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Jonathan Alter: Lieberman is a “Putz”

John on November 14, 2009 at 10:50 am

Alter’s latest column is so overloaded with seething animus, it’s almost comical. Here’s the first line:

A decade ago, Joe Lieberman was a source of great pride for American Jews. Now Jews (who voted 78 percent for Barack Obama) are debating a critical question: why is Joe such a putz?

Alter lays this on “American Jews” but he doesn’t name any. In two brief paragraphs, Alter convicts Lieberman of hypocrisy and hard-heartedness. Alter then rehearses a list of leftist grievances with Joe:

Longtime students of sanctimony remember Lieberman kicking Bill Clinton when he was down during the Lewinsky scandal in 1998 and pandering to the Pentagon by supporting the counting of spoiled military ballots in 2000 (helping doom Gore-Lieberman in the recount). His low point came at the GOP convention in 2008. It was one thing to ditch the Democrats and sincerely support his old friend John McCain. But how about his hearty endorsement of Sarah Palin as fully qualified to be president?

Do you get the impression Alter is emotionally invested here? But he tries to turn this all back on Lieberman, claiming the Senator is the one full of resentment:

Senate colleagues [also unnamed] say Lieberman is consumed by his resentment toward liberals…For Lieberman, defeating health-care reform would be the fulfillment of a revenge fantasy…

History is littered with big moments that turned on the pettiness of small men.

How dare these small, bitter men get in the way of great men and their progress. It’s an outrage!

Alter seems never to have noticed that history is also littered with the preening grandiosity of “great men” leading whole societies to catastrophe. Have you seen the deficit and unemployment numbers, Jonathan?

The bottom line is that Alter sounds worried his side is losing. I like that.

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Category: Politics |

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