Friday, December 18, 2009

Joe Lieberman Is A Dirty Whore (as if you didn't know)

Joe Lieberman's backstabbing of the Democratic caucus has come to an intolerable point (Actually, I think it reached this point years ago, but now it's finally getting more attention).  Joe Lieberman is known as the Senator from Aetna for the way he whores out his power in the Senate to the health insurance giant Aetna, and other members of the corporate health insurance lobby.  The Democratic leadership has been continuously compromising on the health care proposal in the Senate to court the vote of Lieberman and other conservative Democrats.  This past week the latest compromise was scrapping the public option for an expansion of Medicare to allow people 55+ to buy into the program early... a compromise by the way, that Joe Lieberman supported three months ago.  As soon as this asshole caught onto the fact that liberals actually thought this would be a good idea, he suddenly changed his mind.

In two days, raised $1 million dollars in just two days for their campaign against Lieberman.  They also put together what I think is a very effective, and funny, ad demonstrating what a tool this guy is.

Let me be clear, Joe Lieberman is not the only reason why health care reform is having such difficulty getting passed.  Senator Reid has been an ineffective leader, and frankly I think he should be replaced as Majority Leader asap, and the White House took the wrong strategy from day one in pushing health care reform.  I think they'll still get a bill passed, but it won't be as good as it could have been if anyone in the White House had ever bought a car before and learned negotiations 101.

One thing that has been particularly bothersome is the White House and others have criticized liberal Democrats for speaking out against how they've sold this health care bill down the river, yet when assholes like Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu say they're going to hold up the bill because they want to make it more conservative, the Senate leadership and the White House bend over backwards to appease their demands.  Many liberals enjoyed watching Senator Franken tell Joe Lieberman to drink a tall glass of Shut The Fuck Up on the floor of the Senate yesterday when he was droning on about his "concern" about health care.  Kudos to Franken... (and somebody change McCain's diaper already.)

It's pleasing to see a member of the Senate finally stand up to Joe Lieberman, and it would be nice for Harry Reid to start throwing his muscle around as leader.  Threats need to be made to people like Lieberman and Nelson.  They both got elected through the financial support of the DNC and endorsements of others in the Senate.  This needs to stop.  When the health care bill is passed, Lieberman needs to be stripped of his chairmanship.  If this doesn't happen, we need a new Majority Leader (we probably need a new one anyway).  Also, if you've ever given money to the DNC, STOP!  Donate to the candidates who actually represent your views.  Donating to the national party only continues to support assholes like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson.  I would rather have 51 liberal senators than a faux-coalition of 60 where 2-3 of them sell out every major piece of legislation we attempt to pass.


Bill said...

Narrative about Franken "shutting down" Lieberman on the Senate floor is just plain false. Everything else, I agree with.

ShamRockNRoll said...

I agree that the narrative about it being unprecedented is false, which wasn't my point... but I really doubt if it was a Senator other than Lieberman (or one of the others that have been a pain in the ass) that Franken would have cut them off. I know they've been trying to stay on time lately, but I don't think that totally erases the motive of either Lieberman (wanting to drone on about nonsense to keep delaying) or Franken (tired of hearing Lieberman as we all are).

Bill said...

Coincidentally, I agree with the other guy named Bill. Lieberman wasn't even the first Senator to be cut off that day let alone in McCain's lifetime. I think this was just a procedural move that has been blown out of proportion by conservatives who hate Franken and liberals who hate Lieberman.

Bill said...

Oh yeah, and while we're on the subject of Democratic leaders like Harry Reid who seem to be unwilling to stand up to Joe Lieberman, let's not turn a blind eye to the failure of our president to do just that. At least Harry Reid fought (for a little while) to keep the public option on the table. If it's time for a new majority leader, then maybe we should be looking around for a new president while we're at it.

ShamRockNRoll said...

If you actually read my post, you would see that I criticized both the White House, AND Harry Reid.

