No class, Caligiuri

Speaking to the point I made yesterday in the comments, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
In other words, the day that someone passes away, whether you liked them or hated them, is a period when it’s best to remember what your mother (hopefully) taught you about if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. Allow family and friends time to mourn their loss. Show some respect. Have some class.

Clearly this message was lost on GOP State Sen. and Senate candidate Sam Caligiuri, who wasted no time yesterday trying to score political points against a visibly grieving Chris Dodd.

This from The Hill:

“I am calling on Senator Dodd to decline the position of the HELP Committee Chairman, if it is offered to him,” Caligiuri said in a statement. “He should be finishing the job he has barely started of fixing the financial sector problems that got us into this economic disaster in the first place, and not spending his time promoting ill advised health care legislation.”

“Only in Washington would someone who failed miserably at one crucial job be considered for taking the reins on another important front,” Caligiuri said. “In typical DC fashion, Senator Dodd is all politics all the time, hoping to secure this new post to dust his past failures under the rug and forge ahead with yet more bad legislation.”

Actually, despite not being in DC, it’s Mr. Caligiuri who appears to “all politics all the time”. Because here’s what Senator Dodd actually said in a teleconference earlier yesterday according to a Bloomberg report:

“I’ll wait for a later date to make a decision on which direction to go … I haven’t given that a second worth of thought.”

Politics is an ugly business, and unfortunately it seems to be getting uglier by the day. This is probably a naive hope, but can’t we all make an effort to show a little more class and respect? Ultimately we all love our country and want what is best for it. Unfortunately we disagree, often quite vehemently, about a) what that “best is and b) how to achieve it. But we can choose how to express that disagreement. I’m deeply disturbed by the increasingly hate-filled rhetoric on the airwaves and on the Internet – because words matter. Words can inspire but they can also incite. So please – let’s try to do our part to show more civility on CTLP.

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44 responses to “No class, Caligiuri

  1. Bruce Rubenstein

    Caliguiri has no class and broke an unwritten rule that when a political figure dies, you dont go after the decedant,family or friends.Dodd as we all know was the best friend of Kennedy in the Senate and was visably grieving on tv.Many conservative republicans adhered to this rule and stated nice things about Kennedy,his family and friends,which one understands is done when a death occurs, no matter what party the decendant was in.Caliguiri by taking a shot at Dodd when Dodd was visibly hurt over the death of his friend, showed no class and doesnt deserve to be in the Senate.

  2. >>doesnt deserve to be in the Senate.

    Face it Bruce – There’s no Republican that according to you does deserve to be in the Senate.

  3. AndersonScooper

    Where have all the Caligiuri groupies gone, that’s what I want to know.

    Many right-wing bloggers were in love with him early in the year, and now you barely hear a peep of support.

    fwiw.

  4. Sara,

    You’re pushing it just a little. What Caliguiri said has nothing to do with Kennedy’s death, or Dodd’s mourning. The press release was about Dodd’s possible acceptance of yet another costly statist progressive mission. It had to do with overreaching, which is what you’re doing.

    By the way, when is the mourning period over – a couple of days, a week, a month, a year… ?

    Nice to see someone condemning in such strong tones all those Sarah Palin critics on the lefty blogs.

    For a fresh pro-feminist view of Palin, one I’m sure you can support, see here: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2008/09/paglia-on-palin-friendly-fire-for.html

  5. Why so hot and bothered about a candidate who isn’t seriously running for the seat anyways?

  6. Tom Van Stone

    Kennedy dies and Dodd is untouchable? Seriously, let’s stop grabbing straws.

  7. Bruce Rubenstein

    Acr…while that may be true….when notable republicans die, the custom adheres to them as well and all past battles are cast aside and opponenets say decent things in death.For instance…when William F Buckley died…I an other democrats said nice things….which is as it should be.

  8. Bruce Rubenstein

    Don…id say a week is enough time to put the swords in the sheeth….for both parties….when a death happens, no matter what party,we should have some respect and honor.

