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The most important number in politics today


That's the voter registration advantage that Democrats (780,338) hold over Republicans (427,110) in Connecticut, a massive edge that makes Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I) announced opposition to a health care compromise all the more baffling from a political perspective.

In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Lieberman made clear that he would not support a bill that expanded Medicare -- a proposal that had been floated by Democratic leaders as a potential compromise to ensure the overall package had the 60 votes it needs to overcome unified Republican opposition.

Lieberman's position brought immediate condemnation from the liberal left with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee touting a survey that showed more than eight in ten Democrats wanted the Connecticut Senator's chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee stripped if he backed a Republican filibuster of the health care bill.

Putting aside the policy questions, it's clear from the state's voter registration numbers that Lieberman's potential blockade against the health care bill is bad politics.

Connecticut is a strongly Democratic state -- President Barack Obama carried it with 61 percent in 2008 -- that, by and large, supports the passage of some sort of health care reform.

Lieberman's numbers among Democrats -- 36 percent favorable/63 percent unfavorable in a September Research 2000 poll for the liberal Daily Kos blog -- were already dismal and his actions surrounding the health care bill won't help matters.

Lieberman may be depending on the state's large bloc of unaffiliated voters -- all 884,023 of them, according to 2008 numbers provided by the Connecticut Secretary of State -- to carry him to a victory, voters drawn to his willingness to buck his own party on major issues.

But, even that is a dicey proposition.

First of all, a large number of unaffiliated voters in a state as blue as Connecticut lean Democratic. Second, the Kos poll showed that among "independent" voters, Lieberman had a 46 percent favorable rating and a 50 percent unfavorable score.

Given all of that, the most rational conclusion to be drawn from Lieberman's approach on health care -- not to mention his strong support for the presidential candidacy of Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) in 2008 -- is that he has decided not to seek re-election in 2012 and, freed from political concerns, is pursuing the policy agenda he truly believes in. (Worth noting: Lieberman will be 70 years old on election day 2012.)

Lieberman has given no indication on way or another about the way he is leaning as his re-election race approaches in 2012. But, his actions over the past several years -- typified by his opposition on health care -- have drastically narrowed his path to victory.

His only chance now is to run as an independent (he would have zero chance of winning a Democratic primary), hope Republicans don't field a strong candidate and try to put together a coalition of unaffiliated voters and GOPers to overcome whoever Democrats nominate.

Could it happen? Sure. But, Lieberman has to be considered a long-shot today to return to the Senate in 2013.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 14, 2009; 1:04 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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How about you guys just leave ME out of your posts?

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I told him to leave me out of his posts too and that lasted all of five minutes.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 15, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want my opinion, then don't address me, troll.

Posted by: nodebris | December 15, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

In 2008 there were about 47,000 votes for Alan Keyes.

Chances of any one voter being one of that group: about 0.036%

Chances of two Keyes voters in the same household: 0.000013%

Any questions?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 15, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not requesting your opinion on anything.

Posted by: JakeD | December 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse


Why are you talking to me, troll? If you wish to start a dialogue, start by addressing the points I make and not by requesting my opinion on your constant barrage of worthless insinuation and smear.

Posted by: nodebris | December 15, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse


Apart from the personal attacks here, you will note that I'm not the one lamenting the lack of an actual bloody physical attack on Sen. Lieberman (I-CT).

Posted by: JakeD | December 15, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Given Mr. Cillizza's admonitions this past Friday, I thought that "personal attacks against fellow posters" were prohibited.

Posted by: JakeD | December 15, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I read that 2/3 of Democrats in the Senate favor stripping AIPAC Joe of his Vaterlandsicherheitsamt chairmanship if he joins the anti-party in a filibuster.

Why can't Americans have the spirit of the Italians? Just look at Berlusconni.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 15, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Palin/Lieberman 2012!


