Joe Klein on the Fever Swamp
HH: Joe, what I want to talk about is reverse Turnip Days, moments where candidates were not candid, and I think it hurt them. I want to start with an episode I find odd not finding it here in Politics Lost, which is the Florida recount, and the disastrous attempt by Gore and Lieberman to throw out the ballots of the military. Was that not the sort of authentic moment where we saw the soul of the modern Democratic Party on display?
JK: I think that the Florida recount in general…well, first of all, you’re right about that. I mean, too often, the default position, especially in the left wing of the Democratic Party, is to not respect the military sufficiently, and to assume that anytime the United States would use force overseas, we would be wrong.
HH: When Michael Moore shows up in Jimmy Carter’s box, the presidential box…
JK: Utterly disgraceful. I mean, one of the problems that I have with being called a liberal by someone like you is that there are all these people on the left in the Democratic Party who are claiming to be liberals, and I don’t want to be associated with them.
HH: And Michael Moore is one of them?
JK: Oh, yeah. I mean, Michael Moore is reprehensible.
HH: How about when Al Gore shouted he betrayed us, he betrayed us? Was that reverse turnip time?
JK: Yeah, I thought that was pretty terrible. I mean, I think that Democrats have gotten so frustrated by their inability to win elections, that they’re beginning to get pretty harsh and stupid.
HH: What’s going on at the Daily Kos, and at Atrios, and these left wing bloggers? Do you read them?
JK: Only when they attack me, which is just about every day.
and just so you know who’s swinging away at the fever swamp:
HH: But first, Joe, let’s get you centered on the political map for the listeners. You are an old style liberal. You admit it…have you ever voted for a Republican for president?
JK: Came close a couple of times, but I haven’t.
HH: No. So you’re…it’s Kerry, Gore, twice for Clinton, once for Carter, all the way back, right?