Once when asked why he had not fired FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Lyndon B. Johnson replied, “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.”
But LBJ never had to deal with Senator Joe Lieberman. Supposedly, Lieberman is inside Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tent of disgruntled Democrats who making up the 60 vote majority that will pass healthcare reform legislation. It would seem Lieberman is inside the tent pissing on everyone.
How do you solve a problem like Joe? It was bad enough when he sided with George W. Bush throughout the war in Iraq. It was worse after he lost a primary challenge to Ned Lamont, a liberal challenger who won the party’s nomination and then turned around to run and win as an independent. It was insulting when he supported John McCain over Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, going so far as to address the Republican National Convention.
None of that was as intolerable as his petulant and petty blockage of national healthcare reform as Lieberman, delighting in the unrestrained joy of being the buzzkill of the Democratic hopes to pass healthcare reform this year, shifts and changes his reasons for opposing the legislation. It’s obvious that Lieberman is tormenting Reid and President Obama personally and if people die in the process of his game-playing, well, that’s just tough.
As recently as three months ago, Lieberman publicly proclaimed his support for the sort of expansion of Medicare buy-in program that he now says he won’t support. So why is he singing a different tune now? Apparently, because the buy-in proposal made liberals happy and making liberals happy isn’t something Joe is about.
…Mr. Lieberman said that he grew apprehensive when a formal proposal began to take shape. He said he worried that the program would lead to financial trouble and contribute to the instability of the existing Medicare program.
And he said he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals, including Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, who champions a fully government-run health care system.
“Congressman Weiner made a comment that Medicare-buy in is better than a public option, it’s the beginning of a road to single-payer,” Mr. Lieberman said. “Jacob Hacker, who’s a Yale professor who is actually the man who created the public option, said, ‘This is a dream. This is better than a public option. This is a giant step.’”
That was all it took for Lieberman to be against an idea he was originally in favor of. Of course, being Joe Lieberman he expressed utter shock and awe anyone might accuse him of shifting his position in order to torpedo healthcare reform and trying to stick it to his colleagues.
“I knew some of them were upset about positions I’d taken,” Lieberman said. “But like each of them, I didn’t get elected by telling my voters in Connecticut that I would follow the majority of my caucus even if I thought on some things they were wrong. We each have to do what we think is right.”
“I’ve done what I thought was right, but it’s no fun to have your colleagues be angry at you,” Lieberman said. “It’s no fun to have your wife attacked. But, you know, you got to do what you think is right.”
That’s Killer Joe for you. Three times he says he was only doing what is right. Not once does he acknowledge how much he receives in campaign contributions from Connecticut-based insurance companies. He whines that his wife is being “attacked” when questions are raised how much does her former employment for a pharmaceutical company influence his vote now?
Which is why you have Howard Dean suggesting “kill this bill” because real reform has been gutted from it by the double-dealing of Lieberman and his unscrupulous ilk. I don’t doubt Dean’s sincerity, but I’m wondering where’s his political common sense.
The perfect is the enemy of the good. With all due props to Howard Dean, he’s not a senator, he’s not a governor and he’s not even the head of the DNC anymore. He’s just another guy with an opinion. I respect Dr. Dean, but he’s got about as much juice in the Senate as I do.
Kill the bill and all that’s accomplished is—well–NOTHING. You won’t get shit out of a Congress running for reelection in 2010.
I’d rather have a flawed bill that can be modified, added to and fixed than scrap it all, start all over in 2010 and hope that the Republicans aren’t more recalcitrant, moderate Democrats aren’t even more timid and cowardly, the insurance company lobbyists don’t dump even more money into killing any sort of reform and Joe Lieberman doesn’t twist the knife any deeper.
Trying to figure out “What Joe wants?” is a easy question to answer. To screw Harry Reid, President Obama and everyone in the Democratic caucus and screw them hard. His “I was for it before I was against it” stance is contemptible and disgusting. Lieberman is willing to let people die to settle political scores. The same guy who bopped Silvio Berlosconi should drop by and say “Hiya” to Lieberman.
Lieberman isn’t the only DINO (Democrat in Name Only) who could gum up the works and kill healthcare reform. Senators Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Ben Nelson (Nebraska), and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas) either represent conservative states or face tough reelection challenges next fall. They’re nervous—and scared—of backing any bill that smacks of containing a public option.
But it’s only Lieberman who is threatening to withhold his vote and join Republicans in a filibuster of healthcare reform.
Instead of playing Lieberman’s sick and stupid game, Reid should grow a pair and take the bill to the floor. If Lieberman wants to allow the Republicans to filibuster health care reform, go ahead. I’m weary of all these vague threats to filibuster. Let’s see if Mitch McConnell and the boys have the gonads to actually DO it.
I want to see Lieberman, Charles Grassley, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, and John McCain and all those other Republican senators who enjoy free healthcare coverage to stand up in the well and tell the rest of the nation, “I got mine. Too bad about yours.”
The Republicans seem to think killing healthcare is the path that leads them back to power in 2010. It’s time to test that theory. The tea party types are loud, but they’re still the minority. I wouldn’t mind losing some Blue Dog Dems in the process if it meant the end of the games and the whole country sees who’s for healthcare reform and who’s against it.
Calling Lieberman’s bluff and forcing the Republicans to filibuster might be the smartest and certainly the balliest play Obama and Reid could make.
I just doubt they will.
To add insult to injury Lieberman says when he runs for reelection in 2012, he won’t rule out running as a Republican. I hope he does. I’d appreciate him finally coming out of the closet and admitting he’s a renegade, a traitor and a man of low morals and no ethics. It’s quite an accomplishment in a chamber populated with perverts (David Vitter), neanderthals (James Imhofe), chickenhawk cowards (Saxby Chambliss) and batshit crazy mofos (Jim Bunning) to be the most loathsome and swinish United States Senator, but hands down, Lieberman not only earned the title, he revels in it.
Google the phrase, “Bush’s favorite Democrat” and one name pops up. Traitor Joe. One disgusting waste of skin.