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.

Many have speculated about the motives of Joe Lieberman.

There is the theory that he is mentally unstable. That is an intellectual easy theory to propose in that it is virtually indefensible. He may lack any semblance of a soul, but I am disinclined to believe that he lacks a mind. There just appears to be too much premeditation in his timing.

There is the theory that he is in this for the insurance industries located in his home state. Connecticut certainly is home to a large number of insurance corporations who would love nothing more than to turn the bill into a free handout by mandating without any cost control. His wife has ties to the insurance industry lobby. But such a move is politically unpopular, and to carry on in this manner, clearly obstructing the will of the people seems politically suicidal. Of course, if he doesn't intend to seek reelection, his actions bear no consequences. He can certainly publicly flip flop on positions, renege deals with the leadership, and repeatedly stab supposed friends in the back.

There is a theory that he is a pathological narcissist. I find the most evidence to support this theory, as he has essentially made himself the single most important person in our Legislative Branch, trumping the entire Senate establishment by shear virtue of being the last Senator to number 60 with the least number of scruples. If we had 61 democratic senators, Joe wouldn't have his moment in the sun. More troubling, is this report from Howard Fineman on Hardball with Chirs Matthews, the former of which I am inclined to trust.

MATTHEWS: Uh, let's talk about this thing with Harry Reid and Lieberman. I call him "Joe the bummer" as in "Joe the plumber," because he's brilliantly timing this thing. 'I'm not for this, I'm not for the public option, now I'm not for the buy-in on Medicare,' the H-55. He's just killing these guys.

FINEMAN: Well, I talked to his spokesman today, I said, look, I'm going on Hardball, give me your side of the story. Okay, their side of the story is, it's a principled thing, there's many parts of the bill he believes in, the Medicare buy-in is an add-on because there's already subsidies. And the guy gave me a lot of plausible stuff. Okay. And I half believe it. I'm sorry ...

MATTHEWS: What's the other half of your beliefs?

FINEMAN: The other half is it's personal with Joe, not with Obama, 'cause don't forget that Obama, the President, supported Lieberman in the fight in the party in Connecticut. It's the grassroots left of the Democratic Party ...

MATTHEWS: That enjoyed his torture.

FINEMAN: That enjoyed his torture and this is payback to them. Obama, excuse me, the President's caught in the middle here. That's my take on it.

MATTHEWS: So he wants Markos Moulitsas to take a hit.

FINEMAN: He wants Moulitsas, he wants Firedoglake, he wants all those people who rode around on the bus of the challenger, who defeated him in the Democratic primary.

So this is all about the progressive Left? I am inclined to believe that indeed, it is. And the consequences are truly frightening.

First and foremost, we all lose. Lieberman may intend to hand progressives a defeat, but sadly, you can't just make certain portions of the bill apply to Daily Kos readers and the rest apply to the remainder of the United States. If we could, we could raise the taxes on Red State readers to pay for their war in Iraq. Lieberman must then be willing to hand the entire nation a defeat simply to exact revenge on a blog. I wonder if there has been such truly destructive pathological narcissism in this country since the time of Richard Nixon? Stripping the progressive measures from the bill tips the bill in favor of the insurance industry and creates the terrifying prospect of mandates without public recourse.

Second, we have a madman on our hands. A madman who has now proven himself singly capable of negating the entire progressive congressional and senatorial congress, the entire progressive movement, and the increasingly progressive will of the people. I am deeply concerned for the future of the progressive movement if a single Senator is determined to oppose every effort on principle. For the remainder of this session, he will be number 60 and hold such power.

Finally, there is a murder suicide aspect to his villainy. In stories from epochs past on up to comic books, the villain is often a pathological narcissist and megalomaniac. But rarely is there literary evidence for a villain that has been so willing to destroy the organization for which he supposedly stands in an effort to bring down the hero. You see, if Joe wins, healthcare reform weakens, and democrats are hurt politically. I know, it is easy to claim that Joe Lieberman is not a democrat. He has campaigned vociferously against democrats including President Obama, and many claim he is simply an opportunist enjoying the benefits of being in the majority while working through subterfuge and chicanery for the minority. This is a conspiracy theory with some popular observational support. But again, I am unconvinced. He may claim it has nothing to do with Obama, but I believe, unwittingly, he is more than willing to bring down all Democrats to serve his self interest. I believe this theory especially holds true if you look at his campaigning for John McCain as an earlier instance of exacting revenge rather than standing for or against a position on ideological grounds. Barack Obama was loved by the blogosphere.

I am very, very angry, and it is hard to place that anger.

I could be angry at Barack Obama. Seven Presidents have tried to effect any change on healthcare in this country. All have failed. It will be up to Presidential scholars to determine whether President Obama was too much of a realist, having too clear a picture of what was present in the Senate a priori, and not what could be present. Did he overlearn the mistakes of Clinton on his first major initiative and the largest legislative lift attempted by any President in decades by staying out of the debate? Did he try too much too soon? All of that courting of Olympia Snowe doesn't look so foolish now. There has been a lot of discussion as to whether Obama falsely portrayed or was wrongly tagged with the fantastical meme that anything could be accomplished, either of which clashes with the politics of reality that seem to be in place.

I could be angry at Harry Reid. Did he coddle his friend Joe Lieberman too much? Is he too weak of a negotiator? Or is this, again, being a case of cold, hard reality? Pulling Lieberman's chairs would simply expel him from the caucus, bringing us back down to 59 votes. We supposedly need that 60th vote on other issues, and there is the argument that the net good is greater with Lieberman onboard for other matters to prevent filibusters. I have read mixed reviews on reconciliation, and the consensus seems to be that it would still produce an inferior bill (if that is even possible) to the Lieberman compromise. So what should Harry Reid do?

