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Joe Lieberman: Let's not make a deal!

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The Huffington Post and Roll Call are both reporting that Joe Lieberman notified Harry Reid that he will filibuster health-care reform if the final bill includes an expansion of Medicare. Previously, Lieberman had been cool to the idea, saying he wanted to make sure it wouldn't increase the deficit or harm Medicare's solvency (and previously to that, he supported it as part of the Gore/Lieberman health-care plan). That comforted some observers, as the CBO is expected to say it will do neither. Someone must have given Lieberman a heads-up on that, as he's decided to make his move in advance of the CBO score, the better to ensure the facts of the policy couldn't impede his opposition to it.

To put this in context, Lieberman was invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill's failure that much more. And if there's a policy rationale here, it's not apparent to me, or to others who've interviewed him. At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.

This leaves Reid in a tough spot. Sam Stein runs through his remaining options, none of which are very good:

The first is to convince the Senator to support Democrats in breaking a Republican filibuster before casting a vote against the bill. This would allow for the legislation to pass with Lieberman still registering his opposition. Lieberman, however, has said he considers the procedural vote to cut off debate to be of the same significance as a vote on the bill itself.

The second path is to try and pick up a Republican moderate. But this too seems unlikely, as Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Reid's best bet, has also expressed opposition to the Medicare buy-in provision.

The third path would be to appease Lieberman and wipe the provisions that he deems controversial from the bill. This, however, would likely lose Reid several progressive votes -- advancing the cause no further.

The final path would be to try the reconciliation, the parliamentary procedure that would allow Democrats to pass chunks of health care reform by a simple up or down vote. There are a host of hurdles that come with going down this route, including questions over what, exactly, could be passed. And at this point both the White House and Reid's office seem hesitant to use the procedural tool, even after Lieberman's latest round of opposition.

Reid could also try and find another compromise, but it's not clear there are many of those left. And at this point, the underlying dynamic seems to be that Lieberman will destroy any compromise the left likes. That, in fact, seems to be the compromise: Lieberman will pass the bill if he can hurt liberals while doing so. From Lieberman's perspective, the compromise is killing the compromise.

Photo credit: AP Photo/CBS Face the Nation.

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 7:01 AM ET
 
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Comments

My laymen's view of the predicament is that we were always going to see this moment take place, whether its Lieberman's pompous demands, or Ben Nelson on abortion, or the Senator from Wal-Mart, or one of these Senators from the square states where nobody lives, that we were always headed to a moment when Harry Reid had an 8ft rope trying to tie together Senators who are 10ft apart.

Health care reform is probably doomed at this point, and just as well. My sense is the White House should go into damage control mode here and inoculate as best as possible from the Senate's failure by blaming Lieberman, et al and moving on to financial regulation and climate change, which may very well fail in the Senate too.

The point being, in a Senate where you have to get 60 votes to do anything, you get nothing. Maybe thats what the American people want.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | December 13, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Man, what can you even say. It's getting hard to defend a party that keeps letting itself get beat by schmoes like these. At least the Republicans learn from their mistakes.

Posted by: NS12345 | December 13, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone asked Lieberman about the number of lives riding on getting health insurance? How about some other Senators? I've read your interviews of Senators, and I don't recall you bringing it up.

Posted by: SamPenrose | December 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

This kind of reminds me of people I know who, at every job they have, tell me about how their boss and their coworkers "have it in" for them, and end up screwing them over, forcing them out and into another job, where the same things happen. And at first you sympathize and kind of chalk it up to bad luck, but then over time you realize that it's a fairly consistent pattern and that the employee is actually bringing it upon himself by wearing a big target on his chest wherever he goes.

That's sort of how I'm viewing Reid & Co. right now. At first I felt bad about how they were getting screwed over by prima donna jerks like Grassley and Lieberman and Nelson. Now I'm realizing that they're not competent enough to prevent it and basically inviting the abuse.

Posted by: tyromania | December 13, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm really getting the feeling that Senator Lieberman is doing all of this for personal reasons rather than policy reasons.

We have some reports from behind-the-scenes that McCain would have picked Lieberman as his running mate in 2008, if not for the campaign's desperate need to pick a "game-changer" as his running mate.

If not for the fact that Obama was an unusually strong candidate, Lieberman might have had an historic distinction as a presidential running mate for both parties, in nearly-consecutive elections, following strong two-term presidents of the respective party.

So does Lieberman feel a personal vendetta against the Obama administration? What better way to get his revenge than to derail legislation for the most central issue of Obama's campaign and presidency?

Posted by: billkarwin | December 13, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I do think Nelson is negotiating in good faith and wants to make a deal and see health insurance reform legislation pass and I think acceptable language can be found to satisfy him on abortion. I do not think that is true of Lieberman as long as he thinks libs are happy. So one option is to just act unhappy. Otherwise, to get the bill out of the Senate, go with a trigger to get Sen. Snowe's vote and show Joe it can be done without him. Libs can then enjoy Joe's unhappiness at that result, which should be easy to do, since there is really no reason for the rest of us to be unhappy about the lack of either a public option or medicare buy-in since if there are 50 votes for them, and I think there are, and will be even in the next Congress, either could be passed in a future budget as part of reconciliation. They simply do not need to be part of this legislation to be accomplished. Let the Senate pass a bill either with a trigger or not, and get to conference, or let Joe be happy thinking he has defeated us when he really hasnt. The problem is that we need to stop thinking that this has to be part of this legislation when it doesnt. At conference, the House can accept that in exchange for better subsidies, which are far more important. Then, in a future congress, go for the rest of it. I suspect that the president who always takes the long view sees this and thinks it best to be silent about it, lest (well dont let Joe know).

Posted by: gregspolitics | December 14, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it a shame the Liberals failed to listen to the American People once again and there Boss BO failed to deliver on his many promises to the American People, So whats the Problem ??

The Liberals/Progressives didn't listen to us in that We The People wanted HCR in the form of cost reduction, Torte reform, the ability to buy across State Lines, and have the portability of our HC and also to remove the cap limits on all HC the Individual has on his/hers policy by doing away with the Million dollar limit which is so out-dated to begin with.

So for those of you out there who want to pass the blame onto others such as Liberman, Grahm, or any and all from the GOP party or those conservatives your blaming the wrong group of people. This is a case and point that those who are looking to blame someone should look no further than Reid, Pelosi for throwing a couple of 1,000 page bills at the American People which included everything except what the American People wanted.

And if there's anyone one from the Liberal side from this website or else where who is going to claim they can vouch that these 2 bill's proposed to the American People had what I mentioned above I challenge them to post it here in B&W the very items I listed, real Torte reform, Portability, no cap-limits, and ability to buy across State Lines and most of all actually lowers the Peoples HC cost, Anyone ???

So the challenge is there for someone from this site, or another poster, blogger to list these items as I will check back tomorrow oh and the bill must not have anything else in it but these items. Nothing in there for SEIU, ACORN, or the hundreds of other organization or other states receiving funds, or anything about raising TAXES on the American People !!!

Posted by: dirtydan64 | December 14, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I'll also say this, Truth be told that had this not been an election year for all the Liberals in Congress this would have passed with out incident we all know that to be fact, but the Liberals never learn from there mistakes, and thus they wonder why when they do get the majority in both the house and Senate they screw it up for the next decade or so until they regain the power they lost due to there foolishness as they currently are doing again and will never learn form there mistakes again !!!!

The Liberals just don't get it and probably never will in that the American People just are not Liberal like those in congress seem to think except in there own imaginary World, but hey someone needs to slap them silly except that won't do any good either !!!

Posted by: dirtydan64 | December 14, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

dirtydan64 is, for some reason, looking for "torte reform."

I don't know of anyone who would be particularly against that, since a torte is "A rich cake made with many eggs and little flour and usually containing chopped nuts."

As to dd64's political take on the US public, it is about as accurate as his command of the English language.

Posted by: michtom | December 14, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Dirtydan, who thinks 2009 is an election year, and doesn't even realize Lieberman, Nelson and Snowe aren't up in 2010 either. Then again, he seems to think McCain won the election.

Posted by: Hopeful9 | December 14, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Ezra: you and Sam Stein left out the most efficient way of focusing Lieberman's mind: threaten him with the loss of his privileges: removal from the Dem caucus and the elimination of his chairmanship.

Not that I think Obama, Emanuel, et al, would actually do that, but it's the only thing that would make the Dems even remotely progressive and able to pass decent legislation.

Posted by: michtom | December 14, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

this is problem with some journalists they let thier emotions get to much into reporting. for example just because lieberman opposes the health care bill that doesnt mean he wants to people to die! thats like saying there are death panels which are also false and other bad rhetoric. look i think lieberman has real reasons to oppose the bill, the cost, increasing role of govt..etc. but he is not doing this just because liberals didnt vote for in '06. why would he want to torture members of his own party? makes no sense we are here trying to reform the health care system. but this extreme rhetoric doesnt help your cause.

Posted by: dee150586 | December 14, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The time has come for the Democratic leadership to invoke the nuclear option and abolish the filibuster. This can be done by a few simple steps: (1) move that debate has gone on long enough and call for a vote; (2) when the Republicans object, call a point of order and ask the presiding officer--VP Biden--for a ruling; (3) have him rule against the Republican would-be filibuster; (4) vote by a simple majority to table; and (5) with the filibuster threat tabled, proceed to vote by majority rule to pass the health care reform. It's been done before.

The filibuster is an archaic and undemocratic rule that thwarts the democratic process of majority rule. It is an unconstitutional abuse--the Constitution clearly describes when more than a majority is needed in a congressional body's deliberations (for a veto override, in impeachments, and to confirm a treaty).

Lieberman's filibuster threats are causing gridlock and blocking the enactment of legislation of the highest national priority. Harry Reid and the Democratic leadership must show the courage to break this logjam and rid themselves of this treacherous double-crosser's ability to game the system.

We are getting closer and closer to the gridlock that doomed the Articles of Confederation in the 1780s and brought the nation to civil war in the 1850s.

Posted by: jm917 | December 14, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

dee150586 - the reason it's crystal clear that Senator Lieberman is doing this out of pure spite and despite the fact that his action is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people is that his reasoning behind his opposition is flatly contrary to the facts. Every proposal that he has derided as a budget-buster has actually been a budget-saver -- every single one. I'm not a fan of overheated rhetoric either, on either side, but the fact that Senator Lieberman is relying on pure lies to support his position really does suggest that he is willing to help kill hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizens to settle a political score. It's a shame that people like him walk the earth.

Posted by: reader44 | December 14, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

In parliamentary countries when a legislative initiative fails this spectacularly and totally, they substantially restructure the legislature. Obviously we can't be that extreme in the states, but the Democratic caucus obviously needs some housekeeping. If they want to see any kind of significant turnout at all next year they have to do some housecleaning; Lieberman needs to lose his committee chair and (in my opinion) Reid needs to step down as Majority Leader.

Posted by: NS12345 | December 14, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

I hope Mr Reid appoints someone to study reconciliation in the morning. You can't let your caucus bite you on procedural votes and even Mr. Conrad should agree to some sort of public option just to preserve the ability of the Senate to cut deals. I wonder if there's any way to get a public option that the fence sitters hate even worse in through reconciliation. That way, they can vote yes on cloture and get something they don't like or vote no and get something they like much worse.

Posted by: windshouter | December 14, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

This post makes no sense.

If Lieberman is motivated by torturing liberals (I'm a liberal who has despised the guy for more than a decade and don't think that is his sole motivation) then he can simply keep moving the goalposts as he's been doing. The way this health care debate is playing out has to be the equivalent of tantric sex to Joe Lieberman so why on earth would he want it to end? He sees endless pleasure in this game so there is no satisfying him with the next compromise or the next or the next...

My take on Lieberman is his vote is never in play for Democratic causes when it really matters (judicial confirmations, EFCA, health care, foreign policy, coming soon to a theater near you...cap-and-trade). He voices concern for Democratic issues to give himself 'centrist' cred with the press but if you look at the record Joe Lieberman always tilts right at a time that benefits right wing conservatives. That's not a coincidence. Lieberman's real game is killing healthcare reform (the same as the GOP) which starts with endlessly delaying healthcare reform.

For a time he moderated his instincts because of his own personal ambitions within the party but with no future in the national Democratic party you're seeing Lieberman's true views on a range of policy matters and it's not pretty.

Posted by: jamusco | December 14, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is the biggest risk to Obama's presidency. He made clear his dislike for the President during the election campaign when he actively supported McCain's candidacy. He now wants to completely emasculate Health care reform thus ensuring the failure of this presidency. Some think Lieberman is protecting the interest of big insurance. I personally believe that he is trying to blackmail the president for something that has nothing to do with domestic policy: Lieberman was one of the driving forces urging President G W. Bush to invade Iraq. I suspect that he wants to force the President's hands on some undetermined policy item related to Israel. I am convinced that he will ultimately fail...

Posted by: dossevi | December 14, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Note to all: Threatening Lieberman will get you exactly nowhere.

At this point it's an act of vengeance, not a strategy for legislative victory. If you take away his chair now all you've done is make him a martyr done in by that socialist Obama and he'll be showered with flowers and candies by the right forever. Sure he loves the Senate but it's not exactly exile to Siberia to land a million-dollar-per year lobbying gig and a second life as a perennial cable TV critic of progressive goals.

