Lieberman declares himself the man standing between Americans and healthcare

I don’t know that it would mean anything to him, but, if you’ve got a few minutes free, I’d like to ask that you do me a favor, and call Senator Joe Lieberman’s office. What I need is relatively simple. All you have to do is dial (202) 224-4041, wait until someone answers, and say, “You work for a pathetic, little man.” And, it’s not necessary, but, if you want, and if they don’t hang up, you can add that he reminds you of Willy from Alf. And, if you want, you’re free to work in the word “douche.”

And, yeah, I know it’s not terribly mature, or that well thought out in a tactical sense. I know that there’s probably a better response than just calling the man an asshole and a traitor to his party. But this news that he plans to vote against Reid’s healthcare reform proposal, regardless of what other Democrats do, or how close we are to passing a comprehensive healthcare bill, just has me incredibly pissed off… And I’m not thinking straight.

Here, by way of background, is a clip from Politico:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.

Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes agovernment-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid has said the Senate bill will.

“We’re trying to do too much at once,” Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now”…

Funny, but I don’t seem to remember the same concerns for fiscal responsibility when it came to our going to war in the Middle East.

Anyway…. Maybe he’s saying it because he wants to negotiate with Reid. Maybe he wants a better committee assignment, or the promise that the Democrats won’t run someone against him come primary time. I could understand that, if not respect it. I suspect, however, that it’s more twisted than that. I suspect that Lieberman just wants to be the guy to shut down Barack Obama and stop the Democrats. As a majority of his constituents want a public option, I can’t image what else it could be. He’s certainly not looking out for their interests.

And, with that, here’s John-Claude Van Damme’s inspired new Mentos commercial.

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  1. Posted October 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    And, no, I don’t know why I decided to put the Mentos/Bloodsport video here. It just felt right at the time.

  2. Posted October 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Jason Linkins identifies the people who could screw up healthcare:

    Well, let’s start with the guy who has basically announced that he is going to wreck the bill. As reported by HuffPost’s Ryan Grim, Lieberman says “that if a public health insurance option was in the final health care bill, he would join a GOP filibuster to prevent it from getting an up or down vote.” This is not surprising: Lieberman lives to betray his colleagues. In the past, Lieberman has said that he’d support the even-more-useless “public option trigger,” but who knows? Lieberman is basically the least trustworthy creature currently plying his trade in legislative politics. Anyone remember when this guy was going to be the vice president on the Democratic ticket? Wow. All that matters now is that he continues to garner the favor of the health insurance companies, headquartered in his state.

    There aren’t too many Republicans relevant to this discussion, but Olympia Snowe — best known for singing a magical siren song that has caused so many pieces of legislation to dash themselves to bits on the rocky shoals of bipartisanship — is one of them. Now that Lieberman is signaling his desire to filibuster, the courting of Snowe is probably back on the table for Democrats who want to get the bill to an up-or-down vote. Snowe has said that she doesn’t support the “opt-out public option,” is more partial to the trigger, and, true to form, has maddeningly been working her typical “I’ll probably filibuster it but who knows? Maybe I won’t?” dance.

    BEN NELSON, D-Neb.
    The consensus on Ben Nelson is that he’s not astute enough to outsmart a half-empty bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s, but somewhere along the way, some aide has convinced him that he can wield the most legislative power by staking out the most centrist position possible on every issue. In doing so, he doesn’t do anything particularly smart — he’s basically one of those types of centrists who waters down the effectiveness of policy until it’s just useless enough to get Republican votes. At times he seemed to support the opt-out, while at other times he seemed to favor the trigger, probably because he’s too stupid to know the difference.

    Landrieu is another one of these senators best known for behaving as if her intellect has been incapacitated by a mighty blow to the head. Two weeks ago, she was moronically blathering on and on about how “when people hear public option they hear free health care.” Days later, she was telling the Associated Press that she wasn’t “for a government-run, national, taxpayer-subsidized plan, and never will be,” when in fact she is for all sorts of “government-run, national, taxpayer-subsidized plans.” It’s hard to say whether Landrieu is dumb or just inclined to mislead her constituents in return for lobbyist dollars. I’m guessing it’s a little from column A, a little from column B.

    Back in mid-September, Kent Conrad rather forthrightly predicted that the public option “was not going to pass” and that the only thing that had a chance in the Senate was the junk that made it out of the Senate Finance Committee. Conrad is the leading proponent of the useless, stupid health-care co-ops that won’t work.

    Blanche Lincoln has been signaling her non-commitment to any health care reform that even smells of “public option,” and as recently as yesterday, told Greg Sargent that she “has not committed her vote” to anyone or anything, including bypassing a filibuster in the Senate. FUN FACT: As the chair of the Agriculture Committee, Lincoln has been given scads of money from polluters and from Wall Street, meaning she’ll have a hand at screwing up derivatives reform and environmental policy as well.

    HARRY REID, D-Nev.
    Yeah, yeah, I know. He’s the guy who’s standing behind the public option, or what’s left of it. But this is also the guy who said Roland Burris would not be sworn into office, so, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll report on Reid’s balls when I’ve confirmed that both have dropped from his abdomen.

    Right now, I still don’t entirely trust Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Sure, he’s now basically telling anyone who will listen to him that he supports the public option, but he’s fickle. Plus, his office is basically one big whorehouse funded by the health care industry. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) seems to be on board, but I’ll remind you that Bayh is the founder of the Hyper-Timid Incrementalist Bullshit Working Group. Is the “opt-out public option” hyper-timid incrementalist bullshit enough? (Actually, probably yes. But still.) Also, let’s recall that Roland Burris (D-Ill.) said that he’d vote against any bill that did not include the robust public option… we’ll see if he holds to that.

