Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Debating Joe’s Faith


Jonathan Chait questions my comparison of the intense liberal hatred of Joe Lieberman with their apparent acceptance of the more conservative Ben Nelson. 

Chait argues that I’m operating under the “false premise” that “liberals are irked with Lieberman solely because of the content of his position,” when what is actually so irritating about Lieberman is that “he’s operating in bad faith.”
In my piece I posed a sincere question — “What is about Lieberman that makes liberals want to turn Joe into Job?”  Despite Chait’s claim that I came to an erroneous conclusion, I did not offer a definitive answer, since I’m not the one arguing to fire his wife or to strip away his titles or what not.  To the extent Chait offers his own answer, I think it is an incorrect one.  If Lieberman’s alleged bad faith on the health negotiations is the problem, why does the intensity of the Lieberman hatred predate this current episode?  (For more, see this  article on Lieberman’s fraying ties to the left by the Wall Street Journal’s Naftali Bendavid and Patrick Yoest.)


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