The opportunity to strip Lieberman of his chair was there in '06, it was missed, and now Harry Reid & President Obama have to live with the opportunity costs. They misread the man then, as many are still doing now. You can't find a compromise that makes a scorpion give you a warm embrace no matter how much you love comity.

Posted by: jamusco | December 14, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Instead of making the absurdly histrionic assertion that Lieberman wants hundreds of thousands of deaths on his hands because he, like most Americans, do not want this bill to pass, how about addressing the fact that Medicare is going broke in just a few years and that by expanding it, it will go broke even faster.

How many government programs don't cost much more than expected, particularly entitlement programs? This will not change; it's an inherent feature of the concept of "entitlement", that people will feel that every sniffle and scratch will be entitled to a doctor's examination.

We know people who visit a government medical facility frequently even when they have no particular complaint, because it's free. The waste that's going on now will only balloon with even more people on the program.

Real competition amongst insurance companies will only come when we are allowed to shop across state borders, thereby forcing the companies to have to compete by lowering prices and improving their services. This is how free enterprise works; for some reason, we have allowed vehicle insurance to successfully operate interstate. Why not private sector medical insurance?

Posted by: krusz | December 14, 2009 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Ezra Klein's charge that Senator Leiberman is, for all intents and purpose a genocidal mad-man ~ "That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.", I'd suggest the reverse is the case.

The Senator is coming to his senses and is backing away from a system designed to foster the killing of babies, the termination of health care for the elderly, and the abandonment of the handicapped.

Ezra Klein, on the other hand, is embracing every evil detail and piece of stupidity stuffed into Obamacare ~ and that's a lot of evil details and a mountain of stupidity.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 14, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

never in the history of humankind has one face begged so hard to have the smile upon it be wiped away. meanwhile poster above me fails to distinguish between "want" and "indifference."

Posted by: daphne5 | December 14, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

daphne5 ~ 'splain yo'sef woman!

Posted by: muawiyah | December 14, 2009 4:40 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe I used to respect this guy. I also can't believe that he's still a committee chairman.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | December 14, 2009 4:43 AM | Report abuse

What an incredibly despicable statement by Ezra Klein to say that Joe Lieberman is willing to risk lives to settle political scores.

Why would it be surprising that Lieberman would oppose the Medicare buy-in? Centrists opposed the public option because they don't want to start down the road toward single payer health care. Liberal advocates from Anthony Weiner to E.J. Dionne have suggested that the Medicare buy-in could achieve that same result, simply by incrementally increasing the age eligibility. It's consistent for Lieberman to oppose this proposal, which isn't a "compromise" at all.

So you smear him for this? It seems to me that you could just as easily say that liberals are willing to put lives at risk through their obstinate insistence that health reform funnel millions more Americans into government-run health care.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 4:46 AM | Report abuse

muawiyah,
You seem to know a lot about these evil details. Could you please point me to the language that terminates healthcare for the elderly and abandons the handicapped? Or is this just something you heard from Glenn Beck or Rush?

Posted by: Booyah5000 | December 14, 2009 4:47 AM | Report abuse

It is not often that one finds a commenter with such a combination arrogant superiority, dynamic ignorance, and clueless surety as dirtydan64. The question are; is he a billionaire? Is he a Randian pedant? or..., Is he a natural serf seeking his true level?

Posted by: exomike | December 14, 2009 5:00 AM | Report abuse

OR??? Is he a Hasbara shill for Holy Joe?

Posted by: exomike | December 14, 2009 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Booyah5000 - having read through the House passed version and the current proposal before the Senate, and given my 38 years of developing, writing and then "enforcing" a quite complex set of federal regulations, I think I understand what is proposed.

Your question suggests you just don't know, nor do you wish to know. Else, you'd done your own analysis.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 14, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Much ado about very little?

After Conference and after debate begins it will take 51 votes. That is all.

Promise him anything.

Give him 51 votes - straight up.

Not reconciliation.

Just the rules.

Posted by: gary4books | December 14, 2009 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Why is this man smiling?

Posted by: BlueSquareState | December 14, 2009 5:40 AM | Report abuse

WOW Fearmonger much? just like a LEFTIST Klein immediately goes for the fear "100's of thousands will DIE"...oh my and if the unions get all the power they want in this healthcare bill the people who come into contact with those THUGS will definitely DIE (how's that fearmongering work for you Ezra?).

Here is another piece of fearmongering in the Washington Post to go along with Reids RACIST remarks and Mikulski's nazi remarks etc. It is common knowledge that is how the LEFT plays now and We The People are on to it and really DON'T CARE! You all have went to that well to often and it's dry so throw some dirt on it and close it up!

Ezra PROVES when you cannot win the debate go big on the LIES and FEARMONGERING!

Posted by: Jaded1 | December 14, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

The Senate should pass what it can w/out filibuster and then use extreme means (reconciliation) to get the Medicare option thru. Lieberman should be stripped of any tie to the party and lose everything. Let him caucase with the Repubs. He provides nothing to the party. When Bush was funding his wars outside the normal budget process this DB said nothing about the cost. Now he's concerned about funding something that will save lives ? Again what a petty jerk !

Posted by: Falmouth1 | December 14, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Face facts, Harry. Holy Joe intends to filibuster you no matter what concession you make.

It is long past time for Holy Joe to lose his chairmanship, seniority, and status. Treat him like the freshman rethuglican senator he is.

Posted by: wanderer3764 | December 14, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Joe is a murderer, bring him up on charges. And it's not hundreds of thousands Ezra, it's millions. Get you shock numbers correct, millions. How dare anyone oppose this bill, lives are on the line, millions of them. We need to eliminate the politics of fear or else people will die.

Posted by: permagrin | December 14, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

As one of the millions without health care and a job, I'm ready to start a revolution. Does anyone in Washington ever talk to someone else? Let's get Lieberman out of office and then go after the rest of the money sucking legislators with no common sense. I say we cut off health care to all legislators until the rest of us get it.

Posted by: warren11 | December 14, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

There's another option: tell Lieberman he may do as he likes, but his chairmanships will be taken away, as will any other perks he has for caucusing with Democrats because he will be thrown out of the caucus, and he will be shunned by all members of the Democratic caucus...literally. No invites, no little courtesies like yielding for a comment...nothing.
He's always styling himself as someone willing to be martyred for his cause, whatever that is. Let him have the reality of martyrdom, not just the title.

Posted by: kstack | December 14, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

It is highly more likely that Sen. Lieberman is SAVING a few hundred thousand lives each year!

Posted by: wise813 | December 14, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein's attack and smear of Joe Lieberman is vile, unprofessional, and should result in his firing. When the Washington Post lets an out of control, radical left-wing, possibly mentally unstable blowhard like Ezra Klein attack elected officials - something Ezra Klein is not except in his own mind - then they are worse than the Limbaughs and Hannitys of this world.

The Washington Post is being taken over the state run goons that have worsened the discourse and will likely lead to their folding as a newspaper. Then Ezra Klein can go full time into therapy for his mental illness.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 14, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Cornell1984, Ezra has offered up facts that rebuts Lieberman's claims. You can't attack Ezra's character until you can rebut his facts. You can't.

Posted by: eleander | December 14, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

The Post is a left-wing newspaper. I am not sure what people expect. What is the most disappointing is how journalists (who think they are the smartest people on the planet) act like CBO projections are fact. A real journalist would question the assumptions, most of which are unrealistic, on which the projections are based. Of course, they don't do that because it would make it harder to pass health care once people know the true cost.

Posted by: columbiaheights | December 14, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The saddest thing is that while all these idiots play people are dying. I am going to be in D.C. and I've debated going to the capital just to see it, but I am not sure there is enough soap and water in the world to wash myself clean after stepping into that disgraceful building and what is has come to represent--the destruction of the quality of life in America

Posted by: DLN1 | December 14, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I am going to be in DC and debated going to visit the Capital but I am not sure that there is enough soap and water in the world to wash away the stink after I leave that disgraceful place where the current occupants have succeeded in destroying the quality of life in America

Posted by: DLN1 | December 14, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is being his old ayhole self. Someday he will die a miserable, painful, prolonged death, and it will be well deserved. The Democrats should dump him from the caucus. He is a pig.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | December 14, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"The Liberals/Progressives didn't listen to us in that We The People wanted HCR in the form of cost reduction, Torte reform, the ability to buy across State Lines, and have the portability of our HC and also to remove the cap limits on all HC the Individual has on his/hers policy by doing away with the Million dollar limit which is so out-dated to begin with."

------------------------------------------

This is all in the bill, excep Torte Reform, which won't really do a lot for reducing costs. The issue is what mechanism to implement it and ensure that the insuarance companies don't deny coverage or price it too high for anyone to enroll.

Posted by: jjj141 | December 14, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Joe should have lost his committees during the convention. This kind of shows that Reid wanted him to help McCain. We need to get rid of both of them, Lieberman and Reid.

Posted by: Jo11 | December 14, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Stage 1- Denial. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/will_joe_lieberman_vote_agains.html

This post certainly looks like stage 2- Anger.

I'm anxiously awaiting stage 3, bargaining.

Posted by: spotatl | December 14, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The reality is that the Republicans could have tort reform if a single Republican would cross over to vote for the cloture. They don't because (a) they don't think tort reform would be all that effective and (b) they care more about hurting Obama than helping the American people.

Posted by: eleander | December 14, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse


I think Lieberman is holding a grudge for the primary challenge that he lost a few years ago, and he is determined to stick it to the Democratic base that picked Ned Lamont and not Joe. If he cannot put aside his personal feelings, he should step down and leave the set to someone who is willing to act in the interests of the country.

Posted by: jackrussell252521 | December 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty impressive to see how worked up the right wingers get when you point out the moral dimension of health care reform. The backstabbing and double-crossing Lieberman has been participating in is done in the service of his ego with the consequence of costing people their lives. That seems like a funny thing for an ostensibly religious person to draw a line in the sand over, akin to deciding to refuse to support building a sanitation system while people were dying of cholera.

On the other hand, if the president is caught in a sex scandal, we can be sure to see Lieberman's moral indignance come to the fore.

Posted by: tyromania | December 14, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't we be better off with anarchy? These politicians/fools play with our lives like toys. I submit that they should live under the same rules we live under and the same health care.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | December 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Reid is the jackass here. Why are all these "deals" done in private? Durbin doesn't even know what this incompetent boob is doing.

Posted by: d1carter | December 14, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe all these right wingers want people to die. To die. Think about that. They want people to die so they can make Obama look bad. How dare they. Hundreds of millions will die in hospitals tomorrow if health care reform doesn't make. Hundreds of Millions! Do the righties have no conscience? We need to get rid of the politics of fear or else hundreds of millions more will die. After health care reform we need climate reform. I hear billions of lives are on the line, billions. Why can't everyone be a nice caring lefty? Why? It drives me to tears. I need my blanket.

Posted by: permagrin | December 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman can be pompous and offensive but he has ever right to vote as he wishes. And his pivotal position is the result of the Democrats' having failed to win an overwhelming majority. The people did not want a Democrat party running wild. Lieberman provides a constitutional restraint that is needed.

Posted by: ravitchn | December 14, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The first thing I noticed is how ugly Nelson and Lieberman are. Can't we elect more attractive people into office?

Posted by: columbiaheights | December 14, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Truth is that the Democrats have not compromised through this whole process, now they simply get a taste of their own medicine...so to speak.

In the coming years the federal goverment will be getting much smaller, bringing it into line with affordablity. Consider today the high water mark of Liberal tax-and-give-away politics.

Posted by: ELFopportunity | December 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't know or care what Lieberman's motives are. If a health care reform bill is not passed it will be because of the intransigence of liberal Democrats. We don't need public options, Medicare expansion, etc. to genuinely reform health care. We need individual mandates to buy affordable insurance (including high deductible policies) that is paid for without all the BS tricks in the current proposals. For instance, Medicare spending cuts have to do with saving that bankrupt program and nothing to do with funding universal health care. In any event, to blame Lieberman or the GOP for opposing bad bills gets you nowhere.

Posted by: Steve851 | December 14, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Why is this Lieberman's fault? Lieberman and Nelson both were quite explicit as to what needed to change for them to support the bill. Lieberman said if you take out the Medicare expansion, the Public Option, and the CLASS Act, you would get his vote, and probably Olympia Snowe's (which would offset the possible loss of Nelson). Why do YOU want to block a bill that would expand access to hundreds of thousands because of a devotion to a public plan? It seems clear that Lieberman has a philosophical objection to a public plan of any kind. That's his prerogative, and is also the view of a significant percentage of Americans.

Posted by: KPOM1 | December 14, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Can EZRA tell us why the plan for healthcare is not set to begin until 2013? Yes after election 2012. Clearly Democrats are placing politics over Human Life. If things are as bad as they claim why not start day one?

Posted by: dencal26 | December 14, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra you, mindless drone, have you ever compared survival rates for prostate or breast cancer between the USA and Britain? Any cancer, any heart condition? Hundreds of thousands of lives are saved just because they're American lives.

You people are such deluded fools it's breathtaking. Democrats are the real "Fundamentalists" in America today. Snake handlers for Soros and the Red Billionaires.

Posted by: rufous1 | December 14, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

kstack, there is no way Reid is throwing Lieberman out of the caucus as long as the Democrats have either 50 or 59 seats without him. Getting control and/or a filibuster-proof majority are critical to him. Remember, Lieberman broke the logjam on the spending bill over the weekend (they kept the vote open so he could walk to Congress on Saturday), and may well do the same with financial reform. Lieberman actually would become weaker if the Democrats wound up after 2010 with 51-58 seats in the Senate. If it winds up at 50, the GOP and Democrats each would woo him so that they could get the committee chairmanships and control the agenda.

