September 18, 2010

"Incumbent sore loser to launch desperate bid to keep power."

Writes Allahpundit about Lisa Murkowski.

Everyone commenting on this story is looking back to see how they wrote about Joe Lieberman in 2006, right? Gotta do a hypocrisy check before posting on this one. I'm sure Allahpundit did though, because I'm reading "sore loser" as a wink. Yeah, I remember Lieberman/Loserman.

52 comments:

A.W. said...

i think a distinction can be made, in that lieberman probably had more support among connecticut republicans than democrats.

The fact is Lieberman did in fact enjoy the majority support of connecticutters, just not liberal loonies and often for reasons that didn't even make sense. like that he denounced clinton's screwing around, which might have been relevant in 2000, but was water under the dam by 2006. By comparison specter, murkowski and crist are not more popular among the people. So all they can do is screw up a straight contest as a spoiler, but they can't actually win.

And you suspect that all of this is really just egotism anyway.

narciso said...

Ann, the distinction is that Lieberman believed in something, notably the surge, and the idea that Iraq not be abandoned, can you tell me what Murkowski believes beside
herself

tim maguire said...

I would make a different distinction. Nobody is arguing that either should not be allowed to do it, we are simply looking at the people who thought one should do it and another should not.

Is that hypocritical? Is there something inconsistent with wanting the person you want to win to run while wanting someone who may simply be a spoiler to not run? Seriously, where's the hypocrisy in that?

There is, of course, the further distinction that Murkowski would be a spoiler whereas Lieberman actually won, but I'm not sure how much work that distinction does.

John Lynch said...

You're not a spoiler if you win.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

And it's not like she's going to swing the race to the Democrat.

No, there's a principle she's running on: "Alaska needs its pork."

And hey, it's a good test case to see whether it's true, or whether voters are taking a longer view this year.

Daryl said...

I don't understand what you mean by "hypocrisy."

Did righties make an abstract case for the correctness of the decision, in general, to run against the party nominee when the candidate is more moderate?

I don't believe so.

There are two competing interests when it comes to whether to support someone who is not the party's nominee:

1 - it's generally bad for a political party not to support its nominee, it's generally best to resolve all this at the primary stage.

2 - is the non-nominee a better candidate?

With regard to AK, both issues point to Joe Miller as superior (especially in light of Murkowski's atrocious post-primary behavior, in case there was any doubt)

With regard to CT, both issues pointed to Joe Lieberman as superior (harm to Democratic Party + a more moderate candidate)

That's why righties were happy to see Joe Lieberman. I don't think we made a secret that we liked seeing Dems fight each other in a bloody intraparty battle. We never said we wanted to have Joe Lieberman type debacles on our side, especially if it meant a more conservative candidate prevented from getting office.

It's not hypocrisy to prefer conservatism over moderation over liberalism. It's not hypocrisy to want good things for the Republican Party and bad things for the Democratic Party. It's just ideology and partisanship.

Hagar said...

Lisa Murkowski is not Joe Lieberman, and the tea partiers are not the kossacks.

edutcher said...

This is why a Tea Party exists. Root out the self-seekers, as well as the Assistant Democrats.

Too bad the Coffee Party wasn't for real. The Demos are going to wish they really had one.

WV "folyp" What you hope the proctologist doesn't find when you see him after Labor Day.

kimsch said...

Illinois has a "sore loser" law, whereby if you lose in the primary you can't run in the general under another cover. Currently Scott Lee Cohen is running for Governor as an independent, but he didn't lose the Democrat nomination for Lt.Governor, he was forced out after he won because Quinn didn't want him as a running mate. That's the only way Cohen can run in the general this year.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

I'll point out a state where it might be reasonable for a moderate loser to run as an independent:

Delaware.

Right now, you have a former witch with truth issues who's running against a former bearded Marxist who hiked taxes massively and squandered a surplus.

I'd vote for the witch because she is against TARP and other government waste, but you can't say that that race isn't crying out for a third party -- Mike Castle.

Alaska -- meh. Murkowski's running on being entitled to her entitlements, and she's entitled to do that, of course, but we're entitled to laugh at her.

David said...

I'm a CT republican and voted for Lieberman in 06. He didn't change his positions to lure republican votes (still reliably left not including national security issues). Other than Pork, Murkowski offers no substantial policy reasons for Alaskans to vote for her. Also, Alaska is not the wide open place it looks like. Most of the land is Federal Property (BLM, NPS, USFS, etc.) and locals are always bumping up against some bureaucrat or another. The greenish Alaskan liberals are Obama supporters to a man, while most of the rest would favor less control from DC.

