Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leiberman "Moving Forward" Past his Support of the Public Option

Once again a big thank you to Harry Reid and Barack Obama for keeping this guy relevant:
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has a bipartisan group of senators ready to help pass health care reform — minus a government-run insurance plan.

During a New Haven stop to support overall reform, Connecticut’s independent fourth-term senator gave his strongest statement to date opposing Democrats’ and President Obama’s call for a “public option” health care plan.
I'd say I told you so, but it's not like I (or anyone else in the netroots) made some sort of bold prediction. No, I'm pretty sure anyone halfway paying attention could tell that Joe Lieberman was a self serving jackass and see this type of thing coming. It's just unfortunate that those with the power to make these decisions 8 months ago didn't see it that way:

Senator Harry Reid just spoke to reporters after the private caucus meeting with Dems over Joe Lieberman's fate, and he confirmed it: Lieberman will not be stripped of his Homeland Security chairmanship, because the "vast majority" of the Democratic caucus wants him to stay.

"This was not a time for retribution," Reid said, adding that "we're moving forward."

Lieberman was removed from the Environment and Public Works Committee, a largely meaningless punishment since it's a topic (unlike Homeland Security) on which he has no differences with Dems.

Asked about liberal "anger" towards Lieberman, Reid said: "I pretty well understand anger. I would defy anyone to be more angry than I was."

But he added: "If you will look at the problems that we face as a nation, is this a time we walk out of here saying boy did we get even?"

"I feel good about what we did today," Reid said. "We're moving forward."

Lieberman himself, meanwhile, said he was able to keep his slot thanks to Barack Obama, whose recent statement said he held "no grudges" against Lieberman. Lieberman singled out the "appeal by President Obama himself" as a key reason he's staying.

So, Senate Dems will be allowing Lieberman to keep his plum spot despite the fact that he has been deeply awful in that role, and despite the fact that he endorsed efforts by the GOP to imply that Obama is in league with terrorists, suggested that Obama endangered our troops, and said Obama hasn't always put the country first.

Worse, Reid is echoing an argument he knows is false: That this is only about retribution. Reid and his fellow Senators have made the political decision to leave Lieberman in a job that he was a disaster at, rather than make the good governmental decision to remove him for the good of the country.

While they deserve most of the blame for this mess, we can't overlook the fact that a diary titled "Lieberman vote IS the change we need, not its repudiation" was Rec listed on the same day that Lieberman was voted back into the party.

Everybody makes mistakes. But the Democratic party takes this stuff to new heights. It might be the most frustrating part of politics: Watching (for the most part) otherwise very smart people repeatedly fail to learn from their mistakes.

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