David Bernstein is criticizing Joe Lieberman’s syntax over on the Volokh Conspiracy. Only problem is, Bernstein’s corrective syntax is equally problematic:
When Lieberman is asked how his faith would affect his politics, he paraphrases a now-famous Kennedy line, telling voters, “I am a presidential candidate who happens to be Jewish, not the other way around.”
So Lieberman is not “a Jewish who happens to be a presidential candidate?” The quote would work if Lieberman would say “a Jew” instead of “to be Jewish”…
Hmm… “a Jew” instead of saying “to be Jewish”… so Lieberman should have said, “I am a presidential candidate who happens a Jew, not the other way around”? Um, yeah, that makes more sense. :)
Obviously, what Bernstein should have said is, “The quote would work if Lieberman would say ‘a Jew’ instead of ‘Jewish.’” Or, alternatively, he could have said, “The quote would work if Lieberman would say ‘to be a Jew’ instead of ‘to be Jewish.’” Of course, this is an extremely nitpicky point. But so is Bernstein’s, so he asked for it.
UPDATE: On the other hand, Sasha Volokh’s Lieberman-related post is just funny: “my father asks whether, if Lieberman gets some pro-Jewish law passed that benefits his district, it’s correct to call it pork.” Heh heh.
I turned off last week’s New Hampshire debate (Becky was sick of it) too early to see Brit Hume ask Wesley Clark about the discrepancy between his present “anti-war” views and his distinctly pro-war op-ed in the London Times in April. But I read on some blog the other day that Hume had indeed asked such a question, and Clark had given a rather weak response. So this evening, I looked up the transcript. As advertised, Clark’s response is pathetic. Transcript below, with editor’s commentaries added…
HUME: General Clark, Governor Dean has said that you’re a good guy but he thinks you’re a Republican. Now, we’re told you did vote for several Republican presidents â€” President Nixon, President Reagan â€” said good things about the first President Bush and even about this President Bush.
You said, in an article published in The Times of London back in April as the war ended, quote, “Liberation is at hand. Liberation, the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions.”
As to the president, you wrote, quote, “President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt.”
Given those statements, given your votes, I think it is not unreasonable to ask you when you first noticed that you were a Democrat.
CLARK: Well, actually, actually, Brit, actually, I did vote for Al Gore in 2000 and for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.
But when I was in the military, I was not a member of any party. I was an independent, and that’s the way it is done in the state of Arkansas. [Huh? Wait, Arkansas has its own military? –ed.]
And when I got out, I looked at both parties. And I’m a fair-minded person. And when the president of the United States does two things that I agree with â€” one of them attacking the Taliban in Iraq, and the other is not quitting in the use of military force in the middle of a dust storm â€” then I’m going to say so.
And when I’m president, I hope that Republicans will praise me when I do things right. But…
HUME: Well, that’s…
CLARK: Can I just finish my statement?
CLARK: I’m running for president because I don’t like the direction George Bush is taking the country in. I am a Democrat, and I want to turn this country around and set it going in the right direction.
I want to put a strong basis of values back into this Democratic Party and take George Bush head-on. Because family values is our issue in the Democratic Party; it is not the Republicans’ issue.
HUME: Could not a reader be justified in concluding, from this piece that you wrote for the Times of London in April, that you did indeed support this war and was pleased by its outcome and, as you said the first time when asked the question, probably would have voted to support it?
CLARK: No, that’s not true. In fact, if you look at the whole article, what you’ll see is that the article lays out a whole series of tasks that have to be done later on.
And it’s written in a foreign publication. I’m not going to take U.S. policy and my differences with the administration directly into a foreign publication. [And simply not writing an article at all wasn’t an option? You were forced to write an article in a foreign publication, so you figured you’d better be friendly to administration policy? Like I said… pathetic. –ed.]
But I made it clear in the article â€” and I think you’ve got it there. If you read it on down, you’ll see that I say this doesn’t mean â€” they’ve got to focus now on the peacekeeping, the occupation, the provision of order.
