Ambassador Lieberman

We've got a real problem. Lieberman's opposition to health care reform started at blatantly dishonest, but last night blasted off into an orbit of malicious bad-faith. The Lieberman problem won't go away, even once the Senate moves past health care reform. How can Democrats solve the problem?

President Obama should appoint Lieberman to an Ambassadorship.

The logistical complications:

  • Lieberman would have to actually want the gig.

  • He'd still be around for health care. Lieberman's replacement would likely be a Democrat, but wouldn't join the Senate for months: Connecticut law provides for a special election to fill a Senate vacancy, but not until 150 days after the governor issues a writ.

Might as well start the process now.

Update [2009-12-14 14:38:38 by Jerome Armstrong]:

No one can solve Joe Lieberman's problem but himself imo. There's not a smaller man on the national stage than Joe himself:

Lieberman said in a 2006 debate against Ned Lamont. "And what I'm saying to the people of Connecticut, I can do more for you and your families to get something done to make health care affordable, to get universal health insurance."

Tags: health care reform, Joe Lieberman (all tags)

Comments

62 Comments

Re: Ambassador Lieberman

Ain't happening. Politico just reported that WH has asked Sen. Reid to cut a deal with Lieberman. Spinelessness on display!! Don't you just love your Democratically elected leaders?!

by tarheel74 2009-12-14 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

What deal do they can give to him that does not amount to corporatism?

by bruh3 2009-12-14 09:26AM | 0 recs
Cause he'd take it?

by ND22 2009-12-14 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

There's not a smaller man on the national stage than Joe himself:

Yup.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-14 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

If Snowe came to the proPublic Option or Democratic side, would that not nullify Lieberman? Just how did this guy get so much power? Is this is self-perceived last stint as Senator, perhaps getting back at the party for his embarrassing loss in the Con primary?

by MainStreet 2009-12-14 10:15AM | 0 recs
Many people have just such a theory

Just how did this guy get so much power?
By being the last senator to 60 with the lowest self esteem.
Is this is self-perceived last stint as Senator, perhaps getting back at the party for his embarrassing loss in the Con primary?
Many people have such a theory.

One theory is that Joe perceives himself as invincible after 2006.

Another theory is that he plans to retire and therefore does not care, enjoying as much limelight as possible before then.

Incompatible with the retirement theory is the health industry theory, where Joe is trying to win one for the powerful healthcare industries headquartered in CT.

A very strong theory is that by attacking the most liberal elements of the bill, he is exacting revenge on the progressives who dared challenge him in 2006.

Whatever theory you go with, he is a very sick and dangerous man.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-14 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Many people have just such a theory

He does have a long history of (politically) self-destructive behavior.  It's really only a quirk of fate that's left him in office.  If he were working-class he'd be the kind of guy folks worry about, try to get help.

by Endymion 2009-12-14 11:04AM | 0 recs
Joe feels he faces no consequences

Hence the behavior.

But my concern, as someone who is Jewish, is whether all of Joe's Judas behavior will increase antisemitism in this country, because he really couldn't be walking into a long held negative stereotype any more effectively.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-14 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Joe feels he faces no consequences

Face, those who are going go all anti-Semitic because of Lieberman are probably anti-semities anyway.

Hell it's more likely that Joe will lower antisemitism as all those folk are probably rooting for him now.

by vecky 2009-12-14 12:21PM | 0 recs
Not gonna lie

the first thing someone said to me at work this morning about this was "This is what Hitler meant about the Jews"

and my stomach turned.

by ND22 2009-12-14 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Not gonna lie

Wow. That's uncalled for. I'm sorry.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-14 04:06PM | 0 recs
I know

this is also why I'm leary of taking some progressives seriously, someone who would imply that really isn't all that progressive.

by ND22 2009-12-14 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe feels he faces no consequences

Joe has sometimes been charged with being Israel's man in the Senate. However, I don't see how that possibility, well it's more than a possibility, could hurt him. For example, he has been out front and up front with his anti-Iranian rhetoric, even suggesting the need for some Neocon-like interventions.

