Lanny Davis’s Red Herring of a Column

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lanny Davis’s Red Herring of a Column

Yesterday, as Election Day dawned in Connecticut — and long before Joe Lieberman found out he had lost his party’s Senate primary — this column by former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Headlined “Liberal McCarthyism,” Davis compared the “hate and vitriol of (anti-Lieberman) bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle” to Joe McCarthy, the former senator and infamous red-baiter.

Davis made this comparison based on excerpts of five posts from blogs — there are “many, many more” like them, he added. Probably so. A few of these sample posts included anti-Semitic comments that were truly reprehensible. (One of them, however, simply blasts Lieberman for being “beholden to the Israeli Lobby” — nothing inherently anti-Semitic about that.)

Davis writes:
I do not blame Joe Lieberman's political difficulties on the liberal blogosphere. …. Moreover, the support [Lamont] gets from these haters should not be attributed to Mr. Lamont — nor should he be blamed for their extremism, bigotry and intolerance. But he ought to denounce them. He hasn't as yet.
Oh, go and cry me a river.

The Lieberman campaign (and Davis is a self-identified Lieberman supporter) wanted nothing more than for Lamont to get pulled into a constant cycle of publicly distancing himself from dozens of anonymous buffoons who happened to post a bigoted or bombastic comment on a blog.

Was Lieberman obliged to repudiate the person who posted this inflammatory comment last week?
"Al Sharpton goes to Conn to tell all the Afro Americans to vote for Lamont. Translation: Vote against the Jew.”
Insisting that candidates denunciate every bigot or halfwit who happens to post an outrageous comment against their opponent somewhere in the blogosphere is simply ridiculous.

Lanny Davis needs to get a life.

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