Posted by: KPOM1 | December 14, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

if you are jewish, he will take care of you; if not, he sicks the likes of his brother, madoff, on you and denies you medical services......great guy!....typical

Posted by: californicationdude | December 14, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I believe you are correct, Ezra. Lieberman IS seting an electoral score. He is a vindictive and despicable creature. Becuse of his petty egocentrism, millions of people will not be given the opportunity to afford health insurance. In this recessionary climate, when people have a hard time finding a job -- with health insurance -- it is simply monstruous of Lieberman to act the way he does. Lieberman is not just torturing liberals. He is torturing desperate middle class families across the country.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | December 14, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

if you are jewish and in isreal, he will take care of you; if not, he sicks the likes of his brothers, madoff and rothstein, on you and denies you medical services......great guy!....typical.

hey ezra, go find another cradle to rob!

you disgust me.

Posted by: californicationdude | December 14, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,
Why can't they just take out of the bill Medicare expansion and something else that costs an equal amount, then pass those two things through reconciliation?

Posted by: mschol17 | December 14, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

If Liebermann remains in the Democratic caucus or retains his committeeships, I will renounce being a Democrat.

I will also donate heavily to ANY candidate running against Liebermann and ANY Blue Dog Democrat, even if they are Republicans.

Posted by: Lomillialor | December 14, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

In a group of miserable human beings, Joe Lieberman has the distinction of being the worst. To think that I worked and voted for this scum in 2000. And then you have Nelson and the pro lifers who support wars and believe life starts at conception and ends at birth! I hope Harry Reid strips Joe of his Senate Homeland Secuities Chair so fast the Joe has to sit in the gallery. But it won't happen and that what makes America ungovernable- the party of NO meets the party of No We Can't.

Posted by: FrankM64 | December 14, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

There's squat that can be done here. Lieberman has Reid. And he knows it.

They can't even vote on the bill to have a symbolic showing of how he single-handedly killed the bill.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced Lieberman is well on his way to switching to the Republican caucus, and is using this bill to position himself as the "Hero" to conservatives everywhere. It's the only thing that actually makes sense.

"The Man Who Killed Health Reform". Heck, maybe he'll be Sarah Palin's VP choice if he gets it done right.

Posted by: JERiv | December 14, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm so happy that the left decided to primary Lieberman last round! Well done turning someone who'd been an ass on foreign policy into a general adversary.

If using the threat of a primary challenge on a recalcitrant incumbent is going to have any value, it's not a great example if the targeted Senator ends up vastly more influential.

Posted by: TWAndrews | December 14, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

to the ill-informed clowns who think that lieberman is being consistent: he ran on the very same medicare expansion as part of the gore 2000 campaign that he now claims to oppose.

to those who think the rhetoric is over the top: since joe lieberman has yet to engage in honest rhetoric about the bill, i'm not sure why we're not allowed to take a true statement and put it in the most dramatic way.

to those who think we can't afford the bill: anyone who can demonstrate they were in favor of john kerry's plan to pay for the war in iraq can play this game. anyone who made fun of john kerry for "being for it before he was against it" is automatically disallowed from discussing affordability.

to those who think the american system is the best health-care system in the world: grow up and stop living in fantasy land. we can point you to many, many, many, many studies that will show you otherwise. there are no studies that show you that american health care is the best in the world.

Posted by: howard16 | December 14, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

TWAndrews, joe leiberman didn't end up more influential because of a primary challenge.

he ended up more influential because of the unwillingness of the dems to take on the filibuster.

Posted by: howard16 | December 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha, Ezra. This HC debacle has really smoked you out for the raving leftist you are.
Accusing Lieberman of genocidal intent if he doesn't march lock-step with the Party Line? Puh-lease.
Even Stalin's propagandists would blush at hyperbole on that scale.

Posted by: OttoDog | December 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to add. This is getting to the poing where Reid will never get the support of Democrats unless he gets rid of Lieberman. It's one thing to have a Republican Senator completely messing you up. It's another thing to have someone in your caucus. It does make a difference. One is considered an "enemy", the other one, you think (although that may not be true) that you have influence over. And it falls on the leader of the group to prove that this is the case.

It will probably get to a "scorched earth" campaing on both sides. But right now, the scorched earth campaign is pretty one-sided, with Lieberman ransacking and salting fields with glee and abandon, and Reid not lifting one finger.

I've just about lost any respect I had for Reid.

Posted by: JERiv | December 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"if you are jewish and in isreal, he will take care of you; if not, he sicks the likes of his brothers, madoff and rothstein, on you and denies you medical services......great guy!....typical."

No doubt, I was in the hospital this weekend, heart troubles. I was talking to the doctor and in walks, you guessed it, the jewish cabal of madoff and rothstein. Immediately, I mean like microseconds, the doctor just stopped talking and walked out. You are spot on here, and it is typical. A buddy of mine mentioned the same thing about a dentist appt. he was at, and get this, he's jewish? But guess what else, he's not in Israel. So there you go, you are correct, jewish and living in Israel are definitely 2 things you need to not get denied medical services.

Posted by: permagrin | December 14, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Ezra, et al. Undoubtedly, because Lieberman has not seen the bill and has serious reservations about how well thought out it may be, he primarily wants to see hundreds of thousands of people die.

With this kind of insightful and thoughtful commentary you will probably sway large numbers of borderline mentally challenged voters into voting against Lieberman or, perhaps, burning him in effigy.

You are primarily a food columnist, aren't you? Right. Stick to the food commentary, Ezra.

Gmonsen

Posted by: gmonsen | December 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

What living progressive hasn't endured Joementum's fingernails-on-a-blackboard opportunism, sanctimony, and relentless worthlessness in the two dreary decades since he became Wiliam F. Buckley's tool to oust Lowell Weicker? This outcome became inevitable the day Obama and Reid let Lieberman keep his party seniority and Homeland Security Committee chairmanship despite his McCain endorsement and campaign attacks on Democrats and Obama. The lesson learned was that President and Party could, should, and would be rolled. It can't plausibly "surprise" Democrats that Lieberman, who reneged on all prior "deals" they deluded themselves they'd struck, would again move the goalpost. Yes, it's been ten years since Charles M. Schulz's death, but can't anyone remember Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football?

Posted by: yarbroughr | December 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes it's so urgent and such a crisis that nothing happens excepting paying higher taxes until 2013 so I guess democrats want people to die as well. The Washington Compost is more and more of a joke.

Posted by: restonhoops | December 14, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Grandstand Joe. Every Friday he comes out against something so he can be on one of the Sunday talking head shows.

For the life of me, I don't understand why the Dems don't do this by reconciliation. Why should a minority of Senators (elected by a minority of the people, mostly from smaller states) be able to hold up the majority? The Senate can't go to the bathroom without 60 votes, and I think that is a disgrace.

Where is the will and the good of the people in all this? Everyone knows the present health care system is in a shambles and is impoverishing small businesses and the middle class. Pass strong reform now!

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 14, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It's past time for Harry Reid to continue to abide Mr Lieberman's pissing inside the tent. Show him the door and a seat on the back bench on the greed-is-good side of the aisle.

Posted by: sandycove | December 14, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is NOT an Independent - he is a closet-Republican and has been in the back pocket of Senators like McCain for years. The first 3 letters of his last name say it all - LIE.

Posted by: Utahreb | December 14, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, you are unmasked for your naivete in thinking that there was a shred of decency in Joe Lieberman, or any other Republican, as far as that goes. Joe Lieberman has no interest in human needs or well being, and is presently only interested in revenge and proving to his Republican friends that he is much more loyal to their agenda than any other.

Posted by: cmpnwtr | December 14, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

tikkun olam.
tikkun olam.
leave the world a better place than you found it, joe lieberman.
have you forgotten what you are supposed to be about?

judaism is supposed to be about the decisions one makesthat affect the well~being of others, and the planet....not just observing rituals and eating latkes.

what are your prayers for people without health insurance this holiday?
live your beliefs and principles.

Posted by: jkaren | December 14, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman must lose his chairmanship.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Posting policy: "User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site." To bad they don't apply this rule to columnists like Exra Klein. The "willing to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths" comment is juvenile, unprofessional, and offensive. But then, we've come to expect no better from outlets like the WP who have sold themselves out as shills for the political Left.

Posted by: jmbreland | December 14, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Senator Lieberman is going to save the nation TRILLIONS of dollars from the waste that is in this bill. Thank God for statesmen like Senator Lieberman.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | December 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I am an independent who voted for Obama. I have also spent my career in the health care industry.

What continues to surprise and disappoint me is how little leadership Obama has provided to the health care debate. He appears to prefer to spend his time overseas, providing leadership to the world.

I voted for Obama primarily because he promised to change the politics in DC. He should know what is necessary...the same kind of leadership he has shown in international affairs.

Our country's problems will not be solved until the toxic partisanship of DC is reduced. I don't know for sure if Obama is capable of doing that, but I would sure like to see him try.

Posted by: rob5289 | December 14, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Echoing jmbreland's comments, saying "willing to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths" is incredibly irresponsible. This is exactly the type of despicably vitriolic language that intelligent political debate impossible.

Posted by: tgraff1 | December 14, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Oh man, thats funny stuff right there . Over the top accusations, righteous indignation, and outright paranoia. Usually, I have to read Iowahawk to get satire like this.

Lieberman is killing America!!! --HAHAHAHA

Posted by: Bellerophon1 | December 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Or they can go nuclear! Why not break the filibuster on health care reform? I mean, it would be pretty hard for anyone to argue with a straight face that this issue has not been adequately debated. And Medicare expansion is, so far as I can tell, pretty damned popular. So break the filibuster, pass the bill, and kick L out of the caucus, strip him of his chairman ship, put someone like Carl Levin in charge of Oversight, and ensure that the non-profit OPM plan really screws Connecticut insurers.

Posted by: rwclayton7 | December 14, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The Ezra Klein rhetoric on Joe Lieberman taking what has been a consistent position on health reform "causing hundreds of thousands of deaths" seems like the kind of bombastic nonsense you read on blogs like Firedoglake instead of the Washington Post.

The Post needs to seriously evaluate whether this blog should be continued. To say it's irresponsible is an understatement.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Reid should tell Chairman Baucus to get back in the room with Senator Grassley and work out a deal. It is too bad this was rushed during the fall.

On a bill of this magnitude, Congress just needs to make it bipartisan. It is IMPOSSIBLE to cram down something this enormous with just one political party's votes.

Posted by: lancediverson | December 14, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman dares to disagree with Ezra Klein's enlightened point of view on health care reform, and therefore it can only mean he wants to "cause the death of hundreds of thousands of people"? Didn't you ever have a journalism professor stop you from making such suicidal leaps? Or at least an editor at the WaPo to slow your rapid descent to the pavement?

You leftist/statists have forfeited the higher ground on this issue, just like your self-righteous attitude has cost you Obama's presidency here in less than a year.

Hope you enjoyed your power, libs. It will be all too fleeting. You're going to lose big time in 2010, you know it, and that's why you are so desperate to have the federal government get its tentacles into everything possible, posthaste.

What you idiots never seem to understand is that when you expand federal government, you put this expanded power into the hands of bureaucrats that will be appointed in future years by, say, a President Palin, or a President Rumsfeld, or a President Huckabee. Once you give the federal government power, the only way to take it back is through bloody revolution.

Both the left and the right should have a common interest in defanging this federal government. I mean, look where giving them all this power has gotten us.

Posted by: bobking84 | December 14, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

There's another option. Threaten Lieberman. Tell him if he doesn't play ball he'll be stripped of his Homeland Security chairmanship, thrown out of the caucus, and that the Democratic Party will support his primary challenger to the max. And there must be other things he fears as well. Figure out what they are, and tell him that it's all going to happen. And for gawd's sake, mean it and do it, which given the fecklessness of the Democratic congressional leadership, is probably the hardest part.

Posted by: vinsons | December 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Remember that since 1 Dec anyone who is paid to post or blog must note that fact or face a fine by the FTC. Shills and dupes, either refute Klein's citations or shut up. Harry Reid, make health care a reconciliation bill and toss Lieberman out the door.

Posted by: raschumacher | December 14, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a die hard Democrat (I was a Democratic operative), but lately I am definitely questioning whether the Democrats are simply just as bad as the Republicans in that they are more interested in protecting insurance companies than the American people. I am so disappointed with their behavior in this healthcare reform process that I don't think I will vote for Democrats in the future. At least Republicans are honest in their belief that government is the problem and that they support corporations and big business over the American people. The Democrats talk the talk but ALWAYS fail to walk the walk. They always claim that Republicans prevent them from doing the things their constituency wants them to do. This time, however, they have no one to blame but themselves (i.e. Reid, Norman, and other "centrist" dems).
They fail to acknowledge that every day they fail to act, another person cannot go to the doctor, or if they do, its the emergency room and we are stuck with the bill.
If they fail to pass healthcare reform because Leiberman stopped them, I will never again support any Democrat because at least with the Republicans, you know what you are getting. With the Democrats, they are demonstrating that they will say all the right things to get elected, and then fail to take any real action when they are in control. By failing to stand up to these people (Norman, Leiberman, etc) they are complicit in the Republican's effort to protect insurance companies. They are playing with people's lives and they don't care. Enough is enough already, pass the badly needed relief!!!
Interestingly, when we are giving government handouts for corporations, the Dems are "bipartisan" and they pass such legislation in a few weeks because the "economists" say that if they don't act the economy will falter. Yet, experts say that if they don't act now, thousands of people will die. The Democrats are taking their time to make sure they get it "right." It seems that "getting it right" means making sure that Insurance Companies are not burdened by reform. This is what Republicans are supposed to do, not Democrats!!!!

