We had a deal. A few Senators just lied to us.

I’ve seen a few post-mortems of the public option campaign kicking around the Internets.  Invariably, as more are written, some will blame the people leading the campaign for not adopting different tactics which, the authors of the post-mortems will claim, could have led to victory.

Before this line of writing becomes too widespread, we all need to remember that the only reason we didn’t win the public option campaign was because a few Senators lied to us.  Unless someone can think of ways to have prevented them from lying, then these post-mortems will be useless.

Back on May 21st, there were only 28 Senators in support of a triggerless public option.  Through your tireless participation in a whip count effort, by October 8th we raised that number to 51 when Jon Tester came out in support.  By October 30th, when Evan Bayh said he wouldn’t filibuster, we were up to 56 Democrats for cloture on health care reform with a public option.

From that point, the only four Senators we still needed all lied to us in one form or another.  Both Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln signed a document stating that they supported a public option, only to reverse their positions.  Blanche Lincoln’s website still comically claimed she supported a public option even as she was declaring her opposition to one on the Senate floor.

Still, Landrieu, Lincoln and Ben Nelson were all part of the group of ten Senators who forged a deal on the public option that included a Medicare buy-in.  Further, immediately after that deal was reached, Harry Reid contacted Joe Lieberman to see if he liked the deal.  Lieberman told Harry Reid that he was liking what he was seeing, and just wanted to wait for the CBO report.  Further, Lieberman had supported an even stronger Medicare buy-in (for Americans aged 50-64) as recently as September 2009.

Six days later, Lieberman and Nelson went on national television to engage in some more mendacity.  Lieberman said he would filibuster the deal, even though he had told Reid he liked it, and even though he had recently advocated for it.  Ben Nelson badmouthed the deal even though he helped forge it.

And then, when the lying was all done, Rahm Emanuel ordered the Democratic Senate caucus to do as Lieberman said.  And the Democratic Senate caucus not only is ready to comply, but to do so without punishing Lieberman (or any of the other liars, for that matter).

To put it bluntly, we had won the campaign, but were lied to by a small number of Senators.  In particular, we were lied to by Joe Lieberman.  If you have a post-mortem that could have prevented the lying, I’d love to hear it.  For, were it not for the lying, the public option campaign would have been won.

Update: Just stop yelling at each other in the comments. Just stop it. It doesn’t help anything. I’ll keep that in mind myself.

Update 2: Instead of yelling at each other, watch Franken shut Lieberman down. It will make you feel a little better:

159 thoughts on “We had a deal. A few Senators just lied to us.”

  1. obama/rahm are behind LIE-berman.  This is the bill they meant to pass all along.

    Why do you distracting from the lying liars that enabled this entire charade, rahm doing the dirty work and obama sitting back and pretending that he could not provide leadership and then putting pressure on those that don’t want to eat their sh!t sandwich.

    Yeah, right, its 13-D chess and just an example of doing the “executive job” – NOT!

  2. There is a small part of that is considering donating to the GOP candidate in Arkansas if Lincoln isn’t beaten in a primary.    What’s the point of Lincoln if she won’t vote for cloture and give the bill a chance… I’d rather have the republican… at least I know the GOP will try and fuck me.

  3. from this–along with the entirety of the health care “reform” fiasco–we progressives must take a powerful lesson in realpolitik:  Never trust anyone.  

    That’s how the Blue Dogs play it.  We have to become more hardball about how we play the political game.  When someone goes back on us, we have to have the capacity to make it hurt, and hurt badly.

    I don’t know exactly how we do that; but, I think we ought to start strategizing on that quickly.  Maybe the 435 primaries concept is a start.

  4.  And our leadership sat there and let them lie.

     Our president, our fierce advocate for a public option, gave the biggest liar of them all a big, gloppy wet kiss the day after his biggest lie of all.

     The liars look bad.

     But the enablers look worse.

     Until our leadership is willing to call out the liars, and take measures against them, we’re in for several more rough battles ahead.