Many people don't discuss this aspect, but I do believe the GOP is a silent enemy here. You ask how they could be involved, being relegated to insufficient minorities in both houses? By standing for nothing other than failure of this President, they have no effective bargaining position - they are simply locked in nay votes. There is nothing realistic for Democrats to offer Republicans in exchange for their vote. But it's so hard to be angry at a weak and ineffective and at best regional permanent minority party.

I could be angry at the US Senate and the Rules of Our Government laid down by the Founding Fathers in U.S. The Constitution. But to me, this is akin to arguing with the refs when you're losing. The Constitution has clear measures in place for removing a rogue President - it has no such rules for dealing with a megalomaniacal Senator who so clearly betrays the very intention of the legislative body by singly standing in the way of the majority.

At the end of the day, I feel I just have to put the plurality of my anger on Joe Lieberman. I know, it is easy to ask: "what if?", to ask what would be the different outcome if President Obama had come out in favor of the public option early on despite it being a non-starter in the Senate. But Joe Lieberman alone is the transgressor. And I know that directing my anger towards him will not only have no effect, but only make him more powerful. We all lose here, and I fear for Democrats in 2010 and beyond.

UPDATE December 15, 2009 4:44PM EST Thank you for the recommendations, and my first appearence here on the Recommended list at MyDD, but quick, everyone in the liberal blogosphere oppose the Public Option, and fast. Lieberman has been running his mouth, and there is additional evidence today in the New York Times that indeed, Lieberman's nonsensical actions are intended to oppose the liberal blogosphere.

UPDATE 2 December 16, 2009 11:55PM ESTJay Rockefeller tells Howard Dean to STFU, and very famous and influential Daily Kos diarist thereisnospoon explains why all our crying for the public option never amounted to a hill of beans, confirming what I wrote about earlier: So Why is nobody mobilizing for a Public Option.

Tags: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, health care reform, Joe Lieberman (all tags)

Comments

125 Comments

It's hard to be a progressive tonight

As it has been on many other nights.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" -- Martin Luther King

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-14 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: It's hard to be a progressive tonight

It's normally hard to be a progressive ;)

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ has a good post about the PO & it's (inevitable) demise.

The lack of a strong public outcry (tea-party style) for the PO and HCR pretty much made it inevitable if you ask me.

But i'm optimistic. If this bill passes this year, we will have a PO in 5-6 or years.

by vecky 2009-12-14 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: It's hard to be a progressive tonight

I never understand the desie to blame the public for not being more aggressive in pushing the PO.  First, it is apparent to anyone in the country with a brain that most Americans support the PO.  Poll after poll has indicated that.  If congresspeople really cared to know what the people want, they can hold town halls or simply ask people on the street.  They don't need a bunch of nuts yelling at them.  If this were some arcane issue about which many would expect the public not to care, then I could understand this argument.  But there is no valid excuse for blaming the public on this issue.  It is the responsibility of our elected officials to maintain an understanding of what their constituents want.  They can poll to the death to figure out how to get re-elected (that is, if they face more than token opposition).  We should demand that they take responsibility for understanding what the American people want.

Caveat- this is not to say that people should not play an active role in politics or make sure their voice is heard.  I just don't think it's a valid excuse for our elected officials ignoring the people's will.

by orestes 2009-12-15 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: It's hard to be a progressive tonight

Public organization is the only thing that gets anything done. Whether is was HC rallies, putting ads on TV, calling senators and congress, media pundits, the anti reform side had us beat hands down. The only thing we had going for us were the polls. And who pays attention to polls? Pretty much no-one.

by vecky 2009-12-15 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: It's hard to be a progressive tonight

First, it is apparent to anyone in the country with a brain that most Americans support the PO.

sure, but when asked to stand up for it, they were like "eh, it's not that important" while the opponents dropped everything. Guess who's more likely to vote next year...those who stand up for their side. In the case, a representative could suffice to think that even though the country is pro-public option, he or she will get booted from office between not everyone who supports a public option will come out to vote, but everyone who opposes it won't.

One of the things that bugs me about the blogsphere is this idea that if only we passed a public option, the voters would crawl on broken glass to turn out. I really don't think that's true because everybody I know who is disinterested in politics and likely won't turn out next year tuned out on January 21st.

by ND22 2009-12-16 04:49PM | 0 recs
More direct to the point

it was clear that the majority of people in California and Maine supported marriage equality, but it got repealed anyway, because the entire minority who opposed it turned out, and only MOST of the majority who supported it turned out. That could've been predicted as we've seen the opposition louder than the supporters.

Who's to say you pass a public option and the people who support it would turn out anyway, they tend no to.

by ND22 2009-12-16 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: It's hard to be a progressive tonight

I have a pre-existing condition. More importantly (to me), my 19 year old daughter has one. If the Bill that is ultimately passed changes the way that insurance companies are allowed to treat me and my daughter when we wish to change jobs and stops them from capping benefits or denying coverage for necessary medical procedures, then I will sleep more soundly. If the new law allows significantly more people to purchase more affordable coverage which was previously unavailable to them at any price, I will smile inside. If the Bill passes without a PO and compromises or caves in on provisions which, in a perfect world, should never have been at issue....
 I will hold every politician on both sides responsible, and never vote for any of them ever again.

I'll show those bastards who's the boss!

by QTG 2009-12-15 02:33AM | 0 recs
don't get too excited

There are loopholes written into this law to protect insurance companies from treating you and your daughter differently.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-15 03:01AM | 0 recs
anyone who isn't mad at Obama

is willfully blind.

To recap, during the presidential campaign Obama promised to cover everyone, control spiraling health care costs, offer Americans a public health insurance options, let Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices, allow reimportation of drugs from Canada. He promised not to impose an individual mandate (like what Clinton and Edwards wanted) and not to tax insurance benefits (like McCain wanted).