There’s a whole series of tasks that I laid out for them to do that, in fact, they were incapable of doing. [Right, so you supported the war, but you think they’ve done a bad job winning the peace. Fair enough; I myself am in a similar position. So maybe you could win my vote… except that’s not what you’re saying on the campaign trail. You’re claiming to have opposed the war from the start, which you clearly didn’t. –ed.]
I did not support this war. I would not have voted for the resolution. [Liar, liar, pants on fire! –ed.] But once American soldiers are on the battlefield, then I want them to be successful and I want them to come home safely. [Howard Dean, on the other hand, wants the soldiers to be unsuccessful and to come home in body bags, as evidenced by the fact that he never wrote a pro-Bush op-ed in the London Times. Vote for me, I’m Wesley Clark, the biggest hypocrite in the world! –ed.]
The Golden Globe Awards are tomorrow night at 8:30 PM Eastern. Return of the King is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Peter Jackson), Best Original Score (Howard Shore), and Best Original Song (”Into the West” by Annie Lennox).
It should win all of those, of course. :) The Oscar nominations are then to be announced roughly 36 hours later, at 8:30 Eastern time (or, to be precise, 8:38:30) Tuesday morning. Hopefully Return of the King will do well in the key early precinct of Dixville Notch, thus setting it up for success. What? Oh, nevermind…
While we’re on the topic of ROTK’s musical score (which we were, briefly, a second ago), I bought it the other day, and it is really good. The “Minas Tirith” track is especially awesome — that, and “The Black Gate Opens.” And the Annie Lennox song is the best of the three vocal songs that have been attached to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks (Enya had one in Fellowship of the Ring, and there was something called “Gollum’s Song” in The Two Towers).
I’ve just signed up for a free, four-week trial of The New Republic Online, so I can read their primary coverage. I don’t suppose it does any good to link to their articles, since it’s subscription-only fare… but I believe this one is available to the public. Anyway, it’s another commentary on the New Hampshire debate, and I particularly like the Joe Lieberman section:
Last night was the first time in a long, long time, that I even entertained the notion that Lieberman could catch on here. The trend-lines for Clark and Dean are suddenly very bad. Kerry and Edwards seem best positioned to take advantage of their decline, but everyone has been wrong about everything in this race. Who knows, maybe a late Lieberman surge is possible. … Nah.
Heh. Nah, indeed. It occurs to me that the deadliest statistic out of Iowa for Senator Joe is the fact that 75% of the voters there were anti-war. Anti-war Democrats may vote for Kerry, as Iowa’s did, but they’re never going to vote for Lieberman, not unless he is the only person in the field who seems remotely electable. Which, alas, he is not. Hence the best candidate in the field (Hi Sean) being pretty much doomed from the start.
Another thought: since these early primaries are all about perceptions and expectations (very few delegates are at stake, after all), I wonder what Howard Dean’s perceived decline does to the punditry’s expectations for his success — and thus his threshold for “victory” — in New Hampshire. If he finishes a respectable second behind Kerry, a week after his third-place finish and third-rate concession speech (and first-rate screech) in Iowa, does that qualify Dean for “comeback kid” status? Does beating Edwards and Clark make him seem strong again, heading into the next round? I think maybe it does. We’ll see on Tuesday.
Just one more link for y’all: Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo is providing some very good, on-the-scene reporting from New Hampshire. I guess his readers paid to send him there or something? That’s what Glenn Reynolds said, anyway. The blogosphere is evolving fast…
Last night’s Newington-Southington game featured just about everything you could want in a classic rivalry: a dramatic comeback, some scoreboard anomalies, an overtime… even a fight in the stands!!!
Alas, the one thing it did not feature was a Newington win. Final score: Southington 49, Newington 47, OT.
The Indians drop to 11-2 overall (not bad, considering 11 of their 13 games, including this one, have been on the road) and 5-2 in the CCC South conference.
On the bright side, Newington is still tied for first place in the conference — just with a few more teams than before. New Britain beat Bulkeley yesterday, so the formerly 5-1 Bulldogs also drop to 5-2. Meanwhile, with their wins, formerly 4-2 teams Southington and New Britain improve to 5-2. And Bristol Eastern, which beat Bristol Central on Thursday, is also 5-2.
All of which means that, at the halfway point of the conference season, five teams are tied for first place with 5-2 records!!!