  5. Scorpions sting.

    Lucy pulls the football away as Charlie tries to kick


    The earth revolves around the sun

    All jokes aside- yes, they are bad faith actors. This part is not a surprise. Nor is your falling for it a surprise. Conservatives abuse. Progressives enable. The real question at this point- is what are you going to do about bad faith behavior?

    Your post about holding progressives accountable for enabling bad faith behavior remains the most important thing you have written in a while on the subject.  

  6. of this post. It was clear from the beginning that LIEberman was not acting in good faith. A deal that depended on him keeping his word was a flawed deal. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Shame on anyone who fell for Joe’s umpteenth pulling back of the football Lucy-style. Reconciliation needed to stay on the table. That was the mistake. Using LIEberman’s well known dishonesty as an excuse for any of this mess is completely missing the point IMHO.

  7. The Senate health care debate so far:

    OBAMA AND EMANUEL: Let us break down what we really mean by anything we say regarding health care in America: $$$$$$$$$$$

    LIEBERMAN, LANDRIEU, LINCOLN ET AL: Let us break down what we really mean by anything we say regarding health care in America: $$$$$$$$$$

    SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP: Let us break down what we really mean by anything we say regarding health care in America: $$$$$$$$$$$$

    REPUBLICANS: Let us break down what we really mean by anything we say regarding health care in America: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    They all join the…

    INSURANCE INDUSTRY: Let us break down what we really mean by anything we say regarding health care in America: $$$$$$$$$$

  8. Maybe we should start calling each other d**chebags (oh, wait, we already do); or “scurvy snakebites” if you have a thing for Shakespeare.  “F*ck,” though, and all its iterations, really don’t pack much of a punch anymore.

  9. all of them, Obama, Lieberman and the lot, they would not have voted down buying prescription drugs overseas…but the WH was instrumental in killing…the line of crap that we got fed about not letting big corporate interests keep running Washington was just that…a line of crap…at this point the only honest brokers in this deal are the Sanders, Feingold, and Deans who have nothing to lose…look at their statements over the past several days…

    I for one will reconsider 2010 and definitely 2012…I cannot support a president whom talks out of both sides of his mouth…from unfunded mandates, to sellouts to Pharma, Wall street and their bailout…and I knocked on doors every weekend and donated and everything…

    BTW…I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, but Obama= good guy and Lieberman= bad guy and Rahm is pulling the strings…and if you don’t see it…then keep drinking the Kool-Aid.  

  10. but they wouldn’t be screwing with us if they feared us – and they don’t. You’re right that there is nothing in terms of tactics for this campaign that could have changed that.  It’s a longer term project – and we have a ways to go.  

  11. All of what Chris said is true, but neglects to mention that our side lacked the one or two (or more) Senators willing to be as strident as Lieberman. Rahm can’t order total capitulation to Lieberman if that act won’t get him 60 votes.

    Would withholding consent from the left be as morally reprehensible as Lieberman’s doing so? Perhaps. However, at least we’d have an equal footing standoff, with the majority of the caucus (and the American people) on our side.

    Sure, we were lied to. But the real bottom line is that, literally and metaphorically, they had Lieberman and we had Jello Jay…

  12. Going forward, it all comes down to figuring out how best to utilize and expand what power progressives have.  We all long for the kind of power the centrist can generate at a whim, but it is a mistake to assume we can use the same techniques.

    I supported the Progressive Block because there were a few conditions met that made it workable; technically we only needed one.  1) There were 51 vote options available via reconciliation or the nuclear option and 2) the president and 60 members of congress were committed to getting something instead of nothing.

    #1 got taken off the table and #2 apparently is not true.  That hurt.  That left the Block unuseful.  In general, I think the Block concept will remain unuseful.  (It might work for the climate bill, since the EPA already has power to curb carbon emissions, that gives us greater freedom to walk away, ourselves.)

    If we can’t withhold votes on the bills we want passed to gain power, we need other techniques.  Here are some ideas, probably none of them new:

    1) Primary conservative Democrats.

