Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lieberpoison said to be wrecking healthcare reform to revenge himself upon netroots

So this is what it's really all about...
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Uh, let's talk about this thing with Harry Reid and Lieberman. I call him "Joe the bummer" as in "Joe the plumber," because he's brilliantly timing this thing. 'I'm not for this, I'm not for the public option, now I'm not for the buy-in on Medicare,' the H-55. He's just killing these guys.

HOWARD FINEMAN: Well, I talked to his spokesman today, I said, look, I'm going on Hardball, give me your side of the story. Okay, their side of the story is, it's a principled thing, there's many parts of the bill he believes in, the Medicare buy-in is an add-on because there's already subsidies. And the guy gave me a lot of plausible stuff. Okay. And I half believe it. I'm sorry ...

CHRIS MATTHEWS: What's the other half of your beliefs?

HOWARD FINEMAN: The other half is it's personal with Joe, not with Obama, 'cause don't forget that Obama, the President, supported Lieberman in the fight in the party in Connecticut. It's the grassroots left of the Democratic Party ...

CHRIS MATTHEWS: That enjoyed his torture.

HOWARD FINEMAN: That enjoyed his torture and this is payback to them. Obama, excuse me, the President's caught in the middle here. That's my take on it.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: So he wants Markos Moulitsas to take a hit.

HOWARD FINEMAN: He wants Moulitsas, he wants Firedoglake, he wants all those people who rode around on the bus of the challenger, who defeated him in the Democratic primary.
What a statesman. Connecticut's got a United States senator who puts his own personal vendettas ahead of what's best for the country. And President Barack Obama has a chief of staff (Rahm Emanuel) who lets him get away with it, instead of punishing him for his obstruction and obfuscation.

Meanwhile, the Senate Democratic Caucus' leader, Harry Reid (who is reportedly disgusted with Lieberman), is so weak-kneed that he can't stand up to the White House and tell them to quit meddling. Even though Reid's political survival in 2010 may depend on him doing just that.

As a result, healthcare reform - President Obama's top policy objective - is turning into a massive giveaway to insurance companies and HMOs. (Maybe that's the way Rahm wants it, which could explain his interference.) The Senate version has degenerated from mildly promising legislation into a piece of garbage.

This is sausage making at its finest. All of the good ideas that were in the Senate version have been gutted at the insistence of Senator Lieberpoison and ConservaDems like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln, who are holding the whole effort hostage. They're a tiny minority of the caucus - Lieberpoison isn't even a Democrat - and yet they're dictating the evolution of the bill.

What's happening on Capitol Hill is so ridiculously outrageous that it's difficult to think of words that could do this injustice justice.

Many activists are already calling for the bill's defeat. We say it's too early for that. Let's work with House progressives... give them a chance to weigh in and turn the tables on the White House and the Senate.

If the Congressional Progressive Caucus holds together and demands a better bill, it would force the administration to stop covering for the likes of Lieberpoison and Lincoln. The administration wants a bill more than anything else, much as Lieberpoison values his chairmanship above all else.

The administration will cut Lieberpoison loose if they have to, in order to get a bill. For that to happen, House progressives will have to play hardball with the White House. They'll have to be resolute and unflinching.

It'll take political courage, but if there was ever a time for elected progressives in the House to show serious backbone, this is it.


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