But there are so many other liberal Jewish Senators and Congressmen that support Israel that I can't imagine he would be singled out and cited for stimulating anti-Semitism.

by MainStreet 2009-12-14 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

At this point- looking at the politico report- i think it is clear that Lieberman is not working against the WH's interest.

by bruh3 2009-12-14 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

Has ANYTHING from your most trusted republican e-rag ever actually come to pass?  Just curious.

by lojasmo 2009-12-14 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman
That's crazy, Bruh.  Lieberman's playing the WH, pure and simple.  It's always been his MO to grandstand by sticking it to the Democrats, even when he was one, like when he parroted Republican talking points during the 2000 recount--he undercut his own campaign in order to get publicity, and here he is basically doing it again by wrecking Health Care when he could just as easily have gone all out for it and thereby made himself Senator-for-life.  He's pathological, and it's not new behavior; Lieberman is smart enough to know what Obama really wants, whether that's the most aggressive reform possible or a worthless symbol, and Lieberman will tack whatever direction he has to to oppose that.
It's not always a conspiracy, Bruh.  Sometimes it really is just a man with mental health problems threatening destruction.
by Endymion 2009-12-14 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

the only idiots keep referring to normal political processes as a conspiracy is you and the rest of the bots. I do not agree with the president. I think he is selling us out on health care if he goes along with lieberman. BUT, there is nothing in the form of a conspiracy if he does. It is what it is- an act of political cowardice to give in to Lieberman if the WH does this.

by bruh3 2009-12-14 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

You have still not said how we can get to 60 without Lieberman or Snowe or both.

Unless you can do so, it's not a sell out, it's the only chance of any accomplishment.

by vecky 2009-12-14 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

and you still have not said how we can get a decent bill WITH Lieberman or Snowe or both.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

The bill as it stands is fairly OK. If the PO is ditched, a tough trigger for a nationwide PO should be put in place. The PO only comes into effect in 2014 anyway. This should get Snowe.

In addition the medicare buy-in should be passed separately via reconciliation if the CBO gives it a good score. The buy-in should be available asap - 2010-or 2011. Neither Snowe nor Liberman nor 9 other dems will matter for that.

by vecky 2009-12-14 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

The PO has already been ditched.

And I have absolutely ZERO faith in triggers. It will never be triggered. There will be years for the Insurance Industry to weaken it.  If there's a trigger, I am no longer going to be a democrat.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

I'll have to look at the trigger proposal before I can say if i'm for or against it.

by vecky 2009-12-14 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

You have to look back? then why areyou posting until you do?

by bruh3 2009-12-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

There is no trigger proposal that I can judge. I can back it if it meets certain conditions.

by vecky 2009-12-14 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

I do not think it is plausible that the WH is looking for new complications at this juncture.

by Steve M 2009-12-14 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

If by no complication, you mean the president will sign any bill regardless of whether it makes the health care situation better, worse or neutral, then I agree- they do not want the complication of having to go around Lieberman. Frankly, how anyone can claim this White House remotely cares about outcomes at this point is beyond me. However, I will now go a step forward. How anyone can claim the Democratic caucus cares about anything other than the kabuki of having done something is also beyond me. It is abundantly clear they just could careless.

by bruh3 2009-12-14 11:27AM | 0 recs
the same politico report

that has been called out as false?

by ND22 2009-12-14 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: the same politico report

really by whom? you?

by tarheel74 2009-12-14 03:14PM | 0 recs
Greg Sargent

by ND22 2009-12-14 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Greg Sargent

He only reported that a WH spokesman denied the report (which of course they will once their shady deals are divulged). Stop making stuff up. Both TPMDC and Huffington Post have corroborated the Politico story.

by tarheel74 2009-12-14 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

It was our prescient President who, following a meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu, proudly announced, "We're going to trade our Lieberman for their Lieberman."

by Steve M 2009-12-14 11:15AM | 0 recs
Democrats, Grow a freaking pair!