This bill breaks every single one of those promises.

Also, insurance companies can still deny coverage for pre-existing conditions until 2014, and after that they can jack up premiums so high that people with pre-existing conditions won't be able to afford the insurance.

Sounds like a real winner. But Obama will go on tv and brag about how he solved the health care problem.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-15 03:09AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not an expert

 on the Bill(s), but are you saying that the 2,000 pages do nothing, or actually make the situation worse? That seems incredible. Literally.

by QTG 2009-12-15 03:20AM | 0 recs
none of the big problems

are solved with this bill. However, passing this bill will close the door to revisiting the issue later.

If the bill were good policy, I wouldn't mind Democrats taking a political hit to pass it. But voters aren't going to be overjoyed when people notice their premiums are still going up, insurance companies are still capping benefits for cancer patients, etc., but now their employer-provided benefits are being taxed.

The share of GDP we spend on health care won't change at all either. And tens of millions will still be left out of the system.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-15 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: none of the big problems

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and predict something. 59 (or 58) Democratic Senators will not allow Lieberman and his fellow Republicans to defeat meaningful health care reform (or 'insurance reform', if you prefer). Although we haven't discussed it in a while, reconciliation is still an optional approach, and I predict it will be used if no other path is found.

Disclaimer: This prediction does not mean that I think the many exploded Progressive heads here and elsewhere will somehow be unexploded.

by QTG 2009-12-15 04:06AM | 0 recs
defeating the bill

will also close the door to revisiting this later.

by ND22 2009-12-15 04:28AM | 0 recs
Sorry, but some of us see this as the beginning

However, passing this bill will close the door to revisiting the issue later.
Seven (7) Presidents have tried, and seven have failed. This is as close as anyone has gotten.

Even if the solution is half a loaf, this is the first acknowledgement that government has a role to play in health care reform.

Why do you think the GOP is opposing this so steadfastly?
Why do you think Lieberman is so in a know about a wimpy PO that may never even be triggered?

Because they know once America wakes up, they will demand more and more reform.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry

Are you really saying this bill represents a bigger step in the health care process than Medicare?

by Steve M 2009-12-15 06:21AM | 0 recs
I would say so, yes

by ND22 2009-12-15 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: I would say so, yes

Wow!!!

by Steve M 2009-12-15 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: I would say so, yes

Providing subsidies for folk who are merely low-income, not destitute (medicaid), disabled or seniors is a pretty big deal.

I won't say it goes as far as medicare, but remember in the 60's, 50% of seniors had no health insurance. The percentage of people this bill is trying to help is more in the 20% range.

by vecky 2009-12-15 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I would say so, yes

false argument.

you know by now that there is nothing in this bill keeping the insurance monopolies from just raising prices by the amounts of the subsidies (or more)

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: I would say so, yes

Which is why this bill is only the first step.

by vecky 2009-12-16 08:47AM | 0 recs
I think so too

It's a bigger step and a heavier political lift, although roughly the same magnitude of achievement.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 04:53PM | 0 recs
Except for one small thing:

Obama didn't write the bill.

This falls into the overlearning the lessons of Clinton, when Clinton wrote the bill.

Don't get me wrong, I am mad at Obama. Obama made some of those promises, and he is going to have to answer for them.

I'm not saying you're doing this (actually, you're not doing this  at all), but there is a rare schizophrenia on the far left: On one hand, there are accusations of Obama not doing enough to force Joe Lieberman, while on the other hand, there are accusations of the "invisible hand" of Obama (or, often of Rahm Emanuel). Both can't be.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Except for one small thing:

"Both can't be."

Sure they can.  It's not an all or nothing game.  Obama might be involved in the process behind the scenes, but has chosen not to engage/push Lieberman.  There's no inconsistency there.  I personally don't care to speculate either way; I find it a waste of energy with no real benefit.  I'd rather focus on the bill we get, which at this point looks pretty hopeless.

by orestes 2009-12-15 07:21AM | 0 recs
Obama can push Liberman?

How?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama can push Liberman?

Hmm.  I thought it would be self-evident.  I think we may be thinking of two things.  If you mean that some people think Obama is directing and managing the entire process, then I agree with you that he logically can't do that while at the same time play hands-off with Lieberman.  I was merely pointing out that Obama could be very active in some aspects of the process (we need a bill, it must include X) while staying away from other aspects (I don't care how you deal with Lieberman).

by orestes 2009-12-15 08:56AM | 0 recs
Short of actually ordering a hit on him

I'm not sure what Obama can do to push Lieberman, I mean the guy clearly has no respect for him or any fear of him. What can he do?

Me? I'd dig up dirt on him and drag him through the mud. I really want to say something else, but if I did, the FBI would be after me.

by ND22 2009-12-15 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Short of actually ordering a hit on him

fight against lieberman's favorite pork projects from ever seeing the light of day, publically denounce him and tell the american people that our loved ones are dying because of lieberman being bribed by the insurance industry, etc.

there's plenty of pressure that could be put on liberman.

hell, it would be an improvement to just wait more than and hour before giving lieberman everything he wants, to let him sweat just a little.
 

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:16AM | 0 recs
problems with this

fight against lieberman's favorite pork projects from ever seeing the light of day

Almost all of Lieberman's pork projects are also Chris Dodd's and/or any one of Connecticut's five Democrtic representatives.

publically denounce him and tell the american people that our loved ones are dying because of lieberman being bribed by the insurance industry, etc.

I don't see how this gets him to vote for the bill, he's been publically denounced by pretty much everyone on the left and it hasn't moved him.

it would be an improvement to just wait more than and hour before giving lieberman everything he wants, to let him sweat just a little.

