Saturday, March 11, 2006



Since voicing my original objections to Joe Lieberman's bullshit about only having one little itsy bitsy disagreement with Connecticut Democrats-- namely that he supports the continued occupation of Iraq (and lies about it constantly) and everyone else in the Connecticut Democratic Party opposes it and thinks it's time to be truthful-- I have been deluged with e-mails from people pointing out a myriad of tense faultlines between Lieberman and normal Democrats, many having to do with his support of corporate interests over consumer interests, his ambiguous record on equal rights, his consistently anti-Democratic Party grandstanding and, most of all, his role as a cultural warrior for the most reactionary forces in our country. Today I want to offer two more points of view on the Fox-News Democrat, one from Steve Wynn and one from Johnny Wendell.

Johnny Wendell is the wildly popular and outspoken weekend host for Air America's L.A. affiliate KTLK (1150AM). Discerning alt-rock fans know him as the songwriter/singer/guitar player for Boston's Swinging Erudites, and you can bet he was offended by Lieberman assuming the role of "nag-- the grandmother you're trying to forget about, the one whose hectoring fucked up your dad's shit. Songs aren't cars--a car needs brakes or you can't drive it. If an external force is putting the brakes on your muse, said muse tends to suffer. if you feel like there is a scold perched atop your shoulder, you have a governor regulating your thoughts and words, it's like a braking mechanism--songwriting isn't a fucking Porsche, dude. Who on earth would actively support a man whose partial purpose on the planet is to extinguish the Dionysian joy that makes our pulses race-- I cannot fathom why anyone would welcome a joykiller--they are the scourge of the truly alive."

Neither can Steve Wynn. He's been making cranky, impassioned, contradictory, spiky records since debuting with The Dream Syndicate's “The Days of Wine and Roses” in 1982. His latest album “…tick…tick…tick” was released earlier this year. Steve was out on tour when he read that Lieberman was running for re-election and still calling himself a Democrat. A long traffic jam in the Grape Vine north of L.A. gave him the time to put together his thoughts on the senator whose name sends a chill down the backs of all American songwriters.

I'm sitting in a van that's heading down the I-5 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  It's dark outside and the Rolling Stones are on the radio. Street Fighting Man. You know it.  “Summer's here and time is right for fighting in the streets.” Yeah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be as, Yogi Berra once said. This kind of activism seems destined to fade away on Super 8 footage that is only dragged out of the archives to sell Time Life Best Of the 60s compilations.

Idealism has turned to pragmatism and pragmatism just isn't going to cut it at this point. Republicans have all the wrong ideas, vile policies and programs aimed to massively help the smallest minority, the richest of the rich while talking about “folks” and God and America and Democracy. They have the wrong ideas and yet stick to them with tenacity and conviction. Democrats have the right ideas-ideas that have proven to work and are based more on morals and society and equality and the very ideas that fill the pages of the Bible and most other religious manifestos-- and yet they are willing to chip away and tilt those ideas in the name of pragmatism, expediency and the hopes of getting elected. It doesn't work. It can't work. Republicans are just better at being Republicans. They wrote the book.

How did so many Democrats vote for a war that was built on such flimsy evidence? I completely understand that there are intelligence reports that must be kept under wraps and that there are times that the “people” just don't have “the right to know” but if there truly was a strong case for war and the imminent danger of the Saddam Hussein government, one would think that they could have been shared with the leaders of Old Europe, the leaders of France and Germany so that at least THEY would have seen the urgency. This didn't happen. Nobody questioned the rush to war. 9/11 changed the equation which (as stolen from Jon Stewart) became 9/11 + “Whatever We Tell You” = Shut The Fuck Up.

And there are few Democrats In Republicans Clothing more in the spotlight than Joe Lieberman. He is a menace. As a liberal Jew, I am even more pissed off by Lieberman than I am by the likes of DeLay and Lott. I say, let the GOP corner their own market on reprehensible policies and duplicity and don't try to adopt a Me Too stance to try and kiss up to idiots and the vacuous middle American. Some moral conviction could go a long way, at least further than sucking up to the Devil's teat. Give America some credit. As I always say when I'm touring around the world, there is a BIG difference between Americans and the American government. We are a country that produced so many great things and most people I meet are good people. We are not our government. Most Americans don't support our government.  So why does the opposition try so hard to mimic the worst AND least popular aspects of our government?

The time is right for palace revolution. Indeed, Mick, indeed

Ned Lamont, who will make it official Monday, is doing more than a palace revolution; this thoughtful entrepreneur and progressive Democrat is challenging Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary (in which Lieberman's Republican supporters don't get to vote). This is a real peopes' revolution and if Lamont and the Democrats retire Lieberman from public life, America will be a far better place on many fronts. Please consider joining a genuine grassroots movement of people contributing $10 and $20 at a time to defeat a corporate Republicrat who has the tremendous financial support of shady PACs whose benefactors he has helped to make very wealthy.


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous teach said...

The number one reason why song writers should dislike Joe.....Lieberman doesn't rhyme with anything.

However, the number one reason they should reconsider? Joe rhymes with lots of negatives.....slow, blow...go.....

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting Lieberman fatigue here in CT. He is so slippery. He smiles. He will answer some questions *almost* satisfactorialy for most people, & then WHAM: he screws up the Alito filibuster.

Forget about Joe being Orthodox Jewish. In his political heart of hearts, he is an IFCJ Jerry Falwell-hand holding, Save a Jew for Jesus man of the right--Brother Joe. But again, reporters have found that hard to document, because an infomercial appears and then zoom his staff does a scrub & berates people.

So trying to document Joe as an environmental hazard for all is a slippery business. And he has so many enablers like NARAL and Dodd, and best buds like the GOP and the pharmaceutical industry. So I concur with the article. The true evil is that Joe is one big stealth attack on core progressive values, choice, affirmative action, civil liberties . . .

In spite of all the poopooing about Lamont being about *one issue,* Lieberman seems pretty scared and the Goopers are screaming that *one issue* chorus.Hopefully a Lamont and Weicker team can play a game of hardball and win. I think Lamont is pretty quick. Let him be a stealth attack on Joe.

At 4:04 AM, Blogger steve scariano said...

Great post, Steve---I agree with every word of it! See you in Austin on Wednesday. And hey, the rest of you out there: Pick up Steve's new album, tick...tick...tick. OUTSTANDING AMERICAN ROCK N'ROLL!


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