Tuesday, November 03, 2009
"Sources" close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Hill yesterday that Reid is expecting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to vote with the Democratic majority to close debate and move to a final vote when Reid's health care bill hits the Senate floor. Lieberman's public promises to join a GOP filibuster of the bill because it contains a public option are just his attempt to influence the final bill, the sources told the newspaper -- in reality, Lieberman is not a threat to an up or down vote on health care reform.
...Lieberman's official spokesperson denied the claim from Reid's office when the The Hill called. But the paper reports "connected" progressives inside the beltway share Reid's take. "Activists and liberal bloggers" have "seethed" over Lieberman's public comments because they are "out of the loop" on his actual thinking, the paper reports.
The paper reports that even as Lieberman has ramped up his public rhetoric about a filibuster of the health care reform bill, Reid has been telling progressives in D.C. not to worry about the Independent senator. The message appears to have been received.
From the report:
"At the end of the day Sen. Lieberman will vote to cut off debate," said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager of Healthcare for America Now, a coalition of liberal and labor groups. "He'll do what he has to do. He's making a lot of noise."
If Lieberman's filibuster threats aren't real, why does he continue to make them? More "sources" give The Hill one answer:
Sources attribute Lieberman's public declaration of opposition as an effort to win concessions for his constituents, which include several major insurance companies based in the state.
If there really is a deal between Lieberpit and Reid, as Reid himself says, then you can be sure that Obama is in on the deal.
So what does this suggest? Is Lieberhole's seeming opposition to healthcare "reform" really a charade? Is Lieberanus going to do what Snowe was supposed to do and give Obama and the Dems the cover they need to pay off the death lobby?
Certainly it would serve everyone's interests, at least in the short-term. Everyone would get their money, and Lieberpiss gets to perform as centrist and audition for cabinet roles in future Rethug and Dem administrations.
Whether this serves the Dems' long-term electoral interests is another matter. But no one has shown the least bit of concern about that.
There may be little benefit for established Dems in holding power long-term. Their seats are safe regardless, so why not just worry about getting palms greased, etc.?