Posted by: lawsuit100 | December 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It will be much better to call it quits rather than pass a bad bill that is not true reform. I think once the public option and single payer forms of the bill were dead then it was as good as lost because the other alternatives were not viable. It is too bad really. I don't know what awful sort of things are going to happen from this. It is the American people that are the ultimate losers. It is so unfortunate that we can't be a sensible country like western Europe and solve our problems like intelligent people. We are just a bunch of yahoos who can't get anything done. I do think that as punishment for defeating the bill that Joe Lieberman should be kicked out of the Democratic caucus.

Posted by: conejo1 | December 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The democratic followership (I hesitate to call them leadership because they don't seem to lead anyone anywhere) needs to just cut its ties with Lieberman. He's done nothing positive since he been there and his committee positions could be better used by someone who has at least a little concern for the goals of the country or the democratic party.

Posted by: kwp9999 | December 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is bought and paid for. An embarrassment. Shame on him. No real reform will ever happen with the likes of this despicable person. (Not that the Senate version was real reform; laughable actually how bought and paid for the lot of them are).

Posted by: paul37 | December 14, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Come on Ezra, Now its "if you don't agree to expanding Medicare, you support killing hundreds of thousands of Americans"

That sounds like something straight from the Daily Kos. If I want to read that, I'll go there. I USED to come to this site for some somewhat reasonable analysis.

Leiberman will vote for the bill, as long as you aren't greatly expanding gov't insurnance. So, if progressives are going to drop support once the public expansision is gone, won't they then be responsible for "killling hunderds of thousands?"

I'll be waiting for you to make that post when the day comes. I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: truth5 | December 14, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It astonishes me that Reid has not yet implemented reconciliation. Here's a holiday gift for Leiberwocky - a health care spear right in your heart JoeJoe... With a reconciliation tip...

Go home, JoeJoe..and stay.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | December 14, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"*****The Ezra Klein rhetoric on Joe Lieberman taking what has been a consistent position on health reform "causing hundreds of thousands of deaths" seems like the kind of bombastic nonsense...*****"

It's not nonsense at all. Indeed, why WOULDN'T the reality of millions of people not having access to robust health insurance coverage result in thousands of preventable deaths in a country as large as the US? Although reasonable people can disagree about the precise numbers, it does seems likely that several tens of thousands of preventable deaths occur annually from lack of access to the health care delivery system -- which takes us into six figure territory every two or three years.

Posted by: Jasper99 | December 14, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

i sim-ply cannot understand republicans at all... i guess million uninsured, dying, premiums skyrocketing, is a ok with you? lets just keep status quo, or try to kill anything the other side does, so they dont get the credit...

how anyone can oppose reforming health care and bringing it to more peple and ending pre existing conditions stispulations is beyond my moral capacity to understand people...

Repubs really do have hearts of stone on this one...

Posted by: rusty101131 | December 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

For all his years in the US Senate, I cannot think of anything significant that this man, Lieberman, has stood for, sponsored with his name on it, except, perhaps, pompous, moral indignation on the transgressions of others and righteous condemnation. This position on healthcare reform, that affects millions of people across the country, in addition to his disgraceful position and behaviors during the presidential campaign, standing next to a VP candidate that slandered, slurred, incited angry mobs to more anger, potential violence, smiling with that smirk on his face, will be his legacy.

There will be no more elections for him. Surely, he must know his career in the Senate is over. He seems only to care that he "puts it to them" for perceived injustices done to him. It fits the profile of the "holier than thou", the disinterested, passive VP candidate that he was himself, and the Senator Aetna that we all know he is.

It was reported that on this past Shabot he walked 3 miles to go to necessary work. That observance, as an allegedly "good Jew", will not be enough. He will have to answer for his neglect of mitzvas in obstructing and denying the effort to provide affordable access to healthcare for millions of people in this country, while he enjoys his own, subsidized by the same people he denies, for dubious, selfish, and sick reasons.

Even his facial expressions, of late, are those of a mean, angry, vengeful, bitter, jealous, old man. Time for him to be shunned and put out to pasture where nursing his wounds will hurt only himself and where this infamous legacy will live on after him.

Posted by: nana4 | December 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This would be the republican senator Joe Lieberman? Why on earth the Democratic Party "forgave" him and let him back in is beyond me, and this is how he shows his gratitude. It's time to toss him out, and the Party needs to take the initiative. Lieberman's behavior just makes the Democratic Party look foolish.

Posted by: momj47 | December 14, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman does not believe he will be reelected next time. He is positioning himself as an insurance industry lobbyist. That has been clear for some time now. I don't know why anybody is bothering to deal with him any more since reconciliation is the only way around him. He will blow up any bill.

Posted by: pj_camp | December 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

By the way, the fifth path, which Stein doesn't mention, is to do away with the filibuster altogether. The "nuclear option" is still on the table.

Posted by: pj_camp | December 14, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I am not a constitutional scholar and I'll ask this group to double back and check on what I say here. The main problem with reconciliation is that it isn't technically a bill and therefore there is no Senate bill to negotiate against a house bill and provide Congress with the final bill to vote on. Reconciliaton gives only budgetary approvals and renders the 'Senate bill' unconstitutional becasue the house bill isn't considered or reconciled. Expect republicans to get (beleive it or not!) an injuction against the US Senate. In times where reconciliation has been used - it was never part and parcel to house-senate legislation. Reid is in a very tough situation and if I were him - I'd scrap it and start over with a committe made up of 9 Dems and 5 Republicans - spanning left to right and hammer out something - even if it takes 6 months. Ramming this legislation down peoples throats is not the answer - especially such a bad piece of legislation. I mean look at Medicare - just look at it!!! It's bleeding and the government can't control even 1 % of the fraud....and we want to broaden this program??? Are we freegin nuts? get it right Harry - save your seat and do it right!

Posted by: sean1966 | December 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I guess this is Lieberman's way of saying too bad for you, I already have mine. This man, Joe Lieberman, is a disgrace and should be thrown out of the Senate. Let him see what it is like outside the Beltway. Personally, I believe he has no clue. Time for a wake-up call Joe.

Posted by: wilson0004 | December 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Let's see some coordinated headlines focusing on "KILLER JOE". This guy is out to kill the bill and there's no reason to worry about his explanations any more. If the Democrats won't act as one for just once and lay this off on this joker, there really isn't any illusion of a party left.

I'd like to know what his stance is going to be on the cap and trade bill. Is he holding that carrot out there so they let him reek havoc with health care? Sooner or later President Obama and Harry Reid have to start doing what's right and quit making deals with the devil.

As one of the people who desperately needs real reform, I'm just about at the point where I think they should pull all the money out of it, pick out the few changes that would pass (that ought to bring it down to about 3 pages) and get it signed. Framing the reason for the failure to get coverage for people ought to be left to a high dollar Madison Avenue firm and taken out of the hands of the Democrats. They don't have the stomach to lay the blame. Something has to be done with the conservative Democrats. Why not ravage the likes of Joe Lieberman and see if that has any affect.

The Democrats better decide if they want to risk failing to govern or if they just want to fail. It's going to require some sacrifice and some serious 'fight to win' politics.

Posted by: dogdiva | December 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

What a gratutious statement: "he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score." Shameful. Couldn't possibly be because he actually believes that this bill will do more harm than good.

Posted by: mc17 | December 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse


Joe "the Zionist" Lieberman is against any health care reform, that will take money away from Israel. Israel is more important to "the Zionist" than health care reform for AMERICANS!!!!!! Ain't that right Joe?


Posted by: demtse | December 14, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Joe "the Zionist" Lieberman is against any health care reform, that will take money away from Israel. Israel is more important to "the Zionist" than health care reform for AMERICANS!!!!!! Ain't that right Joe?


Posted by: demtse | December 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Harry Reid, senate Dems, and President Obama to tell Traitor Joe Lieberman and the Republicans that play time is over and we are going to get a robust health insurance reform bill through using reconcilliation. Joe Lieberman must be stripped of his chairmanship and expelled from the Dem Caucas given his anti middle class votes on everything from health care to consumer protection (not to mention his endorsement of McCain at the Republican National Convention). Countenancing his anti middle class votes is like rewarding a kindergartner for bad behavior. Time to have him stand in the Limbaugh corner till the end of his tainted career.

Posted by: Poleman | December 14, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ezra your bias is astounding. You and a handful of desperate libs are the only ones who don't believe that cutting $400 Billion in Medicare right before the aging baby boomers are about to go into full stride in this program and expanding Medicare to millions of other people won't create additional stress on a burdening system.

If Medicare didn't have government support it would be deemed insolvent. Why do you completely ignore what the VAST MAJORITY of Americans want? We want true reform, not this crap, that does nothing to contain costs. That is what we want, cost containment while not watering down quality.

And for those who say Joe Lieberman is bought off from the industry, I suggest you use this thingy called GOOGLE and see how much money has received from that industry. I've got news from you, DODD has received twice as much money than he has and another thing, Who is trying to add in the Federal Anti Trust exemption into the bill? That's right Lieberman, so these two points pretty much obliterate the notion that he is bought off.

The hard right and the hard left politics are disgusting. This partisanship makes me sick, everyone has their agenda. The fact of the matter is that people like Lieberman and Snowe are what makes this country great. They don't fall in party lines just so that they can score a "victory" for their party. They care about their constituents and country.

FYI, even in the blue state Connecticut, according to Rasmussen poll, more people oppose this stupid bill than favor it. ya, imagine that.

Keep your blinders on folks, only those who see things objectively have a better grip on what should be done.

That includes you EZRA. you partisan puppet

Posted by: Magox | December 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"In the end the doom and gloomers are just really upset that the bailout as Obama/Geithner redesigned it worked wonderfully and exceeding all expectations in terms of return of capital to the taxpayers, minimizing losses to the taxpayers, getting shareholders and executives to bear the brunt of the financial mistakes of the decade of greed as well as teaching painful lessons to the banks that will lead to "don't do it again."

So where do we go from here? Jawboning banks to modify mortgages, passing historical re-regulation and reforms and banks on notice...hey you are on your own now.

GWB/Pauslon started the bailouts with no oversight, no strings...Obama/Giethner reigned in the bailout with pain, strings, ended it with the clear message sent to CIT and encouraged early profitable re-payment with executive compensation caps."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Leiberman is a pompous ass, so self-important it's pathologic.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

There is blood on his hands.

Posted by: adamiani | December 14, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Just take Joe Lieberman out and shoot him in the head right now. Then do the same for George V. Chuck Grassley (IA), Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), Kit Bond (MO), Judd Gregg (NH), Voinovich (OH). When we've made it through that list we can take out Kent Conrad (ND) and Ben Nelson (NE).

Lieberman, Conrad and Nelson would likely be replaced with Republicans, but all others would likely be replaced with Democrats. It's so frustrating to be so close to health care reform and have just a few idiots in the way. I say knock down the last barrier.

I'm only half serious, but I would dance a jig if any of these jerks died or left office for any reason. What a bunch of jerks! Of course that goes without saying for the entire Republican party.

Posted by: bcbulger | December 14, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

At some point it will become time to lock the doors, open debate and not let anyone leave until there is a final up or down vote. There are 11 days until Christmas; have the Senators apologize to their families that they may not be around for the holiday and just tell the members that they stay on the floor 24 hours a day until there is a bill voted on by the chamber.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | December 14, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your excellent reporting on the execrable Lieberman, Ezra.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score. "

Hysterical much, Klein?

Posted by: msully25 | December 14, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Blood on Liebermans hands. 45,000 lives a year. How does it feel to have that much blood on your hands sir? Are you the right arm of the devil? Do you laugh like in the picture every time you think of how many people you have killed by your political games?

Posted by: McSameChalin | December 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

As we now know, people like Ezra Klein and the violent liberals blogging on the Washington Post website are in the minority in their views.

Shame on the Washington Post for allowing such vile anti-semitism and hatred. Shame on Ezra Klein for targeting Joe Lieberman and not Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, et al. who don't want an expansion of Medicare.

The fearmongering by liberals will backfire. I am surprised that Ezra refuses to write about the 12% increase in government spending and the massive increase in pay. A $14,000 pay raise and a trip to Asia with your girlfriend paid for by the taxpayer doesn't offend Ezra, but a honest vote by Joe Lieberman does.

The Washington Post cannot lecture about raising the discourse and fear mongering. There are so many website linking to Ezra's smear and BS as well as the liberal extremism on this site. The Washington post has become the hate speech central for today's internet.

I bet they are so proud.

This is not what we were promised.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

When all is said and done, it is a fact that when proposals, amendments, etc, from Republicans have been included into the various bills in development and discussion, Republicans, Moderates, and people like Liebermann, STILL reject and vote No or threaten to vote No.

There is something sinister in this that speaks to more than just economics, deficits, fear of "entitlements", "bipartisanship", etc. It is a kind of Politics that is shameful and that has nothing whatsoever to do with doing their job and serving the needs of the people in a responsible way.

No one can deny that we have had a crisis in the financial provision of healthcare for all Americans for years and that with increasing unemployment and the state of the economy, this crisis is worse than it has ever been.

