UPDATED 11-14-09: JOE LIEBERMAN GROWING A BACKBONE AND SHOVES AGAINST OBAMA’S HEALTH CARE PUSH…

Posted on November 13, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

 

UPDATED:  Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:33 PM (My original post follows my update)
 
In true Democratic fashion, they all ganged up on Lieberman, threatening him into siding with Obama and his health care bill.  Chicago politics is alive and well in Washington.    Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa suggested that Lieberman has a lot to lose if he goes against the Democrats on health care reform.  "He wants to caucus with us and, of course, he enjoys his chairmanship of the 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,"  He also stated  that Lieberman doesn’t want to "go down in history" as the Democrat who helped kill health care reform.
 
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, another Democrat who crawled out from under a rock, put in his two cents and suggested he’d be open to seeking Lieberman’s ouster from the caucus if he filibusters, telling Politico.com, "Let’s see what happens.  I don’t think anybody should be filibustering."  That’s right, if you speak out against the Clown Obama, you will be ousted from the 3-ring circus that has taken up residence at our White House and in Congress.
 
In a recent column, Democratic strategist Paul Begala charged that the "I" after Lieberman’s name stands for "insurance industry", by insinuating that Lieberman is heavily funded by the health care and insurance industries, leading to allegations that he’s in the tank for those interests.  Kettle, meet pot!  A huge majority of politicians are in the tank for special interests.  That’s how they get elected; that’s how they get (and stay) in power.  Once they get into office, they pay back those special interests with our tax dollars.  They can only get away with it if we allow it.  Time to take back our country from the Rat-infested White House and Congress.  If Lieberman can jumpstart the extermination of these corrupt and power-hungry rodents, the momentum may even produce more Independents.  Wouldn’t that be great—to reduce the Democrats and Republicans to minority status, while bringing the rebirth of independence to America via Independents.  We all love our independence.  Maybe what we need are Independents to bring Independence back to America where it belongs—a revolution that our forefathers would be proud of…
 
QueenBee

 

 

Lieberman Finds Stride in Senate as the Democrats’ Maverick

 

 

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When push comes to shove, Joe Lieberman finally stands up to the Democrats.  Hopefully the Senate will follow…
 
QueenBee
 
 
 
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009

Can the Dems Keep Putting Up with Joe Lieberman?

By Jay Newton-Small / Washington

Senate Democrats are used to the lashing their Republican colleagues dish out every week on the Sunday-morning political shows, but lately their biggest headache has been one of their own. And while they would dearly love to fire back at Joe Lieberman of Connecticut after his almost weekly bomb-throwings, there is little they can do but bite the insides of their cheeks and bear it.

On last weekend’s Fox News Sunday, Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that he was launching an investigation into whether the Fort Hood massacre suspect was in fact a terrorist. The Sunday before, on CBS’s Face the Nation, Lieberman said he would support a Republican filibuster of health care reform if the Democratic bill included a public option — as it currently does. "I feel so strongly about the creation of another government health-insurance entitlement," Lieberman told CBS’s Bob Schieffer. "I think it’s such a mistake that I would use the power I have as a single Senator to stop a final vote." Just days before that, he told ABC News he intended to campaign for both Republican and Democratic candidates in next year’s midterm elections. And late last month, in a rare oversight hearing of the Obama Administration, he examined the legality of the President’s so-called czars — a favorite bone of contention of Fox News’ Glenn Beck and talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh.(See pictures of the Fort Hood memorial service.)

Lieberman, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, is technically not a Democrat anymore. He left the party in 2006 after losing a primary to challenger Ned Lamont but continued to caucus with the party after winning in the general election as an independent. But he has gone rogue before, straining his relations with the Democrats, most notably when he endorsed Republican John McCain for President and vociferously campaigned for him — often sharply criticizing Barack Obama. Soon after, his Senate Democratic colleagues voted on whether to allow him to stay in their caucus. With the support of Obama, Lieberman was welcomed back and allowed to keep his committee chairmanship.(See pictures of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign behind the scenes.)

Now, however, the idea that he might bring down health care reform — the biggest item on the Democratic agenda — sticks in many a liberal’s craw. "The overwhelming majority of the American people want a public option. And I think if you break it down even further, over 80% of Democrats — and this is going to be a Democratic bill — want a public option," says Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only other independent in the Senate. Sanders was one of a handful of Dems who voted to boot Lieberman from the party back in January and says that if given the chance, he’d do it again. Rumors have swirled on Capitol Hill and on liberal blogs that if Lieberman follows through with his threat, he could face such a vote, though Sanders demurs. "I leave that to Senator [and majority leader Harry] Reid; that’s his job," he says.

Reid in fact is actively trying to tamp down those rumors, telling outside groups to lay off Lieberman, according to Reid’s senior adviser Jim Manley. Reid "has never been a big fan of Democrat-on-Democrat violence like that," Manley says. "He believes in trying to work within the process to get the votes." Reid, who spoke to Lieberman by phone on Nov. 10, says he’s "confident that we’ll work something out," and many observers are betting that Lieberman is merely bluffing.

But raise the same issue with Lieberman’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate, and they look uncomfortable. "He’s a Senator, he’s got a right to his opinions," says Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Democrat (as of April, when he switched from the Republican Party). "We’ll work it out." "There’s a long ways to go" before considering punitive measures, says Patty Murray of Washington. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who also voted in January to expel Lieberman, is similarly cautious: "Let’s see what happens. Nobody should be filibustering health care — either vote it up or vote it down." Says Dianne Feinstein of California: "If there is a public option and somebody wants to remove it, move an amendment, stand up on the floor and debate it, but don’t prevent anything from going forward."

Lieberman is by no means the only Democrat who is not happy with the public option, though he may be the only one who comes from a relatively liberal state. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, for example, all have strong reservations about a government-run alternative to private insurers. But Lieberman is the only one who has stated flat-out that he would join a GOP filibuster of the bill to prevent it from getting an up-or-down vote. And unlike his other moderate Democratic colleagues, he has claimed he’s not even open to the compromise proposal that Republican Senator Olympia Snowe has been pushing — a so-called trigger mechanism whereby a state would be able to access a national public option only when the private sector was not providing enough affordable plans of its own. At a time when Senate Democrats are trying to avoid the mistake their House colleagues made — drawing too many lines in the sand — Lieberman is the only one drawing lines.

Pressuring Lieberman, however, might prompt him to leave the party, a move that would deprive Democrats of their 60th vote, not just on health care but on other issues like global warming and financial regulatory reform. That has led most of his colleagues to soft-pedal their persuasion. "I’ve talked to Joe several times," says Maryland Senator Ben Cardin. "I think he’s interested in getting a bill done."

Then again, Lieberman would be wise to remember that the 2010 midterm elections are coming, and some election watchers are predicting the Democrats could pick up one or two more seats. That would be enough to lessen Lieberman’s pivotal importance to the party — and his appearances on the Sunday talk shows as well.

 

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