  9. Thomas Hooker

    “By the way, when is the mourning period over – a couple of days, a week, a month, a year… ?”

    Let’s just wait until after he’s buried. That happens tomorrow. Would that be OK with you? Sarah Littman called for a modicum of decency, both for Ted Kennedy and his grieving family, and also for discourse at this site. Is that really “reaching”? Don’t we all deserve a measure of decorum in our lives and in the discourse here? Is that really asking too much?

    Let’s reconsider her plea.

  10. I do not care for Caligiuri as a candidate, but who cares. He has a point anyways. Dodd is completely inept and a failure at every responsibility he’s had regarding this financial crisis. So one horrible senator has to not be discussed for some period of time after an oligarchic friend of his passes away?

    Stop whining over nothing.

    This is just some lame excuse to promote hate for someone with an R- in front of their name because of your partisan nonsense. If you want to actually criticize him just say, Hey, this guy supports Bush’s pre-emptive war doctrine and the Afghan and Iraq wars. Oh wait….so did Dodd…hmm…

  11. Can we all stop pretending to take this death personally? I mean, how long ago has it been now that this man killed a woman and got away with it?

    An act anyone of us on this board would have been in prison for decades for…

    JFK was my third favorite President, but we dont all get family immunity and decades to make up for a horrible crime by being in the public eye. You get respect when you deserve respect.

    And if a notable Repub kicks the bucket, like Cheney, you have my blessing to tear this man apart.

  12. Kennedy dies and Dodd is untouchable?

    Did I say that? No. What I *said* was that we should show some respect for the dead and those that mourn by waiting till the deceased are at least buried before launching into the political vitriol. Clearly that is too much to ask from those on this site.

  13. Thomas Hooker

    Actually, Newington, many of us do respect Ted Kennedy’s contributions to our nation, and many of us of a certain age do grieve for his family and feel deeply for the Kennedy family. I recall the day John F. Kennedy was murdered. I was only in elementary school, but I remember being sent home early, and seeing my mother crying as she listened to the news in our kitchen. I remember when his brother Robert was shot. I was a teenager and my father and I had been watching the returns from California late that night (we were on the east coast) and were exultant that he had won, and that there was now a great chance for his becoming president and putting an end to that stupid war in Vietnam. I remember a few years ago when John F. Kennedy’s son lost his life tragically in a plane crash. It was one more horror inflicted on the Kennedy family.

    And yes, many of us feel very deeply the loss of Ted Kennedy with whom we grew up, and who fought so hard for legislation that embodied our values and aspirations as Democrats and progressives and that inspired our vision of what America could be and should be. Yes, many of us take his passing personally. And I would urge you to understand that and display a measure of modesty and respect for us by refraining from nasty attacks, at least for a short period. It is the decent thing to do. I understand that you hold your views passionately and that you oppose many of the measures and goals and values that progressive Democrats hold dear. But this is about simple human decency.

    Sarah Littman has also called for some introspection from all of us when it comes to our words expressed on this site. Though we disagree vehemently on a range of issues, there should be a measure of respect for democratic discourse and civility in our society that should work to pull us back from expressions that cross the line to senseless meanness and viciousness.

    Let’s try to start toward that measure of civility here. Many of us do grieve for Mr. Kennedy and his family; we do take it personally. And though you do not feel as we do, I appeal to you to show a degree of respect for our feelings and hold off on the attacks for a decent interval. As mentioned above, Mr. Kennedy will be buried on Saturday. Simple courtesy would call for some forbearance until then.

    Thank you very much in advance for your consideration and the respect that I know you will show to us and our feelings.

  14. Seems to me this is in the ‘gotcha’ catagory. Do you really feel that Caligiuri’s comments about Dodd’s performance as banking chairman add one iota to Dodd’s grief at Kennedy’s death? I don’t. Or even if they do, that laying the body to rest magically removes the supposed sting? The fact he created an opening for criticism was his only error, I think–I don’t believe the comment itself was out of line.