Geeez man. Everything we predicted about Lieberman has come true and even worse. There is no light in the tunnel of appeasing this vile creature.

It's time Obama's team and some top leaders start threatening the obstructionist Democrats(unless they have a really good reason they can articulate to oppose something on principle)  with cutting off any of the benefits like fundraising or allocation of funds to the senator's district. It's time they played hardball.

Goddamit. I am sick and tired of this party doing nothing despite controlling every arm of government. They had a year of majority in everything and the Democrats haven't done one significant thing yet for education or the curtailing of the military industrial complex.

by Pravin 2009-12-14 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats, Grow a freaking pair!

Neither Lieberman not Nelson need DSCC funds. And when was the last time anyone in the Dem establishment held a fundraiser for them? More than several years ago...

by vecky 2009-12-14 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats, Grow a freaking pair!

yeah, but the DSCC can fund the crap out of primary challengers, push for ethics investigations, the President can get on tv calling him out as a liar by name, etc.

what we absolutely know is that the carrot hasn't been working at all.

they haven't tried the stick yet.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 12:52PM | 0 recs
Well

Lieberman isn't a member of the Democratic Party, so the DSCC isn't going to fund a primary challenge, they're going to fund an actual Democrat.

As far as Nelson, who the hell are you going to primary him with? Scott "I can't even get 40% of the vote statewide in a Democratic year" Kleeb?"

by ND22 2009-12-14 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

i stand corrected.

they can fund the crap out of attack ads and a dem challenger.

Are you suggesting that we just keep bending to lieberman's demands, or that we give up?

again, we haven;t used the damn stick yet. everything else has failed. it is time

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

Are you suggesting that we just keep bending to lieberman's demands, or that we give up?

This is basically the same thing.

again, we haven;t used the damn stick yet. everything else has failed. it is time

Sticks never work with the Democratic Party, despite what they tell you, they never do...especially when the media is not on your side.

by ND22 2009-12-14 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

well, despite you saying they "never" do, we have been trying the carrots over and over and over.

the thing we have not tried is the stick.

perhaps i just want to exhaust the options before giving up.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 03:54PM | 0 recs
We've used the stick before

LBJ used the stick, and gets praise for it even though he only got things through when he put down the stick and used the carrot.

The stick only works for people whom the person using it has leverage over, no one has leverage over Lieberman or Lincoln or Nelson...no one. In order to have leverage over them, they must be put in a position where they have to do what we want. We can't put them in that position.

by ND22 2009-12-14 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: We've used the stick before

"LBJ used the stick, and gets praise for it even though he only got things through when he put down the stick and used the carrot."

but don't you see that that is the point of the stick?

showing you will use the stick helps get things done when you are not even using it.

imagine, for instance, that blue dogs have felt the sting of Obama's and progressive's wrath before. Imagine if they were worried about upsetting the left. Don't you think that policy going forward would end up much better?

But instead, obama and progressives in general have shown that they will roll over time after time after time. The result is the situation we are in now.

I(t's clear that we are not going to get anything decent this time using the same old strategy of rolling over and letting the right dictate the terms. Lets put the hurt on the righties. maybe we can get better stuff in the future.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 04:31PM | 0 recs
No, I really don't see the point of it

to make bloggers happy? I don't get it. You're still assuming using the stick helps, it doesn't, so how would using it as a threat work?

imagine, for instance, that blue dogs have felt the sting of Obama's and progressive's wrath before. Imagine if they were worried about upsetting the left.

Is this a lyric from a John Lennon song? How the fuck would a Senator who doesn't care about winning or losing fear the left? How would a Senator from fucking Nebraska fear the left?

That perfect utopia does not exist, the left HAS NO POWER over some of these people.

by ND22 2009-12-14 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: No, I really don't see the point of it

ok, i am wrong. pressure or threats of pressure never have and never will influence how a politician operates.
by jeopardy 2009-12-14 04:42PM | 0 recs
so we're clear

by ND22 2009-12-14 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats, Grow a freaking pair!