Why would this make him sweat? It's prettyc lear he doesn't give a flying fuck if this bill passes or not.

by ND22 2009-12-16 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: i knew and said then

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 11:40AM | 0 recs
Wow, I actually agree with the troll

by ND22 2009-12-15 11:44AM | 0 recs
Hmmmm....

I don't know. Yes, it had a bad effect in the end.

Perhaps there should have been some peacemaking between the two sides after Lieberman won?

But I don't believe it is wrong to primary challenge sitting conservadems, as long as the progressives then support the conservadem in the general should they lose.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hmmmm....

Would that the same courtesy were extended to Lamont by the Clintons, Obama, and the Dem establishment after he won.

by orestes 2009-12-15 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Hmmmm....

Most of those guys endorsed Lamont after he won. Hell, Harry Reid endorsed Lamont in the primaries I believe.

by vecky 2009-12-15 12:43PM | 0 recs
Hillary endorsed Lieberman in the primary

by ND22 2009-12-15 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: seems you miss THE WHOLE POINT

Thanks for the RW talking points. If Liberman is willing to sell-out his 100% pro-union voting record because he was challenged by a guy over his support for more war overseas 4 years ago then the problem is with Lieberman, not anyone else.

You remember when Lieberman campaigned for McCain/Palin and after Obama won the dems said, let bygones-be-bygones and accepted him back with no grudges borne. No?

Lieberman should be doing what is right by his constituents (who overwhelming want the PO) not seeking petty retribution for something that occurred 4 years ago.

by vecky 2009-12-15 12:46PM | 0 recs
A LOT more something than Dem

I don't know what it is, though.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 04:50PM | 0 recs
That wasn't my issue

early the campaign, there wsa a lot of talk about the fact Joe can run as an Indy if he loses the primary. A lot of us warned that he would do just that and with basically no Republican in the race, he would win with a coalition of Republicans, Independents and Democrats still on his side...but were told it's just not possible because of his support for the war, as it was unpopular with Independents and Democrats, so they would all vote for Lamont.

They didn't. Anyone with half a brain and even elementary knowledge of Connecticut politics saw that coming. Primaries only work when we can guarantee our winning candidate actually wins...which we can against people like Kirsten Gillibrand and Arlen Specter, which is why they started moving left...if they lose, the Democrat wins, if they win, the Democrat wins.

Why we didn't step back and say "hey, if Joe loses the primary, he can run as an Independent, we'd better find some strategy to make sure he A.) can't, B.) won't, or C.) can be beaten again.

But liberals, like always, becomes so enthralled with the idea of beating the evil one, they didn't take into account what would happen next.

And yes, I am putting them on the blame table for some of Lieberman's antics now. He's doing it to piss YOU off, to demoralize YOU, and you're playing right into his hands.

by ND22 2009-12-15 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Is this Kent?

by QTG 2009-12-15 01:51PM | 0 recs
No, Kent's still around

You're the second person to think I'm Kent, despite my strong support for Obama and optimism about the Democratic Party.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: No, Kent's still around

I was referring to ludwig, but there are so many Kent-alikes these days.....

by QTG 2009-12-15 05:12PM | 0 recs
They're like crab grass.

Sorry about the confusion, but when things are suboptimal in progressive land, they do seem to spread and multiply.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-15 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

we haven't lost yet.

the newest development is that the unions might formally come out against the bill:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/16 /labor-holds-emergency-mee_n_394070.html

so we may be lucky enough to get this current bill scrapped and then start over, maybe with reconciliation this time.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

The labor community has already poured massive resources into the health care debate. Now there is a growing concern that the money and time may have not been well spent.

As one high-ranking labor official emailed the Huffington Post:

"What is really frustrating folks here is that it's impossible to make and implement plans to pressure senators when the White House and Reid keep undermining the efforts no one from the outside can put any credible pressure on Senators because they know the White House will back that Senator up whatever they do.

If the White House is going to cave to a Senator who spent the entire election campaigning with McCain and calling Obama a traitor how are we supposed to have any leverage over anyone?

"If Lieberman -- who has done so many horrible things directly to Obama -- can get away with this on Obama's signature issue it makes it infinitely harder for us to pressure senators, on issues in the future, because there is no fear of retribution or coercion from the White House.

They only pressure progressives, not anyone in the middle."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/16 /labor-holds-emergency-mee_n_394070.html

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:35AM | 0 recs
That's a cop out

they think the White House is more powerful than them? I mean we've been at this for months, haven't they been pressuring Senators for months? Having they not been listening? It's not like we just started this last week.

by ND22 2009-12-16 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

The WH has magical powers, didn't you know?

by vecky 2009-12-16 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

you know what? your posts are becoming worthless.

you've become increasingly disrespectful and you keep characterizing people's arguments in absurd ways. you are not arguing in good faith

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

I remember Clinton fighting to get his 1993 budget passed. It had a modest tax increase and was zero progressive, everything progressive had been killed.

He only managed to get 50 votes. Several democrats and all the GOP voted against it. He had lots of meetings with his caucus a lot of pleading and cajoling.

I know the limits of WH power, even if you don't.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

and therefore, the WH should act to actively undermine progressive causes?

seriously?

you are defending the indefensible here.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

What are they undermining... they are trying to get to 60. Many of those votes aren't progressives and give a flying hoot about "progressives causes".

If the senate dumped a robust PO on the presidents desk he would sign it. But unless you have an idea of getting to 60, you need to start being more constructive.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

they are undermining it by supporting those who would weaken the bill instead of those who want to get real reform

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:34AM | 0 recs
the ones who want to get real reform

can't deliver the votes for it. They expect the President to somehow to do that for them.

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

Those who want real reform don't have 60 votes.

So you have to negotiate to get to 60.