Beth said...

It's not hypocrisy so long as it benefits conservatives.

Just embroider that on a pillow and refer to it whenever you have a question about consistency and conservatism.

AJ Lynch said...

Both situations demonstrate how desperate incumbents are to keep a hold on power and the perks that come with it.

I say we should get rid of all the baby boomers in office - they have done enough damage to the country.

tim maguire said...

Beth, instead of lazily throwing around the word "hypocrisy" as the professor does, how about showing how it applies to this case? Knowing exactly what you think is hypocritical will make discussion easier and possibly even more fruitful. Previous commenters, myself included, have given a number of different reasons (some better than others) why we think it isn't hypocritical and there's no moving forward without a clearer idea of why you find none of them persuasive (assuming, of course, that you read any of them).

AJ Lynch said...

BTW the Loserman label goes back to the 2000 prez election.

Rialby said...

What happens when they try to count ballots for "Lisa Murcowski" and "Lisa Murkoskee"? What a mess.

Ann Althouse said...

If the distinction is that the primary winner in one case was liberal and in the other case was conservative, then please just be honest and say you're choosing to be a big old hypocrite. Own it. And never, never, ever again use the argument that conservatives are being criticized for doing something that liberals always get away with. That's bullshit in this new analysis you are embracing.

Beth said...

tim, calling the decision to run third-party, or write-in, a "sore loser" act is a value judgment on category of action. So when conservatives make that kind of statement, then defend the same action with a candidate they prefer, they shift their argument. In one, they pretend to have a core principle, a value. But when sticking to that principle would get in the way of electing someone they prefer, it's suddenly an issue of the specific candidate and the idea of core values just wisps away.

Why is so hard to just accept that all of us, of all political stripes, find it quite easy to embrace what helps our side and hamstrings the other? We all yell about context and nuance when we're stung by an opposing maneuver, then when caught using the same maneuver we defend it by yelling "they did it first!"

I'd be just a smidgen happier if at the least we could be a bit less self-righteous about it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lincolntf said...

"If the distinction is that the primary winner in one case was liberal and in the other case was conservative, then please just be honest and say you're choosing to be a big old hypocrite."


Yeah, because supporting a conservative and not supporting a liberal is totally hypocritical.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Yeah, because supporting a conservative and not supporting a liberal is totally hypocritical.

At the expense of having no other principles or interest in accuracy and accountability, it usually is.

edutcher said...

Beth said...

It's not hypocrisy so long as it benefits conservatives.

It is and it doesn't.

America's Politico said...

GOP = Losers = Find-a-way-to-remain-in-power = No vision politician = No leadership skill

Keep on trucking!

Keep a focus on self-preservation/self-destruction.

We need a mandate from Nov. 2010 and Nov. 2012. Health care bill will seem like a breeze. You have not seen anything.

We cannot help it if GOP is so incredibly bad.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

can you tell me what Murkowski believes beside
herself


Umm... probably moderation and an unwillingness to rip the country in two over the horrible and extreme ideas that Republican elites sanctimoniously only pretend that more than 20% of the country will ever embrace.

Fred4Pres said...

Lieberman Lisa is not. She will not even be a spoiler, let alone win.

jr565 said...

Beth wrote;
So when conservatives make that kind of statement, then defend the same action with a candidate they prefer, they shift their argument. In one, they pretend to have a core principle, a value. But when sticking to that principle would get in the way of electing someone they prefer, it's suddenly an issue of the specific candidate and the idea of core values just wisps away.

Why is so hard to just accept that all of us, of all political stripes, find it quite easy to embrace what helps our side and hamstrings the other? We all yell about context and nuance when we're stung by an opposing maneuver, then when caught using the same maneuver we defend it by yelling "they did it first!"


Oh, yeah kind of like when Ted Kennedy changed the election laws in 2004 because his buddy Kerry was running for president and they didn't want his seat to go to a republican (as Mitt Romney would be able to appoint him and being a republican wouild most likely appoint a republican). But then when he was dying and they were going to pass health care and he was worried that they would be one vote short he suggested that they change the law back, so as to protect the dems vote count. Now, that was some STUNNING hypocricy.

Lincolntf said...

"Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblin of little minds..."