If this "reform" is not passed or if it ends up just a bailout for the insurance industry that does not need a bailout, we, the people, should demand that Congress have their own group plan health benefit dissolved and that they be forced to go on the open market and purchase their own out of their own pockets, with no subsidies from the very people for whom they have denied assistance. We should also ban their access to state of the art facilities, like Bethesda Medical Center, simply because they are members of Congress. Those facilities should be reserved, strictly, for our armed services personnel, who are working hard while Congress "dithers" over made up points of objections.

Posted by: nana4 | December 14, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Today is the day Ezra Klein passed Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck in extremism, and he doesn't have the money to show for it.

The Washington Post make FOX NEWS look like a channel of moderates.

When did the WaPo go wrong? Even the Virginia voters have rejected their radicalism and extremism.

Raising the level of discourse???

Posted by: Cornell1984 | December 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Whatever Lieberman's motivation, good on him. The health care reform is a garbage bag full of ... well, garbage, that NO ONE has read, NO ONE understands, is full of programs that Americans DO NOT SUPPORT, and is the shining example of why Congress is completely broken and is a shameless shed of hypocrites.

Dump this whole f'n thing and build one that best represents America's needs, not garbage that pads the pockets of criminal legislators.

Posted by: AWWNats | December 14, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman has "blood on his hands?"

Do you people think before you type?

If he doesn't agree with a big government solution to health reform, he's killing people?

Gawd, no wonder Ezra Klein can publish such crap. He has a built-in audience of kneejerk idealogues ready to applaud.

The Post ought to be very ashamed today.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

NewsBusters -- WaPo’s Klein: Lieberman Willing to Cause 'Deaths of Hundreds of Thousands' To Settle 'Old Electoral Score'
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/12/14/wapo-s-klein-lieberman-willing-cause-deaths-hundreds-thousands-settle-old

Posted by: StewartIII | December 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

By the way, if you're not happy how politics are playing out at the Federal level - vote to make it smaller. Vote to shift tax collections to the states, and vote to have your state implement the laws you are currently trying to get accomplished at the federal level.

Posted by: msully25 | December 14, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Klein writes:

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

This kind of hyperbole (with a link to an equally hyperbolic Urban Institute "study" purporting to demonstrate how many deaths are "caused" by lack of insurance - the study does no such thing, BTW) is shameful. Using Klein's logic though, let's remind everyone that Democrats cheerfully caused millions of people to die by not revamping health care during the years they had control over Congress and the White House (Kennedy, Johnson, Carter).

These kinds of stupid, insincere attacks don't really persuade anyone except those already worked up to a froth to attack Leiberman at the slightest provocation.

Klein also fails to take into account how many deaths will be caused by increases in health costs caused by the Reid bill, by government rationing, an inescapable product of statist health-care plans, and by the redirection of funds into health-care insurance that might better be spent on medical research, jobs creation, etc.

In truth, the only thing one can accurately gather from Klein's piece is the growing sense of desperation he and other progressives feel in the face of Americans' recognition that "health-care reform" is just another power grab by left-wing politicians and bureaucrats, at the expense of the people it would supposedly help.

Posted by: speebek | December 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article, but you left out a few standard things that I can fill in for you if I may. Lieberman also is a racist, a Nazi, he wants to kill the elderly (and the young), he believes the Earth is flat, he is crazy, he lies, he hates puppies, and he does not believe the continents will be under water in 10 years. I think we now hit on everything for someone who disagrees with liberals.

Posted by: paidlibs | December 14, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Those griping about Ezra's "death of thousands" line probably believed every word of that "death panel" garbage spread by Sarah Palin and others. Stop whining.

As for "starting over", give us a break. The GOP had control of Washington for much of this decade and didn't do squat to fix the broken health system. Why anyone with a brain thinks they would do anything constructive now is beyond me.

And for those who were dismissive of the CBO's scoring methods, who else is supposed to score things? Rush Limbaugh?

Posted by: mkarns | December 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Ezra: I could say it's despicable for you to accuse Lieberman of "allowing" hundreds of thousands to die. But I'd be engaging in Ezra-esque hyperbole. Listen, haven't you heard about the almost-daily reports from England of people denied treatment--directly or indirectly killed--under Obama-style single payer care? We know you libs want to take us there; it's not a secret, after all; it's something you brag about on your blogs!

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | December 14, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey y'all,
Here's the scoop. This is a terrible plan. A terrible idea. A disaster in the making. So to kill it is the best that can be done. Why not start over and really address health care issues, rather than stuff a bill with partisan wishes that don't bring health care costs down, but likely will double them (shhh, don't tell anyone, but that's only for people who work and contribute!). I'd like to help the underprivileged or those who can't get health care easily to afford it, but not this way. There are plenty of alternatives to this new liberal revision of our economy and nation! Long live Lieberman!

Posted by: spk2moi | December 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Poor Ezra... I hope his current health plan will cover the cost Of the WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH-MBULANCE...

Posted by: D2Boston | December 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

You're so partisan that you can't see what is in right in front of you. Thos partisan blinders take all objectivity away from being able to think rationally.

Did you happen to conveniently miss what Lieberman said or did you put on those partisan ear muffs after he said he couldn't support the bill if it had the expansion of medicare.

So lets review what lieberman shall we?

"You've got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You've got to forget about the public option. You probably have to take out the Class Act, which was a whole new entitlement program that will, in future years, put us further into deficit. And you've got to adopt some of the cost containment provisions that will strengthen cost containment, that all of us favor.

If you did that, you'd have an enormous accomplishment. Thirty million Americans who can't afford insurance today would get it. Insurance companies would be more aggressively regulated and costs would be bent down. So it's time to get reasonable."

so in a nutshell he says NO PUBLIC OPTION, NO EXPANSION of Medicare and NO CLASS ACT.

In other words, he will still vote for the bill that would SAVE ALL THOSE LIVES that are at risk that you claim Ezra.

You hear what you want to hear. So how can you possibly say that he is risking hundreds of thousands of lives when he supports that part of the bill?

You can't, not rationally or objectively anyway. You hear and see what you want to see, because you are a partisan slave.

It's too bad, because you do good research on many topics, just that your partisanship blinds you. Good luck, Mr. Fear Mongerer


Posted by: Magox | December 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think it's long past time to oust Lieberman from the Democratic caucus. He's a Republican.

Posted by: Lilly1 | December 14, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I think it's long past time to oust Lieberman from the Democratic caucus. He's a Republican."

So, someone who mindlessly follows what Harry Reid wants is a good Senator? While someone who casts a vote independently based on the merits (or lack thereof) of the legislation is a villain?

The thought process you liberals employ is mind-boggling.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yourstruly - No, I haven't heard daily reports of all those people in England dying. And I have close relatives living there. But I have heard daily reports of peopel dying here for lack of insurance...even if it's only 25,000 yearly. For others, I see that Lieberman offers no ideas about how to cover the 30 million people that are part of the "access" component of reform. As for "tort reform". Fine. Extend to every state the reform that exists in 30 states today. And we'll see how much that drives down costs. And end that canard talking point once and for all.

Posted by: donaldnegri | December 14, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Posturing, posturing, and more posturing. In the end, this will pass and some compromise will be reached unless the Senate GOP grows a pair and fights this procedurally. I am tired of hearing the GOP say they don’t want to be the party of no, that the party of no will not get them re-elected. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Tea Parties are the party of no – no socialized healthcare, no cap-and-trade, no fiscal-irresponsibility, no, no, no, no. And what did this lead to? As Rasmussen reports: “Tea Party Tops GOP on Three-Way Generic Ballot” - http://tinyurl.com/yhjmr84. How much more evidence does the GOP need. The only strategy that will work:

Rush and RedState Pick Up Story: McConnell Rows GOP And Country Up The Creek And Throws Away The Paddle - http://tinyurl.com/yafp6be

Republicans Roll Over For Democrats On Healthcare Bill in Senate. Vacation Over Country. UPDATE: Rush and Redstate Pick Up The Story - http://tinyurl.com/ylblvuf

Posted by: geraldmerits | December 14, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

You have to applaud the right wingnuts. They know what they're doing. They know that the additional one TRILLION dollars (and rising...fast) that Americans have to pay each and every year just in order to prevent Medicare for every American is destroying the capacity of the American economy to be competitive around the world. They know that it's destroying the country, and that's their goal. Once they've have bled the rest of us of everything they can easily take, they'll simply relocate to the next set of victims - in China or India. Sure, they had to suffer a near revolt against them in the 1930s, but they've turned it all around now and are getting their revenge.

Admit it, you all thought the fascists were defeated in WWII, didn't you? In fact, the wingnuts now hold the opinion that fascism is the same thing as evil-commie-socialism thanks to propagandists like Limpball, Glenda B., etc. Fascism, folks, is CORPORATE socialism, socialism for the exceptionally wealthy, which is precisely the system in place in America.

It's really quite amusing to your masters and their apologists (of which Lieberman is just one of many). They have turned the American people against themselves with the simple application of nonsensical, irrational, fact-free, fear-mongering propaganda which, in one fell swoop, has the simultaneous effect of completely discrediting the whole concept of democracy for all time.

Game, set, match; the super wealthy win. You lose.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Free Mas - I just hope you don't subscribe to the Republican purity test...backed by the Tea Party wing. If you do, then you have no grounds for talking about anyone else. Not when the GOP remains the tiny tent of ideological conformists.

Posted by: donaldnegri | December 14, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This is one of your "best" posts ever. I mean, I appreciate the wonkish info you dispense, but this one I love. And that it appears under the editorial auspices of Freddy Hiatt makes it that much more enjoyable. I miss you over at the Prospect, but I'm glad you're over here, with this national audience. This post alone balances out a couple of dozen Krauthammers, Wills, Cohens and Hiatt's.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"So, someone who mindlessly follows what Harry Reid wants is a good Senator? While someone who casts a vote independently based on the merits (or lack thereof) of the legislation is a villain?

The thought process you liberals employ is mind-boggling."

Because the Republicans in the Senate (except for Snowe, Collins, and maybe one or two others) are such independent thinkers? (roll eyes)


"In the end, this will pass and some compromise will be reached unless the Senate GOP grows a pair and fights this procedurally."

They already filibuster at practically every turn. What the heck else are they supposed to do?

Posted by: mkarns | December 14, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Donald Negri, I don't subscribe to any purity tests and I'm not speaking as a Republican, but as an American who appreciates independent judgment from our representatives. Your pointless response is noted.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Jesus!

Open up Medicare to 55-64 year-olds? Are you serious? Medicare is bankrupt. How is adding to its burden going to help?

What good is going to come out of boarding even more passengers on the Titanic at this point?

Posted by: sbroce | December 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

FreeMas - Response noted. As for Lieberman, independent judgment is fine except when it becomes hypocritical.

Posted by: donaldnegri | December 14, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Joke Lieberman is tantamount to a pedophile. Pedophiles abuse their power over their child victims and we as Americans are all his victims.

Posted by: Psiclone | December 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there is only one path back to democracy in America but Americans are so enamored of their preferred corporate socialist propaganda that they won't accept it. Sure, a simple majority (in adherence to the Constitution) in the Senate should be sufficient to pass a bill, but that won't solve the systemic cancer.

That disease can only be effectively attacked with a rock-solid law criminalizing private campaign funding for politicians. The choice is between government of, by, and for the super-rich or government of, by, and for the PEOPLE.

But the American people can no longer go there because they believe the Reagan-inspired idiocy and subsequent rewrite of history which holds that corporations and corporate profits will save them. They hold that irrational belief as their corporate masters bleed them dry, drop by drop and, in the process, kill off every last vestige of democracy in America.

Don't assume this is a call to action. The American people aren't capable of answering such a call. It's simply interesting that the fall is happening so soon from an historical point of view.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This goofball writer, Ezra Klein, is just making things worse. Statements like, "kill a few hundred thousand more people" are signs of immaturity and childishness. Why would ANYONE read this pablum from a kiddie writer?

Ezra - You want to save lives? SUPPORT THE REINTRODUCTION OF PROHIBITION.

Just that simple, kiddie.

Posted by: wilsan | December 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals."

That much is obvious - there is no logic or factual info to back up his dissent. Although, would he really be an effective senator for the great state of Aetna if he voted for health care reform? That's clearly where his allegience lies.

If he fillibusters, I think he should be stripped of all committee chairmanships.

Posted by: NotFooledTX | December 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

So Joe Lieberman's opposition to an atrociously bad bill is the CAUSE of death of hundreds of thousands of people? So when a coroner fills out the death certificate, in the box marked cause of death it will read "Lieberman, Joe"? Why not just compare him to Adolf Hitler and be done with it?

And given the history of Medicare and the huge amount of money it takes to keep it running, why does this site continue to insist it won't add to the deficit? A CBO score is irrelevant when I can just look at the current state of Medicare. You literally have to be an absolute idiot to continuously claim that adding millions more to a program that IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY INSOLVENT IN EIGHT YEARS will not result in increased expenditures by the government and an increased deficit. It is quite simply amazing that anyone can keep up the insanely stupid charade that paying subsidies for the health care of millions and millions of individuals is going to decrease the deficit. If that were the case, why don't we pay for the health care of all 310 million people in this country and reduce the deficit to zero?

