Go On" speech and decided that ol’ Holy Joe has no greater enemy in this campaign than himself. Well, add Dan Gerstein to that list. If they win in November, it’ll be because they learned everything they know at Unca Karl’s knee. Don’t let them get away with it.
As always, you can still donate to Ned via ActBlue. You know what to do.