Monday, September 04, 2006

Joe vs. the Newtown Labor Day Parade

"Joe Lieberman is going to march in the parade, and that's final, dammit!"
This is what I imagine the senator barked at his staff after he found out the Newtown Democratic Town Committee "dis-invited" him to their yearly Labor Day parade. Joe couldn't have been very happy to see the local news media pick up on the story; had it not been publicized, he most likely would have quietly stayed home on Labor Day.

But now that the snub has become widely known, it's almost physically impossible for the egomaniacal politician to miss the parade. Lieberman would rather chop off a finger than let it seem that he was sent away like a petulant child for behaving in an annoying manner.

And the mass-mailing Joe sent out a few days ago seems to indicate he's ready for a "fight". I'm anxious to see how this will play out later this morning.

From the Newtown Bee (yes, I agree that a newspaper called the "Bee" sounds silly, but keep in mind that Newtown is still in many ways the small town it's always been):
Lieberman Controversy Attends Labor Day Parade Preparations
By John Voket

If US Senator Joseph Lieberman chooses to march in this year's Newtown Labor Day parade, he will likely do so as a true independent. Local members of the Democratic Town Committee, including First Selectman Herb Rosenthal and former staunch Lieberman supporter Jim Juliano, agree that the Senator has no reason to believe he is welcome to march beside other endorsed party candidates.

"By marching with members of the DTC and invited Democratic candidates and state leaders, it would give the impression that we support his candidacy," said Mr Rosenthal when asked about the issue late Wednesday.

"I told him through his office, that as a duly elected Democratic official, he's putting me in an uncomfortable, almost embarrassing position. We have a duly elected candidate, who was endorsed by a historic turnout of state Democrats in the recent primary. I don't have to march with [Sen Lieberman], the DTC doesn't have to march with him, so why would he want to make it look like he's in good graces with the Democratic Party?" Mr Rosenthal continued. "He is not in good graces with state Democrats."
It's rare in politics to see someone stand up like Mr. Rosenthal and give solid, indisputable reasons why he believes in something. I hope I get to interview him later today.

In fact, Mr Rosenthal pointed out that since he was elected first selectman, Mr Lieberman only opted to march in the town's Labor Day Parade once, prior to the 2000 election.

"He's only come to the parade once before. He's not coming here this year as the sitting US Senator, he's coming because he's a candidate in the fall election," Mr Rosenthal said.

Mr Rosenthal said he would take issue with any candidate who failed to be endorsed at the statewide convention, who opted to force a primary, and then upon losing, continued to mount a full-scale campaign by petition for the general election.

"He was privately and publicly asked not to run by many state Democrats, and decided to run anyway even after he lost the primary. Philosophically, I have a problem with that," Mr Rosenthal said. "And I'm not going to reward that behavior by marching beside him on Labor Day."

A spokesman for the Lieberman campaign said the Senator takes marching in the Newtown parade very seriously, and that he works very hard for the people of Newtown.
What the Senator means is that he takes marching in the parade ONCE EVERY NINE YEARS very seriously.

Those other eight, not so much.

Mr Gerstein said he spoke with the Senator's scheduling aide Thursday morning, and confirmed that Mr Rosenthal had called personally to say Mr Lieberman was not welcome to march with the DTC, and that the first selectman would not march beside the Senator.

"This infers that Senator Lieberman is not welcome at the parade," Mr Gerstein said.
Dan, you missed your true calling. I think you should have been a rocket scientist. Nice deduction there, Professor Obvious!
"But the Senator believes there is too much at stake to walk away [following the primary], and he wants to give all Connecticut voters a real choice in November."

Mr Juliano said that as the local DTC vice chair, he agrees that the Senator should march in a separate unit, if he opts to join the parade September 4, adding that he supported Mr Lieberman up to the primary but remains undecided about his endorsement going forward. As a former officer for the statewide Plumbers and Fitters Local 777, Mr Juliano admitted that the Senator may have single-handedly headed off a small scale depression in Connecticut and Rhode Island when he crossed party lines to oppose the closing of the Groton submarine base earlier this year.

"Mr Lieberman was able to save 600 ship-fitter's jobs at Electric Boat, and 3,200 other jobs at that facility. I understand that a lot of people are sore about [his support of] the war, but closing that sub base would have triggered an economic depression that would have affected all of Connecticut and Rhode Island," Mr Juliano said. "I don't support the war...never did, but as a member of the executive board of the state Building Trades Association, I can't ignore the fact that he saved a lot of jobs."
Keep in mind that Joe didn't do this single-handedly. It's his job to keep the military base open, along with Dodd and all our Representatives; also, EB announced a buttload of layoffs starting next year. So Joe, are you going to take credit for THAT, too?
Mr Juliano said he is supporting the DTC in refusing to march beside the Senator.

"He's not the Democratic candidate, he didn't carry Newtown in the primary, and he didn't receive Newtown's endorsement in the state convention. He's an independent and he should march as an independent," Mr Juliano said.


Addie Loggins said...

"'This infers that Senator Lieberman is not welcome at the parade,' Mr Gerstein said."

This is wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is Gerstein's use of "infer" when he means "imply." I hate that! It's really not that hard of a rule:

Anonymous said...

Since the calls to close the sub base and the only vote in favor of closing it came from the Republican side, to claim that Jo(k)e Lieberman "crossed party lines" to block closing the sub base is so revisionist that it borders on lying. I think it may even be on the far side of that border.

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