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Tilting at Windmills

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December 14, 2009

A MAN OF (MEANINGLESS AND SHALLOW) PRINCIPLES.... John McCain had a tweet today that's made the rounds.

Joe Lieberman -- standing up for his principles on health care is being viciously attacked by the liberal left...what a disgrace!

Now, considering the source, this isn't much of an insult. After his conduct of the last few years, John McCain knows all about what constitutes a "disgrace."

For that matter, I'm not sure what the "liberal left" is supposed to do right now to meet with McCain's approval. Joe Lieberman has decided to kneecap health care reform just feet from the finish line, and the "liberal left" is pointing out the absurdities of the senator's behavior. McCain has quite a bit of experience with vicious attacks, but criticizing Lieberman's betrayal is hardly beyond the pale.

But the part of McCain's remark that stood out for me is the notion that Lieberman is "standing up for his principles." Really? What principles would those be? The principle that allows an experienced senator to kill a bill over a provision that he publicly endorsed just three months ago?

If Lieberman was acting on principle, I'd be more inclined to respect his opposition. But therein lies the point: there's no coherence, better yet principle, to rationalize Lieberman's behavior.

Steve Benen 3:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

I suppose "disgrace" is a step up from "cunt".

Posted by: M on December 14, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

If your guiding principle is merely to piss liberals off, even when they're trying to help millions of American lead a better life, than yes, I suppose Joe Lieberman is a man of principles.

Posted by: slappy magoo on December 14, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that Liebermann was for expanding medicare before he was against it too...back in 2000 he ran on this!
http://motherjones.com/politics/2009/12/joe-liebermans-medicare-dodge

Posted by: Evergreen2U on December 14, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Would it really do us much good to pass this bill anyway, considering that a majority of the public doesn't like this bill? Plus the method of funding the bill - taxing "cadillac" plans - is opposed by union members. These are the people we need voting for us next year.

Posted by: Jason on December 14, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain, pissing on America. Sold out to the insurance companies and has no principles left to violate...what a disgrace!

Posted by: Patrick on December 14, 2009 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Would it really do us much good to pass this bill anyway, considering that a majority of the public doesn't like this bill?

Yes. It absolutely would. First, because whatever the significant flaws of the bill and whatever it is that people think is in the bill, there are many things in it that will actually improve their lives. Second, because it demonstrates the ability to actually achieve something with respect to governance and third, because if we don't pass it, health care will be dead for a long, long time. That is not good for anybody but it certainly isn't good for Democrats politically.

Posted by: brent on December 14, 2009 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's just Monday, and things are falling apart so rapidly.

Lieberman goes Repugnant Galt on health care reform...
Obama sternly addresses Banksters á falsetto...
US contemplates bombing Quetta, Pakistan...

This year is certainly ending in a whimper of hopey changey...
where's Tiger Woods' penis when you need it?

(and, yes, of course, way way way uglier if President John McCain were, you know, President John McCain)

Posted by: neill on December 14, 2009 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

what is it with the redundant right?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on December 14, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

It would take a sanctimonious asshole like Lieberman (or McCain, for that matter) to characterize feeding his voracious ego like he was Paris Hilton on a coke bender to be a "principle".

Posted by: DH Walker on December 14, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Insurance stocks soar with Joe Lieberman's statements

Posted by: MissMudd on December 14, 2009 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

hey this is really no big deal. if you're say 58 and working a job with no insurance cause your previous employer laid your ass off so he could hire someone younger and cheaper, no problem. just wait 7 years til you qualify for real medicare. but you say you have an ailment that needs treatment now or you'll die? then die. and when you die, tell the gatekeepers in the great beyond what happened, just so they know to make sure that joe burns for eternity.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on December 14, 2009 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

No, no...

He's just hoping they'll form a band: Jukebox John and Jukebox Joe!

Posted by: QQ More on December 14, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand is how anyone can get as indignant as Steve Benen does about anything that John McCain says, let alone what John McCain "tweets".

So: John McCain, who has again and again proved himself to be a shameless opportunistic phony, a shill for ultra-rich corporate interests (just like his soul-mate Lieberman), and a conscienceless liar, sends a "tweet" that is nothing but self-serving BS Ditto-Head fodder.

Seems to me that should provoke a yawn, not howls of righteous indignation.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

There 8 of 12 of Mr. Benen's commentaries today mention Joe Lieberman. Perhaps, Joe would stop his hijinks if he got less mention in the blogs and less ink. Why not just ignore the cranky old man. Or, at least, limit the number of topics devoted to joe.

Posted by: Bonnie on December 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies. Also, his idiots who will race to his defence regardless of circumstance.

In fact, it's truly baffling just how many people are coming out of the woodwork to defend Lieberman, as though not voting for something is the same as asking for it, campaigning on it, pretending you never wanted it, demanding it be fine-tuned, receiving that fine-tuning, asking to help personally with tuning some more, getting what you want, and then declaring you won't vote for it.

