Monday, December 14, 2009

Joey Lieberman Doesn't Like Anything

It looks like Joe Lieberman might be able to unravel health reform. He won't support a robust public option, won't support a public option opt out, won't support a public option trigger, and won't the medicare opt in that he supported last week.

Lieberman and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are the last of the 1980's DLC dinosaurs. The DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) rose as a corporate-funded trojan horse in the Democratic Party to ensure that the Democrats became less of a reform party. It's primary object was to defeat liberals within the Democratic Party and make the Democrats more friendly to a corporate agenda.

But the DLC idea of treating progressive Democrats as their worst enemies lost steam in the face of the surge of progressive surge in response to George Bush. There are still lots of moderate and conservative Democrats, but Lieberman and Nelson are the last of the Democratic senators who make it a personal point to oppose progressive agendas at every turn. In Lieberman's case, there's a huge element of spite toward progressives as well. Anti-war sentiment ensured that Lieberman's 2004 presidential campaign went nowhere. Even worse, Connecticut progressives beat Lieberman in a 2006 primary and forced him to win re-election as an independent.

Now, its payback time for Lieberman and he's using his leverage as the 60th vote to do his best to either force progressives to give up everything they value about health reform or ensure that the whole effort fails.

Let's see how Harry Reid and the White House respond.