Reporting and analysis By Pablo Fanque, All This Is That National Affairs Editor
Illustrations and digital art By Jack Brummet, All This that creative director
Sen. Joe Lieberman ("Independent," Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill. The most shocking thing about the fallout from the left is that they were surprised when one of the most despicable and treacherous turncoats in the history of the Democratic Party stuck it to them once again. I wrote about Lieberman's duplicity here, in December, 2005: With Friends Like Joe Lieberman, The Democrats Need No Enemies.
The sawed-off turncoat appears to have second
thoughts as he marches onto the Senate floor
to vote against his former comrades in arms
Lieberman, caucuses with Democrats (but officially broke away), and positions himself as a fiscal hawk on health care on any bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out, as Reid's Senate bill will. Whatever the Dems propose will come out watered down, a husk of the dream. And yet the battle is not over. Who knows, we may see defections on both sides of the aisle. It's that kind of year.
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now." Interestingly, he fails to mention reduced profits for his good friends in the insurance business, or that he enjoys his gold-plated government health insurance just fine.
When asked about Lieberman’s threat to filibuster a final vote on the Reid plan, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said: "I haven't seen the report from Sen. Lieberman or why he's saying what he's saying. I think Democrats and Republicans alike will be held accountable by their constituents who want to see health care reform enacted this year.”
Lieberman said that he’d vote against a public option plan “even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line." His comments confirmed that Reid is probably still short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill out of the Senate
Lieberman said he “very much” wants to vote for health care reform but that he’s worried about stifling “the economic recovery we’re in” or adding to the federal debt. Really? It doesn't have anything to do with the dozens of insurance companies headquartered in Connecticut, or the "donations" from those companies that flow so often and richly into his campaign coffers
You know from previous articles on All This Is That that we consider him a Republicrat at best, and at worst, a rat, a Judas Goat, and a turncoat spoiler, leading Democrats astray in the guise of moderation. Is anyone even listening to him except the Republicans? No. And the GOP don't trust him anymore than they do their own turncoat, Senator Arlen Specter. Any sane Democrat wrote him off years ago; he reinforced our thinking with his bumbling and pathetic run for the Presidency in 2004. He was a disastrous pick as Gore's Vice President in 2000, and his 2007/2008 defense of, and cozying up to The Bush White House was a clear signal that he would switch parties the moment it was most politically expedient for him to do so.
The Democrats continue to caucus with him for no other reason than he votes with us once in a while. With friends like this sawed-off weasel, who needs enemies? It's difficult for even the most conservative of Democrats to forget his spirited defense of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war and his continual toadying up to President Bush and his hatchet-man, Dick Cheney.
And still, Joe Lieberman lives.