Remember that the old aphorism warns of being DOOMED to repeat history, not BLESSED to repeat history.
Doing things differently as times and circumstances change is apparently verboten to some people. But unless they themselves have always been perfect in word and deed, I'd like to think they've changed things up a bit themselves over the years.
Maybe not.

tim maguire said...

That's bullshit in this new analysis you are embracing.

Way to be a positive force in your own comment section, professor. Since you don't specifically mention anyone, are you accusing every person who disagrees with you, or just some who shall remain nameless because that's easier than forming an actual argument?

Beth, in some ways, I think we are very far apart indeed, in other ways, I'm not sure we differ all that much. To me the strongest response is simply that it's fundamentally false to suggest an inconsistency between supporting Lieberman's independent candidacy and opposing Murkowski's write in campaign.

But that doesn't seem to be your issue. Another distinction here, one that I think is less strong, but not frivolous, is that Lieberman had widespread support across the political spectrum and a faction of Democratic primary voters was denying CT independents and even many Republicans from voting for their favorite candidate whereas Murkowski has no strong backing and depends entirely on Alaska's Republican dominance for her support. Since anyone likely to support her had the chance to and a majority said "no thanks", she and Alaskans are is not being denied what Lieberman and Connecticutians (?) were. As a result, her write in candidacy means something different.

As I said in my first post, that distinction may not be able to carry all the water that it's being asked to, but it is not frivolous and deserves better than the "hypocrisy label.

Tony & Cindy said...

We need a mandate from Nov. 2010 and Nov. 2012. Health care bill will seem like a breeze. You have not seen anything.

Baghdad Bob, is that you?

tw: prons

Dead Julius said...

Lisa Murkowski's write-in bid is only possible because the national leaders of the Republican party are such total flakes and losers.

I mean... has any Establishment Republican come out and said that yeah, this Tea Party thing is the future of our party and we ought to claim it right fucking now...??? And go get a real job, Lisa, 'specially since you got your last job through "Daddy's little girl" cronyism...???

Nope! They waver. They offer qualified support for the new Joe Miller crop of candidates and, more importantly, for the direction that the Tea Partiers want to take. The Republican establishment can't risk-- they dare not risk-- irritating their traditional patronage clients. Republicans spent a lot of time and effort to provide corporate welfare and sweetheart deals and competition-inhibiting regulation for their friends. Letting go of that is something they seem to be unwilling to do.

rick said...

Althouse said "If the distinction is that the primary winner in one case was liberal and in the other case was conservative, then please just be honest and say you're choosing to be a big old hypocrite."

If didn't bother me that Lieberman re-entered and it doesn't bother me that Murkowski is re-upping. If that's what the rules permit, so be it.

If you win, no one really remembers the details. It is when you lose (again), that is when are a two-time loser and schmuck.

dbp said...

I think the distinction is this: Lieberman was not a sore-loser, he correctly saw that the majority of his state wanted him as Senator. In the case of Murkowski, unless she is deluded, she has no chance of winning and hence is only running out of spite at loosing the nomination. That is the definition of sore loser.

Ann Althouse said...

"Way to be a positive force in your own comment section, professor. Since you don't specifically mention anyone, are you accusing every person who disagrees with you, or just some who shall remain nameless because that's easier than forming an actual argument?"

I am asking people to answer a question, to examine what they are saying and get clear about it. And I damned well do think I'm being a positive force in stepping in and trying to shape the comments that way. I'm saying now that you've said what you've said, look at it, see the blind spots, and be honest. The call to reason and honesty is absolutely positive, and it's what I try to do all the time.

Not mentioning anyone specifically is not a way to accuse everyone. It's a way to accuse no one, plainly. I'm asking you all to think more clearly and deeply. That's my job.

Almost Ali said...

Murkowski is channeling Tanya Harding.

dbp said...

I am not convinced in either case that there is hypocrisy on either side:

It was Democrats calling Lieberman a sore looser, I think most conservatives while possibly enjoying it all, did understand the Democrat's frustration. If there was any criticism of the Democrats, it was of their stupidity at spending so much time and money on what was in the end, a loosing cause for them.

Lisa Murkowski is in fact a sore looser and there is no hypocrisy in pointing this out. She will come in 3rd and the best she can do is help the Democrat. In Lieberman's case, it was obvious Lamont would win if Lieberman didn't, so it is not as if he was helping the Republican.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Actually, here's one point of principle, other than pork, that Murkowski could run on.