    But yeah, if it can get past all of these idiots, this watered-down version of health care reform is going to be just fine.

  3. Stephen
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Lieberman is no freshmaker.

  4. Mr. X
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Lieberman needs to be stripped of all committee assignments immediately, and shut out of the Democratic caucus. The Democratic party needs to begin, at once, a serious push in Connecticut to find a possible challenger, and pump money into his or her campaign. And Connecticut should be completely cut out when it comes to federal stimulus spending, with the exception of the dollars necessary to build the Joseph Lieberman Detention Facility for Al Quaeda members, which should be put smack dab in the middle of the state.

  5. West Cross
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I really enjoy the “Olympia Snowe — best known for singing a magical siren song that has caused so many pieces of legislation to dash themselves to bits on the rocky shoals of bipartisanship ” remark, pretty much spot on.

    Liebermann can (and apparently will) do whatever he wants, but he’s no Democrat and it’s time to stop letting him be one when it suits him (committee appointments) and not when it doesn’t (every other time).

  6. Cam
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    He’s a son of a bitch.

    But you can’t say it wasn’t expected.

    Reid had to know that Joe would respond this way.

  7. Scott K
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Lieberman is my man, always has been. A true Independent looking out for the best interest of all. Lieberman/McCain would have kicked ass.

  8. kjc
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    haha. well i’m glad he represents SOMEBODY.

  9. Oliva
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Like pancakes too long in the rain, that Lieberman, not just looks wise. His voice? Creaky and whiny, with a heaping dash of smugness. That last part was evident when he took to the floor to condemn Clinton’s misbehavior, his bold sanctimonious move to get attention, so much so that he got on the ticket with Al Gore. Mamma mia. It hurts, ouch–who he is and what he’s doing when there are such important stakes.

  10. Money Trail
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Can’t they just boot him from the party? I would. No more cash for you Joe…bye-bye!

  11. Oliva
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    He gets all the cash he needs from the Conn. insurance companies (isn’t his wife a lobbyist for one?). And his party is officially “Connecticut for Lieberman.” It’s astounding that one puny little guy without charisma, sense, or charm, and who knows what else, can prop himself up and have power. There’s audacity for you.

  12. Ed
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    If Rahm Emanuel and Brack Obama had any balls, they’d have Lieberman in the Oval Office right this moment, giving him some of that harsh interrogation he’s been so fond of our doling out these past several years in Iraq.

  13. Credo
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    We all knew this was coming. We warned the Senate Democrats not to trust Sen. Joe Lieberman. Nearly 50,000 CREDO members protested when Democrats moved to make Lieberman the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Now, our fears have have been realized. Sen. Lieberman has indicated he plans to join with Republicans to filibuster any health care bill that contains a public option. Alone, the Republicans don’t have the votes for a filibuster. So by joining with them, Lieberman would be tipping the balance of power in order to sink health care reform.

    Tell the Senate Democratic leadership to stop putting up with Lieberman’s antics. Actions must have consequences. Any senator who filibusters the public option does not deserve a chairmanship and should be removed from his or her post.

    We need to push the leaders of the Democratic caucus to take a tough stand against Lieberman. Last year, the New York Times quoted an anonymous “member of the Senate Democratic leadership” who said about Lieberman:

    “We need every vote. He’s with us on everything but the war.”

    Those who had been paying attention knew better. Lieberman wasn’t just wrong on Iraq, he was wrong on torture, and he was wrong to not hold the Bush Administration accountable for the excesses of FISA. And now Lieberman is wrong, very wrong on health care reform and the public option.

    Joe Lieberman announced this week that he will vote to filibuster any health care bill that contains the public option. As he explained:

    “Just take this government-created, government-run health insurance company that will cost the taxpayers, premium payers and the debt a lot of money — take it off the table.” He added, “We can come back in three or four years if the reforms — the other reforms we adopt are not working. But I think they will. And so, that’s — that’s my position, and I’m sticking to it, because I think it’s best for our country and my constituents.”

    Cost the taxpayers? The public option SAVES money (over $100 billion) according to the Congressional Budget Office. Best for his constituents? Among likely voters in Connecticut, 68 percent favor a public option versus 21 percent who oppose it. Perhaps he only counts the insurance lobby as his “constituents”?

    Now is the time for the Senate Democratic leadership — Senators Reid, Schumer and Durbin — to stop making excuses for Joe Lieberman. Harry Reid has shown great leadership in writing a health care bill that includes the public option. But Joe Lieberman is not “with us” on everything but the war. Joe Lieberman’s position is against Senate Democrats, against his constituents in Connecticut and against the will of the American public.

    Tell the Senate Democratic leadership to stop putting up with Lieberman’s antics. Actions must have consequences. Any senator who filibusters the public option does not deserve a chairmanship and should be removed from his or her post.

  14. Stephen H
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Iowas Senator Tom Harkin:

    “[Lieberman] still wants to be a part of the Democratic Party although he is a registered independent,” Harkin said. “He wants to caucus with us and, of course, he enjoys his chairmanship of the [Homeland Security] committee because of the indulgence of the Democratic Caucus. So, I’m sure all of those things will cross his mind before the final vote.”

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