Lieberman: I'm doing this to poke liberals in the eye with a stick

by: Adam Bink

Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 18:00


This is awesome. Via Leshrac55 in QuickHits (originally with NYTimes):

But in the interview, 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.'"

What pisses me off most about this is that other Senators, like Ben Nelson, do their shtick just so they can go home and say I got the best deal I could, I really stuck it to those liberals. Lieberman, who I have heard many rumors about him not running again in 2012, and wouldn't even be in electoral trouble if he did support the buy-in, and who has supported Medicare buy-in for years, does this because liberals like it too much. Perhaps Howard Fineman is right that he is doing this just to stick it to Markos and Firedoglake and the rest of us out here.

As an organizing discussion I'm sure this will start an interesting conversation over whether, when dealing with Joementum in the future, the Weiners and Hackers of the world should be lying in public and saying the compromise sucks just so he is tricked into being satisfied. On the other hand, the rest of us will then think it sucks too when it doesn't. Sigh.

Adam Bink :: Lieberman: I'm doing this to poke liberals in the eye with a stick

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Getting back at Lieberman (4.00 / 4)
There are issues that Lieberman cares more about than poking progressives in the eye, namely Israel and Iran (as it relates to Israel), and our current wars.  On these issues Obama is more where most here are, wanting an end to settlements, serious peace talks and no war with Iran.  Remember these are the issues that caused the split between Lieberman and the Left in the first place.

Perhaps these issues deserve more attention from the Left. After all, it is the wars that are eating up all the money, more than the bank bailouts, which are now being paid back.  War funding is an issue where progressive intransigence would work because like the Blue Dogs on health care, progressives would just as soon kill war funding.

As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat.    

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


Good idea: If Blue Dogs kill real health care reform, we kill war funding. (4.00 / 1)
No more Afghan escalation. No more Iraq occupation. How is it we can't afford health care but we can afford all these wars?

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

[ Parent ]
That's what I've advocated but..... (4.00 / 1)
Do progressives have the numbers to do so?  Is there a political will to stick it to Lieberman even if that means voting against body armor for troops out of spite?

Progressives might as well turn into full-blown deficit hawks since we're not going to get the social spending we desire.  Forget any moral arguments about Iraq and Afghanistan and focus only on the money.  The more often you can say "trillion" in describing what is going on, the better.  Vote against any spending if Lieberman is for it.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
Here's how to deal with Loserman: KICK HIM OUT! (4.00 / 2)
From now on, every time I write or call Harry Reid on health care I'll be asking him to strip Loserman of his committee assignments and drop him from the Democratic Caucus! He made a major mistake in agreeing to Obama's request to show Holy Joe mercy in the first place, and this madness needs to stop.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

Excuse, not reason? (4.00 / 7)
I wonder if Lieberman is trying to blame his intransigence on progressives instead of admitting that he is really fighting for the health insurance companies (many based in Connecticut) and hoping for financial support or a lobbying gig from them eventually. Perhaps it is petty sniping, but crass pandering to those who financially support him is more likely.

Remember his favorite constituent: Aetna! (4.00 / 2)
There you have it. Loserman is doing Aetna's bidding... And not to mention, his wife Hadassah has worked as an HMO lobbyist for quite some time. He's revealed himself as someone who only cares about the insurance companies that bought him (and his wife) off.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

[ Parent ]
Of course he (0.00 / 0)
is.  Some questions answer themselves.

[ Parent ]
Sure - he gets to have his cake and eat it too (4.00 / 2)
Sticking it to the lefties is just an added bonus. And an extremely gratifying one for him at that.

[ Parent ]
Burris: ""I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option" (4.00 / 3)
Mr. Burris, however, did calibrate his language: "I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option: competition, cost savings and accountability," he said. "I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals."

He added: "My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine."

With a dramatic flourish, Mr. Burris said: "As Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, 'All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.'"


http://prescriptions.blogs.nyt...

Take that, Lieberman!  You set the precedent: One Dem Senator can strongarm 59 colllegues. But maybe you're not the only one who can play this game!

Three cheers for Senator Burris! Give'em hell, man!!!


Grasping at straws (0.00 / 0)
Does this sound likely to you?  Really?  What clout/credibility does Burris have?

[ Parent ]
He's joking. (0.00 / 0)
Obviously. More humor, pls. We need that now.

[ Parent ]
Btw, originally Ezra Klein raised the point about the payback. (0.00 / 0)
I don't like his undetermined stand on the public option, but Kudos where Kudos are due.

"the Weiners and Hackers of the world should be lying in public" (4.00 / 5)
Lying? The compromise sucked, it was less than is possible, and it was less than was originally on the table! They didn't need to lie, just state publicly that they're not really satisfied. Heaping praise on the compromise before the bill came to a vote was bad negotiation tactics, and several commenters here pointed that out in recent threads!

This is absolutely correct (4.00 / 4)
Progressives thought that by accepting less than they wanted, in terms of their positions and rhetoric, they would appear reasonable and this would improve their negotiating situation. This was wrong.  Progressives are, by definition, not reasonable as far as the Village is concerned, regardless of what they do.

Accepting that would be liberating.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
Also, progressives will continue to be considered crazy (4.00 / 4)
as long as they don't have power. If they get power, they will be treated with respect. It's that simple.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
We have 80 supposedly progressive congresspeople in the House (4.00 / 1)
Progressives can have the power as soon as they decide to take it. They will not take it. That's one of the big problems.