AIPAC Joe would go for it but Palin would never want to share power with someone who didn't roll in the aisles and handle rattlesnakes.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 15, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

What were the people of Connecticut thinking when they voted this a--hole Lieberman in as an independent over their primary elected Democratic candidate. He ranks right up there with Ralph Nader, who gave us eight years of George the Second as a traitor to his party. The same party that made him a candidate for the Vice-Presidency in 2000. In retrospect Al Gore could not have done much worse than this guy who brought absolutely nothing to the ticket but that is an old story. Now the SOB will saddle us with a health care reform package that will mean nothing, absolutely nothing to the people who need it most. This guy is the Sam Nunn of 2009. If you remember the Senator from Georgia, another so-called Democrat, almost singlehandedly killed the Clinton attempt to fix health care. You have to give it to the republicans, they stick together. Rarely will one of them put their own interest before the interest of the party whereas Democrats like Lieberman are worried about the insurance companies that have given him oodles of money rather than the good of the country.

Posted by: Opa2 | December 15, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

One who lies is a liar. That's the position in the language the word occupies.

I hope the heavy-breathing infatuation with the gracious host doesn't mean we're going to be treated to one aside about "personal attacks" after another after another. That would get old real fast.

The line between identifying a post as having dishonest content and identifying the writer as a liar is thin enough that the better answer to either reaction would simply be to not lie in the first place.

Pity we have to explain things like this but there are some reeeeal slow ones here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 15, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I happen to like some of the people on your list-such as Bush I and II


Bush I might make sense but if you claim to like Bush II then it's a safe bet that either you're trolling, my guess, or you have some strikingly poor judgment.

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

I would not vote for Palin if she pulled an Algore. I said "Palin-Limbaugh 2012" below ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 15, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Palin/Lieberman 2012!

Posted by: nodebris | December 15, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Joe Wilson.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 15, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

margie- how about a list of current Dems that are laughing stocks- such as:
Dodd, Rangel, Murtha,Waters, Pelosi , Reid, Waxman, Frank and a few others I missed. Some of these are under ethics charges but are still kept as committee chairs. Pelosi and Reid has made this Congress a joke. See it is all your point of view. I happen to like some of the people on your list-such as Bush I and II
Rudy Giuliani and
Jerry Ford

Posted by: jschmidt2 | December 14, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Luckily, pResident Obama is a "public figure" so we can call him a "liar" around here without being banned.

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Joe is the only Democratic that looks at the cost of programs. Way to go Joe. I'll vote for you again.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | December 14, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"... is pursuing the policy agenda he truly believes in."

Excuse me? Do you mean the medicare buy-in idea he "believe(d) in" a few months ago (as captured in a videotaped interview)? Or the stance AGAINST a medicare buy-in that he "believes in" now?

Does he believe in anything except self-aggrandisement?

I think the answer is a clear "no".

Posted by: mpl2 | December 14, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse


Are you calling someone who posts here a "liar"?

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@margaret: while endorsing your point I would nevertheless ask that Dan Quayle be left out of it.

Yeah he's a Republican and yeah he's probably a neocon but there are far far worse than him. Most of the goobers on your list deserve to be deep-sixed but Quayle has a decent bone or two in his body.

You might have listed Mitch "count the chins" McConnell, John "electric tan" Boehner, and a few others.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

the Dem party has been taken over by a liberal orthodoxy.


Next time you feel like posting this sh*t just refrain because nobody wants to read it

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I see 37th has learned the big lie technique. Repeat it often enough and people will believe you. Except no one does.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It is always amazing when the DC pundit world tries to talk about local politics.

Chris, I’m sorry but your analysis is so wrong as to be comical.

1. The number to know in CT is 884,023, that’s the number of unaffiliated. And it’s growing.

2. CT is not that blue. The Dems have not won an open gubernatorial race in almost 30 years, mostly because; the Dem party has been taken over by a liberal orthodoxy.

