Lieberman endorses Glenn Beck's rally in Israel: Dana Milbank Live

Jun 17, 2011

This is your chance to chat with Dana Milbank about Joe Lieberman endorsing Glenn Beck's rally in Israel, and tell him what you think about it! Milbank will also chat about the latest Weinergate news, Mitt Romney, and whatever political topic you dare throw his way.

Dana Milbank Live is your weekly opportunity for a give and take with Dana centering on the latest political news in Washington and his recent columns.

Each chat also features your responses to Dana's Etch-a-Sketch requests -- his lazy attempt to get you to do his work for him by seeking your best lines about the week's political oddities.

Good afternoon, dear reader.

It was great to get the Sketch on the road this week with a quick trip to New Hampshire for the debate, where I fell in love with Bachmann all over again and found new pity in my heart for Mitt Romney.

But today I'm all about my old nemesis, Beck.  I'm very much hoping Joe Lieberman doesn't stain himself by dignifying Beck's event in Israel.   Let's talk about it.


Say whaaa? Do you think he has lost his mind or just misplaced his heritage? How much of a payoff from FOX "News" is involved, do you think? What else could possibly be the motivation. L. said he is retiring. Do you know when that happens? Coudn't be soon enough.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I'm guessing Lieberman saw this is an opportunity to display cross-partisan support for Israel.  I bet he hadn't really known about some of the worst things that Beck has done recently.  Now that he's aware, I'm thinking he'll find something else to be doing in late August.  He's got a book coming out, so he's got a built-in excuse.

Is The Washington Post going to be reviewing potatohead Debbie Wasserman Schultz's emails anytime soon? I'd like to sign up.

I'm guessing this question is related to the Palin emails from last week.   The answer is I'm sure the Post, like other news organizations, would be delighted to go through the emails of virtually any public official.   We almost never get the chance.   Because some states have very generous freedom-of-information laws, we get the opportunity in places such as Alaska.  Same thing happened with Jeb Bush during the Florida recount.   If Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to hand over her emails to me, I'd be delighted to take a look.

Why do you spend your entire life speaking about conservatives since you obviously hate them so much? Do you really think Beck and Palin are so important that you need to overcome your own distaste for them in order to bleat on about them?

Actually I'm somewhat famous for ignoring Palin.  Beck I think is dangerous.  Happily, he's going to be a lot less dangerous after this month, because he won't have an audience on Fox.  

Do they let anyone rally in Jerusalem?

They did fight off the Assyrians.



My disdain for Glenn Beck is tempered by my admiration for Joe Lieberman, If he hasn't already done so, I believe Joe will forego this trip after reading your column.

Hope you're right.  When I interviewed him yesterday I was hoping he'd say he'd already changed his mind.  Then I could have written about the Weiner press conference.

Forgot those boring Presidential debates. I would like to see a debate between Glenn Beck and Anthony Weiner. Seriously. That might be more enlightening.

Maybe we'll get that yet.  I don't see any way this Weiner story ends without him getting a cable news gig.

If a Perry-Palin or Palin-Perry ticket is elected, and they agree with some of their supporters that Texas and Alaska be allowed to succeed from the Union, will the other 48 states and DC then elect a new President and Vice President?

I support this two-state solution. But first we must create a corridor linking Texas and Alaska (this might involve war with Canada) so the new nation can be contiguous.

Part of me finds it hard to believe that Lieberman doesn't know EXACTLY what Glenn Beck is; the other part of me thinks, if Lieberman honestly doesn't know what Beck is, maybe we've spent too much time worrying about Beck's antics.

I would like to think that is the last Beck column I will ever feel compelled to write.   Possibly I could put all the columns together as a bound collection?   If each person on this chat buys a copy, sales will exceed those of my Beck book by about 2,000%.


I admit I kind of liked his pun about "no plates like chrome for the hollandaise."  Had me singing that tune around the house, until my daughter asked me to stop.

I feel bad for anybody who is so obviously awkward and uncomfortable in social settings.  Usually that person is me. 

The Democratic Michael Steele? I can't say i didn't tell you she would be a disaster.

I'm detecting a lot of demand for some DWS columns.  While my instinct is to protect a fellow Long-Island native, I think the time has come. 

No way will Alaska secede; it would fall apart tomorrow without the federal teat.

