Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 28, 2009

LIEBERMAN, ONE DAY LATER, FIVE YEARS LATER.... Well, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is certainly getting plenty of attention today, which suggests his threats yesterday have given him exactly what he wanted.

Today, Lieberman added that a public option would have to be "off the table" entirely before he'd consider supporting the bill.

"We can come back in three or four years if the reforms -- the other reforms we adopt are not working," Lieberman explained. "But I think they will."

Just so we're clear, this puts Lieberman to Olympia Snowe's right. Snowe's argument is that there should be a trigger -- if reforms come up short of expectations, a public option would kick into existence, and insurers would know that possibility exists, so they'd have a built-in incentive. Lieberman's argument is that even a trigger is too much -- if reforms come up short of expectations, then maybe lawmakers will think about debating something in "three or four years."

Funny, Lieberman had a much different position* when he was running for president five years ago.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) seems to have seriously changed his position on a public health insurance program -- from supporting it years ago, to staunchly opposing it now.

Back when Lieberman was a full-fledged Democrat and sought the party's nomination for President.... Lieberman was presenting the public option as a sensible, centrist plan for the country. But now he's promising to filibuster a Democratic proposal to establish one. So what changed?

Michael Goldfarb asked yesterday whether Joe Lieberman is "the greatest senator ever." I think we know the answer.

* Update: TPM is walking this report back, explaining that Lieberman proposed expanding government-run health care programs for the young, extending it up to age 25, and the creation of an exchange modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. He stopped short of offering a public option at the time.

Steve Benen 3:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

And fittingly enough, the weepy-voiced pustule said it on Fox.

Posted by: Greg Worley on October 28, 2009 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

New Facebook group: "Loathing Lieberman"

http://bit.ly/LoathingLieberman

Posted by: Stovetop on October 28, 2009 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Memorandum

To: Harry Reid
From: Everything Decent in the World
Date:28 October 2009

It is time to whack Joey Lieberman.
Remember to serve cannolis all around once Joey is gone.

Posted by: neill on October 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why does no one ever have to literally do a filibuster any more? Isn't it supposed to be a marathon session, reading from the phone book, talking for days on end? Shouldn't Joe have to put his mouth where his mouth is?

Posted by: Kreniigh on October 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Today, Lieberman added that a public option would have to be "off the table" entirely before he'd consider supporting the bill."

No problem.

Step one: Get through cloture by passing reform without a public option or trigger.

Step two: Pass a robust public option (i.e. Medicare for all) through the reconciliation process (no trigger/opt-out compromises needed).

Posted by: Chris on October 28, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Chris...
I think that's what's going to happen and I think the President and Reid have known that all along. The rest is just to keep the process moving.

Posted by: SaintZak on October 28, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Can we get Rachel Maddow to put him on the spot? His talking points are so easily debunked, that all we need to destroy him is a good TV interview going viral.

Sure, Lieberman loves Aetna, but he loves winning elections more (that's after all why he loves Aetna), so I think we should put him on the spot.

Posted by: Ohioan on October 28, 2009 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, someone in our esteemed media could actually, ya know, FUCKING ASK HIM what changed from 5 years ago. Nah, that would be journalism.

Posted by: Bobo Teh Clown on October 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with kos, Joke Lieberman is bluffing. If he has any hope of being reelected in 2012, he better not be the fly in the ointment. My concern is that someone less vulnerable - Bayh, Nelson or Landrieu - will be the vote against cloture.

If this Joke is the deciding cloture vote, kick him out of the caucus yesterday.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on October 28, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Can we get Rachel Maddow to put him on the spot? -Ohioan

He wouldn't go on Maddow in a million years. He's a greedy asshole, but he's not stupid.

Stephanie Miller called his office on the air this morning and after identifying herself to the staffer and informing them they were on the air, the staffer, Zack, said it wasn't okay, and that was that. So much for being available for redress.

If he has any hope of being reelected in 2012... -Stetson Kennedy

I think he already sees the witting on the wall that he hasn't got a chance at reelection and is lining up a lobbying job.

Posted by: doubtful on October 28, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I hate that odious little toad.

Posted by: inkadu on October 28, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, Lieberman loves Aetna, but he loves winning elections more (that's after all why he loves Aetna), so I think we should put him on the spot.

Come on, guys; quit saying this. He's not running again -- he has no chance of winning and he knows this. He's getting ready to become a health insurance lobbyist. Everything he does now is aimed toward that end.

Posted by: shortstop on October 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Electric Boat.

'nuff said.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 28, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Get the progressive Sens. to tell the as fck er to give up his DHS chair. Enuf already. He has zero zip chance to get reelected.

Posted by: warren terrah on October 28, 2009 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Last fall, when the majority of Democrats were ready to curb-stomp Lieberman, Obama intervened personally on his behalf. And Harry Reid said he had Lieberman's assurances he wouldn't betray the party on cloture votes.

Now we see what Lieberman's "honor" and "character" are worth. That lying, backstabbing piece of shit just fucked the people who stuck their necks out for him. Lieberman is human garbage.

Posted by: Kevin Carson on October 29, 2009 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase overstock.com, "it's all about the Joe."

Expecting this festering pustule on the ass of humanity to care about anything but himself is expecting too much.

Posted by: Jennifer on October 29, 2009 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK
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