3. Even when The Daily Kos gang had a candidate with national backing, all the money in the world and the DEMOCRATIC nomination, Ned Lamont, they couldn’t beat JoeMentum because of the GOP and the real number 884,023.

Joe won’t run in 2012. I’m no big fan of Joe's but you and your Daily Kos friends are, with Obamas election, falling into the same trap the right wing of the GOP fell into with Reagan. This country is not right nor left...we are largely a big squishy bunch of middle roaders.

Posted by: bdavol60 | December 14, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Never give up, never wear anything with a permanent press label in it, don't ever eat or drink anything instant

You've got to try as hard as you can"
-- "Never Give UP," Nocturnal Emissions (1993)

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The stooges have seized the thread.

Posted by: snowbama | December 14, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

So much for "no personal attacks" ...

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

If you need to repeat your little slogan three times in all caps then you're not going to get any traction no matter how many times you scream it. Here's an idea, 37thandZero, and however many other monikers you post under ... you're over your head here.


Why don't you go back to stormfront or freerepublic or redtate or fourlegger and boast to the bog troll girls with the swastika tats that you singlehandedly bright the liberal blog to its knees and you had the socialists sputtering helplessly at your irrefutable arguments.

It won't be the truth but since when it that an issue for you?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Let's be honest - Obama was elected on a repeated promise to be bi-partisan - AND OBAMA HAS BROKEN THAT PROMISE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY TIME AND TIME AGAIN.





Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that ex Rep candidates fall so quickly from grace and become laughingstocks?

Sarah Palin
Newt Gingrich
Bush I
Rudy Giuliani
Jerry Ford
Steve Forbes
Alan Keyes
Liddy Dole
Dan Quayle
Rick Santorum
Pat Buchanan
Fred Thompson

Bush II didn't even wait to leave office to make a complete mockery of being present he spent so much of his last couple of years in hiding or on vacation.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 14, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

There is a report out now that public option and the Medicare at 55 buy-in option have been dropped - to make Lieberman happy so he can support the bill.

So what is left?

The problem is clear: Obama has been playing so many games with the public option, he has caused the agenda to IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE.


Now everyone has been so distracted, very few people know what else is in the bill - much less agree on what that bill should look like.



Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is in the news excoriating Democrats for not listening more to Republican suggestions for healthcare.

I know this is pretty hard to believe, but fortunately for the fate of the earth, irony is massless otherwise Lieberman's position would have certainly triggered a collapse into a black hole.

It's worth noting in this close-call survival that AIPAC Joe has never called for Republicans, the more intransigent by any honest measure, to yield the same.

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

Apparently Lieberman is now going after Ezra Klein. Klein tweets:

"Lieberman's office is welcome to call *me* as opposed to, say, calling people about me. Courage!"

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Good idea, margaret. I think cutting the salaries of everyone who works at the Post would really help the economy.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Background on Lieberman's 'principles.'

Meet Joe Lieberman, Medicare buy-in advocate. It's the winter of 2000, and Lieberman is pressing flesh and kissing babies in Bangor, Maine as the presidential election approaches. After holding a town hall meeting with voters at Bangor's opera house on Main Street, Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, sits down with the local paper to discuss the upcoming election and his ticket's plan to improve the nation's health care system by allowing some younger Americans to "buy in" to the government run program. As his running mate, Al Gore, has been doing on the trail for weeks, Lieberman talks up the value of a buy-in, eloquently arguing that it's a great compromise way to get incremental health care reform past members of Congress wary of a robust health care reform bill.

You know the members he's talking about. The ones that say any government-run health insurance plan, including a Medicare expansion, will bankrupt the country and hurt private insurance companies. The ones that, as of this weekend, count Joe Lieberman as one of their strongest allies.

Joe Lieberman, meet Joe Lieberman.

From the 2000 interview in the Bangor Daily News:
In an interview after the town meeting, Lieberman said that
health care changes can only come incrementally, which is why the
Democratic ticket hasn't proposed an overhaul of the system.
"The kinds of proposals that Al Gore and I are making are the
result of what we learned over the last eight years, and they're
designed to be acceptable to both parties in Congress," he said.

