Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wasn't the Whole Point of Letting Lieberman Keep His Committee Chair (&c) So That He'd Caucus With the Democrats on Domestic Legislation?

And now Lieberman is saying he will or might (reports differ somewhat) filibuster the health care bill because of the public option.

When Lieberman ignored the results of his party's primary, and ran as a "Connecticut for Lieberman" candidate against the Democrat, and won, he was allowed to keep his Committee Chair & other perks because we might need his vote some day. (For that matter, most of the establishment democrats (including, to his shame, Obama) failed to campaign for the actual Democrat -- campaigning that might have turned the tide and gotten a real Democrat into this crucial seat -- for the same reason.)

When Lieberman endorsed - and campaigned for - the Republican candidate in the Presidential election, he was allowed to keep his Committee Chair & other perks because we might need his vote some day.

Surely "some day" is now. This is the signature piece of domestic legislation that Obama has been working on, that the Democratic caucus has been working on, that progressives in the U.S. have been struggling for since Harry Truman.

All we need Lieberman to do is not filibuster it. He can vote against it. But we need him to allow a vote by the Senate.

If he won't do that, on this... then it seems to me that there is nothing left to wait for. Toss him out of the caucus. Strip his committee chairmanship and seniority. Do everything you can.

I trust the Democrats to do the right thing here like I trust the Red Sox to prevail in the postseason, but it seems to me this is the time to pull out all the stops. After this, there is nothing left to save the firepower for. (And, if he won't be with us on this -- to this limited extent -- he never will.)

1 comment:

Joshua said...

As someone who voted for Lieberman, this entire situation is appalling. I'm really embarrassed and the excuse that his opponent was an idiot with zero experience seems to have less and less validity as time goes on.