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Charles Lane's 'oldful' attack

In taking umbrage at Post blogger Ezra Klein’s attack on Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) for turning the health-care debate into his own personal grudge match against liberals, Post Partisaner Charles Lane gets a tad ad hoministic in terming Klein “youthful” -- presumably a term of disapprobation among venerable journalistic heads.

Does Lane really want to go that route? An empirical critique of Post opinion writers would of necessity conclude that far more Post opinionators (present company included) err on the side of oldness rather than youthfulness, and that creaky Beltway conventional wisdom pops up more frequently than the kind of “youthful” zeal that has led Klein (a former American Prospect colleague of mine) to note that diminishing the level of coverage in the health reform package will doubtless cost some lives. Klein's reference to the life-and-death consequences of the battle to expand health care may be viewed, in some Beltway circles, as youthful bad manners, though there’s a case to be made that mortality rates occasionally trump such considerations. Anyway, Klein’s oldful colleagues might want to think twice, or if that’s too much, just once before throwing around “youthfulness” as one of the seven deadly sins.

By Harold Meyerson  | December 14, 2009; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Meyerson  | Tags:  Harold Meyerson  
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It's more than an age thing. Lane is practicing the worst kind of Beltway-bubble punditry. Wink, nod and provide cover to the DC insiders club, no matter how disingenuous or shameful their actions.

Klein, by calling out Lieberman for the very real consequences of his actions, now is probably toast in Broderland. But thanks to the Internet, Klein has a much brighter future than the Charles Lanes of the world.

Posted by: pdxer | December 14, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Charles Lane should be fired.

Posted by: andycyber | December 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I know that pointing out Liberals’ hypocrisy is both futile and redundant, but, alas, here I go any way.

Remember when Sarah Palin stated that Democrat health care reforms would lead to rationing and “death panels?” The left was shocked and enraged at such hyperbole, no matter how much evidence was offered to defend it. Her statement was considered “beyond the pale.” Newspapers posted editorials and journalists moralized on Palin’s preposterous allegation. Now, along comes Ezra Klein, basically making the same accusation against Joe Lieberman that Palin made against the Dems. And with a straight face, the Liberal commenters not only agree with Klein, but state he didn’t go far enough! And I thought it was just the Republicans were engaged in dogmatic purity.

Along comes Charles Lane to call Klein out on his own preposterous claim and Harry Meyerson is offended that someone would pick on buddy. How sweet! But what is “old” Harry really upset about with Lane – his stance on the health care debate or the hyper-partisanship in the media? Nah, good ol’ Charlie had the audacity to call Ezra a young pup. Oh the shame! Oh the humanity! Oh how low “journalism” has stooped! C’mon guys, get over yourselves. In case, you haven’t realized, your brand of “news” is much cutting it anymore.

Posted by: braunt | December 14, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

As expected, there’s a smear campaign against Lieberman and against everyone who may try to save Americans from the Obamacare Scam.

The smear campaign, run by the Marxist thugs in Chicago and conducted by their armies of ACORN-type “community organizers,” seeks to destroy opponents and advance Marxism.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 14, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

In this back and forth the substance of Ezra Klein's piece seems to be lost. It was Mr. Lieberman himself who, three months ago as a substitute for the public option, called for expanding medicare. The very program he is suddenly now against.

Posted by: cgindc | December 14, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"In this back and forth the substance of Ezra Klein's piece seems to be lost. It was Mr. Lieberman himself who, three months ago as a substitute for the public option, called for expanding medicare. The very program he is suddenly now against.

Posted by: cgindc | December 14, 2009 6:57 PM"

This is exactly right, and it's why people like braunt @6:20pm are wrong. Read Klein's postings -- he's showing, in rational and coherent arguments, why Lieberman's positions are intellectually dishonest. Klein is simply showing that Lieberman is doing things that will cost people their lives, and he's doing it for apparently petty, personal reasons having nothing to do with the substance of health care. There's nothing wrong with pointing out the consequences of Lieberman's actions. I thought conservatives were all about personal responsibility?

Posted by: simpleton1 | December 14, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Sarah Palin stated that Democrat health care reforms would lead to rationing and “death panels?” The left was shocked and enraged at such hyperbole, no matter how much evidence was offered to defend it. Her statement was considered “beyond the pale.”

The left were not offended because it was hyperbole. The left were offended because it was a LIE. The left were offended because someone as predominent as Palin would repeatedly compare health reform to Nazi Germany when there was not the slightest bit of truth to what she was saying.

Posted by: jbanks979 | December 14, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Lane backed the Iraq invasion, if I'm not mistaken. Enough said about his judgment and insight, I would think.

And Sen. Lieberman (Ind. - Aetna) is all about what's best for Joe. Everyone knows that by now.

Posted by: B2O2 | December 14, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If Klein could've made his point in a cogent fashion, perhaps he wouldn't have felt compelled to resort to the absolute silliness (and insult) of accusing Lieberman of being a homicidal maniac.
I guess the problem is, they couldn't.
Even when EK refers to Lieberman's previous position on increasing Medicare eligibility, he scurries past the fact that Lieberman's exact point NOW is that MC's getting $500B hacked off of it, while being tasked with a larger user base. That's totally different than what Lieberman originally proposed.