"It may not be a neat one size does it all," Lieberman said.

He said during the interview that the fastest growing group of
uninsured are those 55 to 65. For that reason, the ticket proposesan expansion of Medicare to allow those and older to buy into the
public program. There would still be a buy-in price but it would be
less than buying private insurance, he said.

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

Sorry simonsays but history is unequivocal on this point, for almost two generations now it has been the Republican, not the Democrats, who try to live beyond our means, cutting taxes and cutting revenue and claiming that the loss will be made up by lesser taxes on a burgeoning economy, which doesn't actually happen.

For example George W. Bush, (Republican president 2001-2008 and some change) moved financing of two expensive and unnecessary wars off the budget, as though an accounting trick would make them free. Said president took office under a budge surplus (from a Democratic president) and left office with massive budget deficits.

Now that you have correct information I expect you to post the truth from now on.


I'm shocked to learn there's gambling at Rick's.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

case in point

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Give me more "common sense" conservatism any day of the week.

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

That is not liberal or conservative,
it is what Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln called, Common Sense.


The meaning of that colloquialism has changed in the past few centuries. It no longer refers to widely-shared understandings, rather it's an appeal to the conceit and a salve to the insecurity of ignorant and uneducated people.

The implication is that what intellectually inferior people are unable to understand or unwilling to learn is actually not necessary for the to know. See "gut," as in "governing from the."

See also Palin, Sarah and Bush, George W.

The nation needs more educated and thoughtful representatives, and less "common sense."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that democrats are mindless sheep,
is exactly why he was elected as an independent. The silly notion that the democratic party has to somehow purge itself of Blue Dog Dems' is just more mindless dribble. It assumes that each individual must live within his means,
and yet the government does not have too.

That is not liberal or conservative,
it is what Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln called, Common Sense.

Seems you blue ball democrats have lost any notion of that.

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 14, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Another good thread destroyed by Ace McNumbnuts. Slow day in mommy's basement, apparently.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

how could I forget John Kerry?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that ex dem candidates fall so quickly from grace and become laughingstocks?


Joe Liebermann
Al Gore
John Edwards
Bill Clinton
Jimmy Carter
Joe Biden

Obama didn't even wait to leave office to make a complete mockery of being present.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Drindl@3:31, Charles Lane thinks we could kill all this unemployment if we just accepted that the minimum wage of $7.25 is too darn high. He had a couple of other ideas, too, but most of them come off the worker's pay check. That's where the fat is, doncha know, and it really prevents a lot of employers from taking on more workers.

Maybe the Post would hire more writers and reporters if the ones they had accepted less money. I suggest Lane put his idea into play right in his own workplace.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

60 is still the most important number right now - number number Harry Reid needs to end debate on the health care bill.

At some point, someone has to put what is good for the country above politics.

That is what statemanship is all about. Too many democrats are pushing "any health care bill" for partisan reasons - because of the possibly false analogy to 1994.

I actually believe that IF the democrats pass health care, they will suffer worse than 1994, but who knows at this point.

It all depends on how the seniors vote.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

sver, where he belongs is unemployed.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

the moonbat is busy today with it's "work".

When I say "it's" I mean cut and paste from a thinking person's website.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Without being able to drill into Sen. Lieberman's cranium, thankfully, we must look for objective evidence to explain his politically suicidal path.

As Mrs. Lieberman sits on the boards of several health insurance/big pharma giants--all based in Connecticut--and all of whom have contributed very handsomely to Lieberman's reelection campaigns over the years, his stance can be interpreted as acting to protect the 'Golden Goose'.

If he harbours resentment against the Democrats, imagining he was ill-treated because of his outspoken campaigning for the Republicans in 08, he should count himself lucky that his chairmanship was restored to him courtesy of the intercession of President Obama.