No, two:

1. Being pro-choice. She is, Miller's staunchly pro-life.

2. Environmentalism -- don't know what her views are, but they've got to be to the left of Miller's.

So maybe she could run as a moderate, snag the Democrat votes, and then string together enough Republicans to win...

hombre said...

Ah, Murkowski. Defeated, but not dethroned.

hombre said...

Ritmo projects:

... the horrible and extreme ideas that Republican elites sanctimoniously only pretend that more than 20% of the country will ever embrace.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In retrograde places like Texass that might sound like projection Elle Hombre. But Chait thinks otherwise, and Elle Rushbo howls with defensiveness at it:

And so on, and so on. The premise of all these pleas for Castle was extremely sensible: this is politics. Sometimes you move the ball forward, sometimes the other team moves it forward. Sometimes you make compromises in order to get ahead.

But the Republican base has been taught not to think this way. This isn't just politics, remember? This is a twilight struggle for freedom. And Mike Castle didn't just cast a couple bad votes. He acquiesced in a sinister plan to undermine capitalism. How could they ever support a candidate like that?

Moreover, Republican voters have luxuriated in the belief that they represent the true majority of the American people. Obama may have won by fooling the voters, or possibly by stealing the election with Acorn, but the enduring majority of the public is staunchly conservative. Indeed, Republicans only lost because they strayed from the true faith.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I should have pasted the rest of it, but I know Hombre has a short attention span:

Now, most elite Republicans understand that the red meat fed to the base isn't exactly right. It's useful to scare the daylights out of the activists, but writers for the Standard and the Journal editorial page understand that "freedom," as most people understand the term, is not really at risk. They understand as well that politics is a little more complicated than "if Republicans stay true to conservatism, they cannot lose."

But the conservative base is not in on the joke. And so Republican elites found themselves with just a few frantic days to undo the toxic and intoxicating effects of 20 months of relentless propaganda. Vote for the man who compromised with evil! The true conservative can't always win! They couldn't do it.

I won't say that the Republican base strategy has been a total failure. But it is nice to see it blow up in the face of the establishment from time to time.

SteveR said...

Did Joe Lieberman say before the 2006 primary that he would not run, as a write in/independent, if he lost?

Did Lisa Murkowski say before the 2010 primary that she would not run, as a write in/independent, if she lost?

I really don't care about the hypocrisy issue because of the singular and important factor involved in the 2006 election.

Paco Wové said...

I've generally noticed that the people who are most obsessed with sniffing out the taint of hypocrisy! -- particularly in their political opponents -- tend to be ideological peabrains who have been rendered incapable, either by native dullness of wit or by over-generous doses of partisanship, of comprehending the slightest degree of complexity or nuance in the real world. Everything is EXACTLY THE SAME!! as something else, or it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!

Take the adjectives out of the statement and it works for Lieberman and Murky both. As long as they're following the rules, hey, go for it.

Cedarford said...

I'll point out a state where it might be reasonable for a moderate loser to run as an independent:

Delaware.

Right now, you have a former witch with truth issues who's running against a former bearded Marxist who hiked taxes massively and squandered a surplus.

I'd vote for the witch because she is against TARP and other government waste, but you can't say that that race isn't crying out for a third party -- Mike Castle.

Alaska -- meh. Murkowski's running on being entitled to her entitlements, and she's entitled to do that, of course, but we're entitled to laugh at her.

----------------------
Great post.
The problem in Delaware is the people want Castle over the losers the Dem and Tea Party activists plan inflicting on them....but Castle is being expected to be a good soldier and loyally back O'Donnell to her loss because Republicans don't want to tick off the Tea Party and lose their energy...which is mostly directed against Democrats and liberal/progressive Jewish media powers.
And perhaps some want the taste of defeat to soak in to the functioning human brains in the Tea Party mice. That they can have unqualified, cute and spunky candidates of 100% Red State conservative purity lose in moderate states. Then they can live with the Democrat they help elect in the name of losing for purity's sake.

Not a few are thinking - this O'Donnell loss might also dampen the fever for another cute and spunky and unqualified and dingbatty female charismatic at a national level.

Cedarford said...

ExCuse....last post quoted Ben (Tiger in Exile) - but didn't name him.

Synova said...

A hypocrisy check might be in order but it certainly doesn't require a person have the same opinion about both events or require that the events not correspond.