No strong public option, no bill. The fact that they're not willing to make that simple commitment demonstrates how poorly the progressive caucus understands political gamesmanship (or else you have to accept that they're all completely corrupt and not actually progressive).

I mean, how seriously does Obama take the progressives? He won't even meet with them. He takes their votes for granted. And how many times has Prime Minister Snowe been to the Oval Office?

Progressives should stick it to Rahm. No bill. He can't primary the entire group.


[ Parent ]
It's not quite that simple (4.00 / 1)
Those progressives need to help close the Rootsgap. Republicans strength comes from their connections with their grassroots. It's not solely about their will.

That said, they could do that too. The power is there for them to take.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
I don't disagree with that (0.00 / 0)
I'm saying Weiner's and Hacker's point of view that if they are really convinced that the compromise was fine, perhaps they should have lied about it if they want to make sure it ends up in the bill.


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[ Parent ]
My point is, they didn't have to lie. They just shouldn't have told the truth. (0.00 / 0)
If they would have kept their mouth shut, it would have been ok. See, Adam, as a christian, I try to keep lying to a minimum (sometimes it can't be avoided, imho), and I don't want to encourage others to spread deliberate falsehoods.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps? (4.00 / 2)
This has been obvious for weeks...

Lieberman again pledges filibuster: It's Joe vs. Jane

IMO this is about payback against his arch enemies Jane and the FDL crew (and their hippie blogger allies), who have been spearheading the PO fight. Joe is never going to vote to give Jane this victory. Never.

This is Joe's golden opportunity for direct payback. We're fools if we think he's going to cave and watch Jane celebrate. Ain't gonna happen...

Can you visualize...
...Lieberman being the deciding vote that allows Jane to pop champagne corks? Neither can I.


Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

Machiavelli (4.00 / 2)
wrote if you strike at the king you must kill him, because if you fail he will most certainly try and kill him.

There has been a lot of very lose talk about finding candidates to run against anyone who votes against us.

The lesson to learn here, and it is a hard lesson, is you damn well better make sure you are going to win if you do take on an incumbent in a primary, because if you lose you have created an enemy for life.

And he/she will fuck you if they get the opportunity.


Or, maybe Lieberman's antics (4.00 / 2)
are pretty unique.  You are drawing a rather broad lesson the basis of a fairly unusual situation.  Republicans primary their own without winning, and it doesn't come back to bite them like this. I think that is a better model than regicide.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
Really? (0.00 / 0)
Remind me, again, why Specter left the GOP?


[ Parent ]
Specter was kept (4.00 / 3)
in line for years by the party.  He left because he wasn't going to survive another primary, and because Democratic officials were foolish enough to take him in. Specter behaved for close to a whole term after a failed primary - he doesn't help your case.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
Yes (4.00 / 3)
I remember him refusing to make witnesses swear in so they wouldn't be subject to perjury/lying to congress statues when he was last chairman of Judiciary.

He also put through all the Judges the right wanted on the bench.  


[ Parent ]
Lieberman is unique (4.00 / 2)
Because he technically was primaried successfully.  The rules just let him back in as an independent.

There are not very many politicians who have lost a primary then came back to win a significant office.    There's Cynthia McKinney.  She was booted out (twice!!!), so she went and joined some other nutbars.  You get people like Michigan Republican Joe Schwarz, who lost his House seat in a primary and considered running as a Democrat in 2008 before settling for endorsing the Dem against the guy who beat him.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
yeah, it should've ended at the primary (0.00 / 0)
but evil was allowed to endure

[ Parent ]
Ciro Rodriguez. Was pushed out by "Bush hugger" Cuellar, had a comeback! (4.00 / 1)
Amazing story, read about it at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...


[ Parent ]
They did win. (4.00 / 1)
It was Obama and Clinton that supported him against the Democratic primary winner, Lamont.  If that didn't give progressives a clue what Obama is made of, no wonder they bought him hook, line and sinker.  

[ Parent ]
Appropriate Quote (4.00 / 1)
Because I don't have any unique thoughts on the matter

"Some men can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

"The bandit... did you catch him?"
"Yes."
"How?"
"We burned the forest down."


Lieberman deserves the "rope-a-dope" treatment (4.00 / 1)
There are obvious things to do with Joe Lieberman, such as strip him of his chairmanship of the homeland security committee, or cut off any pork to Connecticut that he wants to bring in. In the long run, over the next 3 years of his term, I'd do all of those things. But I'd do them slowly. I'd start by just ignoring this fool. Occasionally go along with him, give him an amendment that he wants on this or that. I'd let him get comfortable, make him think that he can poke us in the eye whenever he wants.

Then I would unleash a volley of crap on his head that would bury him.

This guy deserves to be shoveling manure on a hog farm, but we don't exile our political enemies like that in this country. The next best thing is to lure him along, then screw him when he least expects it.  


No perhaps about it. (0.00 / 0)
Perhaps Howard Fineman is right that he is doing this just to stick it to Markos and Firedoglake and the rest of us out here.
 We really pissed him off. It's too bad we couldn't finish him off.  If it hadn't of been for Clinton and Obama supporting him despite Lamont's Democratic primary win, Lieberman would be selling shoes at the mall.  

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