My mistake for not being clearer. I actually meant the moderate DEms, not lieberman when I was talking about Obama threatening them. It is not just campaign funds. How about spending in the senator's home domain?

by Pravin 2009-12-14 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

Lieberman, go fuck yourself.

by agpc 2009-12-14 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

While I doubt this will be a popular opinion here I think Joe Lieberman deservers a lot of credit.

Whether you're infuriated by his actions or not, you have to acknowledge the man is true to his convictions and, as an elected Senator he has every right to take this stand. He gains absolutely no political capital by taking this position, only further alienates the base of the party he caucuses with, and sets himself up for another aggressive challenge from the left at his next election, which is the only way he could lose.

It's perfectly reasonable for Lieberman to consider this healthcare plan w/ a government option or expansion of medicare too ambitious fiscally at a time when the national debt is at record levels and congress is struggling to get control of the deficit. It's perfectly reasonable for him to disagree with a government run plan ideologically. His position is legitimate and his responsibility is to his own judgment and values, which were clearly evident when the people of his state elected him again. It seems people are suggesting he's done something wrong, or should be punished, when the reality is he's doing justice to democracy, whether you like what he stands for or not, in ways most other timid politicians wouldn't even consider.

Unless there is some grave scandal about to break, he has nothing to personally gain by taking this action. It may also be the end result, that a more moderate healthcare reform act that is passed will do more to improve people's lives with less chance of sky rocketing premiums and dramatic/unforeseen consequences that we all know are a risk with the public plan's injection into our healthcare system.

I full support healthcare reform, but we should be realistic. Politically, this bill needs to be passed before it engulfs the entire administration to the point that we lose control of congress and potentially set the groundwork for a Republican President in 2012. If that happens, without any significant time for it to accrue support after it has been enacted, a public option would be overturned immediately, anyway.

Let's get what we can now, within the political reality of 60 votes, and move on to other things to substantiate a record to win seats and not lose them next November. Also, let's get a sense of perspective. Democrats have earned this massive majority, but it is not perfect, and moderate Dems and Republicans will always pull legislation to the center. But, if all we do is carp and attack those people nothing will get done. This is our political reality, the most favorable in many years, and we have to do everything we can now, otherwise in just over a year it will be gone, along with a host of opportunities.

by Graham1979 2009-12-14 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

"Whether you're infuriated by his actions or not, you have to acknowledge the man is true to his convictions and, as an elected Senator he has every right to take this stand."
__

umm, when he's now opposing positions he advocated just 3 months ago, then no, he's not "true to his convictions"

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

Thou sahlt not even bring up the essence of the argument "the PO increases the deficit" when it's been shown to do the exact opposite.

The stance Lieberman is taking is even less deficit friendly.

by vecky 2009-12-14 01:48PM | 0 recs
you are

exactly correct.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

If HCR does not get passed because of Lieberman, Democrats will lose seats in 2010.  Its that simple.  Lieberman deserves no credit because he is single handedly endangering the Democratic party and being completely dishonest about his intentions.

You can't say you are taking a principled stand when you lie about your position to Harry Reid's face.  Lieberman must be kicked out of the party.  He endorsed the Republican candidate for president for god sakes.  He couldn't even deliver Florida to Al Gore.  Kick his ass out, he is a traitor who is more interested in protecting Connecticut business interests then tens of millions of American citizens.

I repeat, go fuck yourself Lieberman.

by agpc 2009-12-14 01:04PM | 0 recs
He knows that

that's why he's doing it.

by ND22 2009-12-14 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

A big issue is all the contradictions. The Connecticut Independent has for years been an ardent champion of the provision he now opposes. Lieberman has also reversed course on the question of filibusters, which he once denounced as a way of holding up legislation.

