A group of free speech-hating, LaRouche-supporting thugs tried to drown out Senator Joe Lieberman in Monday’s final U.S. Senate debate in New London, CT, apparently desiring that the voters of Connecticut not have the opportunity to hear the candidates speak. They had been rowdy and rude at times throughout the debate, but it was during Lieberman’s closing statement that it got really bad, as they started… singing. Moderator George Stephanopoulos seemed powerless to stop the hecklers, as did Lamont (who may have feared that these idiots were some of his less savory supporters), Lieberman himself, and the rest of the audience. It was left to the excitable Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, to put the morons in their place. Video here. (Hat tip: Derek Muller.)
My dad watched the debate live, and here’s how he characterized it in comments:
JoeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s [debate] win was greatly Enhanced by the antidemocratic antics of neo-stalinists in the audience who tried, repeatedly and at length, to drown him out while moderator George Stephanopoulos dithered & Ned Lamont sat stunned with his trademark deer-in-the-headlights Look. :> Finally it took a menacing Advance & a mighty Roar by the large & stentorian Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, God bless him :) ~ “LEAVE THIS HALL! SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR SENATOR LIEBERMAN!” ~ to shut the littlebaby fascists up. Apparently they were then, belatedly, escorted from the theatre, presumably shuddering in Shock & Awe. :)
Based on the video, the exact quote was “Show some respect to Senator Lieberman! Leave this audience now!” But, close enough. :) Schlesinger stood up as he said it, and immediately as he finished, Lieberman walked over and shook his hand. The audience cheered. Lamont, still seated, belatedly nodded — several seconds after Schlesinger had finished and the audience had begun cheering (”deer in the headlights,” indeed) — and clapped politely.
Conservative blogger Allahpundit, at the above video link, says of Hollerin’ Alan: “A good man. Not a man we can afford to vote for, but a good man.”
P.S. It’s not in the video, but according to the New Haven Register, when order was restored Lieberman said: “Thank you, Alan. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m real glad you came out from under that bus you said you were under [a reference to something Schlesinger said in the first debate -ed.]. You have made a real contribution to this campaign in the last few debates, and I thank you for the constructive ideas you have offered.”
Anyway… more on the hecklers here:
The debate…was marked by a pair of noisy disruptions that brought the on-stage action at the Garde Arts Center to a halt, each time while Sen. Joe Lieberman was speaking.
The hecklers, a pair of men from the LaRouche Youth Movement, sang a harmonized ode targeting Vice President Dick Cheney, which, according to the group’s Web site, is unofficially titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Fat-Ass Nazi Song.Ã¢â‚¬? [Said website is here, if you dare. -ed.] …
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Leeee-berman, don’t support Dick Cheney/Che-ney is a fat ass Nazi,Ã¢â‚¬? they sang, in a marching verse that then seemed to transition into German.
Lamont said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Stop,Ã¢â‚¬? and Lieberman, assuming the pair to be Lamont supporters, seized the chance to continue his point about negative campaigning. He told the two: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Your candidate, Ned Lamont, has asked you to stop.Ã¢â‚¬?
The men were escorted out, but the debate was interrupted again during Lieberman’s closing statement, when what appeared to be the same two men started again from the balcony. This time, the singing continued even longer, until Schlesinger jumped up from his seat and shouted up to the balcony, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Show some respect to Senator Lieberman!Ã¢â‚¬?
Lieberman wasn’t the only one who initially assumed the LaRouchies were in fact Lamonties. My dad, for one, figured the same thing, as did some bloggers, according to WTNH:
Bloggers checked in on the heckling of Joe Lieberman when Carolina C. wrote “the entourage that Lamont brought to sabotage the senator’s responses tonight was despicable.”
Lieberman at debate: “Together we have…”
[heckler singing] “lieeeberman…”
(groans from audience)
George Stephanopoulos at debate: “keep going, go on senator.”
[heckler singing] “heeee is a bad as a Nazi”
Stephanopoulos: “let him give his closing statement please!”
A blogger named Sharoney answered; “Carolina, how do you know Ned brought those hecklers? Were you one of them? It’s more plausible that Joe brought them himself to garner sympathy.”
Both bloggers are wrong. The hecklers later identified themselves to reporters as supporters of perennial fringe presidential candidate Lyndon Larouche.
TPM Cafe has a roundup of debate coverage.