Or I guess we could just hold onto our horses like we have since 68. Be all pure and cuddly with our 30 progressive votes and all.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

You think Clinton's budget should have failed? It wasn't a progressive piece of legislation. It did increase some taxes, but it also included corporate give-aways by the bucket and cut entitlement spending.

However i'm happy it passed. Despite the wailing that went on then, it was a step in the right direction.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:20AM | 0 recs
How are they undermining them?

If the progressive caucus can find a better way to get a better bill passed, let them try, instead they're lashing out at the White House for not performning miracles.

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: How are they undermining them?

it's not for "not performing miracles"

don't be like vecky and make absurd arguments about people's positions

it's for actively fighting against them. they've been doing this for months (remember the WH urging Reid to not try for the PO, when Reid did anyway?)

This is not just my opinion. we have verifiable evidence that the WH keeps rushing to give the likes of liarman what they want, and we have the heads of the unions saying that the WH is pressuring progressives and not the conservadems

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:38AM | 0 recs
And how did that work out for Reid?

The White House wanted this bill passed in August...the President pressured all Democrats to pass a bill before the Summer break, progressives were more than happy to do it, but conservatives said no. He pleaded with them in September, and again, they said "well wait, thanks"

You're not upset that he didn't twist arms, you're upset that he did and it didn't work.

And now this;

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TW SFP/2009/12/source_dems_threaten_nelson_ in_1.asp

According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn't fall into line.

Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a "naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson's vote." They are "threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?" asked the Senate staffer.

and still, it may not work.

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: And how did that work out for Reid?

GOP lies... the WH would never do that, it doesn't even have the power too. Base closures are decided by Congress, and the number was set by the Bush admin.

STRATCOM is safe.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:55AM | 0 recs
A Nelson aide said it

the base would be added to the White House list of suggested closures.

by ND22 2009-12-16 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: A Nelson aide said it

I don't believe these conservative lies...

by vecky 2009-12-16 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: A Nelson aide said it

You shouldn't.  And the Weekly Standard didn't cite a Nelson aide, just an unnamed Senate aide.  Nelson's office completely denies it, of course.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: How are they undermining them?

We have the WH coming out in favor of the Senate Bill when Reid brought it too the floor with the PO.

Some thought he had some deal to get to 60. Evidently he didn't. So we're back to Sq 1.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

6 Democrats voted against it. 6! (7, but one guy opposed to it was replaced by a republican mid-way).

The first Democratic President in 12 years. Only the second democratic President since 1968. And 6 Dems voted against his first budget, during his first 6 months in office, almost leading to it's collapse.

And that bar was only 50, not 60.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a cop out

vecky: "The WH has magical powers, didn't you know"

Logical Fallacy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_r idicule

Appeal to ridicule:

a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:35AM | 0 recs
I don't think the bill will be scrapped

I was listening to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). He still believes there is just too much good in the bill to abandon the whole effort. I also believe him when he says the bill isn't at the point where reconciliation produces a superior product, and that backing off the effort now will lead to its abandonment altogether.

In a nightmare scenario, there may come a point when reconciliation is the only path. But Joe knows that too, and he won't let it get there in my opinion.

There is an urban legend that the Chinese character for crisis and opportunity are the same. The urban legend started when this non-fact was mentioned in a John F. Kennedy speech.

Mistakes were clearly made. I think Harry Reid was caught by surprise. I think Obama and other Democratic Leadership didn't expect Joe to behave this poorly. By abandoning progressives at this juncture, it creates tremendous pressure, that wasn't previously present, for Obama to address his progressive and labor base.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-16 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think the bill will be scrapped

"Progressives" *ahem* are freaking out because their desire to punish insurance companies trumps their desire to help the poor.

I'll bet you most of them have private insurance anyway.

by vecky 2009-12-16 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

are you kidding?

you don't think that the WH working with labor is a stronger force than the WH working against labor?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

sorry, was supposed to be in response to ND22's post above

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

If Labor can deliver 60 votes nothing will make the WH or Reid more happy.

But they can't. And even they know it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

they certainly can't do it when the WH runs to the turncoats to give them everything they want at every opportunity and when the WH twists progressive arms instead of blue dog arms

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

You may not have noticed, but the WH came out in support of the original Senate Bill, the House Bill and spoken in favor of the PO.

All the progressives in Congress are behind this bill. The hold outs are the conservatives. Your ire is directed at the wrong source.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

1) they always refused to fully support a strong PO, for instance

2) they keep pressuring dems to conceed to the likes of liarman whenever the likes of liarman even sneezes

3) they've put little to no pressure on the conservadems. they refuse to denounce them in public, and the evidence suggests that in private they've only been twisting progressive arms

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:40AM | 0 recs
As you may have noticed

the White House asked for this bill to be passed in AUGUST when the public option was still very much alive, the conservatives didn't listen, he then pushed for them to pass a bill before the end of September, again, they didn't listen. He went to Olympia Snowe to get a bill that can pass before Thanksgiving, but that didn't work.

But this comes from your belief that all the President needs to do is throw ideal threats and the Joe Liebermans of the world will fall to their knees begging for forgiveness...despite the fact that is no specific proof that has ever worked.

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: As you may have noticed

the WH has been pressuring progressives for a weaker plan for months

http://www.willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2 009/12/15/reverse-stone-soup-saves-lives /

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/10/ white_house_denies_report_that_it_wants_ to_weaken_public_plan.php

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:43AM | 0 recs
NOW they are

five months ago, it wasn't progressives they were pressuring, it was conservatives.

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:44AM | 0 recs
Maybe they knew something then that we didn't

Like the reality of the situation.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-16 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

You are so goddamn confident that it is impossible to get 60 votes under any scenario, it just blows my mind.

