The Bitter Man and his Republican Base
The Bitter Man strikes back.
Democratic moderates who control the balance of power on health care legislation balked Tuesday at a government-run insurance option for millions of Americans, underscoring the enormity of the challenge confronting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid one day after he unveiled the plan as a consensus product.
The decision to include a government insurance option in his legislation had obvious appeal for liberals who account for a strong majority inside the Senate Democratic caucus, and it is likely to please labor unions and party activists in Nevada.
But it has gained less-than-effusive support from Obama, who is eager to have at least a dollop of bipartisanship for his signature domestic issue. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, the only Republican who has sided with Democrats in committee this year, has announced she will not support the bill Reid drafted.
Still, if Reid is pressed in coming weeks by moderates to fall back, he can explain to liberals that he was forced to do so because his preference — a government insurance option — proved to be unobtainable in the Senate. Already, that pressure is evident...read on
Joe Lieberman is a bitter old man who was looking for some media juice yesterday when he decided to spit in the face of Americans who want real health care reform. Can you trust either his motives or what he says anymore?
Joe Lieberman has once again rolled a political hand grenade into the Democrats’ tent.
The Connecticut independent obliterated any illusion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can quickly ram through health care reform with a public option, telling reporters on Tuesday that he would join Republicans in a filibuster to prevent a vote on Reid’s plan if it isn’t changed first.
“We’re trying to do too much at once,” said Lieberman, who signaled he would vote with Reid on the first procedural vote that requires 60 votes, the motion to proceed.
The media will never call out Lieberman over his bullshit.
And Lieberman’s justification on this is just nonsense – the public option would SAVE money for the government, to the tune of $100 billion dollars over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also would cost nothing to the taxpayer, being financed by individual premiums.
The public option saves money and Holy Joe knows it. And the Senate will never take action against another Senator no matter how outrageous their behavior is.
But Lieberman’s fellow Connecticut senator, Democrat Chris Dodd, who faces a tough reelection fight in 2010, dismissed the idea that Lieberman would incur any retribution.
“No, no, no. People are going to be all over the place,” he said when asked if Lieberman should be punished. “The idea that people are going to be reprimanded because somehow they have a different point of view than someone else is ridiculous. That isn’t going to happen.”
Lieberman can thank President Obama for retaining his committees and unless he gets caught in bed with a goat, he gets to do whatever he wants. The House of Lords always protect their royal status over their constituents. Well, Mr. President -- it's time to reign in this herd of Conservadems if you really want the public option. All this could be the awesome kabuki dance that pols do as they negotiate legislation through the media. Well, Mr. President, you got him -- you own him now so make him pony up. Oh, wait -- Senators are immune to any type of accountability. Sorry, I forgot what I wrote earlier in this piece.
Too bad Ned Lamont didn't win in 2006, but we forced Joe out of the Dem Party and Ned is still speaking up against Lieberman. They did debate health care and Holy Joe was for "universal health care" at the time, but now he has a Republican base to protect.
I asked Lamont if he thinks that Obama, who intervened last November to keep Senate Democrats from stripping Lieberman of his committee chairmanship, was guilty of trusting Connecticut's junior senator too much.
"I would really hope that Senator Lieberman would have returned that courtesy by talking to the president's team before walking out on this filibuster plank," he replied.
Lieberman's seat will be up in 2012. His polls numbers have improved a little this year, but they're still very shaky, a 48-45 percent approval rating among all voters in the state. But among Democrats, they're poisonous. Does Lieberman's latest move mean he's abandoning any thought of running as a Democrat again in '12?
"He got re-elected in '06 with overwhelming Republican support," Lamont said. "So I guess he's just taking care of his base."
Do me a favor and contact Joe's offices and tell him to give us an up-or-down vote on health care and not to join Republicans in a filibuster. He likely won't listen, but it's important that he hear our voices.
One Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 549-8463 Voice
706 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4041 Voice
And please: Donate to Blue America's Campaign For Health Care Choice so we can continue to fight for health care reform. We have several actions we're working on...