    BTW, I think it’s way too early to write off this campaign. Caligiuri will be the only pro-life candidate in what looks at the moment like a five-person field. Under that scenario, if he raises enough to reach his base (which won’t require ten million dollars) I have a hard time seeing how he loses.

  15. >>Sarah Littman called for a modicum of decency

    Look it that!

    Even “Hooker” who has the effing audacity to sully the name of the good Reverend by hijacking it for his/her(??) disgusting leftist drivel has the sense to agree with Sarah.

    She’s right – not much sense in arguing with her when she’s right, and chances are it won’t become too much of a habit for her.

    Now then – let’s go over the schedule.

    Two day wake
    Burial on Saturday
    Sunday – well it is after all Sunday so we don’t want to be doing anything then either; besides no one posts here from home anyway so Monday the 31st we can all go back to being assholes.

    Got it?

  16. Sara,

    “…we should show some respect for the dead and those that mourn by waiting till the deceased are at least buried before launching into the political vitriol.”

    I don’t think anyone would have a problem with this, but I think it’s important to mention that Caligiuri said nothing vitriolic about Kennedy. I remember when Tony Snow died of cancer, some bloggers immediately took after him. The same was true of Bob Novak. Both were conservatives, and so the rules of civilized behavior did not apply in their case.

    Incidentally, the civil behavior you’re taking about need not be restricted to the recently deceased. Life is for the living.

    And the rules of civilized discourse you are insisting upon never have applied to Sara Palin – not ever.

    Perhaps, out of respect for Kennedy, Democrats should think twice about attaching his name to a future health care bill that is bound to create vitriolic commentary for reasons that have nothing to do with Kennedy’s personal failings.

  17. Count Pete – again, I repeat – it’s not about not criticizing Dodd. It’s about showing respect during a time of mourning. Simply human decency. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Have you never lost a loved one? I’m astonished, frankly, that people are finding this such a difficult concept to understand.

    Caligiuri will be the only pro-life candidate in what looks at the moment like a five-person field. Under that scenario, if he raises enough to reach his base (which won’t require ten million dollars) I have a hard time seeing how he loses.

    Really? Has the CT GOP changed that much? And I don’t think that’s going to endear him to a lot of Independents, whom he’s going to need to beat Dodd.

  18. I remember when Tony Snow died of cancer, some bloggers immediately took after him. The same was true of Bob Novak. Both were conservatives, and so the rules of civilized behavior did not apply in their case.

    Incidentally, the civil behavior you’re taking about need not be restricted to the recently deceased. Life is for the living.

    Did I say that? In fact, I specifically said that despite my strong feelings about Bob Novak and his leaking of a CIA operatives identity, I kept my mouth shut when he died. The old, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” I completely agree that people who attacked Tony Snow and Novak at that point were wrong. Believe me, I attacked Novak in my column plenty while during the Plame incident, and I think he deserved it then. But I wasn’t going to say anything when he died. Let his family mourn in peace.

    And what you said about “life is for the living” was the whole point of my obviously rather naive and apparently pointless plea in the last paragraph. There are times, particularly like now when I’m drafting a novel, when I have to take mental health breaks from CTLP because the nastiness and toxicity get me so down it throws me off my writing stride.

    ACR, I wish we could discuss this stuff without being assholes to one another. Sheesh, I haven’t even been *smoking* anything and I’m saying this idealistic Utopian stuff.

  19. Bruce Rubenstein

    Don…i never bashed Snow,Novak or Buckley…if you remember I praised him….as it should be when death comes…

  20. This is a great article for those teaching Old Media versus New Media.

    In Old Media the article would be shorter with a headline that says something like “A Time to Mourn” and acknowledge Kennedy’s weaknesses but ultimately eulogizes the man for his contributions.

