As obvious a choice as Joe Lieberman is, giving him D.O.W. is almost akin to blaming the scorpion for stinging the frog—it's his nature. So it's a "Buy One Get One" sale on Dicks this week: Joe Lieberman, and his fucking caddy, Harry Reid. Because the fact that Joe Lieberman is able to torpedo the Health Care Bill—again—and walk away intact, is all on Reid.
Health Bill in Peril After Lieberman Pulls Support for Senate Deal [link]
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.
"Stunned" leadership? Why? Smart bloggers saw this shit coming a mile (or thirteen months) away.
If Harry Reid or anyone else was actually "stunned" by what Lieberman is doing they're as fucking stupid as they are weak, and twice as incompetent.
Reid and Obama fucked this up last year when they blinked and let Lieberman keep his Committee chair and seniority. They thought they could put a leash on him... It was one of a long line of stupid, weak moves by Reid, and a surprisingly boneheaded play by Obama.
Lieberman wasn’t needed to give the Dems 51 and the majority, and all that came with that (which would have been worth it), he was simply padding the lead short of 60.
For them to think he would reliably vote with Dems in exactly this type of situation is the height of naivety. If anything should be clear after his campaigning for McCain, it’s that he doesn’t give a shit about the Democratic party or agenda, only himself and jockeying for whatever comes after this term, because he sealed his fate with the voters a long time ago.
His move towards McCain was a calculated and transparent play towards a position in that Cabinet. He gambled and lost and should have been castrated for it. Instead, Reid's steely spine, Obama's Vulcan mind, and Rahm's gigantic balls got together and decided to let Holy Joe keep his chair, committees and seniority—making a guy who by all rights should be a pariah of both parties and sitting by himself in a Senate cloakroom into President Joe Lieberman with a special preemptive veto power.
Last year, I didn't want Lieberman banished simply for satisfaction—though that was high on the list—it was because I KNEW he was a self-interested traitor they couldn't control. Certainly not Reid. And not even Obama.
He was going to screw them. Hard. And at the time and place of HIS choosing. That this would happen was inevitable, and entirely predictible. Yet it wasn't exactly preventable...
The math dictates that Lieberman would be able to position himself as the 60/40 fence-sitter whenever he wants to, but the fact that he can do that at will and retain all of the benefits of a four-term Democrat is what's outrageous.
Lieberman's relevance stems from only two things:
1. That he can camp out on the 60/40 line.
2. He holds Chairmanship of the Oversight Committee.
Number one ensures Lieberman can piss on the Democrats any time he wants, and number two immunizes him from discipline: Reid cannot simply yank Joe’s seat between Senate sessions without a vote—meaning Lieberman gets another year to find the Oversight Keys he lost during the Bush Administration and use his Committee to run all over Obama or actively scuttle any investigations of the prior Administration.
Punishing him at that point will have the optics of a cover-up and/or protecting Obama.
That's the critical thing they fucked up thirteen months ago. Lieberman would still be a self-important asshole, and still be the GOP’s 41st vote—but he’d be neutered otherwise.
UPDATE: Rahm Emmanuel and the White House told Reid to "give Lieberman whatever he wants," which Reid quickly did, so the public option is out, and so is Medicare Buy-In, triggers or anything else. All to secure the vote that Lieberman will withhold for some other reason next week. Well-played you dumbasses. The 55-64 vote ought to turn out in droves for you guys next year.
UPDATE 2: Booman reminds us that Reid was fucking this up more recently as well...
Harry Reid empowered [Lieberman] when he decided to put the public option in the base bill (and why did Reid feel that was necessary?). Lieberman was freed to oppose anything in the bill he doesn't like without actually being responsible for killing health care reform. Had Reid just used the Snowe-trigger, the bill would have passed rather easily, and Lieberman wouldn't be able to fight for changes in the Conference Report because there are no amendments allowed to a Conference Report. Now you know why I argued against going for a public option in the Senate's base bill.