Can you say "federal teat" in a webchat?  I think Alan Simpson got in trouble for that.

Once Texas and Alaska are free to devote 100 percent of their land and territorial waters to energy production I believe they will be self sufficient.


Do you think Chris Christie recent weight loss is in case he's called on for a possible VEEP run ?

He is trying to save helicopter fuel costs.

CNN is the obvious home for the new show. First guest could be Brett Favre and we could finally get an answer the the question of " why do guys think sending a picture of themselves to women is sexy?"

Nothing but viewers for that one.

You have 60 seconds: name Weiner and Spitzer's hypothetical (forthcoming?) cable tv show.

Was on TV with Ed Rendell last night.  He said "I think Weiner could have stuck it out."  I said "I'm not going to join Governor Rendell in any more Weiner puns."   That said I am sad that my favorite presidential ticket, Franken-Weiner, is probably no longer a possibility.

Hey Dana, Your suck up description of the the great Joe Lieberman made me wonder if he has nude sexting pics of you that he has threatened to show - scary thought for sure.

I can assure you that the senator's spokesman, Marshall Wittmann, did not regard this morning's column as a suck up.

Do they just shrug this stuff off in La?

1. Louisiana.

2. Visible wife support.

3. No photos or texting transcripts.

That said, he's still a bit of a pariah among his peers.  And I get a thrill whenever he steps onto the floor to speak about family values.

So the Republicans decided they wanted to do yet another symbolic act in the House and arbitrarily cut about 25% of the federal government. (What about all the children who will starve when entitlement programs go broke? Well why wait- just get rid of the programs now!) Will they ever actually govern, which means doing things which have actual meaning and might -dare I say it- be passable? Both partiest have a long history of actually compromising... why has one side given this up? Because we have a black man in the White House?

This was my other column this week:  The balanced-budget constitutional amendment cleared by House Judiciary.  If it were law, the Ryan budget would be unconstitutional for the next three decades -- because it spends too much.   I would quibble and say that the Democrats have not been in a mood to compromise with Republicans, but at the moment things have been a bit lopsided in the unreasonableness category.  This is why some of the conservatives on this chat seem to be regarding me as some sort of a Paul Krugman this week.

It seems like his ducking the issue made him look spineless and afraid of Romeny.

Doesn't just seem that way.  The guy has orthopedic surgeons calling him to offer their help. 

Since being forced to go Independent I think Joe lets his contrarian/stick-it-to-the-Dems-revenge instinct cloud his judgement...

That's a theory.  This will be a test of that.  Although, I'm not sure he's sticking it to the Dems on this so much as sticking it to the whole notion of decency.

Given that both Weiner press conference were riddled w/ Stern's hecklers shouting lewd questions, and the former had Brietbart storming the stage - what's the protocol when this type of thing happens? Should Wiener's people have kept tighter control over who was allowed in the room? Do the mainstream reporters like this type of spectecle b/c it adds color to their stories or do they try an enfore decorm?

I actually don't like it when hecklers infiltrate a press conference or the press section of an event because it makes us look as if we're responsible.  We're bad enough without having people among us shouting about penis size. 

Weiner did make it much easier for the hecklers to get involved, by having the events in very public places:  a hotel and a senior center.   TPM had a nice item about a 92-year-old woman named Esther who found herself in the audience for Weiner's moment yesterday.

I read your columns but I found I had no interest in reading your Beck book. I find the man distasteful, I already have the general idea of what he's about, and I decided I didn't need it spelled out to me in any greater detail. Sounds like a lot of your readers decided the same. But we still like you, Dana!

I think you are right.   Beck fans didn't want to read anything that questioned him, and Beck foes find it revolting to read about him.  

On the other hand, my other two books didn't really sell, either.  Maybe the answer is I'm just better taken in small doses of 750 words at a time.


Do you really think compounding Huma's humilation w/ a press conference would have helped Weiner keep his job? I think it would have made people hate him more.

Yes, I think it would have helped him.  But I'm proud of her for not doing it. 

This is actually a serious question -- why do the moderators in debates insist on calling candidates by their former titles. I mean Newt is long removed from any, " Mr. Speaker ", roles and it seems to attach an importance to candidates who are just plain folks.

Maybe they could go by their most recent title.  In Newt's case, this would be "Seabourne Cruise Passenger Gingrich."