    In New Media we get ‘No Class, Caliguri’ assuming that admonishing Caliguri is the theme of the article only to find out that Dodd criticism in this time of Universal Democratic mourning is the real theme of the article.

    Given the editorial choice of bashing the Caliguri’s OR calling for moratorium of partisan politics for a determinate time which theme would Saramerica choose?
    Given the choice

  21. Thomas Hooker

    ACL, I don’t understand where this intense hatred of yours is coming from. Please reread what you’ve written and ask yourself if you’re comfortable with your own words. Do you really want to spew out such hatred? Why is it so painful for you to simply refrain from ugly comments about Mr. Kennedy until after he’s been buried?

    Please consider your words. Of all the people on this site, or for that matter on virtually any internet site I’ve read, you stand out as especially hateful and extremely bitter.

    Please think about that hatred and contemplate whether you feel comfortable with it. Do you really hate Democrats that much? Please look inside yourself and think carefully about where this extreme hatred is coming from and whether it deserves to be there.

  22. Caliguri criticizing Dodd means he is disrespecting Kennedy and or his family? Is it just Dodd or are all Democrats shielded from criticism due to Kennedy death?

  23. Sara, this may be the weakest post I’ve ever seen.

    While you consider us in a national state of morning, life and politics must go on. Immediately after his death, Democrats and the media were openly pondering his successor, the way that successor will be elected/appointed, the impact his death may have on political issues, and who is going to replace him as chairman.

    Do you consider that disrespectful?

    How about when Democrats exploited Wellstone’s funeral and turned it into a pep rally for Walter Mondale. I’m sure you considered that disrespectful, too.

    Chris Dodd is thinking about taking a new chairmanship as a result of Kennedy’s death, it is appropriate for anyone to let him know that he should stay where he is.

  24. >> I haven’t even been *smoking* anything

    So that’s the problem!

  25. >>How about when Democrats exploited Wellstone’s funeral and turned it into a pep rally for Walter Mondale.

    That worked out real well for them didn’t it?

    Mondale went on to become the only person in U.S. history to LOSE in all 50 states.
    Quite a record!

  26. Count Pete – again, I repeat – it’s not about not criticizing Dodd. It’s about showing respect during a time of mourning. Simply human decency. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Have you never lost a loved one? I’m astonished, frankly, that people are finding this such a difficult concept to understand.

    That’s pathetic.

    I have a bunch of things I could say about Kennedy, but won’t. Doesn’t matter.

    But Sara, this thread is ridiculous.

  27. What about naming the health care bill after Teddy? Does that exhibit class?

  28. Just to stoke the fire a bit:

    Let’s not forget that Sen. Kennedy’s last act in office was dispatching a public letter imploring the MA legislature to change the law surrounding senate vacancies to ensure 1) that a Democrat continues to hold the seat, and 2) that Obama maintains his supermajority in the Senate with no delay. The height of political gamesmanship to the bitter end. Not that it excuses besmirching a man or his family after he passes. Just wanted to toss it out there.

    Incidentally, I can’t wait to call up all the postings and quotes by my left-of-center friends when they were herniating themselves to take the vacancy appointment power away from our CT governor. I expect that they’ll let democracy take it’s course in MA, as they professed they wanted in this state with our Republican governor?

  29. AndersonScooper

    F-A,

    What the Massachusetts legislature decides to do is up to them. (I think it’s called democracy.)

    But early next year the voters will get to decide who their next Senator is, and it’s hard to believe you can argue that’s inappropriate.

  30. A civics lesson. It is not pure democracy when an elected offical chooses a Senator. That is refered to as representative democracy. Big difference.

  31. Tom Van Stone

    TVS: Kennedy dies and Dodd is untouchable?

    Saramerica: Did I say that? No. What I *said* was that we should show some respect for the dead and those that mourn by waiting till the deceased are at least buried before launching into the political vitriol. Clearly that is too much to ask from those on this site.