Hypocrisy would only apply if criticism is made on moral grounds, a claim of principle. "Sore loser" doesn't quite reach that measure as it is speculation about the candidate's internal emotional state. For all we know Lieberman went into a petulant sulk, threw plates and kicked the dog.

I think there was a feeling that outside forces conspired to oust Lieberman, that there was almost a personalized vendetta to "get" him. I don't know how much outside funding the fellow who defeated Murkowski got, but it was probably a quite a bit. I don't recall any similar specific, national, Murkowski hatred going on though, only the generalized "throw the bums out" stuff. Did I miss it?

But it doesn't even really matter. People could be glad that Lieberman decided to run despite losing the primary, even though anyone paying attention certainly knew he was as liberal as they come with only the single exception of the Iraq war. He wasn't going to act as an "assistant Republican," and the same people can figure that Murkowski is just looking to be a spoiler and wish she had better sense... without being a hypocrite.

If someone wrote long and passionately about the moral necessity, rather than the practical one, of respecting the will of the people in the primary election, then maybe they should check their hypocrisy meter.

Synova said...

"Murkowski is channeling Tanya Harding."

It always seemed to me that poor Tanya got a bum deal. She was from the wrong side of the tracks and didn't understand how the game was played. She didn't understand that she needed to treat the girls who were nice to her as enemy spies out to sabotage her gear if she didn't guard herself. She understood direct action and honesty during a war. She didn't understand the rules.

And if she was just spouting off to her boyfriend about the injustice of it all and what she wished would happen in a cosmic sense or if she asked outright that pretty Nancy be attacked, I always figured that the statement that said more about the event than any other by anyone, spoken in shock and pain and therefore *honest*, was...

"Why MEEEEEE!"

So there you go.

damikesc said...

That she is the THIRD Republican to pull this nonsense is why the faithful are so angry now.

All we've heard, for a year, is that if the Tea Partiers don't win, they'll do something stupid like run independent campaigns and insure Democrat wins.

But ALL we've seen are establishment Republicans doing that. Many of them the same morons we've never wanted to support but did so because the leadership said we needed to.

We sided with Specter over Toomey in 2004 because the GOP said Specter was electable. Ditto Chaffee over Laffey. The Crist and Rubio campaign was the first time the Tea Partiers, FINALLY, told the party to go screw themselves and that their advice gave us 2008. At this point, they have no cache to make the claim of "Trust us, this person is a better option".

O'Donnell is an amazingly bad candidate...but if I had the entire party saying "Go with Castle, she can't win", even I'd notice "You say that a lot and we just saw Inglis, Crist, Specter, Dede, etc all decide to attack the party for not keeping them in office. Why don't you guys pick better candidates?"

That the Senate was even a possibility sure as heck wasn't the GOP's doing. The Tea Partiers made all of this possible.

Greg Hlatky said...

Maybe she thought the job came with tenure.

dick said...

I think the difference between Lieberman and Murkowski is that Connecticut has no sore loser legislation while Alaska does; therefore Murkowski is being a hypocrite while Lieberman was not.

Bob_R said...

I'm sure there is an element of blue/red hypocrisy in my immediate emotional reaction to this. But the distinction is pretty easy to back up and I won't rehash the many reasons given above this post.

Moreover, after thinking about it, I think that the Murkowski challenge - like the O'Donnell win - is a good test for the tea party. Is the movement strong enough to win statewide general elections? Alaska is a much easier test than Delaware. Sarah Palin can campaign in Iowa all she wants, but if all she can do is support the winners of low turnout primaries, then the Republicans would be fools to nominate her. On the other hand, if she can push as deeply flawed a candidate as O'Donnell to a win in Deleware, she is probably our next president.

traditionalguy said...

This is a sad way to see the Murkowski brand end. She tried to do what she thought was best like her Daddy used to do. But she failed to see the nature of the shoot out at high noon between Palin and Obama DEMANDING a side be taken. This is not a time to fence sit to optimise pork for the GOP establishment in Alaska. This is like the summer of 1940 in England and the summer of 1942 in the Pacific. There shall be great battles fought by brave men and women, and waiting for the old leadership to grow a pair and get into the fight is not a luxory we can afford.

Scott M said...

Didn't Bill Clinton take a sideswipe at the primary winner by claiming he (Wilson) thought unemployment checks were unconstitutional?

Well...are they? Trying to dismiss someone without addressing their argument head on is typical Slick Willy. If anyone has a link to were Clinton actually addresses this, I would like to read it.