Other people could probably have done more to keep this vicious, petulant school child in line, but his choices, and betrayals, remain his own.

Posted by: SpaceSquid on December 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

After his conduct of the last few years, John McCain knows all about what constitutes a "disgrace."

Hahahahaha! Perfectly put. That senile old mummy should have been tossed out on his ear years ago. But then who would the lazy producers book on Meet the Press?

Posted by: electrolite on December 14, 2009 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I'd *really* like to see. I'd like to get audio of Lieberman arguing for the Medicare buy-in a few months ago. Then I'd like to get the current audio of him arguing against it.

But instead of the tradition "show two contrasting clips," I'd want two different radio and TV ads to run.

Ad #1 Joe Lieberman feels we should expand Medicare to Americans 55 to 65. (Cut in clip of Lieberman's voice arguing it). Really? Expand Medicare? Call Joe Lieberman's office and tell him you do *not* want Medicare expanded!

Ad #2 Joe Lieberman is against the expansion of Medicare to Americans 55 to 65. (Cut in clip of Lieberman arguing against it). How can he argue against something which will benefit so many Americans. Call Joe Lieberman's office and tell him to expand Medicare!

Run the two ads at different times, a half-hour apart. It would be great performance art, and would get more attention than the usual "he said/he said" ad.

Posted by: Z. Mulls on December 14, 2009 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Might I suggest, Mr. Benen, that your criticism is misplaced. I don't think McShame said that Lieberman was "standing up for his principles." I think he said that Lieberman was standing up for his PRINCIPALS," that is, those nice insurance folks who tell him what to say and how to vote. Yup. It's merely a transcribing error on the part of the press. As you know, it's always the press's fault.

Posted by: gotoL on December 14, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"For that matter, I'm not sure what the "liberal left" is supposed to do right now to meet with McCain's approval."

"I suppose "disgrace" is a step up from "c@nt"."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do what you always do: scream vulgarities.

61% of the country want nothing to do with the 23rd or 24th iteration of Harry's SecretSinglePayerSauce.

BTW: no one wants your LibLeft approval either, not even the guy in the WH (except maybe 11/2012, after that he won't call).

Posted by: tao9 on December 14, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

The interesting thing at this point is that as McCain defines things the "liberal left" now includes everyone who wants any sort of health care reform, period, including people like Harry Reid and I guess Max Baucus. Way to define the coalitions, McCain.

Posted by: mcc on December 14, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

@ SpaceSquid Well said, but the issue isn't that he's voting against it: it's that he's going to prevent anyone from voting for it, by filibustering it.

Lieberman is to douche-nozzelry what Bush is to chimpery.

Posted by: Steve Rapport on December 14, 2009 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

@Z. Mulls wrote "I'd like to get audio of Lieberman arguing for the Medicare buy-in a few months ago."

You're in luck. Greg Sargent found some video of Lieberman endorsing Medicare buy-in in September. (Via Ezra Klein)

Posted by: meander on December 14, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

tao9: Do what you always do: scream vulgarities.

M was quoting McCain himself, dumbass.

Posted by: DH Walker on December 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

@ tao9

"Humphrey, that is not an attractive phrase."
"Oh, I do beg your pardon, Minister. I can't think where I picked it up".

@ Steve Rapport

You are of course right, I over-simplified.

Posted by: SpaceSquid on December 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

LBJ would have told Lieberman that he will no longer has any seniority and all funding for Israel would be stopped if he kept playing for the Republicans.

Posted by: freelunch on December 14, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand - why aren't the voters of Connecticut mobbing Lieberman? Why aren't they making his knife in their backs as uncomfortable for him as it is for them?

For pete's sake, the 'baggers are going to come to DC to bring their inane street theater to the halls of Congress, staging 'die-ins' in Senate offices and playing the part of patients waiting for care in 'government run health care'. Where are the folks who are REALLY, not pretending, but really being denied care today because they can't get insurance? Why aren't THEY in Lieberman's office? Or Nelson's? Or Landreau's? Why aren't these Senators having to explain to these folks' faces why their lives are less important than a Senator's fat lifestyle?

Posted by: JoyceH on December 14, 2009 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK
there are many things in it that will actually improve their lives.

Like What?

Posted by: elouise on December 14, 2009 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

@JoyceH

I don't get that either. He told Connecticut he would work to get them universl health care. He told them expanding Medicare was a swell idea. Where's the outrage?

Or is it that there is there outrage, and we're not hearing about it, because no-one making the calls has named themselves after an act of principled civil disobedience and/or slightly disturbing sexual practice?

Posted by: SpaceSquid on December 15, 2009 at 5:29 AM | PERMALINK

Lieberman prefers to cause the death of Americans( Connecticut voters included)who don't have benefit of Health Care insurance to avenge a few politicians. He is responsible for the deathe(murder) of Americans including Jewish Americans by preventing the M'care Buy in. Lieberman has sold his soul to the right wing demons!!

Posted by: ml johnston on December 15, 2009 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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