The left-wing blogosphere, engrossed in a minute-by-minute analysis of health care reform, paused this weekend to give a Bronx cheer to an unwelcome visitor —Joe Lieberman. The independent senator who deserted the Democrats, ran as an independent, and endorsed the McCain-Palin ticket, is now urging the Democratic leadership to slow down on health care reform:
Morally, every one of us would like to cover every American with health insurance, but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus ... I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.
Liberal bloggers are taking the opportunity to excoriate Lieberman for what they view as faulty logic and a long string of betrayals.
- No Friend of Liberals says the Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "The conventional wisdom is that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) of Connecticut is willing to stand with the Democratic caucus on everything except national security issues. He continues to prove, however, that this isn't true at all." Backing up Benen’s claim is a Think Progress report listing a slew of domestic issues including energy, taxes and social security where Lieberman has voted with the right. Adding a flourish of sarcasm, Benen reasons out the Lieberman plan: " Maybe after premiums continue to soar and the ranks of the uninsured swell even more, the economy will improve and Lieberman will discover his spine."
- All Guns, No Butter says Attaturk at FireDogLake. “There are no limits to how much Lieberman would ask the American tax-payer over generations to pay for his beloved wars,” he gripes. “But when it comes to providing policies that actually benefit Americans, in America of all places, like health care … it is too much.”
- Recession Is a Bad Excuse chides the Washington Post's Ezra Klein. "First, we probably are out of recession. Second, health-care reform is scheduled to begin in 2013, by which time we will almost certainly be out of recession." Besides, Klein argues, a health care bill would “pump a trillion dollars into the economy and thus stimulate demand.”
- What About Lieberman's Allies? asks Atrios. There are likely few liberal outlets feeling more betrayed than The New Republic, who once hailed Lieberman as someone with the "clearest, bravest" vision for the Democratic Party. The publication and its various blogs argue passionately for comprehensive health care reform but have been silent on Lieberman’s recent remarks. Cat got their tongues?