Do you understand that you do not have any magic powers that enable you to read the minds of legislators?  Do you realize that when they announce that they won't vote for this or that, they're not always telling you the truth?

I'm sure it's fun to keep proclaiming "there aren't 60 votes" as though you're the only one in the room who understands politics.  But you don't know the outer boundaries of what is politically possible any more than the rest of us do.  There is a reason people continue to negotiate and bargain even after everyone has supposedly made their position known, and that's because this stuff is not set in stone.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 09:00AM | 0 recs
Seems to me

we've been trying to get 60 votes for the better part of six months now. One bill is proposed, it doens't get 60, another, it doesn't get 60, and another until we hit sixty.

Yes, I do understand that sometimes when a legislator says no, it doesn't mean no, but it does mean "give me something I want"

by ND22 2009-12-16 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Seems to me

you are right that we can't seem to get to 60 by repeatedly giving the conservadems everything they want and treating them with kid gloves both in public and in private.

what they want is to kill any meaningful reform, so if we keep watering down the bill until we get them on board, we end up where we are now - with no meaningful reform.

But don't act like you know that a hard-nose pressure-based approached had no possibility of working. You simply don't know that.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 09:48AM | 0 recs
What evidence do you have

that it's worked before. I have evidence that it hasn't, but none that it has.

It even came out today that the White House has been dangling closing Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to try to coerce Nelson to vote for the bill, and it HAS NOT BEEN WORKING.

by ND22 2009-12-16 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: What evidence do you have

It came out where?  From an anonymous source in the Weekly Standard?  Give me a break.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

I think I know the boundaries of what is politically possible. I favor negotiations with all parties.

Take a look at Snowe and Collins - both are considerably more liberal than many members of the dem caucus. Both are however stalling for time and even they don't want the PO.

Getting to 58 votes is a huge accomplishment. How are we going to get to 60?

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

But your judgment about what is politically possible seems limited to waiting for Lieberman or Snowe or whoever to announce that they don't support a given version of the bill, and then announcing "okay, there aren't 60 votes, next case." Your analysis is based upon nothing more than taking the moderates at their word whenever they raise an objection.

There has to be give and take in negotiations unless you just want to hand a pen to the 60th most liberal Senator and say "here, you write the bill." No one can be allowed to hold an unconditional veto over the process or you never get anywhere.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

My judgment on what is politically possible is based on what is already known of the negotiating positions of the last 3 hold-outs:

Lieberman: whatever pisses Liberals off

Nelson: Stupak coat-hanger amendment (but really anything that liberals see as acceptable)

Snowe: Delay for a few more months and then the trigger.

Many other senators - Webb, Bayh, Landrieu, Lincoln, Conrad, Carper, Nelson (FL) have been brought to "a deal". These are the last three hold-outs, and we need 2 of them. Nelson is the only one I see as vulnerable to some persuasion. Both Snowe and Lieberman are indifferent to "you never get anywhere". They couldn't care less.

by vecky 2009-12-16 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Well, I don't know that I agree with you.  Lieberman does not seem to be completely on board with the idea that he will be the deciding vote that blocks healthcare, or he wouldn't still be bargaining.

One problem I have is that we are not really negotiating with these people, it is more like an ongoing process of capitulation.  The difference is that in a negotiation, we get something in exchange for giving something up.  Lieberman is merely saying "give me this and this and this, and then I'll agree to think about it some more." I don't think that can be condoned as a bargaining tactic, because he can just produce another list of demands next week.

I negotiate for a living, and it's not a very good negotiation if you're letting the other guy just sit there and dictate terms to you.  The fact that Lieberman or whoever may be the 60th vote means he has leverage, but it doesn't mean you have to let him write the bill.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

"we get something in exchange for giving something up"

We get subsidies for poor and low income folk, or in other words the largest expansion of government welfare since medicare/medicaid.

We could give that up too and a lot of the GOP would jump on board with this bill.

by vecky 2009-12-16 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

But we don't get that.  All we get is Joe Lieberman's promise to think about it some more.  He's not saying that if we meet this set of demands he'll be our 60th vote.

It's like you didn't even read my comment.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 03:06PM | 0 recs
Well

There has to be give and take in negotiations unless you just want to hand a pen to the 60th most liberal Senator and say "here, you write the bill."

This is pretty much how the Senate works...the deciding vote essentially gets the write the bill.

Ever heard of Roman Hruska?...the Civil Rights Bill was written FOR him, cause he was the deciding vote for cloture.

Luckilly for us Roman Hruska wasn't a bitter Republican upset that Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960.

by ND22 2009-12-16 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

There were plenty of Dem defections under Bush, yet oddly none of the Dems got to write the bills.

It is all in how well you negotiate.  If you are the 60th vote, of course you get to demand something.  But if you allow the 60th vote to hold all the cards then you're just a straight-up crappy negotiator.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 04:50PM | 0 recs
Oh yes they did

Ben Nelson and Zell Miller practically wrote the Bush tax cuts. Bush gave them whatever it was they wanted after he lost Snowe and Chafee.

In many cases though, the Democrats weren't the deciding votes in bills, because the Democrats never abused the filibuster, the Republicans never needed 60 votes.

by ND22 2009-12-16 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

the bottom line here

lets see what this Bill doesn't do.
_______

It doesn't provided meaningful competition for the insurance monopolies.

It doesn't do anything to keep down the price of premiums

It doesn't keep the Insurance monopolies from putting on caps that limit coverage for very sick people

It doesn't keep the Insurance monopolies from claiming fraud or using other tactics to keep from covering your illnesses

It doesn't keep the Insurance companies from rejecting people for preexisting conditions (they will just price them out with sky-high premiums)

It doesn't ensure that the poor will be able to afford coverage (the Insurance monopolies can just raise premiums to pocket the extra money from the subsidies)

It doesn't even lay a decent foundation for future change (like a weak PO might have, or like expanding Medicare might have)

_______

However, the bill DOES give more power to insurance monopolies (including a legal decree that people must buy insurance)and more money to the insurance monopolies so they can buy off more senators.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

I'm surprised your not also against COBRA subsidies, since those too merely "benefit the insurance executives".

