Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama gives Joe the "LBJ treatment"

UPDATE: If you arrived here from a link elsewhere, click HERE to visit the home page of!
From My Left Nutmeg:
Earlier, Lieberman had criticized Obama's experience and judgement on Israel and Iran after he had appeared at the AIPAC conference.
Furthermore, during a Senate vote Wednesday, Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation.

While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating.

Using forceful, but not angry, hand gestures, Obama literally backed up Lieberman against the wall, leaned in very close at times, and appeared to be trying to dominate the conversation, as the two talked over each other in a few instances.

Still, Obama and Lieberman seemed to be trying to keep the back-and-forth congenial as they both patted each other on the back during and after the exchange.

Afterwards, Obama smiled and pointed up at reporters peering over the edge of the press gallery for a better glimpse of their interaction.

Obama loyalists were quick to express their frustration with Lieberman's decision and warned that if he continues to take a lead role in attacking Obama it could complicate his professional relationship with the Caucus.
Who doesn't love that? LBJ was a pro at forcing people to own up to their words, and he often tested their commitment in the face of a little intimidation.

Lyndon Johnson was the farthest thing from the prototypical "wimpy" Democrat. LBJ would often use his imposing height and overwhelming personality to make his point. He was truly the "anti-Harry Reid", a master of persuasion, and we may have found someone who finally can fill his shoes.

Does anyone think any other Democratic candidates would be able to make Lieberman wet his pants like that?


Bob Symmes said...

Dear Joe-mentum:

To paraphrase a (then) 4-year-old in my family:
"Poo-poo or get off the potty, daddy!"
Mr. "I'm-a-new-democrat": better decide which train you're on. Better yet, do something new: be honest. Tell the voters of Connecticut you're now a Republican.

You can say "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, it left me. It wanted to move into a WINNING PARTY, and I didn't."

Nuff Said

Anonymous said...

Good to see the new sheriff is on the job.

Sellitman (Kevin) said...

Time to kick ass!

And Joe is the biggest.

Anonymous said...

The "kick ass" attitude is what got is into that quagmire Iraq.

AxmxZ said...

Is that really a picture from today's confrontation? Who took it?

CT Bob said...

No, they don't allow cameras in the Senate chamber, except the single C-Span video camera that often hold a wide shot or aims directly at the podium. I'm just having a little fun with it.

Anonymous said...

Quick question: where does CT Bob's neck end and Obama's ass begin? Are you really applauding a guy who uses intimidation rather than actual intelligence to make his point?

vagabondblogger said...

Lieberman needs to be called out, and no other Democrat has had the cojones (to use Carville's term) to do it. We have a bunch of wimps for representatives, and it's good to hear that someone isn't backing down or kowtowing to Lieberman for once. Can't wait until the time comes (January 2009?) when the Dems can finally tell him where to go.

CT Bob said...

Anonymous: Jesus H. Christ! I'm using IRONY, you stupid young pup! How could any rational observer to this encounter even remotely compare it to LBJ's bullying tactics except as an extreme example to make a (somewhat humorous) point? Do I have to be "Larry Literal" from now on? How DUMB are you?

Don't answer that; it's a rhetorical question.

(FWIW: I tend to be slightly more charitable towards people who attach their name or even an internet handle to their critical comments; otherwise, ONE anonymous asshole is exactly the same as the REST of them to me)

Anonymous said...

Bob, its Anonymous again,

Wanted to apologize if my comment came off rude (not sure how it could be interpreted otherwise), as I am actually a fan of your work. While I don't see eye to eye with you politically in the least bit, I feel your CT politics blog is fairly well written compared to most out there, and it challenges me to think about my own political beliefs. Usually, I disagree with you from the get-go and remain that way, but sometimes I do re-evaluate.

If your intent was to be ironic, then I think you missed your mark. I questioned why there was so much joy generated from the perceived use of intimidation by one senator to another. You wrote: "Obama gives Joe the LBJ treatment", "Who doesn't love that? LBJ was a pro at forcing people to own up to their words, and he often tested their commitment in the face of a little intimidation" and "Does anyone think any other Democratic candidates would be able to make Lieberman wet his pants like that?" These are your comments from your post. Your readers' comments were also very similar. Where is this veiled irony or humor? You clearly, from your past posts, seem to support Obama. In fact, I haven't read a single negative comment about him on this website. I merely question how he comes off here as anything but a bully and that perhaps this was not an event that should be celebrated so joyously? This is the guy you praise and love so much - not exactly in line with the messiah light he paints himself in. Personally, I don't see how someone can paint themselves in this light anyway - a messiah is someone who brings about difference and change - not who strictly votes among the most liberal party lines possible on a consistent basis. That’s not "change", that’s just being a party shill.

Additionally, what exactly is your grievance with Joe Lieberman? I'm not even particularly a Joe Lieberman fan, but I question what your issue is? Is it that he left your party and was still elected? I'm sorry that the people spoke and voted for him, get over it. I bet there wasn't much complaint from your side of the aisle when Diana "Bow Legs" Urban in the CT general assembly pulled her own little coup and left the Republicans. At least Lieberman went Independent before the election and not after. Perhaps you dislike Lieberman because he doesn't mesh with your own political values? Your site claims to be friendly to "all politically minded people" and is open to "progressive ideas". Well, to me, someone who has their own mind and challenges their party leaders is a progressive. Everyone else is just typical rank and file. In my party, we take those who challenge the status quo of the party with new ideas and make them our candidate for president. In your party, you boot those with their own mind out and attempt to replace them with the same old thing. So, when you say "politically minded people are welcome" - I think what you really mean is "people who agree with me are welcome, and those who question my biased viewpoints are not".

