The boss and I have been trying to nail this down ever since I read the Commissar’s post. Is “LieberYouth” a term Lieberman’s supporters are using? Or is it another example of nutroots rage boiling over into something disgusting that Lamont has to pretend he doesn’t know about?

I kind of doubted that people working for an Orthodox Jew would want to compare him to Hitler, with themselves in the role of junior brownshirts. But I also doubted the nutroots would go that route without prompting. They’re a bit compromised, shall we say, on Jewish issues at the moment; discretion would seem to require skipping the Nazi comparisons and sticking to the tried-and-true race– and gay-baiting.

Michelle e-mailed me a little while ago to say she’d just spoken to Dan Gerstein of the Lieberman campaign and he confirmed that, yes indeed, the term “LieberYouth” certainly does have offensive Nazi connotations, and therefore no, it’s not a term they invented or have endorsed.

So there’s your answer.

You can click the Commissar link to see which blogs have used the term. There does seem to be a bit of an overlap between bloggers who use the term “LieberYouth” and bloggers who enjoy photoshopping blackface onto their political opponents. (It’s also worth noting that the Lamont Blog is an unofficial site, not affiliated with the campaign.)

In a way, it’s stupid to complain about this. Hitler comparisons are the hard left’s bread and butter; it’s who they are, it’s what they do. In a race where coziness with Bush figures so prominently, it’s inevitable that a little Nazi spillover would occur. And yet, like Mike Rogers, I’m surprised — and surprised that I’m surprised. Asking them to rein it in this one time, out of respect for someone who’s not only Jewish himself but married to the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, doesn’t seem like asking much. But I guess that’s only if you assume they can control it.

Anyway. Expect the spin here either to be (a) the fact that one of Lieberman’s spokesmen would take Michelle Malkin’s call “proves” he’s a Republican, or (b) waiting until the last few days before the primary to mention this smacks of an eleventh-hour dirty trick, even though (i) it was the Commissar who dug it out, not the campaign, (ii) it’s their own words, freely available online, that are being used against them, and (iii) no one who’s made peace with the idea of supporting a candidate endorsed by the hard left will be changing his or her mind because of this little revelation. For most of them, it won’t be a big deal; for some of them, it’ll be a feature, not a bug.

Oh, and here’s a good note to close on: SeeDubya notices that their latest foray into papier mache puppetry seems to depict Lieberman with an honest to goodness, babies-in-the-matzah, moneylending hook of a nose. So they’ve got the Jew angle covered, plus the homophobic angle is there via their creepy preoccupation with his and Bush’s kiss. (Well, not really, but if two dudes snogging was the central image in a right-wing attack ad, you’d better believe it would be Significant.) The only thing that’s missing is the racial angle. Maybe next time they can do the puppet in blackface.