To the Bill @ 11:17pm, yes, I know it's a procedural thing that McCain idiotically blew out of proportion--that's half the fun. I still think Franken did it BECAUSE it was Joe Lieberman. And if he did, I give him props, otherwise, no biggie, it's still fun to watch McCain scquacking about nonsense like the senile old-man that he is.

Gregory said...

Can someone explain why we should support an extension of Medicare, when Medicare is already on an unsustainably expensive path in the long-run? I'm all for health care reform, but not silly, irresponsible health care "reform."

Here's a better reform:

ShamRockNRoll said...

Medicare itself is a great program. It's only on an "unsustainably expensive path" because of the lack of political will, and frankly immaturity, of politicians and the public to pay for it. There are numerous - and rather painless - fixes for that.

Gregory, are you the character that keeps posting links to Douthat's op-eds? That guy is a joke.

Gregory said...

Can you explain your comment about Medicare, please? People are now complaining that about 1/6 of our GDP is used to pay for health care. Would you think it's fine for us to spend 1/6 of our GDP paying for Medicare and Medicaid, as the CBO projects?

Do you want 16% of your income to go to taxes paying for Medicare and Medicaid? Now, imagine allowing even more people to join Medicare and imagine how high the taxes would have to be in that case.

Or do you have some other way of paying for it? What I'm saying is not controversial among Democratic or Republican policy wonks. The other ways to pay for Medicare would be to gut it or to raise the retirement age. Are you for either of these policies?

What I linked to was an article by Douthat. But the article is not about policies that he came up with. I meant for people to see what Martin Feldstein (a highly respected economist who served under Reagan) and Brad Delong (a highly respected economist who served under Clinton) say about health care. Douthat links to their articles.

I shall also link to them:

If any of you can explain how any of the current plans under consideration are as good as either of these two plans, I'm all ears.

ShamRockNRoll said...

First of all, my problem is basically with your frame of mind. I don't mean that personally, but rather that is at the root of this whole crisis. We are conceptualizing healthcare as a commodity that can be valued in dollars and cents--quantitatively rather than qualitatively. We need to get beyond this and come to an understanding that it is morally wrong for your neighbor to not be able to afford to see a doctor, while the neighbors on the other side of town have easy access to all the care they need, and much, much more. We have taken the virtue of individualism to a sickening (no pun intended) extreme in which it more often appears to be a vice these days.

Yes, I do not mind if a significant portion of my taxes pay for Medicare. If we had a tax system as it was back in the Eisenhower administration (when the richest of the rich were taxed very heavily on the top bracket of their earnings) this wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.

And for the record, I don't personally have much "respect" for economists in either the Reagan or Clinton admins... and I can't help but note that one of your links is to the think-tank that dreamed up the iraq war.

Gregory said...

I thought I responded to this, but I guess I messed up and the response didn't get entered correctly.

Regarding Eisenhower: The top tax bracket was 91% back in those days. Nevertheless, the tax revenue as a % of our gdp was pretty comparable to what it's been in recent years (16%, 17%, etc.) This suggests to me that going back to that super high marginal tax rate system would not produce the needed revenues. I suspect that raising the taxes of most people, and not just of the rich, would be necessary to fund a large new entitlement program.

Regarding health care as a commodity: It basically has to be viewed thus. Or at least as an economic good of some sort. It must be seen in terms of supply, demand, price, etc. Without a market we wouldn't know how to price things or how much to pay people. The alternative would be that the government would tell people how much things should cost and how much doctors should get paid and how many of this or that procedure should be done per year. Basically a command economy. There's basically one alternative to the market: authoritarianism. Where has this authoritarianism worked well? No, not Scandinavia. Even they use markets. Even they must view health care in economic terms. Perhaps a heavily regulated economic service, but an economic service nonetheless.

Again, anyone who can coherently explain the point of a medicare buy-in or the public option, I'd be quite interested.