Fineman: Lieberman Wants Revenge on Those Who Rode Around on the Bus of Democratic Primary Challenger
Howard Fineman pointed out the obvious on Hardball the other day. From BarbinMD at Daily KOS--It's All Your Fault. As she notes, "was there ever any doubt?"
Phoenix Woman as FDL has more--Senator Hissyfit Lets the Mask Slip:
The man who owes his Senate seat to movement Republicans wanting revenge on Lowell Weicker for doing the right thing with regard to Richard Nixon has shown the public the real person behind his mask of unctuous piety and bipartisanship — namely a man so petty he’s willing to go back on his stated support of a position (in this case, Medicare expansion) just because someone he doesn’t like who favors it.
As HuffPo’s Rachel Weiner notes, this goes a long way toward validating the belief in progressive blogger circles that Lieberman, as the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein put it, “seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals.”
As usual, it's all about Joe and his ego. Sadly anything we "leftie" bloggers do is just going to make him act worse. Here's one idea via Bob Cesca (my apologies for lifting the entire post, but it was a short one):
BooMan has a great idea for dealing with Joe Lieberman.
Maybe we should find out how Lieberman likes to get to work and just go park our cars in the middle of those streets each morning. You know, just because we can.
I have a serious question here: From now on, do we have to support the exact opposite of what we want in order to fake out Joe Lieberman? I mean, I know he sounds like Elmer Fudd, but now we have to outsmart him as if we're in a Bugs Bunny cartoon?
US: Public option!
LIEBERMAN: No public option!
US: No public option!
LIEBERMAN: Public option!
US: Thank you! ZOOM!
Hardball transcript via below the fold.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back. Time for the politics fix, with “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, who is an MSNBC political analyst, and the “Washington Post‘s” Anne Kornblut. Thank you. We‘re awaiting that book. It‘s coming out soon. Good timing, by the way, right after Christmas. Before New Years. We‘re all going to be at the news stands. Lots of cash in people‘s hands that time of year.
Let‘s go with this one—no really, all the gift money, you go buy a book with it. Let‘s talk about this thing with Harry Reid and Lieberman. I call him Joe the Bummer, as in Joe the Plumber, because he‘s brilliantly timing this thing of I‘m not for this; I‘m not for the public option; now I‘m not for the buy-in on age 55. He‘s just killing these guys.
HOWARD FINEMAN: I talked to a spokesman today.
I said, look, I‘m going on HARDBALL; give me your side of the story.
MATTHEWS: Good move.
FINEMAN: OK, their side of the story is, it‘s a principled thing. There are many parts of the bill he believes in. The Medicare buy-in is an add on because there are all these subsidies. The guy gave me a lot of plausible stuff. And I half believe it. I‘m sorry, I half—
MATTHEWS: What‘s the other half of your belief, revenge?
FINEMAN: The other half is personal—not with Obama. Don‘t forget, Obama, the president supported Lieberman in the fight in the party in Connecticut.
FINEMAN: It‘s the grass roots left of the Democratic party that—
MATTHEWS: -- that enjoyed his torture.
FINEMAN: -- that enjoyed his torture. And this is pay-back to them. Obama‘s caught—excuse me, the president is caught in the middle here. That‘s my take on it.
MATTHEWS: So he wants Markos Moulitsas to take it.
FINEMAN: He wants Kos. He wants Fire Dog Lake. He wants all those people who rode around on—on the bus of the challenger who defeated him in the Democratic primary.
MATTHEWS: Wow. You think this goes back to that defeat in the primary up in Connecticut, where, after all those years in Connecticut politics as a Democrat, he got bumped by the party?
ANNE KORNBLUT: I think Howard makes a really good point. I have two colleagues at the Post, Ezra Klein and Alec McGillis, who have been covering this really closely, who both earlier today made the point that it was hard to find the policy reasoning here behind this. You know, he says it‘s got to make it more expensive. The CBO hasn‘t scored it yet.
MATTHEWS: Especially since he came out for this very proposal three months ago. Luke Russert, Tim‘s son, who works for NBC News now, went out and dug this story up, that three months ago, he came out for exactly the same thing he‘s now saying is unacceptable. He initiated it.
KORNBLUT: More recently than that, even, was cool to the idea, but didn‘t outright oppose it, and, of course, could have blocked it sooner. The timing couldn‘t be worse. It‘s so I think hard to—there‘s absolutely no way to overlook the politics in this, because it‘s driving the liberals crazy. As a result, as Howard points out, it‘s driving the White House crazy.
MATTHEWS: So, as a straight news person, who is not allowed to tell opinion, you can say now, Anne Kornblut, that this is an act of political revenge?
KORNBLUT: I can say there‘s a good case to be made. It sure looks like it.
MATTHEWS: Political observers believe that—
FINEMAN: I consider myself a straight news person too, and I‘m trying to understand the motivation here.
What Lieberman‘s people told me made sense, because they will distinguish the thing from September. They will say that now there‘s subsidies in the bill.
MATTHEWS: Is Joe Lieberman a Democrat or is he an independent completely now?
FINEMAN: He‘s an independent.
MATTHEWS: Is he going to keep the chairmanship of Homeland Security?
FINEMAN: As we speak, there‘s a meeting of Democrats going up on the Hill. My understanding was everybody going in was ready to yell at Joe Lieberman. They‘re not going to kick him out of the room. They‘re not going to say out, because the question somebody said to me is do they want a scapegoat or a bill. They‘ll vent. But they still want his vote in the end.
I don‘t think he thinks of himself as anything other than the one man member of the Lieberman party. That‘s who he is. He may not run again in 2012. He‘s estranged from the base of the Democrats. He‘s off on his own here.
MATTHEWS: It‘s one thing, Anne, to be really tough and to make the Democrats do—basically say heal, dog, heal, and get the Democrats do this bill the way he wants. Is he willing to bring down the house, kill this bill right before Christmas, and be the the guy who does it? Is he willing to do that?
KORNBLUT: We didn‘t think that he would do what he did in the
Connecticut race and he did. He‘s shown nothing but political courage, if
you want, or willingness to buck the party all the way through. I wouldn‘t
it wouldn‘t surprise me all that much if he did.
MATTHEWS: What a story this is.
KORNBLUT: I will say this is expanding now beyond just Democrats yelling at him in the caucus meeting. You have got liberal bloggers and even some Democrats again saying that they don‘t want, especially if he kills this, to be the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. There‘s been today for his wife to no longer be a global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Cure for Breast Cancer Foundation, which they said wouldn‘t be. I think this thing is expanding, but you cannot, I don‘t think, overstate the level of anger.
FINEMAN: Those are the same. By the way, those are the same blogs who were out after him in 2006. So this is a continuing fight. And it‘s going end up being more than Lieberman. I don‘t think Joe Lieberman would like to be—as egotistical as he sometimes can be or seem, I don‘t think wants to do this alone. I think if it happens, he sure as heck would like to have Ben Nelson and maybe a couple of others.
I don‘t think the deal is over yet. Despite all the yelling and screaming, it‘s still possible. They‘re holding reconciliation in the background. They don‘t want to mention it. Harry Reid doesn‘t want to mention it, because the moment he mentions or doesn‘t react negatively to the idea of reconciliation, everybody will immediately interpret that for what it is.
MATTHEWS: The left will want it, yes. He‘s saying OK. That is really Armageddon.