    Again, nobody is launching attacks at Kennedy, they are launching attacks at someone who is MOURNING Kennedy. Your argument that Dodd can’t be criticized this week because a colleague of his has died reeks of partisan lunacy.

    Your analogy that “you kept your mouth shut” when Novak dies is altogether different – the more appropriate analogy would be “you didn’t criticize any of Novak’s close colleagues on the set of Crossfire until after an acceptable period of personal mourning”.

    I repeat: grabbing straws. You put yourself out there for this criticism with a damning headline such as “No class, Caligiuri”. Weak sauce, Sara.

    As ACR said in another thread, in Waterbury (despite what those of you looking in at us from the outside like to think), partisanship doesn’t breed this sort of ridiculous hate-spew. We think before we sling our mud.

  32. I woke up this morning to a co-workers e-mail with an attachment directing me to a slash and burn Chappaquittick page. Reminds me of when I was in Drivers ed class, ther was one kid who cheered when JFK’s death was announced.

  33. Tom Van Stone
    “Waterbury (despite what those of you looking in at us from the outside like to think), partisanship doesn’t breed this sort of ridiculous hate-spew. We think before we sling our mud.”

    That’s true; despite those that are all too happy to slur Waterbury – which is not only a mistake, it’s stupid.

    Waterbury politics is another world that involves hardball and drop-dead loyalty no matter what.

    It’s pretty easy to be loyal when the sun’s shining; but when the clouds show up is when the weak at heart run for their lives.

    That said – I’ve never heard anyone in Waterbury bad mouth Rowland because he is and always was loyal to a fault to his hometown & Waterbury rightfully returns him the favor.

    My friend Joey Santopietro is treated well too; and considering the frame-up scam he survived at the hands of utterly corrupt prosecutors; should be.

    I would expect nothing less of Waterbury, but would be amazed to witness the same behavior so consistently elsewhere.

    =============================================

    Dempsey Dem
    >>“there was one kid who cheered when JFK’s death was announced.”

    One??
    The reaction in the heavily conservative west was in retrospect totally inappropriate.

  34. Personally, I wouldn’t have sent out Sam’s statement yesterday. However Sara, you quote Dodd:I haven’t given that a second worth of thought.Do you actually believe that statement? Perhaps if it was followed with “a second worth of thought today,” then I could buy it. But to recap…

    Dodd’s been the acting Chair of HELP for months. Dodd’s also in political trouble. And Dodd knows Washington.

    Furthermore, as someone mentioned above…there was credible reporting yesterday that “top Senate aides” were discussing The Chess Game that had already begun… If Dodd stays at Banking, Harkin Chairs HELP… If Dodd moves to Help, then Johnson could Chair Banking, but Johnson already turned down a Chairmanship earlier this year due to health… which then means Reed Chairs Banking… And those changes lead to all sorts of other changes… for Chairs of both Committee and subcommittees…. And believe me… I don’t know Washington well enough to know this stuff… I only know because it was reported yesterday.

    My point?

    Dodd probably didn’t think about The Chess Game yesterday… but it’s beyond implausible to believe that while he was acting Chair for months… the thought hadn’t crossed his mind of whether he preferred HELP or Banking.

    Now don’t get me wrong… Sam didn’t need to issue the press release yesterday… and Dodd almost certainly told a white lie… not to protect himself, but to protect others (the talk shouldn’t have been about Dodd yesterday)… and the press had to ask the questions at some point… but to slam Sam when Dodd’s statement was clearly misleading (he could’ve said “this is a time to remember my friend, Ted Kennedy” instead of claiming he hadn’t given it a second’s thought), is blatantly partisan… and that’s fine since GC wants you representing the left… but to link Sam to “hate-filled rhetoric” and words that incite… that is ridiculous and completely OTT.

    Furthermore, if the GOP candidates (or anyone) waits until Dodd makes a decision (and it is his decision), then they’ll get yelled at for simply slamming Dodd.