Oh, and thanks for the "stupid young pup" comment. If I had to interpret what that even means, I would say you were trying to equate me with someone who is young, politically inexperienced, and makes grandiose statements without thinking them through. If that’s the case, then maybe I'm good enough for the next democratic presidential ticket.

Additionally, your "charity" is not a luxury I can avail myself of. Unfortunately, my employment requires me to trade the ability to participate meaningfully in the political process for a paycheck. The appearance of nonpartisan-ship is crucial to the performance of my job, and therefore, in terms of expressing my views, I am limited to voting or occasionally injecting my two cents from the shadows. Not everyone can write their own blog and plaster their face next to their opinion.

Like I said, I'm a fan, and I'll continue to read your blog so as to challenge my own views. I merely suggested that you claimed to be open to all political minds and ideas, yet support Obama without question despite what innane comment he makes - or in this case, whom he appears to bully. Good luck with that.

Norphen said...

Obama? A bully? To paraphrase a former president...give me a break.

First of all, as you hopefully know by now, the picture at the bottom of this entry is fake. Obama didn't really reduce Lieberman into this quivering, frightened state. He just confronted him on the BS he was putting out about Obama's Israel policy. We ARE still allowed to confront people in this country, right?

From the article: "Still, Obama and Lieberman seemed to be trying to keep the back-and-forth congenial as they both patted each other on the back during and after the exchange."

Wow, sounds like a terrible violent encounter, doesn't it?

I can't really blame Obama for being just a little annoyed, personally. The whole reason this has come up at all is because he's expressed a stance on Iran other than "Let's blow them up." God forbid we actually try to peacefully resolve issues with troublesome world leaders rather than just threaten the entire nation's populace. That's for sissies, right?

The problem with Lieberman is not that he won, but that he won by using every dirty trick in the book: Lies, distortions, etc, all very well covered by Bob and his peers over the course of that election. In 2006, he was telling audiences that "nobody wants to end the war more than I do." You've seen his behavior since he got back in the Senate. Do you think that was an accurate representation of his forign policy views?

I'd have a lot more respect for him if he just switched to the Republican party and got it over with. Or if he just fully accepted the mantle of independent rather than an "independent Democrat" who wants to caucus with the Democrats. Obama didn't campaign for Ned Lamont, probably out of respect for Lieberman. Now the guy's doing a hit job on him for the sake of the Republican candidate? I'd be pissed too.

Another reason Obama is even having trouble with Jewish voters is the Republicans' shadowy email campaign to convince people he's a closet Muslim. Never mind that the trouble he's had with his Christian Church dominates the news, a bunch of people still think he's a Muslim. That's what Republicans do...spread blatant crap and assume (correctly) that people won't fact check.

That's something the Democrats usually are unwilling to do. For example, you won't seen any secret emails claiming that John McCain fathered an illegitimate black child. After all, Bush already did that to him in 2000 during their primary.

Speaking of McCain, I couldn't help but notice this quote from your post: "In my party, we take those who challenge the status quo of the party with new ideas and make them our candidate for president."

Umm....are we still talking about McCain? I, like many, admired him in 2000 for that maverick quality, but you're living under a delusion if you think there's any of that left. Over the last two years, he's reversed his positions on just about all of the issues that made him a "challenge to the status quo." - tax cuts, torture, Christian extremism...even today it came out that he's suddenly okay with the illegal wiretaps. Wow, what a rebel! Please. He's your candidate, all right, and he sold his soul to get there.

CT Bob said...

Norphen: Well said!

Anonymous: Actually, I appreciate your remarks and the fact that you read and enjoy the blog. I don't necessarily hold with your critique, but I am always interested in hearing what people think about the stuff I post.

When someone anonymously writes something like "where does CT Bob's neck end and Obama's ass begin?", even though it's a funny line, I tend to ignore their point and simply fire back with an appropriate insult. Hopefully something funny, but not always.

In response to your concern that we in the lefty blogosphere are seemingly in favor of the threat of physical violence as a negotiating tactic, the reality is that as a party, our representatives have been laying down and getting walked upon for SO LONG that to see ANY indication of a backbone is encouraging. Trust me, I'm not advocating fist fights on the Senate floor!

Where does my grievance against Joe Lieberman come from? Oh, I dunno...maybe I never liked the way he knots his tie. Sheesh!

There's a million other, more significant reasons that should be apparent to anyone who reads this blog. Try starting HERE, for instance. Then read the blog chronologically.

And while I appreciate the necessity of you not posting your real identity on my stupid blog, it IS possible to enter a name or handle in Blogger without revealing who you are. Like I said, all anonymouses look the same to me; and if they behave less than courteously, I tend to have zero tolerance for them. However, you took the time to write a long comment that rationally explains your position, and I'm almost always willing to engage someone when they go through the effort.

BTW, glad you like the blog. It must be infuriating to read sometimes, since you obviously don't share my political views. But at least you find something interesting about it. That's all a blogger can ask!