Certainly, it's ingratitude of the highest degree on his part. If he dislikes the Democrats that much, he should switch parties, but then he WOULD CERTAINLY lose his chairmanships and any clout he might still have.

If he sees himself as an Olympia Snowe-type 'dealmaker', he's got to watch out because that window has closed.

Whatever his reasoning, it's definitely NOT from principle--especially as he's given myriad, opposing and illogical reasons for his opposition. What's left are a lot of mean-spirited or self-serving, self-aggrandising potential motivations.

He might possibly have been promised a seat on the Board of one of the health insurance companies if he derails reform. Certainly, he doesn't belong back in the Senate--or, given the behaviour of a lot of senators recently, perhaps he does.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | December 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

another NY-23 coming...

'The cry of "RINO" in Virginia's fifth Congressional district is starting to sound a bit familiar as Republicans have opted for a primary election to choose their nominee to challenge freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA).

Tea party activists in the district don't think the favored candidate Robert Hurt, a state senator from rural Chatham, is conservative enough.

The June primary is an interesting development in the VA-05 district, which is the top target for Congressional Republicans who held it until last year.

The Lynchburg News & Advance reported on conservative frustration following this weekend's vote to hold a primary:

Several activists in the conservative Tea Party movement, who had held up signs that read "Convention" during the meeting, walked out grumbling. Some of the activists vowed they wouldn't support a Republican primary winner.
"The secret ballot bothered me the most," said Bill Hay, a Tea Party organizer from Greene County. Republicans talk about the need to be fiscally conservative, Hay said. But holding a primary will cost local governments in the Charlottesville-to-Danville 5th District hundreds of thousands of dollars in election expenses, Hay said.

Mark Lloyd, the new leader of Lynchburg-area Tea Party activists, said the choice of a primary left him "incredibly disappointed that the Republican Party would not listen" to the group."

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

President Barack Obama will meet with Senate Democrats at the White House Tuesday to press for action at a make-or-break moment for his health care overhaul

Pweese,, pwetty pweese.

crash and burn Barry. it's best for all. we don't need no stinkin' socialism.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's another popular R 'idea' right now -- eliminate unemployment insurance:

''This morning on NBC’s Today, RNC chair Michael Steele said that in order for banks to start lending to small businesses, the federal government should reduce the unemployment tax:

STEELE: Well, I think, first off, he should recognize that banks aren’t going to lend money to people who can’t pay them back. … So there’s — there’s this whole cycle of not understanding exactly how the economy works with respect to small-business owners. Take that pressure off of them. Let’s — let’s eliminate the capital gains tax. Let’s reduce the unemployment tax.'

The unemployment tax is a tax levied on employers in order to provide payments of unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Unemployment insurance provides a vital lifeline to more than 10 million Americans currently looking for work in an environment where jobs are scarce. Moreover, the benefits also provide fiscal stimulus as they are almost certain to be spent and put back into the economy quickly. Economists estimate that one dollar put towards unemployment benefits contributes about $2.15 to economic growth.

So Steele’s solution to fixing the economy is to take away benefits from those who have lost their jobs.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Politico - The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which would mean eliminating the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations.

will we see this hope ande change for transparency on CSPAN as promised? Or is it the usual underhanded dirty dealings that have always accompanied the Democrats?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

did it ever occur to any of you geniuses that Joe is from an insurance state. He absolutely SHOULD vote against a law that will eliminate or cripple the main industry in his state.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

strut and preen and throw a tantrum just for the attention


this is coming from a recognized authority on the subject.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse


Sen. Lieberman has sold out to the security/intel/corporate complex. What else can explain his political suicide -- and why he won't he address credible reports of civil and human rights abuses involving Homeland Security, Pentagon and intel agencies? He, of all people, should realize what happens when tyranny is not challenged.