  35. blockquotes don’t seem to be working

  36. Tim, I think you’re reading the “I haven’t given it a a second’s worth of thought” sentence through a “blatantly partisan” lens. He said it in response to a question the morning after his good friend and colleague Ted Kennedy died, and do I believe that it wasn’t really the first thing his mind *that morning?* Yes.

    Knowing of the close relationship friendship and working relationship the two men shared, I’d reckon it was a genuine response. It sounds to me like he didn’t want to even think about the issue at that time. You know, the whole respect thing.

    Now I’ll bet he’d previously discussed with Kennedy what should happen in the event of Kennedy’s death, so yes, I’m sure he has “given it a moment’s thought” if you read the sentence with a wide construction, but I don’t think that’s how it was said.

  37. I agree. And in all seriousness, it would’ve been irresponsible of Senator Dodd to not be considering all this, including talking to Ted K. Politics aside, succession planning is important.

    As well, I think it’s better for people to be “on the record” about the Senator’s looming decision… before he makes it. That reminds me of a story…

    I recall last year asking a challenger (campaign PR guy actually) how the candidate would vote on the bailout… before the bailout vote was taken. I was told that it’d be best to simply wait for the bailout vote, then disagree and say the incumbent was wrong… needless to say, the challenger lost my support. But my point is that it is best if someone offers their feelings before a decision is made… so as not to be seen as being politically-motivated. And in this very unfortunate situation (the passing of a human being), there is no timeline on when Senator Dodd will be announcing his decision.

    To that extent, anyone running against Dodd is between a rock and a hard place… that is… either way you look politically-motivated… though I suppose any of them could’ve waited for the press to ask them their thoughts.

  38. moderation *#$&^@#!!!

  39. saramerica
    Has the CT GOP changed that much?

    The Republican base is depending how the question is framed; pro-choice.

    However; a growing revulsion towards late-term plus the organizational talents of Peter Wolfgang is changing the political dynamic.

    Wolfgang should not be underestimated as he could very well become a king maker and not only in this race.

    He’s hard working and smart.
    Goes for the alliance not the fight and is building quite a direct following plus he goes out of his way to support those he and the FIC find agreeable some of the time.

    I’ve been in sales all my life; were Peter Wolfgang and I to get into a gizmo sales contest with each of us taking opposite sides of the street; Wolfgang would be out of gizmoes much sooner than I would.
    The guy is good.

  40. I am confused. Isn’t Senator Kennedy a Kennedy? That means the mourning period will never be over. His brother has an Eternal Flame (Not very green). Senator Dodd is obviously grieving right now and politics are on hold for a few days. I still say the best way for Senator Dodd to honor his friend is to help help erect the Edward Kennedy Renewable Energy Memorial wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vinyard. Then we can all go back to feeling good (or bad) about our Senators and Congressmen.

  41. The Democrats will be holding a seance on Sunday so they can finish their discussions with Ted as to who should replace his seat in the senate and to discuss his possible run in the next presidential election.

  42. ACR – while Wolfgang and his FIC might be able to sell his gizmoes to the GOP to convince you guys to front a pro-Life candidate, I’m just querying how such a candidate is going to play across the wider field of Independents and conservative Dems, in the general ie/ people you’d need to win.

    Is it possible to be a good old New England Republican – social moderate, fiscal conservative, or does everyone have to out conservative each other on the social issues in order to be nominated?

  43. AndersonScooper

    GOP State Central member ACR states that the FIC is a vital player and potential kingmaker in Republican politics. Amazing!

    No wonder the Fightin’ Forty-Four was reduced to the Snivelin’ Thirty-Seven last November.

    The CT GOP — so pathetic and out of touch, that they deserve extinction.

  44. Sarah / Anderson –

    I’ve got to run out and preform 2 same sex weddings at the Town Hall; but consider bill 1098 – the FIC is not just about abortion.

    Further – the abortion fight is NOT a constitutional issue and thus should never be considered a deal-breaker.

    AND – read Roe; it’s like something someone wrote after taking a purple flat.

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