Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bad Ass Bass

Paul Bass is – or was—the editor of the New Haven Independent, a left leaning blogpaper. The Hartford Courant’s Northeast Magazine picked him up as a columnist after longtime political columnist Michele Jacklin left the paper to join Mayor John DeStefano’s gubernatorial campaign. Jacklin has since left the DeStefano campaign for parts unknown. Bass recently penned in Northeast Magazine a broadside against Sen. Joe Lieberman, universally reviled by Connecticut’s leftist bloggers, that opened to rave reviews from the Kossacks, the blogging storm troopers of the left in the state’s Democrat Party.

Many of the approving reviews have appeared in Connecticut Local Politics, a political blog site that sports an accompanying communication space frequently visited by earnest leftists. The proprietor of the site led off with an adulatory comment: “Wow. This editorial by Paul Bass is one of the harshest and most unflinching portrayals of Sen. Lieberman's political career that I've ever seen.” His commendation was followed by some magical figuration supplied by BRubenstein showing that, God wot, Lamont could defeat Lieberman after all.

Quoting from a piece written by Bass six years earlier, turfgrll then pointed out that the Bass piece was a rehash of somewhat stale positions ventilated six years earlier: “So what can we say about the latest salvo from Mr. Bass? More of the same, he's been pounding the anti-Leiberman drum beat for quite awhile now. He didn't have to go to his attic to rummage through his anti-Lieberman rhetoric, he has never sung from any other hymnbook.”

The lady also questioned the figures presented by BRubenstein – “Your math skills must be on par with your lawyering skills. Good one there, go on thinking that 33% represents a majority” -- which produced an impassioned rejoiner from the affronted BRubenstein: “Turfgrll... once again you misread the prior posting i did...i am beginning to think that you may have a cognitive brain problem.” So it goes in Blogland, where perfectly reasonable points – 33% is not 51% -- are met with gattling gunfire and take-no-prisoners rhetoric.

In any case, Turfgrrl is right. Lieberman already has answered most of the points raised by Bass elsewhere, some of them in the pages of the New Haven Advocate, Bass’ old stomping grounds. The points presented by Bass do not gain in cogency simply because they have been conveyed from the Hartford Advocate, via the New Haven Independent, to the no less liberal Courant. So, what’s going on here?

What we have in Bass’ Courant column is the script for an attack on Lieberman from the left, and a prod to a possible debate between Lieberman and Lamont. It’s a summation of possible talking points that may, in the end, serve only as after dinner chatter for leftists.

Lieberman, in fact, is very capable of defending his record. And it is by no means certain that Lamont would carry a debate even on the Iraq war – even a debate monitored by Paul Bass.

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