Senator, it is not too late to redeem your standing. Shed your self-centered naivete and do something about THIS:



• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system, employing cell towers and satellites, to silently, invisibly torture, impair, physiologically and neurologically subjugate unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.
OR (if link is corrupted): re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

lagnappe: if i read that correctly, no.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Charles Lane is an Ayn Rand fanboy whose every column reads like a press release from the Cato Institute. The WaPo could save money by cutting out the middleman and just running the releases. Not surprisng he's a Lieberman fan.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

A little history on the hypocrisy:

'Today the Medicare prescription-drug debate is remembered mainly for the political shenanigans Republicans used to get their bill through. Bush officials lied about the numbers and threatened to fire Medicare's chief actuary if he shared honest cost estimates with Congress.

House Republicans cut off C-SPAN and kept the roll call open for three hours—as opposed to the requisite 15 minutes—while cajoling the last few votes they needed for passage. Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay was admonished by the House ethics committee for winning the eleventh-hour support of Nick Smith, a Michigan Republican, by threatening to vaporize Smith's son in an upcoming election.

The real significance of that episode, however, is not their bad manners, but what Republicans ordered the last time health care was on the menu. Their bill, which stands as the biggest expansion of government's role in health care since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, created an entitlement for seniors to purchase low-cost drug coverage.

Grassleycare, also known as Medicare Part D, employs a complicated structure of deductibles, co-pays, and coverage limits. Thanks to something called the "doughnut hole," drug coverage disappears when out-of-pocket costs reach $2,400, returning only when they hit $3,850.

Simply stated, the bill cost a fortune, wasn't paid for, is complicated as hell, and doesn't do all that much—though it does include coverage for end-of life-counseling, or what Grassley now calls "pulling the plug on grandma."

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

ezra klein is getting into a little debate with columnist chuck lane from the editorial page. Subject: is Klein excessively venomous in describing Lieberman's ever-shifting positions on the HCR bill as being motivated by sticking it to the liberals:

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 14, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Joe is counting on the fact that the White House seems to be set on doing whatever it takes to get his vote for health care. White House support means an easier reelection bid next time around.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if you could have made this same analysis six years ago. Lieberman was already unpopular among some for his support of the Iraq war. I suppose now he's got a pretty bad track record, though. Pro-Iraq, anti-Obama, anti-health care. Those are some pretty big blotches on his record.

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

Leiberman is a traitor to humanity. It is time, in the words of Winston Churchill, to move health care from "... the shifting sands of charity to the firm bedrock of law." .......

Posted by: glclark4750 | December 14, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman's a sociopath, bsimon, essentially. He loves nothing better than to strut and preen and throw a tantrum just for the attention.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Please answer me this:

Can you filibuster a bill after conference? Couldn't senate democrats drop the public option or medicare drop-in to get closure and then allow its reintroduction during conference with the house bill. Would you still need cloture after that?

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

connectiCULT? What kind of freudian slip is that?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 14, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"the most rational conclusion to be drawn from Lieberman's approach on health care ... is that ... freed from political concerns, is pursuing the policy agenda he truly believes in."

The putz believes in Connecticult for Lieberman. Which is to say I do not see the conflict between the above quote & drindl's hypothesis. Smilin' Joe's principles are that Joementum comes first. Therefore, if killing healthcare is good for Joementum, healthcare shall be killed. How it affects others is clearly irrelevant.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

well, he's telling the truth.
Medicare doesn't have to be expanded.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Vote your principles, Joe!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Given all of that, the most rational conclusion to be drawn from Lieberman's approach on health care -- not to mention his strong support for the presidential candidacy of Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) in 2008 -- is that he has decided not to seek re-election in 2012 and, freed from political concerns, is pursuing the policy agenda he truly believes in."

Oh my gawd. Please. This is one of the most dishonest politicians in DC. He has no principles.

What the man truly believes in is the revolving door and the shiny big money job he will get from the insurance industry once he finishes up the little favor he's doing for them in killing health reform. Just like his wife.

Posted by: drindl | December 14, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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