Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lieberman threatens to filibuster health care

Senator Lieberman (Lieberman for CT-CT) says he'll join the Republican filibuster of Senate health care bill if it includes a public option:

"I told Senator Reid that I'm strongly inclined--i haven't totally decided, but I'm strongly inclined--to vote to proceed to the health care debate, even though I don't support the bill that he's bringing together because it's important that we start the debate on health care reform because I want to vote for health care reform this year. But I also told him that if the bill remains what it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage. Therefore I will try to stop the passage of the bill."

There are two procedural issues at play here. Most people think of a filibuster as a minority blocking passage of a bill that's already been debated ad nauseum on the Senate floor. That's the most standard filibuster. But on major legislation, it's become more common for the minority--in this case the Republicans--to object to the majority getting a chance to debate legislation in the first place. If any one of them objects to the so-called motion to proceed, it will take 60 votes just to start the amendment and debate process. That's a less-discussed filibuster, but it's quite plausible that this health care bill will have to contend with it.

Lieberman is saying that he's pretty much OK with letting senators offer amendments--try to change the legislation, move it in any direction they deem necessary. But when that process is all over, and Harry Reid wants to hold an up or down vote on the final product, Lieberman's saying he'll join that filibuster, if he's not happy with the finished product. Point blank.

To every stupid Democrat who ever backed Lieberman against Ned Lamont (and that includes Obama): WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!! Here's me over three years ago:
Any Democrat who supports Lieberman is inviting a betreyal. The lefty blogs have been shouting this for a long time, but there are still some DC Democrats who are supporting him, or at least not lending their support to Lamont, who could really use it. I could post every day some piece of evidence that Lieberman is running as a Republican. I hope in the debates he gets pounded on these issues: Does he promise to caucus with the Democrats? Will he support Democratic House candidates (apparently not)? Who's funding him right now? Control of the Senate could very well hinge on what Lieberman decides to do, unless Lamont can defeat him. Any Democrat who has lent him credibility since he lost the primary has a lot to answer for in my opinion.
Speaking of me being right, here I am in June of 2007 on whether choosing a nominee other than Hillary Clinton would spare the Democrats any attacks from the right-wing noise machine:
While I agree with Sabato and others that Senator Clinton would be a highly polarizing candidate, I highly doubt the right wing will sit mutely on its megaphones and allow any Democratic president much of a honeymoon. Sen. Clinton seems like the most polarizing candidate now, because she's already been demonized (not that there aren't legitimate reasons not to like her; she's the least favorite Dem for me right now). But once the Democratic nominee is chosen, I think whoever it is will get the same treatment. Are all the talk radio hosts and Republican political operatives who make a living attacking Democrats going to stop if Clinton doesn't get the nomination? Not likeley. They'll just turn their guns on the new target.

In 2004, Democrats thought they could diffuse the right-wing attacks by nominating a decorated war veteran like Kerry, but that strategy failed. The smears happened anyway. Maybe this time the Democrats will nominate a Southerner (Edwards) or someone who talks about faith alot (Obama) or someone with an impeccable resume (Richardson). One would think these people would be well positioned to unite much of the country. But would any of these people get a pass from Rush Limbaugh, the Christianists, or the torture apologists? I don't picture it. I think Clinton hatred is more a symptom of this country's polarization than a cause of it. James Dobson is not going to allow anyone who doesn't share his agenda to be a "unifier and a healer", and secular leftys like myself are not interested in "unifying" with those we consider to be peddling hatred. We want them to stop and change their ways, or failing that we want to defeat them politically.
Seeing the right-wing reaction to Obama, I'll count myself as correct there, too.

1 Comments:

Anonymous bill in minneapois said...

Apparently, Lieberman has no concern about his electorate in Conn. It looks like he will not be running again in 2014 or he thinks no one will remember what he did in 2009.

There is no logical reason for him to oppose a public option with a state right to opt out. Would he support privatizing Medicare ?

The guy is bad news.

3:09 AM, October 28, 2009  

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