    2) Work to deny committee chairs to Democrats who vote against progressive legislation.  I’m not sure how this could be done, but it should be looked into.  I’m sure it all starts with working with and against the leadership.

    3) Block other votes on other items to prevent conservadem pork projects.  Don’t let them bring home the bacon.  Again, I’m not sure how this would work in practice.

    That’s all I can think of right now, but there’s got to be other ideas.

  13. Chris:

    Why isn’t Obama mentioned in your post?  Why isn’t his total lack of leadership responsible for some of this?  Expiring minds want to know!

  14. Asking people to stop shouting at each other is important and, when a request includes a statement by the poster him/herself will also try to be more considerate – that is a good thing.

    The disagreement here is not the problem – this is going to split progressive/liberal support and it isn’t just about HCR, but that is the most blatant example of an issue that directly touches almost every one of us (directly or indirectly).

    The split is going to happen – it has already happened, so the question should be, can we accept this and keep open minds where this will lead us?

  15. The splitting of progressive/liberals will undermine every other issue that was on the dem platform in 2009.

    Don’t believe me?  Just look at how many people share in every other thread at this and other blogs?

    Like it or not, this is a flagship issue and people will either get behind the administration or they will decide that they have been sold out.

    Me and many believe the latter, which means positive change demands new vehicles for expression and action.  I am not giving a dime nor doing anything to support the party obama represents – period.

    I. Am. Done. With. It.

    So will be looking to have this dialog about what to do next with anyone that can be respectful of others opinions about it – whether they agree or not.

  16. ….is twofold.

    Do whatever it takes to have Lieberman stripped of his chairmanships immediately.

    Primary Senator Lincoln into the ground.

    Whatever it takes, we demand this, and we react to being ignored.  If it means we halt all fundraising on behalf of all Senate Democrats, we do it.

    Make them feel the pain if we aren’t listened to.

    Make them feel real fear if we can take Senator Lincoln out in the primary.

    I’ll call my two Senators all day for the former, and commit $1000 to help pay for troops on the ground for the latter.

    Who’s with me?

  17. He thinks the bill prevents your insurance company from imposing an annual cap on benefits, according to the clip on Hardball. Was that recorded earlier? Maybe part of the argument with Ed Schultz on Morning Joe over the Patients Bill of Rights?

  18. …to meticulously limit speaking time to ten minutes. But the point is, look at Franken’s face when he shuts the Liarman off! Yeah, there’s a guy who’s really having fun at work!!


  19. Joe Lieberman would have been an honest prick instead of a dissembling one and we still wouldn’t have a public option.

    At this point, perhaps the left’s best hope is to sling a lot of mud towards Lieberman’s way and encourage him to be even more dickish so that Democrats like Harkin and Feingold who have expressed opposition to using reconciliation for health care reform might change their minds out of spite.

  20. How would the outcome be different if Lieberman had not “lied”? Were you thinking we could have gotten Snowe or Collins to flip?

  21. Maybe I’m misunderstanding Chris’s point, but it strikes me that the actual dishonesty was all-but-irrelevant to the outcome. Had Lieberman been open about his opposition to both the public option (which he was), and the Medicare buy-in (which he certainly was not) from the beginning, we’d have been left in the same place: not enough votes for cloture. Maybe it would have spared the Democrats the humiliation of putting that stuff in the bill only to have to yank it back out, but I get the distinct impression that that is not the problem Chris is getting at here.

    I know it’s been said before, but the basic problem was that for the Democratic Senators towards the Republican end of the spectrum, the White House and the leadership had no effective leverage. Greenwald has a point as to Blanche Lincoln, but I think his proposed strategy (threatening to cut her off) would just as likely have led her to defect to the GOP as to force her to fall in line on the public option. None of the others were susceptible to pressure of this sort–Nelson is quite capable of getting re-elected on his own, Landrieu is not in much danger, given her recent re-election, and Lieberman is clearly not going to win re-election as a Democrat in any event, if that’s what he even wants at this point. Given that complex of interests, it seems to me that Obama had no sticks and few carrots to offer the obstructionists.