The only reasons the CBO stated that the original Senate bill would lower the deficits is because there were huge cuts in Medicare, the very same Medicare that the Dems want to burden more, there are huge cuts in physician reimbursements, a major problem already, and a separate bill spending almost $300 billion is segragated from the health care bill in order to mask the cost. This is not deficit reduction, it is account gimmickry.

Posted by: Bob65 | December 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Yup, this is all about torture. It is very strange that someone would want to end a long career this way but I believe that Lieberman is still deeply angry that he lost the Democrat nomination in Connecticut in 2006. His behavior has been aimed at hurting the Democratic party nationally every since. Vengeance is a terrible thing. It does corrupt the soul. And clouds judgement. People from both sides of the isle begin to laugh behind your back.

Lieberman also cannot control his "attention deficit syndrome." When he does not get enough attention from the media or his colleagues, he throws a hissy fit and everyone immediately starts giving him what he wants...... sort of like mollifying a child in the midst of a terrible twos tantrum. He is capable of doing much harm in the short term, but in the long term he will be seen as a man against the people.....particularly once he is out of power and becomes just crazy ole Joe from Connecticut. By then it will be too late for him to redeem his reputation.

One does wonder, however, whether the Dems will let him keep his committee chairmanship after this stab in the back to his old friend Harry Reid. I would put him on a melting ice berg and push him out to sea. Somehow, I think the Dems will kiss Joe's butt one more time. Harry appears to be a slow learner.

tarryh, Norfolk

Posted by: tarryh | December 14, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This talk about a "holocaust" because some people in the U.S. don't have healthcare (I know, Ezra removed the reference because he sounded nutty) is just way over the top and not factually-based. People in this country aren't left out in the street to die if they don't have health insurance. Hospitals will treat them and then absorb the cost, which is then passed on to other, paying, patients. I know it's not efficient, but it's certainly a lot better than the "dying in the streets" fantasy put out by Klein and others on the left. Besides, has anyone looked at the death rates of European countries with single payer? They all have higher death rates than the U.S. All of them. some are as much as 20 percent higher. Even France, which the WHO rated as having the no. 1 health system in 2000 has a slightly higher death rate than the U.S. If we had France's death rate, we would have close to 70,000 more deaths per year. Why do Ezra Klein and so many other liberals want tens of thousands more people to die? How could they be so heartless? It's...wait for it...a potential holocaust! See what I did there? You're welcome, Ezra.

Posted by: WarEagle1 | December 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The commenters on this site need to quit stating that opposition to a bad bill is tantamount to murder. Bringing up the number of people without insurance and attributing their deaths to opposition to this bill is absolutely pathetic.

Posted by: Bob65 | December 14, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Open up Medicare to 55-64 year-olds? Are you serious? Medicare is bankrupt. How is adding to its burden going to help?"
___________________________________

That's amusing. Do you understand that the whole health care system is bankrupt...including the health insurance companies? Because if you hold them to the same fiscal standards as the Medicare system, they would all have to file their bankruptcy papers tomorrow, while Medicare has a few years left before that happens.

For the pointy-headed right wingnuts, here's some reality:

The average per person health care cost for those in the Medicare system is - in the reality of the real world - less than the average per person health care cost for the rest of the American population.

Why? It shouldn't be the case if you take the view that 'capitalism' is more efficient and if you understand that those in the Medicare system are the population demographic which is most at risk and most needful from a health care point of view.

In the real world, there is very simply no need for the insurance cartel, for one thing. They provide absolutely nothing whatsoever but they do charge a massive, monumental price for that nothing. And that's just a start. Capitalist concepts work very well in some situations and function as an economic cancer in others.

It's all a joke, though...the joke that kills us all. Literally.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Great confirming quote from Matt Yglesias on this:

The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"People in this country aren't left out in the street to die if they don't have health insurance. Hospitals will treat them and then absorb the cost, which is then passed on to other, paying, patients."

I truly hope that you lose the ability to pay for your health insurance and have to be treated for cancer. Why would I hope such a mean spirited thing? Because you would immediately learn that your treatment would not happen at all. Perhaps then you would realize that your delusional point of view was probably not in your best interests.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

One question I have is whether people really want to have universal coverage as a goal of reform. If they do, and are opposing what is on the table (Bills) to try and reach that goal, then they have the intellectual obligation to present their plan(s), including how to pay for it. To date, the Democratic party has committed itself to the universal coverage goal, while opponents have been remarkably silent about it and/or what they would propose. And that includes Lieberman too.

Posted by: donaldnegri | December 14, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

some commenter called "freemas" "...Joe Lieberman taking what has been a consistent position on health reform..."

This is totally false. Lieberman has flip-flopped on issues like Medicare buy-in even in recent months, aside from the fact that he ran on it in past elections and promised support for universal health care to his constituents in 2006. Get your facts straight. Lieberman is the worst of the worst when it comes to lacking principles. He doesn't have to vote for the bill if he has problems with aspects of it, but grandstanding by blocking a vote is despicable. The GOPers have used "death panel" rhetoric that was, frankly, totally nuts to generate hysteria around this bill. Lieberman, in fact, is threatening a one-man grandstand scuttle of legislation that, provably, will improve access to health care and save lies. He is a one man "death panel" and that's NOT hyperbolic.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Message to Mr. Klein and the other zealous proponents of this massive intiative to socialize US medicine against the will of American voter: when you keep stating that this person or that person that disagrees with you is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, as if they were Josef Stalin or Adolph Hitler, it is proof positive that you have lost the debate (along with your minds.)

The clown that has usurped my FL district 8 house seat tried this famously, and it has not advanced your agenda an single inch, (and it will result in his defeat next year.)

Posted by: BigMac4 | December 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"The average per person health care cost for those in the Medicare system is - in the reality of the real world - less than the average per person health care cost for the rest of the American population."

This statement is a perfect example of the persistent dishonesty of the left.

Truths about Medicare's supposedly lower costs:

* Private insurers pay taxes. Medicare doesn't.

* The costs for many of Medicare's administrative functions fall under the budgets of other federal agencies.

* Private insurers spend more money on preventing fraud than does Medicare, and the results clearly show it.

* Senior citizens have significantly higher medical expenses. Thus, of course, Medicare has lower administrative costs when measured as a percentage of overall spending -- because health care spending is so much higher than for the general population.

One wonders, if those on the left feel their position is so righteous, why must they lie about it?

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The up side is that this gives us the opportunity to put single payer right square on the table and regulate this industry just like we do every utility instead of letting them take a bigger and bigger bites out of our economy with zero value added. Skimmers, every one of them. Too bad people have to die while special interests and creeps like Lieberman play this out.

Posted by: SarahBB | December 14, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"The commenters on this site need to quit stating that opposition to a bad bill is tantamount to murder. Bringing up the number of people without insurance and attributing their deaths to opposition to this bill is absolutely pathetic."

_________________________________

Pathetic? Okay, sure, the truth is pathetic. People dying because they haven't the ability to pay the ridiculous price for health care in this country is just perfect, though, isn't it? You desperately need to be in the position of having no ability to pay your insurance premiums when you are in mortal need of that insurance. That would be truly wonderful...and you would merely have to hold fast to your delusion as the pain increased and your life slipped away in order to understand how wonderful it would be.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Given that the average Medicare patient receive $1 in care under Medicare for every $3 they pay into it (includes copays), there is no question that Medicare's future solvency needs attention. Yet, when the issue is brought up, right-wingers immediately seize upon it as a means of fear mongering seniors, for purely political reasons. Nothing illustrates the bad faith of a certain political party than its hypocriisy concerning Medicare.

As for those who decry "rationing", well it occurs with insurance companies and it sure occurs when you're can't afford health insurance.

Finally, I invite people to read T.R. Reid's "The Healing OF America", along with, of course, anything written on the subject by Dr. Gawande (a link to his latest is on this very page)

Posted by: donaldnegri | December 14, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats had started out with the Ron Wyden/Bob Bennett bill, health care would have passed by now. Lieberman was a strong supporter of the Healthy Americans Act, as were many other senators and many in the media - including yourself, I believe.

Posted by: Tyche15 | December 14, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

'One wonders, if those on the left feel their position is so righteous, why must they lie about it?'

freemas - rather than bothering to debunk your absurd "list" that alleges counter the facts on medicare (although a couple of them are so transparently idiotic and wrong, I can't even believe you're trying to float them) I'll simply point out that your allegations about Joe Lieberman's "consistent position" on health care were totally fraudulent. You don't qualify to accuse others of lying, since you introduced yourself into this thread with one of the biggest lies we've seen.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I would like to ask some of the reform opponents to point out why this bill is a disaster? I'm not sure what part of the bill is damaging to America, can anyone of you enlighten me?
As I see it, if reform is passed, the Democrats will always be able to claim that they did something about it. Republicans will be portrayed as being on the wrong side of a popular reform. Thus, the only interests that would be damaged by passage of the bill are Insurance Corporations, the Republican Party, and the Pharmaceutical Companies. I'm I missing anyone?

Posted by: lawsuit100 | December 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Freemas, your statement is a perfect example of the persistent dishonesty of American fascists.

Private insurers pay taxes? Yes, they do. They pay taxes on about 5% of the 40% of the health care tax they collect. In other words, not only do they increase the tax much faster than the rise in incomes, but they can charge whatever they want so the 1% of that tax that they pay back to the government pales in comparison to the 40% that they rake off the top in order to provide nothing whatsoever.

Once again, because the delusional and brainwashed among us haven't the slightest idea what they're talking about, there is no insurance industry health care in the world which is functionally efficient; not even in Switzerland, where the insurance industry is heavily regulated and controlled even to the point of executive salary determinations. In the U.S., private health care costs are ridiculously high - twice what health care costs in other countries which have better health care outcomes. Remember our 37th place rank? Feed us some propaganda regarding that. I know you can do it and desperately need to do it.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

When you use terms like fascists, you transcend farther into the laughable zone. Go throw on your tiedyed t-shirt and hang with the likes of Ezra Klein. You wacky extremists deserve each other.

Posted by: FreeMas | December 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"* Senior citizens have significantly higher medical expenses. Thus, of course, Medicare has lower administrative costs when measured as a percentage of overall spending -- because health care spending is so much higher than for the general population."

_____________________________________

Look, obviously your formulation is amusing. It would be eternally amusing if it wasn't designed to convince people that your lie is the truth...resulting in millions of unnecessary early deaths. You should be so proud.

TOTAL costs per Medicare enrollee are lower than for the population as a whole. That's not because administrative costs are lower per enrollee than they are for those covered by private insurance. ACTUAL administrative costs are much higher because the paperwork involved is much more voluminous.

Private insurers, however, spend most of their 'overhead' on legal justifications for the denial of coverage. That is the 'service' they provide...a 'service' which they provide to themselves only. And it's hugely expensive.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Good on you Ezra. Lieberman is playing a vindictive game of payback for the 2008 Primary where the Democratic Party backed his opponent Lamont. Reid should strip Lieberman of his chairmanship and throw him out of the Democratic caucus.

Posted by: mehrenst1 | December 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"When you use terms like fascists, you transcend farther into the laughable zone. Go throw on your tiedyed t-shirt and hang with the likes of Ezra Klein. You wacky extremists deserve each other."

___________________________________

How about I throw on my gray pin-striped Armani suit instead? I've never owned a tie-dyed shirt of any kind.

Look, when you believe in the corporate socialist system which now rules this country, you're a fascist. That's what fascism is. Buy a clue.

Posted by: Martel1 | December 14, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse


DUMP DIRTY JOE

This turd has more corporate money in his pocket than anyone else in Washington.

Posted by: kkrimmer | December 14, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse


GO BACK TO ISRAEL JOE....

Posted by: kkrimmer | December 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

-- Martel --

"In the U.S., private health care costs are ridiculously high - twice what health care costs in other countries which have better health care outcomes. Remember our 37th place rank? Feed us some propaganda regarding that."

Okay 37th ...
First off we lead the world in violent gun related deaths.
Second we lead the world in automobile related deaths.

If you adjust deaths to take out all the kids at 13-14 killed in the inner city and driving. We rank 1st in the world by almost a year.
That would suggest if your measurement is THAT chart -- you would be better off to spend $0.5T on reducing inner-city crime and the same on public transit.
This HCB will not change our ranking one second higher without dealing with car and gun related deaths.

Next -- people do NOT understand. All those other countries you like to talk about?
Only England and Germany would rank as the number 1 STATE in population and economy.
FRANCE would be behind Calif and New York in economy and often behind Florida and Texas.
You can not compare us to a country ... you have to compare us to the whole damn EU and then add 10 more countries on top of that!

To compare us to those countries would require you to do away with our Federal government ( get it? FEDERAL = FEDERATION of semi-sovereign states ).
NEXT you would have to do away with Congress because all those nations have a PARLIAMENT.

In a parliament you elect a PARTY ... the party then selects exactly who serves. And those people represent the PARTY not their district.
In a CONGRESS you represent your DISTRICT.

This of course is why some of the PACs looking to set up primary challenges are not challenging EVERY Blue Dog ... Only the ones who seem to vote out of step with their District/State.
( i.e. District favors HCB by 62% but Congressman is against it? Challenge. If District doesn't support health care? as much as the progressive PACs do not like the way the voters think ... they accept the person is doing their job. Representing THEIR district).

** and why do I keep trying to spell challenge challange? I guess I am spelling challanged? **

Posted by: chromenhawk | December 14, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why won't Democrats just simply get rid of him? They have the resources and staff. Just go to work and do it. There won't be any opposition from me.