I guess folk on COBRA would be better off without insurance rather than having the government pay subsidies so they can afford it. The horror!

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

cobra is incredibly expensive.

it is not a solution to the crises

I would absolutely be against this bill only doing what cobra does

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

But why aren't you against COBRA? It's just a giveaway to insurance execs...

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

IS this bill COBRA? are you really trying to argue that?

Can you please argue in good faith for once?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

I'm just asking why you are aren't against COBRA considering it's "just a handout to insurance company execs".

Clearly at some level you feel that providing folk with subsidies to continue to purchase their Private Health Insurance is worth it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

yes, COBRA is a horrible answer for our health care problems. I have a family member who needed it, and it was too expensive.

To the extent that it weakens the argument for getting a real solution, it is a disaster

And again, you are throwing up a red herring here. This bill isn't COBRA, and COBRA doesn't legally mandate that we have too give our money so that insurance execs can build yet another mansion.

Stop arguing in bad faith. You are trying to suggest that any support of policies that are not this health care bill necessarily means that this health care bill should be supported. That is illogical and downright dirty arguing tactics.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Certainly people on COBRA would rather have it than not.

The same I believe applies to the millions of people who would get subsidies under the senate bill.

If you think COBRA is useless and does nothing to address our health care problems, why don't you join the GOP in opposing it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

again, dirty arguing tactics.

COBRA is NOT this health care bill. For starters, COBRA does not legally mandate that people have to send money to the insurance companies, now does it?

And you are trying to make and end-run around my post that you cannot logically argue against.

the bottom line here

lets see what this Bill doesn't do.
__

It doesn't provided meaningful competition for the insurance monopolies.

It doesn't do anything to keep down the price of premiums

It doesn't keep the Insurance monopolies from putting on caps that limit coverage for very sick people

It doesn't keep the Insurance monopolies from claiming fraud or using other tactics to keep from covering your illnesses

It doesn't keep the Insurance companies from rejecting people for preexisting conditions (they will just price them out with sky-high premiums)

It doesn't ensure that the poor will be able to afford coverage (the Insurance monopolies can just raise premiums to pocket the extra money from the subsidies)

It doesn't even lay a decent foundation for future change (like a weak PO might have, or like expanding Medicare might have)

__

However, the bill DOES give more power to insurance monopolies (including a legal decree that people must buy insurance)and more money to the insurance monopolies so they can buy off more senators.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:15AM | 0 recs
Red Herring

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoratio_e lenchi

Similar in category, but with darker implications than ignoratio elenchi, a "red herring" is an answer, given in reply to a questioner, that goes beyond an innocent logical irrelevance.

A "red herring" is a deliberate attempt to divert a process of enquiry by changing the subject.
For example:

"I think that we should make the academic requirements stricter for students. I recommend that you support this, because we are in a budget crisis and we do not want our salaries affected."

Topic A is the proposal that academic requirements be raised. Topic B is the possible effects of a budget crisis on teacher salaries. Topic A is abandoned and the unrelated topic B is introduced.
A "red herring" is a debating tactic that seeks to divert an opponent.

A digression can, similarly, be a verbal tactic of diversion, but has no place in a serious debate; and the diversion of digression may also be in play.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

ya da ya da... I was just curious if you supported COBRA because it seems to meet all your criteria of a huge handout to private insurance companies.

The fact that you refuse to answer the question just shows to me your position is like Liebermans - your not against the bill per see, you just don't like it because moderate/conservadems like it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

it answered it already (it's not good on balance, and it is also very different than the steaming pile that is this bill). This is what I wrote:
__

yes, COBRA is a horrible answer for our health care problems. I have a family member who needed it, and it was too expensive.

To the extent that it weakens the argument for getting a real solution, it is a disaster

And again, you are throwing up a red herring here. This bill isn't COBRA, and COBRA doesn't legally mandate that we have too give our money so that insurance execs can build yet another mansion.

Stop arguing in bad faith. You are trying to suggest that any support of policies that are not this health care bill necessarily means that this health care bill should be supported. That is illogical and downright dirty arguing tactics."
___

so you are now lying about what i said.

that's after brushing aside the fact that you are using a logical fallacy (a red herring, i gave you the definition above for your reference)

so you are now:

1) lying about what I said, and

2) arguing in bad faith by using red herrings.

anything else you want to add?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

Well I guess we should just cancel COBRA subsidies then. It's not helping, it's too expensive, why is the government spending billions of $ a year to help fat cat insurance execs.

You have convinced me, please join me in joining the GOP in killing COBRA subsidies.

Thank you.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

ok, i'm done with you. you completely refuse to argue this in good faith

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

And you completely refuse to accept reality at all. I bring up current senators and current conditions and current legislation, you respond by going off into philosophical arguments.

by vecky 2009-12-16 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

I would just ignore Vecky and she'll go away.  She's just trying to get a rise out of you.  You know she is not arguing in good faith, so there's really no reason to engage.  Remember- if you don't feed the troll she will just move on.

by orestes 2009-12-16 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Red Herring

Oh thank you. You have been so full of solution to real world problems.

by vecky 2009-12-16 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

and i notice you can't come up with a decent argument to my post.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

I have yet to see you come up with a decent argument of getting to 60.