  22. In Chicago they say an honest politician stays bought.

    Assume you’re correct.  If they hadn’t lied you would still be short four votes, but you wouldn’t have mistakenly believed you had enough.

  23. Provide some proof on this accusation or please STFU.    

    Yes, their leadership on this bill was complete bullshit.    But if you think there was some big conspiracy here, then you are a moron.   Logic dictates your wrong.    Otherwise, something like this could have been passed months earlier without the use of so much capital.   Bad leadership is NOT the same as a conspiracy.  Get your head out your ass.

    Seriously, fucking trolls.

  24. But it is not a personal attack on anyone except politicians, and there’s no sign that it was meant to provoke anyone, thus not trolling.

  25. More and better Democrats?   We tried it, it doesn’t work.  What we need to do is speak softly and hit them with a really big stick.  Until we can hurt them politically, we are like the pesky fly Obama swatted and killed.  

  26. Links in other threads – if you follow news you know that white house pressured ried to capitulate to LIE-berman.

    You also know that WH denied it (lied).  Obama is getting the bill he wanted (and it’s not the one he ran on).  He is standing behind LIE-berman and the rest of them, abandoning those that support real reform.

    There is this new tool on the “tubes” buddy – it’s called GOOGLE.  Check it out sometime – until then, STFU.

  27. Get rid of the conspiracy bullshit.  You sound like a raving idiot.   It was bad leadership who didn’t want to expend the necessary effort to beat down a few lying d-bags.  Anyone who thinks that this was some big conspiracy is a freaking moron and is ignoring all logic.   Are you the same idiots who believe Bush blew up the World Trade Center?

  28. the political game is outside the realm of truth and lies.  Really, serious political players don’t give a second thought–ever–to whether they are lying or not.  They are amoral.  They’re not out to get us; for the most part, they’re out to preserve that about which they care most–incumbency.

    I’ll give you an example.  Mark Udall ran for, and won, the seat in the Second Congressional District of Colorado.  For many years he toiled away in a most uncontroversial fashion.  Then along came the AUMF.  Udall voted against it, which was just fine with his constituents in the 2nd.

    But, Udall decided to run for Senate.  He was advised (I have it on good authority from someone who was directly told this by the source) by his main political strategists that he “had” to start supporting the effort in Iraq, if he wanted to become a Senator.  Poof, there went his opposition to the Iraq War.  This seemingly amoral (to put it charitably) shift was reinforced when he won his Senate seat.  Voila, we have a formerly moderate-liberal Congressman newly minted as a moderate-Conservadem Senator.

  29. I’ll be honest…. the Medicare thing really took me by surprise.  I could almost get the PO opposition… the Medicare, especially after all his past support, really showed me who he is.   I actually think I hate him as much as Bush now.  At least I knew Bush was going to fuck me every turn.  I figured Joe would only do it 1 out 3 times.    

  30.  Joe Lieberman lied and lied and lied, and got nothing but public praise for it from other Democrats.

     That’s not a “conspiracy”. Those are stone cold hard facts.

     Unless you can point me to the video where Gibbs comes down as hard on Lieberman for lying as he came down on Howard Dean for telling the truth.

     If you can produce such evidence, then you win the argument.


  31.  …let’s see what we can do about getting Bernie Sanders to join a filibuster.

     Sanders is a good pressure point. He’s not (nominally) a Democrat, his seat is safe as milk, and Obama needs his vote every bit as much as he needs Lieberman’s. This also protects the House progressives from having to cast an “anti-Obama” vote, as Chris described in his recent post.

     We need to start leveraging progressive power SOMEWHERE. I think that part of the resistance to do so, up to now, was the general feeling that Obama deep down was an ally of ours, even if he tried to hide it sometimes. We still trusted him and didn’t want to mess him up.

