Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lieberman's many excuses for opposing a public option

Joe Lieberman has offered more excuses for opposing a public option than there are appetizers on a menu. Steve Benen has been tracking these delectible tidbits for six months and is now offering up a half dozen raw oysters swimming in horseradish.

In June, Lieberman said, "I don't favor a public option because I think there's plenty of competition in the private insurance market." That didn't make sense, and it was quickly dropped from his talking points.

In July, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public is going to end up paying for it." No one could figure out exactly what that meant, and the senator moved onto other arguments.

In August, he said we'd have to wait "until the economy's out of recession," which is incoherent, since a public option, even if passed this year, still wouldn't kick in for quite a while.

In September, Lieberman said he opposes a public option because "the public doesn't support it." A wide variety of credible polling proved otherwise.

In October, Lieberman said the public option would mean "trouble ... for the national debt," by creating "a whole new government entitlement program." Soon after, Jon Chait explained that this "literally makes no sense whatsoever."

Well, it's November. And guess what? We're onto the sixth rationale in six months. I actually like the new one.

"This is a radical departure from the way we've responded to the market in America in the past," Lieberman said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press." "We rely first on competition in our market economy. When the competition fails then what do we do? We regulate or we litigate.... We have never before said, in a given business, we don't trust the companies in it, so we're going to have the government go into that business.."

So, Joe, lie down on the couch over there and tell us what's really on your mind.


  1. I wish Joe would just 'fess up.

    In its own way, it would actually be refreshing to hear him say this:

    "I am a Senator from the State of Connecticut and the capital of my state is the capital of the nation's insurance industry. The insurance industry brings money and jobs to my constituents and donates massive amounts of money to my campaigns against that Lamont guy. So naturally, I'm far too deep in their pocket to have any interest whatsoever in supporting a public option."

    Doesn't seem too hard to say to me, especially since everyone knows it anyway.

  2. What really pisses me off is that we were told that Holy Joe really stands with the Dem's on important issues..bullshit!

    They need to snatch his chairmanship away and tell him to take a friggin hike over to the other side of the aisle.

  3. a half dozen oysters swimming in horseradish

    Well, swimming in horse-something.....

    What's he supposed to do, come right out and say "I'm taking this stand because the insurance industry is giving me truckloads of money to do so"?

    Still, he could try harder. They're not getting their money's worth.

    They need to snatch his chairmanship away

    At some point the Democratic leadership is going to have to start playing hardball with the obstructionists, all right.

  4. I don't even think the former Republican Party would take him now. Well, maybe McCain - he's such a maverick.

  5. He's not quite short or slight enough to have a Napoleonic comlex, but he sure strives for attention - sort of like McCain. Neither is young, so you have to wonder if there's a bit of dementia going on.

  6. Holy Joe loves that spotlight and being a spoiler is his forte. He will never get over missing out on being VP.

    There is something wrong with our system when a few nitwits like Joe Lieberman can stop good legislation.

    An of course, there's the money. It speaks very loud.

  7. As much as I dislike them, I suppose they have the right to be nitwits.

  8. Leslie don't sat these morons have a right to be nitwits, they need a swift kick in the ass then kicked outta congress! :-)

  9. They definately need to be kicked out of office. Unfortunately its like-minded nitwits who elect them in the first place.

  10. The problem is not dumbth, but venality. If Lieberman and the Blew Dogs were just "nitwits", the problem would be a lot easier to deal with. Behaving unethically when one is being paid huge amounts of money to do so and faces no realistic risk of punishment -- that's actually rational behavior. But it's not ethical, and no, I don't accept that legislators have a "right" to do it.

  11. I don't think I said that legislators have a right to be unethical. Far from it. I did say "I suppose they have a right to be nitwits," which is a huge difference from "having a right to be unethical." Perhaps I could have phrased it better. Joe used to be half-way decent but I guess he, and several others, are proof positive that money corrupts.
    Hopefully, he and the rest of his cohorts will not be re-elected.

  12. I don't think I said that legislators have a right to be unethical.

    No, when I said "But it's not ethical, and no, I don't accept that legislators have a "right" to do it", I meant that its being unethical meant they didn't have a right to do it, in contrast to merely being nitwits, which you said you supposed they had a right to do.:-)