In and Out

I'm pretty sure we cannot say this in a webchat.

if Anthony had just pronounced his surname correctly (WYE-ner).

This is how my colleague Rachel Weiner does it.  (No relation.) (I think.)  Had a friend in college named Scott Winer, but he changed his name to Winner. 


Isn't Michele Bachmann essentially Sarah Palin with syntax?

And a cerebrum.

Doesn't seem like Pelley made much of a splash w/ his Evening News debut. But the hiring of O'Donnell does seem like a smart move for the broadcast. Thoughts?

I'm okay with it as long as they don't shut down Chef Geoff.

I think maybe the heckler was just doing what a lot of us expect the timid press to do anyway. Why not ask about grey boxers and penis size ? Have you guys in the press become just a tad too serious?

I admit I took pleasure in asking Newt's daughters (they were his "surrogates" after the debate in lieu of staffers, who had quit) when they decided to support his candidacy.  

Why pity Romney? He has been given the gift of an incredibly weak field to run against. The vaunted T-Paw showed himself to be a coward and the rest are basically nuts. No Mitch Daniels or Huckster either. Huntsman could be a spoiler, but he won't be soon forgiven for helping Obama and coddling the Chinese.

I pity him for his social awkwardness.  I do not pity him for his famous name or his hundreds of millions or all the other things that have put him in the front of the pack. 

I missed Warren Brown's chat -- do you know anything about carburetors ?

This chat mostly involves squeaky wheels and backfiring.

Unfortunately Dumb and Dumber is already taken. As is Celebrity Rehab, although I don't recall if Spitzer did the "treatment" gig.

I'm sure CNN will be grateful for the suggestions.  They might just want to continue the theme John King began at the debate and call the Spitzer Weiner show "This or That?"


He should take a page from his friend John McCain's dancing cards - remember a Rev. Hagee, who made all sorts of statements in support of Israel that turned out to be his belief that the End Times would get here quicker if only the Middle East would explode into WWIII. Israel was cannon fodder for the righteous to step over on their ascension to Heaven - that dude gave his hearty support for McCain's nomination, which was accepted by McCain until someone clued him in. McCain then engaged in a nifty two-step to back away from his support without also alienating "the base". Lieberman doesn't even need a base - he should just back away. And I'm kinda liking Romney too after his hubcap hollandaise quip - you don't mind if I blame that on you, right? Ah, who are we kidding - Romney is too reasonable to succeed in his nomination bid anyway, right?

A good precedent for Lieberman.

More lines for Romney:

There's no place like Rome for the homilies.

There's no taste like bones for the Havanese.





Is that some kind of feeler for a Milbank-specific paywall?

Excellent name for the Spitzer-Weiner show: 

Putting out Feelers.

When I see stacks of books with visages that disturb me (Beck, Jesse James, Sarah Palin), I turn them upside down so the back of the jacket is facing upward. The laudatory blurbs are less distressing than the faces.

So it's all your fault!

Once Beck leaves Fox will you be allowed back on the network a la Keith O and MSNBC? Get back in the Imus rotation.

A guy can always dream.  But I was never much of a regular on Fox, at least not since the time I complained bitterly when they bumped my segment for a car chase.

Me too, but I'm not running for an office that involves being in the public eye 24/7. Mitt makes Barack look like Tip O'Neill in the at-ease dept.

That's why I overcame my pity and wrote the column.  Then poor Mitt goes out the next day and jokes with the unemployed that he's out of work, too.   At least he didn't make another Hooters joke.

My recommendation to take Anthony Weiner's seat in Congress: Huma Abedin. Has anyone of influence suggested this yet?

I don't think we're going to see Huma pull a Mary Bono.   She may have been humiliated by the events of the last few weeks, but she still has entirely too much dignity to be a member of Congress.

Thanks for chatting.  Back with you next week.  Please continue the comments/insults/questions on Twitter: @milbank.

In This Chat
Dana Milbank
Dana Milbank reviews the political theater of the nation's capital in his editorial-page column. His most recent book is " Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America;" his other books are "Homo Politicus" (Doubleday, 2008) and "Smashmouth" (Basic Books, 2001). Milbank joined The Post as a political reporter in 2000 and wrote the "Washington Sketch" column for nearly six years. He lives in Washington with his wife and daughter. • Dana Milbank Bio & Archive
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