If the PO passed with 50.5% of the vote in the house, what are the chances of it getting to 60% in the senate. The leadership has done well to get to 58 so far, what else are you willing to do to get to 60?

by vecky 2009-12-16 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

see Steve's argument against your point, below:

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

basically, they take away something, and you scream "this is the best we can get!"

they take away something else, and you scream "this is the best we can get!"

they take away some more, and you scream "this is the best we can get!"

until all we are left with is a bill written by people who want to kill meaningful health reform, and you scream "this is the best we can get!"

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

If you want to take your pony and go home, please do so. That won't get to 60 votes either.

And besides, we already know their negotiating position:

Lieberman: whatever pisses Liberals off (yes, he actually said this).

Nelson: Stupak coat-hanger amendment

Snowe: Delay for a few more months and then the trigger.

Of those 3 we need 2. Pick your poison.

Other conserva dems like Webb, Bayh, Landrieu, Nelson (FL), Carper, Lincoln have been bought or given in or at any rate they are no longer going to filibuster.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Forgot to mention Conrad, he was another one against the PO who is no longer going to fillibuster. I'm sure there are other conserva-dems I missed.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Logical Fallacy:

"False Dilemma, Also Known as: Black & White Thinking."

"Either we take this bill and get to 60, or we don't get to 60"

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies /false-dilemma.html

Examples of False Dilemma:

"Look, you are going to have to make up your mind. Either you decide that you can afford this stereo, or you decide you are going to do without music for a while."

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

I told you to pick 2 or 3 so we can get to 60. Nelson might be wavering, but I think he's really in the same boat as Lieberman.

Which 2 do you want? Everything else is irrelevant.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Here are your updated choices to get to 60:

Lieberman: whatever pisses Liberals off

Nelson: Stupak coat-hanger amendment (but really anything that liberals see as acceptable)

Snowe: Delay for a few more months and then the trigger.

2 of the 3...

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:58AM | 0 recs
I'll wait until I see the final bill, thank you.

Then I'll see what it does do, and doesn't.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-16 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

from Steve in this very thread:

You are so goddamn confident that it is impossible to get 60 votes under any scenario, it just blows my mind.

Do you understand that you do not have any magic powers that enable you to read the minds of legislators?  Do you realize that when they announce that they won't vote for this or that, they're not always telling you the truth?

I'm sure it's fun to keep proclaiming "there aren't 60 votes" as though you're the only one in the room who understands politics.  But you don't know the outer boundaries of what is politically possible any more than the rest of us do.  There is a reason people continue to negotiate and bargain even after everyone has supposedly made their position known, and that's because this stuff is not set in stone."

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 10:56AM | 0 recs
Lieberman Caved

According to the tea-baggers:

" Tom Hill's massive sign-a white sheet taped onto a fishing pole-said it all. On one side, in thin black letters, Hill had written "STAND FIRM WITH JOE," a call for solidarity with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). When Hill-who lives in Connecticut-had written that, he thought Lieberman was going to block the Senate version of health care reform. Then, shortly before the 1:30 p.m. anti-health care reform rally outside of the Senate, Hill found out that Lieberman's objection to Medicare expansion had been answered, and the bill would get his support. He crossed out his old letters and wrote "JOE'S A SKUNK! CAVED IN TO PRESSURE."

"They put pressure on his wife, and he loves his wife, and he's not much into the politics of personal destruction," said Hill, looking grim. "Sixty votes doesn't frickin' matter. They're gonna do it with 51. Here's the deal-they're either gonna shove it down our throats with 60 or up our butts with 51." "

- http://washingtonindependent.com/71083/nervous-about-health-care-tea-partiers-look-to-2010

I'm not sure what special influence you think the leadership has with Lieberman, who afteral campaigned for the opposition last general election. Senators are there own men.

Meanwhile, conservatives continue to organize:

" Around 3,000 conservative activists spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill, jamming into the offices of their senators-occasionally getting lengthy, friendly meetings with Republicans-and crowding outside the Senate for a rally sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, and numerous Tea Party groups. Many had taken buses from states like North Carolina and Georgia. The crowd was as punchy, as high-stakes in its rhetoric, as it had been any of the anti-spending, anti-Democratic Party events that have defined 2009 for conservatives. It was home, however, to some real pessimism about whether opponents of a health care reform bill could really stop the legislation. Optimism inside the Capitol and at the "Code Red" rally focused instead on the 2010 midterm elections, and the chance conservatives will have to punish the Democrats. "

Astroturf or whatever, where are the 3000 pro PO people storming the halls of Congress...

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:00AM | 0 recs
I'm going to take the leadership's word over yours

As to what is reality in the Senate.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-16 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Russ Feingold said today that this is the bill that Obama wanted and had been pressing for from the start.

Disgusting

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Surprising he didn't mention it in his speech to Congress then... obviously he's kicked his 11 dimensional chess up a notch.

by vecky 2009-12-16 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated)

Oh thank you,Sounds like a real winner. But Obama will go on tv and brag about how he solved the health care problem.

by hotrate 2009-12-16 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated x2)

" So Why is nobody mobilizing for a Public Option. "

Because it's obviously a lot easier to spot off on the internet at the leadership after the PO has died than actually organize for it.

Of all the nay-sayers around the last couple of days I bet you and I were one of the few who actually attended a rally for the PO over the summer.

Hell, 3,000 conservatives showed up at Capitol Hill yesterday trying to kill the bill (what is left of it anyway). Even in defeat they outnumber us.

by vecky 2009-12-16 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated x2)

Be sure to read thereisnospoon's diary at Daily Kos

Most of these pouters have an axe to grind over the primaries anyways, and would be poutraged at anything less than single payer.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-16 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: We Lose. (Updated x2)

Oh I read it, though ti was a bit too much on the conspiracy angle for me, I did get the basic jist.

by vecky 2009-12-16 09:17PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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