And the same senator who was once critical of his electoral opponent for not exhibiting party loyalty has now fashioned himself into the ultimate rogue agent -- happiest only when the full attention of the political world is on him.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

"When carrots no longer work, when you put Senator Lieberman's most significant health care proposal at the heart of reform and he still opposes not just the larger reform...

but also his own provision, you start to wonder if this man is dealing in good faith," said Paul Begala, the long-time Democratic strategist.

"How do you deal with someone who is so committed to opposing health care reform that he will even oppose his own ideas? It's a tall order. And I haven't the slightest idea what the answer is."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/14 /liebermans-medicare-flip_n_391732.html

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

How is this comment hide-worthy?

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-12-14 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

True to his convictions?  Either you are trolling or you didn't see the post just above this one.  

by Steve M 2009-12-14 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

I am not a troll. This is a legitimate position and I feel very strongly about this because I think we need to get healthcare dealt with so we can move forward as a party.

My point isn't to defend Joe Lieberman's position. My point is to recognize the political reality of his existence as a key vote, which isn't going to change over the next 12 months, so we can get something done within that reality. We MUST recognize this if we are going to be successful in 2010 and 2012 so we are able to show the American people a list of legislative accomplishments. Additionally, I find the attacks on Joe excessive. It's almost suggesting its impossible for an independently elected Senator to take the position he has taken without any corrupt motives.

Joe Lieberman's positions are consistently conservative, consistently hawkish, and consistently anti-deficit. The extent to which we can poke holes, and draw out hypocritical statements is 1. pointless, because Joe will have his rationale for why he is making this stand now (I find him to be sincere even though I disagree with him, you guys don't) and 2. cynical, because why are we going to waste all of our energy trying to diminish Lieberman's motivations, when the reality is that right now it makes no difference.

What are we expecting to accomplish? Will Joe Lieberman turn around and say "you know, you have a point there and I'm going to change my mind and not filibuster the public option or expansion of medicare." I'm sure we can all acknowledge this won't happen.

Will Joe Lieberman be unseated any time soon? No, and he's not a Democratic candidate and doesn't face a primary challenge.

My point is that this is the most favorable political situation for the Democratic Party for a generation, even with Joe Lieberman's crucial position. He will vote for Healthcare reform. Make no mistake, it is now or never to get a lot of things done. The make up of the senate may never be this favorable to Democrats again for many years to come, and that is crucial considering how the use of the filibuster has evolved.

We have to acknowledge the political reality of Joe Lieberman, and stop acting as though its an injustice or a crime. It is what it is, and in the bigger picture, we must seize this moment to get everything done that we can.

by Graham1979 2009-12-14 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

When he advocated for something 3 months ago, and now he is passionately against it "as a matter of conscience," there is no way anyone can rationalize it as principled.  Arguing otherwise just diminishes your own credibility.

You ask what can be accomplished by challenging his hypocrisy.  Well, the answer is that if the media starts to pick up on these blatant flip-flops, and stops portraying him as the Last Honest Man in Washington, then he'll stop with these attention-whore tactics because they will gain him nothing but ridicule.

Or we could choose your course, which is to give him everything he wants, and then hope against hope that he doesn't change his position yet again and come up with another list of demands.  Why shouldn't he, when everyone agrees we have no choice but to give Joe Lieberman everything he wants?

I will be taking my advice on political strategy from people who aren't naive enough to think Joe Lieberman is deeply principled, thanks.

by Steve M 2009-12-14 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

Was my comment really deleted? Why? I wasn't trolling but just expressing a valid opinion as someone who cares about healthcare and the Democratic party.

Depressing stuff.

by Graham1979 2009-12-14 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Ambassador Lieberman

your comment is still there.

at least the delusional comment about lieberman taking principled stances.

by jeopardy 2009-12-14 02:50PM | 0 recs
The public option is dead

in all its forms. So all this wishful thinking is moot now.

by tarheel74 2009-12-14 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The public option is dead

Wrong.

by lojasmo 2009-12-14 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The public option is dead

In order to completely comprehend the reality you have to step out of the matrix. I know it's cozy in that make-believe world.

by tarheel74 2009-12-15 06:18AM | 0 recs

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