Posted by: OttoDog | December 14, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

@braunt: Let me put it simply - Palin's statements weren't merely exaggerations of the truth, they were lies. Palin lied about death panels. Her purpose was to willfully mislead, and that is what motivated the outcry among liberals and allies of healthcare reform. Klein, on the other hand, is saying that if Lieberman's attempts to subvert healthcare reform are successful, the uninsured will remain that way, while more and more of the insured continue to lose their coverage. This leads to reduced access to healthcare which, in turn, results in significantly shorter life expectancies for those people. Klein's conclusion is, unlike Palin's mendacious tales of "death panels", supported by academic studies and empirical evidence, not solely by an overactive imagination. Could his language have been more tactful? Perhaps. But his views, unlike those of Palin, are firmly rooted in reality.

Posted by: atlasfugged | December 14, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Also, it should be noted, that Charles Lame agreed with Sarah Palin in one of his Post-Partisan posts during the summer that the reforms would institute "death panels".

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

Your paper definitely needs some Red Bull in it's Ovaltine.

Posted by: jamusco | December 14, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Lane did not provide rebuttal that thousands of people die because of lack of medical care. This misfortune is directly tied to being uninsured/underinsured.

Posted by: osmor | December 14, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Lane seems ideologically to be nearly ancient, like from the days of Herbert Hoover's administration during the real Great Depression.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 14, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Harold. Lane's dishonest op ed and fake umbrage ought to remind ordinary folks of what they are really facing.

Anybody who thinks the key to a golden age is to lower minimum wage to even lower than it already is, is in my book a Scrooge! I think the right term is "lower than low."

I recognize the type, and I'm a convert to Judaism.

Posted by: chris_holte | December 14, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The best part about Lane's post however was that he agreed with Ezra Klein, and said so. Lieberman's obstructing of health care reform is "payback" Lane says, against progressives for not supporting him for election after he was a big Iraq war supporter.

So Charles Lane agrees that Joe Lieberman is probably taking a position out of political revenge instead of principle, and this position will in fact deny health care to tens of thousands, and some of them will die as a result. Yet pointing out that last part is despicable, Lane claims, because he calls it "accusing Lieberman of murder".

Well, call it whatever you want, Charles, Ezra was right. And you agreed, after trashing him for having the same opinion that you do.

Whatever fantasies Lane and others may engage in, we all know that no Republican health care reform bill will pass. It's a joke to think so. So for Lieberman to claim "No, I want health care reform, just a different kind" is pure nonsense, this health care bill will pass or nothing will. So if this one leaves hundreds of thousands without insurance many of whom may die as a result, then Klein was absolutely correct that Lieberman is willing to cause that out of petty vengeance-- which Lane agrees is why he's taking the stand he is.

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

thank you for taking sides in this intramural spat. the right side, I might add.

Posted by: daphne5 | December 15, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

antonio sosa, you're a sellout. and a complete moron.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | December 15, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

The president and the Democratic majority in Congress were elected with a mandate to deliver reform of our shameful and predatory health-care insurance financial-politico complex that's responsible for millions of Americans' early deaths, as well as bankruptcies, loss of homes, and other personal disasters brought on by ll health and a perfidious and mendacious power lobby with a stranglehold on our political system. Joe Lieberman is point man for obstructionist efforts to deny a majority of the American voting public's will, paid for by the insurance industry that has run amok for years, with government support. The bill now maybe about to be passed is such a series of compromises that it holds little real relief for suffering Americans. Joe Lieberman is largely responsible for that, along with the spineless Democratic Party leadership that's let him get away with doing his Hartford insurance masters' bidding. People who defend him would argue that daylight is dark, to score a cheap political point. Throw him out of the Democratic Caucus, take away his chairmanships of committees, and let him run as a 'moderate Republican'... If there is such a thing, with Sarah Palin swooping out of Alaska to tell everyone everywhere else in the nation who they can and can't vote for. It would be beautiful irony to see her trash his chances for future re-election because he's too 'liberal'.

Posted by: douglasblee | December 15, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

It is remarkable how many people take Klein’s assertion that Lieberman is a mass-murderer at face value! Have you folks even looked at the Urban Institute study EK references? It makes the fantastic leap that more people die solely due to the lack of medical insurance. Besides being a classic logical fallacy (cum hoc ergo propter hoc – assumes that correlation implies causation), it considers no other underlying reasons for the difference – poverty, education, criminality, bad habits, or a lack of personal responsibility. If a person willfully disregards his own health or neglects to buy medical insurance of his own accord, is it Joe Lieberman’s fault if he meets an early demise? How dare Joe let anyone die in a car accident before the government insures her! Using Klein’s logic, if s a study claimed more people died when it rained, Congress would be guilty of genocide for not legislating perpetual sunny days!

Posted by: braunt | December 15, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Lane has no credibilty. Pay him the minimum wage, and take away his health insurance.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 15, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klien outrageously accuses Joe Lieberman (one of the the few honorable politicians of our time) of being a mass murderer, but it is Chuck Lane who goes over the line by calling Klien "youthuful"? This is the sort of logic that says we have to reform healtcare because it costs too much even though the reforms will cost more. This is why left the Democratic party. Maybe Leftists should spend more time on logic and less time trying to destroy Joe Lieberman, John Mackey and Ron Wyden (unfortunately, the extremists successfully silenced Wyden).

Posted by: jbb34 | December 15, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Still would like to know----and EVERYONE else would too----Is all(ALL) of Congress/Gov. workers going to be on this (WHATEVER) healthcare plan?? IF NOT then NO..(no change)...

Posted by: rw62827 | December 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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