VIDEO: My Little Pre-Existing Condition

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With debate over health care taking a sickening turn in the Senate today with Joe Lieberman's blocking of meaningful reform, we're now facing the possibility that one of the most important pieces of legislation in our lifetimes has hit a dead end.  Right now is the time to send lawmakers a clear message: support the passage of health care reform, and we will stand with you in 2010 and beyond; obstruct it, and we will work to replace you.

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We Lose. (Updated x2)

I apologize in advance for a diary written in haste. I am usually one to oppose repetition of supposedly breaking, blogosphere theories collected from multiple unnamed sources, and to urge a patient wait for final word. Usually. But it appears this time that there is a general consensus building as to the direction health care reform is heading in the Senate and feelings amongst progressives are quite hard this evening. I know I feel very angry. It is beginning to look like the Senate will cave in to the individual demands of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and pare away the progressive aspects of the health care reform bill to a narrower core.

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White House orders capitulation to Lieberman

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give in to all of Joe Lieberman's demands.

So Reid did. We have a "health insurance reform" bill with no public option, no trigger, no Medicare buy-in. And it will probably continue to get worse from here.

There is no point in pretending that President Obama wanted any comprehensive bill to pass. There was zero pressure on Lieberman to cave, no talk of using the budget reconciliation process--only pressure on Reid to give Lieberman everything.

Organizing for America will get a rude awakening when they try to round up canvassers and phone bankers.

Update [2009-12-14 23:9:1 by desmoinesdem]: Changed title because the capitulating on this bill probably isn't over yet.

Update [2009-12-14 23:17:40 by desmoinesdem]: The new spin is that this bill will still save lives despite its flaws. If this were about saving lives, Congress could adopt a few simple reforms without creating this elaborate structure to transmit taxpayer dollars to profitable corporations.

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Lieberman Backed Medicare Buy-In This Fall

Greg Sargent makes an excellent catch, finding that not only did Joe Lieberman support in the somewhat distant past the type of Medicare buy-in proposal he is now promising to filibuster -- he spoke out in favor of such a proposal just three months ago. Take a look:

The Beltway press is beginning to take note that Lieberman's position isn't really principled, and this video evidence isn't likely to help the Connecticut Senator convince anyone otherwise. Given that Lieberman's power stems from his cachet with the establishment, the potential that he will lose this cachet as more realize that his positions are less about principle than politics might actually be the way to get him to back down.

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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."

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