Monday, December 14, 2009



In a move that senior leadership aides say has left them stunned, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that he will filibuster a tentative public option compromise unless it's stripped of its key component: a measure that would allow people aged 55-64 to buy insurance through Medicare.

The development casts substantial doubt on whether or not a health care reform bill can pass in the Senate, and even more doubt on whether a bill that does pass the Senate will be reconcilable with substantially more progressive House legislation in such a way that a final reform package can once again pass in both chambers of Congress.

I don't even want this thing to pass, but surely there's a special place in hell reserved for Lieberman. What an amazing world-class prick. I mean, I get that his job is to whittle away any part of the bill that actually helps people and just leave the Insco subsidy, but still...it's breathtaking.


IOZ has the solid on Lieberman's role in this little bit of grand guignol:

Lieberman. You have to admire his tenacity. He cut himself an admirable deal. Senate leadership lets him run a committee and do whatever he wants, and in exchange, he willingly functions as a convenient scapegoat and target for ineffectual Progressive wrath, as they are constitutionally incapable of understanding that he is not an impediment to the Donk's grand plans, but a primary component. Indeed, if "Republicans apply the torque that turns the thing rightward [and] . . . Democrats are the pawl," then the likes of Lieberman (see also, Ben Nelson, the Blue Dogs, et al) are the teeth on the gear, which is to say, the sharp protrusions against which the Democratic pawl clicks to prevent backsliding. The wheel turns right; the Donk slips in; Lieberman cries "Across this line . . . you do not . . ."; and the Progressive internet goes bonkers and ignores the rest of the machine. Whether health care or the terror war. Doesn't matter. The effect is the same.


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