Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Joe Lieberman wins, the people lose

Obama is scheduled for a press conference at 3:00PM Eastern time presumably to explain why we should support what David Dayen has labeled the Lieberman Health Care Industry Profit Protection Act Of 2009.

I don't want to leap to conclusions as to what it is likely to mean for politics in 2010. But Joe Lieberman has succeeded in gutting health care reform. There may be some bill passed by the Democrats labeled "health care reform" if the House Progressive Caucus can't succeed in voting it down altogether. Which is what they should so with the Lieberman bill.

Darcy Burner, head of the Progressive Caucus' independent support group ProgressiveCongress.org, explains the grim present state of affairs in Joe Lieberman's Health Care Bill Is Worse Than Doing Nothing - Kill It Huffington Post 12/15/09:

The House bill has two major cost-control mechanisms: the public option and the 85% medical-loss ratio requirement. The Senate bill is on track to have neither, and nothing new to replace them. The Senate bill is a recipe for national disaster. If it's that bill or nothing, I prefer nothing.
And Taylor Marsh is at least partially write in her post It’s Obama, Not Lieberman 12/15/09. It's too bad that she winds up making her post a Clinton-supporter sour-grapes one in the end. But it's hard for me to argue with this part:

We've gone from the Teddy Kennedy health care bill to the Joe Lieberman bill. ... But the anger directed towards Joe Lieberman is off by a branch. Where this failure lands is on Pres. Obama’s doorstep; an executive who can’t bring himself to lead. ...

In fact, the Democrats don’t have the moral purpose for this fight. They’re not Republicans, who actually are willing to go down fighting, no matter how wrong they are on any give issue. [my emphasis]
But the Senate Democrats didn't have to go down fighting. With a 51-majority vote they could abolish the filibuster rule and eliminate Holy Joe's veto power. But they didn't. In the end, they used Lieberman as an excuse to capitulate to the insurance monopolies.

Will the politics of despair now replace the politics of hope? That seems to be the trajectory we're on, thanks to the monumental failure of Barack Obama and Harry Reid on health care reform. In the immediate future, tell your stomach to expect being bombarded by bouts of nausea the next few days as we are inundated with pitiful nonsense like: It's "the left" that killed health care reform! (John Neffinger, Why We Lost Healthcare Huffington Post 12/15/09) The Democrats can't do anything to Joe Lieberman because we're depending him to support us on other stuff! That last one is a ROTFLMAO joke, but David Kurtz at TPM actually makes that argument. (Never As Simple As It Seems 12/15/09)

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