The honorable centrist Joe Lieberman

Even after John McCain was forced to repudiate pastor John Hagee's views as "deeply offensive and indefensible," the Connecticut senator will share a stage with Hagee and speak to his group.


Glenn Greenwald
July 22, 2008 5:49PM (UTC)

(updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV - Update V)

After John McCain sought Pastor John Hagee's endorsement and then heaped praise on Hagee when he received it, a slew of publicity surrounding Hagee's extremist, offensive and outright crazed views forced McCain to repudiate Hagee and reject his endorsement. But not Joe Lieberman. Last year, the Connecticut neocon spoke at the annual convention for Hagee's group, Christians United for Israel, and in an indescribably obsequious speech, said this about the radical Pastor:

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I would describe Pastor Hagee with the words the Torah uses to describe Moses, he is an "Eesh Elo Kim," a man of God because those words fit him; and, like Moses he has become the leader of a mighty multitude in pursuit of and defense of Israel.

That Hagee holds views that even John McCain eventually described as "deeply offensive and indefensible" isn't impeding Joe Lieberman's close association with Hagee. This week, Hagee's group is holding its Third Annual Convention in Washington, and here is the line-up for the final night, with the event's keynote speakers listed:


Hagee's bigoted comments against Catholics and gay people are well-documented, and this Jewish group has put together a new video documenting many of Hagee's most intensely anti-Semitic comments, including Hagee's false assertion that Hitler was partially Jewish, his insistence that the anti-Christ will be a Jew, and his claim that Jews believed that their spit contains magic healing powers and thus ran around rubbing it in the eyes of blind people in order to heal them.

As the controversy over Jeremiah Wright conclusively demonstrated, there is a glaring double standard applied to black Ministers such as Wright (who are quickly deemed scary, extremist anti-American radicals and therefore must be banished by all decent people) and white evangelical preachers such as Hagee (who can utter the most inflammatory and contemptible trash and still be treated with the utmost respect from Serious Centrists like Lieberman). More to the point, Democrats are continuously required to "repudiate" members of the so-called "Far Left" upon pain of being deemed un-Serious, while there is no such thing as "too extreme" on the Right, and Joe Lieberman is thus free to share a stage with a crazed extremist like John Hagee and depict him as a modern-day Moses and still be considered (and, at the GOP Convention, will be hailed as) a Serious, Responsible, Honorable, Centrist by our political and media elite.

UPDATE: The debate I had this morning on Democracy Now with University of Chicago Law Professor and Obama adviser Cass Sunstein (regarding his remarks this weekend concerning criminal prosecutions for Bush officials, torture, FISA and the like) can be seen and heard here. The prior segment in which I participated, regarding corporate lobbyists and the Democratic Party's Convention, can be heard here.

UPDATE II: As Atrios notes, a recent poll from a new Jewish political group found that Barack Obama is far more popular among American Jews than is Joe Lieberman:

Only 37 percent of Jews view the Connecticut Independent in a favorable light compared to 48 percent who have a negative perception. As for Obama, 60 percent of Jews view him favorably while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

As is so often the case, the dominant media narrative -- Obama has a problem with Jewish voters! Lieberman's support for McCain is vital to McCain's attracting Jewish voters! -- is baseless and wrong.

UPDATE III: The good version of Barack Obama made an appearance today in Amman, Jordan as he delivered some unusually balanced, even-handed remarks about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In reporting those comments, Politico's Ben Smith wrote that Obama's suggestion "that the fault in the region is not the Palestinians' alone [is] something you'll rarely hear from Republicans." That's true, but it's a view that is rarely heard from most Democrats as well. It's good to hear that view from Obama.

UPDATE IV: Law Professor Jonathan Turley also has some thoughts regarding Cass Sunstein's odd views on the rule of law, here. Turley apparently discussed these issues on MSNBC's Countdown tonight, though I didn't see his appearance and a transcript isn't yet available.

UPDATE V: Jonathan Turley last night discussing Obama adviser Cass Sunstein's views on the rule of law (h/t RMP):


Glenn Greenwald

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