Posted by: moemongo | December 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

chromenhawk - without going deeper into the weeds with this, because you strike me as an ill-informed crank, the "37th" rating isn't based simply on average life expectancy but things like access and a range of health outcomes. The rest of your argument is a tangent.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I am done with healthcare reform. I do not care what comes out of legislation, if anything. As an RN for many, many years, there are other ways for us to game the system and get what is rightfully ours. Begin using tax supported hospitals, county, medical school facilities and get the best of care. Refuse to use credit cards to charge balance billings and out of pocket. Stop all political contributions and use your money for your own needs and that of your families'. Sit and demand care when you are sick, refuse to leave, and if you are hauled off to jail, rest assured, you will receive healthcare paid for by your tax monies. There are many things we can do to stop being victims of insurance companies, congress, disease. Do not comply with mandate if you do not like your options and do not pay the tax penalty for non compliance. Demand Congress drop their group plan, subsidized with tax dollars, one of those "entitlements" they all hate. Deny access to state of art facilities like Bethesda Naval Center to Congress. Stop all travel junkets, funding increases for offices, office staff, aides, drivers, limos, etc. First, you have to work in order to receive benefits; they are not working.

Health care is no longer about the American people. It is about politicians and for as many politicians as there are "serving" in Congress, there are as many individual needs, wants, desires, interests, values, etc. It is simply not about us anymore.

We need to empower ourselves since elections do not matter nor do our political contributions matter. We cannot compete with huge industry and special interests. But, we can strip Congress of as much as we can that we are financially supporting because we are strained providing for ourselves and can no longer afford to support them in the style to which they have become accustomed. We have created monsters, feeding at the trough on glamorized welfare and entitlement while we go without.

Posted by: nana4 | December 14, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

All,

I am on my deathbed. I thought I'd make it a few more weeks but no, Joe killed me. Tell Congress to path heathcare before more die. Not feeling very well right now, Joe is thinking bad thoughts. need someds;iojg water berored I leave. you need to passssssssssssssssssdkgjkpsoig09u2gj v

Posted by: permagrin | December 14, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is: Joe please keep up what your doing in regards to the Dems. boondoogle health care plan which should die of natural casuses and be it understood that that the Democrats are worse than used car salesmen.

Posted by: rvaw120 | December 14, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm always impressed by political arguments that rely on the pejorative "tie-dyed".

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman needs to be impeached & indicted for the obvious corruption which he parades before the entire world, and for the lives lost every year to satisfy his greed. Lieberman's crooked deals with insurance companies kill more Americans every year than Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Tim McVeigh, and Osama bin Laden COMBINED. All so Joe and his pals can get fatter. I can't stand it...

Posted by: mgloraine | December 14, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Appeasement of Lieberman also means Reid won't get re-elected next fall, that Reid will be bounced. Appeasing Lieberman by dumping the progressive elements of this bill will prove to liberals and progressives that Reid is a failure as a leader and will not support Reid's re-election and may, if there is a viable alternative, support a candidate against Reid and/or a leadership change in the Senate.

I honestly wish the major media outlets in this country reported the "real" story of health care on their front pages every day. It's not the horse race. It's not Holy Joe. It's hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of people who suffer (and some who die) every day because of our current private health care system. We pretend to be a first world country but we have a third world healthcare system. But I guess showing that reality is too much, too subjective, too impolite. So instead we get this crap.

Posted by: TimS1 | December 14, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Lierberman is garbage. Why anyone would've thought he'd set aside his attention-whoring ways for the good of the country is beyond me. Apparently they don't pay attention. Joe's only got a few years left though, if that. He looks like a corpse.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | December 14, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

joe does not care about sick americans, but he does care about Jewish interest, it was a blesing and a curse that he and Al did not win, to have that crapbag a heart beat from the presidency would have been a big mistake. The dems in the seate should strip him..he is a republican, let him caucus with the Repubs..

Posted by: spinmas | December 14, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

All those who voted against the health care bill should give up their free insurance they get by being a member of congress.They're all scumbag hipocrytes that will say and do anything to get and stay in office. Pure scum.

Posted by: koneill8 | December 14, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that people on the left vilify anybody who disagrees with them? There is virtually not "liberalism" with "liberals" these days. Is it possible that Lieberman sees this bill as the piece of garbage that most Americans do (pursuant to just about every poll from every entity out there - including the WA Post)? Is it possible? Why can't leftists take their mind off of their juvenile rage for long enough to even entertain the idea that some people just disagree with them? Do they ALWAYS have to be so angry and hostile toward people who disagree with them? They might not like it that America is not completely communist by now, but it is in fact still a free country...sort of. I believe Lieberman is a man of integrity...not Republican or Democrat, but integrity. This may be a foreign concept, but it is POSSIBLE! Good for you, Joe!

Posted by: Nich1olasbh | December 14, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well. So the Washington Post and liberals want to blame Liberman. That is laughable! This ignores the fact that they're trying to shove socialism down our throats and deny doing that. Maybe the fact that CNN reports that over 60% of the public is against the plan has something to do with the current situation?

Posted by: BillCarson2 | December 14, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman saying he'll vote to filibuster the health care bill pretty much puts the dems in a no win situation. They may have a few more tricks up their sleeves, but with the presidents poll numbers sinking, less are willing to stake their political life on a bill the American people overwhelmingly don't want.....Read: No recession in Washington D.C...at...

http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ronsuev | December 14, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Lawsuit100 above says:
I would like to ask some of the reform opponents to point out why this bill is a disaster? I'm not sure what part of the bill is damaging to America, can anyone of you enlighten me?
****************************************
Doesn't that comment exactly capture the thought process of leftists? After all the commentary, leftists act like they don't understand the opposition points. I wish I could lie like that!

Posted by: BillCarson2 | December 14, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You libs just don't get it. Reid and Obama are trying to get anything, anything at all to declare victory and preserve their reputations, even if it means taking down the health care system.

What ever happened to "bending the cost curve."

Take out your anger on Lierberman, but for me, he will be more of a patriot, who put good sense and courage above politics. I can's say the same for Reid, Boxer, Kerry, Schumer, Rockefeller and the other dimwits.

Posted by: aredub | December 14, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

How typical of the comments on this thread; most of them from die-hard Lieberman haters. I understand...there's nothing more infuriating than someone that you think has betrayed The Cause. But, I notice that not one of the haters on this thread have addressed the fundamental point which is that expansion of Medicare to include (possibly) up to 30M more people is utter insanity. Medicare ALREADY has $31T (that's trillion) in unfunded liabilities in the next 75 years. The Dems solution? EXPAND IT! It's clear to me that the Left is focus on creating a vast new entitlement and really, truly, does not give a %(&($# about how to pay for it.

Posted by: JohnR22 | December 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Spinmas posted: joe does not care about sick americans, but he does care about Jewish interest...


Ahhhhh...nice! A two-fer. Eeeevil republicans (and apparently some democrats like Joe) don't care about sick people, AND we get the specter of the eeeevil Jew to boot. Most anti-semitism in america comes from the Left, and most of the hypocrisy too (all the phoney bleating about compassion and fairness, when the REAL issue is getting more "free stuff" for themselves).

Posted by: JohnR22 | December 14, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank God that Joe Lieberman is honest and has the principles and integrity to stand up for Americans and stand against the Obama/Reid/Pelosi coup that is rightly opposed by a majority of Americans. By opposing Obamacare, Sen Leiberman has saved the very lives of millions of Americans. He has saved millions of elderly from certain death at the hand of $500 billion Obama/Reid/Pelosi Medicare cuts. He has saved the lives of millions of women who otherwise would have died of breast cancer because Obama/Reid/Pelosi want to outlaw mammograms for women in their 40s. Thanks to Sen Leiberman, millions of Americans will NOT die so that Obama/Reid/Pelosi have millions more to give to the greedy rich fatcats at ACORN and SEIU.

Obamacare will make the Holocaust look like a hangnail. This doesn't even bother Sen Lieberman's opponents, as their opposition to Sen Lieberman coincides with denial of or even support for the Holocaust. If Sen Lieberman weren't Jewish, his opponents would not savagely attack him with the unprecedented level of hate and vitriol that they have.

Posted by: wally77 | December 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

As a physician I know that the medicare by in would help the vast majority of sick people in this country. This is a moral imperative and thus I believe Lieberman is being immoral here. If the COB finds it does not increase costs than how can he say he is doing this for budgetary reasons. One can hope that he is making a lot of noise now then decide to vote for it based on the CBOs outcomes. If not I agree with the above who say lets pass a bill then include the medicare buy in through reconciliation. In fact even better have Reid keep them in session through the New Year to get the reconciliation process done by then. That would then really be an historical move by Reid, the Democrats and the President.

Posted by: ddmacpp | December 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Left needs to realize that big things like healthcare need to be done on a bipartisan basis. You just can't play with one sixth of the economy on a party-line basis.

Rip it up. Start over. Give up the massive government expansion fantasy and concentrate on creating as much competition as possible between the private health insurers. Concentrate on lowering costs - tell the trial lawyers and the SEIU that they need to sacrifice like everyone else. The progressives say they won't vote for a bill without a public option - call that bluff! If you did that, I think you would see bipartisan support.

Posted by: sold2u | December 14, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

We need to bend the cost curve so wally77 can afford his medication.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@billkarwin, "distinction as a presidential running mate for both parties ... following strong two-term presidents of the respective party"

Strong? GWB narrowly won in two of the closest presidential elections in American history. Or did you mean something else by strong?

Other than that, its an interesting notion.

Posted by: deoll | December 14, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

brucds-

So now anyone who dares to oppose Obamacare is a nazi, a slave-owning racist, AND mentally ill? Your logic is impeccable! I can't believe Redi deosn't have 100 votes already!

Posted by: wally77 | December 14, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear god - get this man his medicine.

Posted by: brucds | December 14, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I understand that Senator Harkin is considering introducing legislation to do away with the 60 votes to override a filibuster rule. To me, that makes great sense. If 51+ senators representing way more than a majority of the American people vote for something, it should pass. To do otherwise, is to go against the idea of one person-one vote, both in regard to the people who elected the congress in the first place and in regard to the Senators themselves. Let the majority rule.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 14, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Seriously? This is what passes for objective reporting in the Washington Post these days?

Careful, Ezra. Your Liberal bias is showing.

Posted by: Malvenue | December 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

If it wasn't Lieberman it probably would have been someone else. I consider this business as usual for Congress. What we, the people, end up with is always something that benefits everyone else but us. I see no "reform" in any of health care arguments in the house or senate. I see dancing around to preserve the status quo. "Sound and fury, signifying nothing".

Posted by: boleson02 | December 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman never got over his primary defeat at the hands of a candidate backed by progressives. He went on to win the general election as an "Independent" with a lot of Republican support and a lot of dirty money. It's been payback time ever since.

Posted by: ram9478 | December 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This is no longer the bill that was promised (i.e. with Public Option), this is simply "a bill" that will give the President a feather in his cap and cost the taxpayers a couple of TRILLION dollars.

Lieberman is saving Americans money. He should be thanked.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | December 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman represents the absolute worst of:
1. the American Jewish community
2. the entire Senate
3. so-called "independents"
4. pontification as art
5. pandering as a means for financial gain
6. public patronization of practically everyone
7. sanctimonious "burros" who inhabit the airwaves

I guess I better stop. I could go on for the rest of the week, but I think I might run out of words adequate to describe the inadequacy of Lieberman.

I think the word which summarizes him the best is "bad".

Posted by: expat2MEX | December 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Silvio Berlusconi looks like a beauty Queen compared to Liberman might look as he walks to work without a care as long as he brown noses his contitutents in White Plains or Little Israel.
If Liberman believes he can rip of the People in our Nation without results, serious repercussions, then he is insane as well as being immoral and uncaring for the most tortured of our citzens.
What kind of santimonious hypocrite is this to be so laxed and idiotic. Well he won't be a Senator forever and we will not forget him, if he betrays us with his fickle jawls jabbering treason and betrayl to our Democracy. In brief, Leiberman makes me sick.

Posted by: thomascanada | December 14, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There's another option. Threaten Lieberman. Tell him if he doesn't play ball he'll be stripped of his Homeland Security chairmanship, thrown out of the caucus, and that the Democratic Party will support his primary challenger to the max. And there must be other things he fears as well. Figure out what they are, and tell him that it's all going to happen. And for gawd's sake, mean it and do it, which given the fecklessness of the Democratic congressional leadership, is probably the hardest part.

Posted by: vinsons

Just to second this suggestion, if anything this just highlights the utter uselessness of Harry Reid as democratic senate chairman. This should have been adressed when Lieberman decided he wanted to run for Senate AGAINST the democratic party nominee. He's demonstrated numerous times that he's a whiny petulant child who is clearly more interested in payback than policy.

Considering Health Care reform is what Democrats have staked their political future on, it's beyond time for Harry Reid to enact take a hard line stance on his petty b.s. I, along with every other moderate to liberal voter, want some actual leadership out of the democratic party. It's beyond time to stop compromising with those only interested in obstruction.

Posted by: jbanks979 | December 14, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

>"Why would it be surprising that Lieberman would oppose the Medicare buy-in?"

Well, for one thing, there is video of him approving exactly the measure in question 3 months ago, when he wasn't expecting it to be in the bill.

He supported it until it became the compromise that would bring victory to the liberal Democrats. Then he opposed it. What does that tell you?

Posted by: njorl | December 14, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, just take his chairmanship away. Quit messing with this joker!

