Thursday, July 20, 2006


When Democrats Go To War -- With Each Other

Last week, we tracked the undercard fight on the big Lieberman-Lamont title fight: Democrat activist and author David Sirota against former Lieberman staffer Dan Gerstein.

Feel free to read the back and forth between the two. It looks like your basic to-and-fro between political pundits.

Well, it may be going to another level.

Earlier this week, Sirota sent the following (including the cool promo for his book included):

*************************************************************************************From: David Sirota
Date: Jul 17, 2006 11:54 PM
Subject: your blog post


I saw your blog post on Gerstein's accusation of mine. As an FYI - you should know we are in the process of finding the emails right now - the ones between he, I and the Lieberman staff in 2003 and 2004 where my account is fully documented. I am also exploring legal action against him for libel, on the grounds that his accusations go beyond just lies, they are malicious lies in that he knows they are lies and published them anyway. Stay tuned...


DUE IN BOOKSTORES SPRING 2006: Hostile Takeover - How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government – And How We Take It Back, By David Sirota ( Advance order the book by clicking here )

"Hostile Takeover makes a strong case that American democracy is under attack. Every politically engaged citizen who wants to know what challenges we face and how we can rebuild our country's democracy should read this book." - Former Vice President Al Gore

"Here are the horrifying facts about how our government works today - and for whom it works - delivered in a tone of outrage that is not only merited but appropriate. Read it and scream." – Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas

"David Sirota is the kind of pundit you'd like to have on your side in a knife fight and wouldn't want to cross in a dark alley...Right-wing talking points on the full spectrum of economic issues are debunked [by Hostile Takeover], progressive alternatives vociferously defended, and no hint of doubt or hesitation enters the picture at any point." - American Prospect, April 2006


Now, once again, I have no dog in the Lieberman-Lamont fight. I'm not even one of those conservatives decrying what the loss of Joe Lieberman in a Democratic Party primary might mean for the party. Hey, I'm a Republican: Why should I care? Gosh knows, our party has problems of its own.

As mentioned before, Dan Gerstein is a professional colleague -- we host a monthly dinner.

But, it seems to me that -- ideology and relationships aside -- considering legal action over a blog post seems somewhat, uh, extreme. I'm not a lawyer, but libel is a very difficult thing to prove -- knowledge that something is demonstrably false, malicious intent, etc.

And for what -- a debate over a frickin' Senate primary campaign? I thought people waited until the general campaign before the lawsuits got bandied about (ballot access issues aside). No wonder the Democratic Party is in such condition. To each his own.

Is this what happens when we over-emphasize the word "hostile"?

UPDATE: New Quinnipiac poll has Lamont edging ahead of Lieberman, but the senator winning a three-way race as an independent.

Anti-war Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont has surged to a razor-thin 51 - 47 percent lead over incumbent Sen. Joseph Lieberman among likely Democratic primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to a 55 - 40 percent lead for Sen. Lieberman among likely Democratic primary voters in a June 8 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In possible general election matchups:

  • Lieberman defeats Republican challenger Alan Schlesinger 68 - 15 percent;
  • Lamont beats Schlesinger 45 - 22 percent, with 24 percent undecided;
  • Running as an independent, Lieberman gets 51 percent, to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Schlesinger.

"Lamont has turned what looked like a blowout into a very close Democratic primary race," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

As the saying goes -- stay tuned...

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