Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lying: the old fashioned method

Greg Sargent calls our attention to another attempt to re-write history before its paint has even dried.

This is a funny one. In the current issue of Blueprint magazine, Dan Gerstein, a top strategist for Joe Lieberman's victory over Ned Lamont last year, has offered up a piece that rewrites the history of that race in a way that's almost comically incoherent. Of particular note is the following priceless passage:

That, in the end, is how Lieberman was able to become Lazarus, despite the fact that a clear majority of the Connecticut electorate opposed the war. We ran a campaign for all voters and about all voters. They waged a vendetta on behalf of the angriest few.

There you have it in a nutshell: A "clear majority" opposed the war, but the candidate who represented that view somehow simultaneously was waging a campaign "on behalf of the angriest few." It just doesn't get any better than that.

What makes that passage a thing of beauty, however, is not just its witlessly self-contradictory nature, but also the fact that it unwittingly embodies, and hence reveals, the truth about how the Lieberman forces really were able to win the race, despite the fact that exit polls showed that many more Connecticut voters broadly agreed with Lamont than with Lieberman about Iraq. They did it largely by misrepresenting Ned Lamont's views as extreme -- as those of the "angry few" -- when in fact Lamont's views were generally mainstream, and by duping people into believing that Lieberman's views were mainstream, when in fact his foreign policy views are the extreme ones.

Lieberman accomplished this remarkable goal the old-fashoned way: By unabashedly misleading the voters.


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