Posted by: ccs4756 | December 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this suppose to be an editorial? I am not interested in Ezra's opinion. It has NOTHING to do with fact. It's just his opinion. Most Americans are intelligent enough to understand that this piece of garbage medical bill they are trying to cram down our throats is just more socialism. Do we need reform? Absolutely. Everybody knows that. But the government is so corrupt...all of them. They are not the ones to do it. The LAST thing we should be doing is giving any of them more power and more of our money. They have no justice, morals, or values. They are just self-righteous thieves. Just look at ANY poll from ANY entity...even The WA Post. Most people do NOT want this piece of garbage. That does NOT mean that we want people to die. It just means that we believe that there is a better way...a MUCH MUCH MUCH better way. If they believe in it so wholeheartedly, why don't THEY impose it on themselves?

Posted by: Nich1olasbh | December 14, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Are there any Senators with bollocks or are they all as they seem, snug as bugs in a life locked job. Our Founding Fathers almost left the Senate idea to rot, too bad they did not exclude this high society social club that serves the interest of the rich. Just like the House Of Lords, the last thing the Senate cares about is the real people.
Dismiss the Senate, it was a bad idea for an acutal democracy as we see with this little Liberman Weasel.Suck Eggs Joe, that is all you will get except the yolk in your face.Disgusting example of a human being, not to mention an American.
He may be an Israeli in disguise?
Israel is not for long anyway, whenever did a Crusader City survive in the Middle East? Never, as history as shown.
Relocate the Holy Land to Nevada and Disney can build you a new Jerusalem, it is where Israelis belonged in the first place.

Posted by: thomascanada | December 14, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Please show some balls and dump the losers and do it now. We will not take this Bull anymore on any of the issues that are of extreme importance to the American People. We are within a hairbreath of taking to the streets for real this time. If the Big Boys play it cheap, then the Boys in streets will remind them how that we to can play the game. Remember the Sixties? We have learned since then and know where to pull the right strings. Like a spider, it can bite and weave a web.

Posted by: thomascanada | December 14, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman clearly said the bill has changed from 3 months ago and that the new bill already has subsidies for people between 55 and 65. Ezra - why don't you show some clips of Obama supporting single-payer and then show how many people he would kill?

Posted by: Holla26 | December 14, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It's about time Democrats do something no Congressman is used to: Think. If they reflect on history, they'll remember a Republican Congress that shut down the government and tried to blame Clinton. The populous wasn't fooled, Congress was blamed and Congress gave in.

Health care reform is needed. This bill isn't perfect, but it's much better than things remaining the same. Polls continue to show people understand that.

Therefore, if the Democrats were capable of thinking, they wouldn't be trying to avoid a filibuster -- they'd be forcing the Republicans to do it.

Get rid of the unpalatable amendment against providing abortions, a legal procedure. Get rid of the silliness of avoiding a public option. Put together the real bill and force the shills of the industry to filibuster. We'll see what their constituents tell them via phone calls, letters and emails.

Posted by: groucho42 | December 14, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I can no longer condone Senator Lieberman's betrayal. He must be punished.

Posted by: Alon1 | December 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman belongs in the Israeli Knesset more than he does in the U.S. Senate.

Posted by: andycyber | December 14, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen Poll - Monday December 14, 2009

40% Support Current Health Care Plan
56% Oppose current Health Care Plan

19% Strongly Favor the plan
46% Strongly Oppose the plan

It seems like 56% of Americans support the death of 100's of thousands of people. Wouldn't it be weird if this article was titled "Lieberman admits faults for previosly supporting Medi-Care buy-in and will now vote in favor of American people."

That wouldn't work for Ezra though. It seems like Ezra is settling old scores

Posted by: Holla26 | December 14, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Ezra! How demagogic can you get?

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Let's look at the facts:
1. You don't know Lieberman's motivation. This was nothing but a cheap shot.
2. You have no idea if passing this bill will save more lives. While the Urban Institute study claims that many have been lost (which I have no reason to doubt), the Democrats need to craft a bill to show that their strategy will not only address the needs of the uninsured, it will not harm the health care of those already covered.
3. Polls indicate that most Americans, while wanting reform, do not want the Democrat proposals.
4. Let's face it. The Democrats are desperate. They are trying to pass anything that will enable them to save face in light of their inability find a constructive solution to our HC crisis. more to do with November 2010 than with true reform.

Posted by: Peter28 | December 14, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

As long as the American People allow candidates to run on Corporate money,We the people will suffer and lose within this rigged system for corruption. Why let money ruin perfectly good people who end up in fear of losing a job that should be an honor.
How long will we be led around and not demand that all candidates run their candidacy on public funds. Equal, like a gun equalizes the odds of a small person against a larger one.
Corruption will be at the root of our system with politicians IOU's for getting the job in the firt place, Places us right there with all the rest of the corrupt countries. Wake up and demand this yoke be taken off the necks of the people and this will allow some degree of integrity to serve the people and not the corrupt and inhuman corporation. Corporation should be as a slave not a citizen or human being. It allows for immorality to take place as business everyday. When will we take these greedy pigs down to the pen and let them bleed before we feast equally at the table.
America for the People and down with Corrupt Corporation and take the CEO down to the dungeons until they learn some common manners. These boys have gotten to big for their pants. Time for a spanking, big time!

Posted by: thomascanada | December 14, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Malkin -- Here we go again: Desperate Demcare peddlers play the Murder Card
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/12/14/here-we-go-again-desperate-demcare-peddlers-play-the-murder-card/

Posted by: StewartIII | December 14, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post. But you are far too easy on Sen. Reid. Either he is a coward or simply does not care whether Congress passes meaningful health care reform. In any case, if the Democrats let scumbags like Lieberman derail even the lame compromise that was supposedly agreed last week, then the hell with all of them.

Posted by: lydgate | December 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman drives the leftnuts crazy because he retained his senate seat despite the fact that "progressives" threw everything they had at him and it wasn't enough.

I can't believe what passes for journalism these days. Ascribing sinister traits such as "torturing libs" and "willing to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths" because Lieberman (along with the majority of Americans) isn't in lockstep with Obamacare sounds like the overactive imagination of an emotinally immature child. Ezra needs his diapers changed and a long nap until he is capable of thinking like an adult.

Posted by: gaphound | December 14, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

No, Lieberman doesn't have blood on his hands. He just knows what the definition of unconstitutional means. God Bless Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: dwightfulone | December 14, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse


TO: NS12345 who wrote:
"... At least the Republicans learn from their mistakes."
_______________________

Republicans are a bunch of liars.

They have yet to even ackowledge their mistakes, and when the GOP Electoriate picks Bimbos like Sarah Palin as your Vice Presidential and Presidential Candidate, I see no signs of learning anything whatsoever on the part of the Republicans.

You're still picking idiots as your candidates.

Posted by: lindalovejones | December 14, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Ezra writes, "That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Another fear mongering hissy fit by a member of the wimpocrats.

Posted by: grohlik | December 14, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Lieberman can get away with this crap is proof that a) there is no god, or b) if there is, he really hates us.

What a despicable, duplicitous, egomaniacle jerk Lieberman is.

The sooner he disappears, the better.

Posted by: xSamplex | December 14, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Ha, I'm a true blue Dem buddy, but I'm pretty shocked at how poorly the party has managed this process. It's not like they weren't warned that Lieberman would be a problem.

Posted by: NS12345 | December 14, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Klein,

Can you please tell me what size brown shirt fits you best? Lay off the demagoguery, it cheapens this important debate.

Thank you.............

Posted by: rtneiles | December 14, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

WTGo Joe! Thank you! Ben: you are finished!

Posted by: houston123 | December 14, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Lieberman's no newcomer to supporting decisions that cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. If it's good for Joe, it's just good. Who cares who it hurts?

Posted by: B2O2 | December 14, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Hola26 seems to be taking a bit out of context. Yes, Republicans have been using scare tactics about the current bill to stop any changes that would negatively impact their campaign donors, but the same Rasmussen poll presents a bit wider picture.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform points out that "42% of voters say the federal government should be addressing health care reform. Twenty-three percent (23%) prefer to see reforms at the state government level, while 17% want both the state and federal government to get into the act."

The math points out that 83% of Americans think that we not only need change but that government, at some level, must be involved in that change.

The "problem" is that the Democrats all have different views, since theirs is an open party. The Republicans march in lock step and all spout the same fear, fear with the 24 hour infotainers find easier to report on. The issue is complex, fear is simple.

Posted by: groucho42 | December 14, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

There is much discussion about Mr. Lieberman being owned by the insurance companies therefore he doesn't represent the people of his state nor does he have concern for the American people.
Mr. Lieberman wants to derail the process and leave a shell of a bill if he takes out the freedom of the public option and give people the freedom to choose because in the end the American government pays because they have to pay the insurance companies as it is in Medicare. The insurance companies WIN and WIN BIG.
I believe the Congress should write a plan that provides coverage for the people just like the Congress gets, this is supposed to be a fair government and equality for all government. It was also mentioned that when insurance companies were started they were supposed to be non-profit so much for that.
The next person who dies of a disease that is not covered by their insurance or that they don't have insurance they should blame Mr. Lieberman and he thinks he is an independent, he is a Republican in disguise witness is endorsement for President in the last election. Who is he fooling?
How sad for America on this most charitable season of the year.

Posted by: wminier | December 14, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

" . . . he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Whatever one thinks of Lieberman, let's hope Klein has an editor with the good sense to force Klein to walk back from this outrageously unfair aspersion.

Posted by: Bailey7 | December 14, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, pish-posh. The Medicare buy-in was a stupid idea to begin with. Why can't Congress fix what needs to be fixed without trying to screw up the whole system?

Posted by: sanitysrest | December 14, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

All progressive Democrats should now begin to wage war upon Joe Lieberman, the state of Conn, and everything that Joe Lieberman stands for. Stripping his chairmanship should only be the beginning. We should boycott all things Lieberman and all things Conn. He is waging a personal vendetta against the progressives and we should reciprocate! Then, if this Scoop Jackson of a President and his neo-Clintonian Chief of Staff don't get the message, we should vote elsewhere come 2012.

Posted by: LawyerLawyerPantsonFire | December 14, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman and his wife will take their insurance company bribes and retire in 2012.

Posted by: knjincvc | December 15, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Mr. Klein - What in the world is
wrong with you?

Posted by: shar4 | December 15, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman supported Medicare buy-in in 2004? Hell, he supported in in September 2009.

He should have run with Kerry, because he supported it before he was against it.

Posted by: mxyzptlk1 | December 15, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

"That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Pure demagoguery and completely dishonest. Lieberman is a beacon of hope in a sea of idiocy.

Posted by: dftpub | December 15, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"The average per person health care cost for those in the Medicare system is - in the reality of the real world - less than the average per person health care cost for the rest of the American population."-Martel1

Martel1, you are the one who knows nothing about health care finance.

The reason that Medicare costs are less is because the government doesn't pay the whole cost of the health care that the system provides. Those of us with insurance have to make up the difference--which is why fewer and fewer doctors will accept Medicare patients.

If you REALLY want to do something constructive to lower the cost of medicine, insist on tort-reform.

As for your so-called "path back to democracy"--it apparently involves forcing a pathetic health care bill, which is opposed by 2 out of 3 Americans, down our throats. Some democracy.

Posted by: sbroce | December 15, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Few things more amusing than watching the party of the "big tent" and their pie faced media hacks throwing a tantrum and hyperventilating over Joe Lieberman.Just wait until he rubs their noses in their own bile after they lose control of Congress next year.

Posted by: diana11777 | December 15, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Bingo!

Klein has hit the nail on the head here. Lieberman is mainly doing this out of spite, bitterness, and a childish need for some sort of "revenge" against those he's hated since he lost the 2006 senate primary election in Connecticut.

It's the same reason he campaigned almost daily last year for John McCain. Lieberman holds grudges. He wants to get back. He's obsessed with "getting even", even if that means millions of American families are going to suffer.

Lieberman is the very example of what I would tell my child NOT to be; small, petty, vindictive and obsessed with getting back at people.

Right now, Lieberman appears to live his life, and chooses his stances on the issues by beginning with the question, "So, what do those Democrats really want? And whatever that is, I'm going to come out against it. And, put a big show on about it to draw attention to myself! Hee hee!"

This is the behavior of a self-obsessed, self-pitying petulant adolescent. Remember, Joe Lieberman was William F. Buckley's way of "punishing" Lowell Weicker, the moderate Republican who Buckley despised for standing up to Richard Nixon during Watergate. Lieberman is, in so many ways, Buckley's revenge too.

Posted by: snesich | December 15, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What utter nonsense is being posted here, kiddies. Red herring mash.

The reality is simple. Like many other politicians, Senator Lieberman is coin operated. Who has money and clout in his home state of Connecticut? Among the biggest, if not the very biggest economic powerhouses there are the Insurance Companies. And who are among those who could be most hurt by health reform. One more time, now, and let's see if we can get it right: Insurance Companies.

Is it really any wonder that the goos senator now wonders about health care reforms? Who is among the largest contributors to his campaing? The insurance industry. Those of you who think this is about liberal bashing, or other silly nonsense need a strong dose of reality. This, kids, is about money. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: tbarreca | December 16, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Ad res, not ad hominem. Cicero said "if you have no facts attack your opponent"

Posted by: shabetai1 | December 16, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with you, EK? This is pretty juvenile even by your standards.

Posted by: Yossarian3 | December 16, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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