     But I think the events of the last week have finally blown that perception out of the water. We now have “permission” to treat Obama as hostile. If the lack of a bill makes Obama look bad, well, it’s no longer our problem. Howard Dean’s op-ed was the watershed — progressives working against Obama is now “accepted”.

     So we now have something to build on.


  32. The White House pressuring Reid was after the Deal fell apart in order to try and meet an imposed deadline.  Its capitulation, not conspiracy.   Or to put it another way…THIS IS BAD FUCKING LEADERSHIP STUPID, NOT A CONSPIRACY.   As for them denying it, that doesn’t surprise me.   Politicians lie as do their subordinates.   THAT DOESN’T MEAN THERE IS A CONSPIRACY, YOU IDIOT.    

    I asked for proof.  The shit you typed proves you don’t know the first fucking thing your talking about.  Show me the documents, the emails, the video of Obama and Emanuel meeting with Lieberman  and telling him that the strategy to pass a watered down HCR bill (that could have easily passed in April or May)  was to expend all your political capital, decrease your popularity in the polls, come up with 5 different compromises ONLY to sink it at the very end to get the same bill you could have easily gotten 6 to 7 months earlier.     You won’t find it BECAUSE IT DIDN’T FUCKING HAPPEN!  Only an IDIOT would believe something like this and not chalk it up to bad leadership on the parts of the WH and to Reid, which is perfectly valid criticism.

    Only idiots and paranoids believe in conspiracy theories.    Logic tells you that your conspiracy theory is bullshit.   A 5 year old can understand.   So unless you can prove it with some cold hard fact, keep your ignorant mouth shut before you embarrass yourself further and quit trolling.

  33. I go back to my experience as a trial lawyer.  One of the fundamental rules of cross-exam is that you never ask a question on cross-examination for which you don’t have a prior statement to impeach the witness with.  This results in the witness paying a heavy price for lying on the stand:  the prior inconsistent statement is introduced before the jury, exposing the witness in open court as a liar.  Thus, when cross-examining, it is sometimes useful to hold up the document containing the prior statement–or to remind the witness that they made it before you ask the money question (e.g., “You remember testifying in a prior hearing on December 1, 2009?” and then picking up the transcript).

    The political climate is analogous:  we have to have, as you say, a really big stick with which to hit them.  LBJ reputedly kept thick files of documented misconduct, etc on Members of Congress, and used them to extract political concessions.

  34. Look you moron.  Your confusing bad leadership with conspiracy.   I’ll give you bad leadership.   No one is saying the WH was a helpless victim.   What I’m saying is this wasn’t some vast conspiracy with Rahm, Obama and Lieberman as several dumb fucks on here seem to think.    

    Do I think the WH could have tried harder, hell yes.  Do I think they wanted specific things out, hell yes.   But they could just as easily gotten the bill they have now without spending the political capital to achieve it.  That logic right there shoots down your idiot theory.

  35. No one should have to devine anyone’s intention here – believe what you want.

    The FACT is that obama/rahm and dem leaders have capitulated to all of the obstructionist and repeatedly and consistently given progressives/liberals and those seeking meaningful change a big FU!

    This is really on obama/rahm and dem leadership regardless of why they do it.

  36. You can’t claim to have really “won the campaign” if you are counting people who have lied.  We can say we were “faked out”, but not that we had won.

  37. Whether you realize it or not, that’s a part of the behavioral process that goes into someone’s calculus over negotiation. “I am going to be held accountable for this, then what should I decide to do here in this negotiation?”

    How do you think you achieve the negotiation style that I describe? Certainly not through the power of magical thinking that pervades the left. You do it through accountability, and by accountability- I mean threatening those who can then hold others accountable for bad faith behavior rather than expecting  bad faith actors to behave in good faith.

    This is an advanced form of negotiation tactics using proxies.  

  38. and labeling a well reasoned argument a “conspiracy” is not the same as having a point. If you want a point, explain what Glenn said that is unconvincing and stop calling people names. It doesn’t signal any confidence in your own arguments.

  39. Feingold may be right in saying that Obama first wanted this.    And he is right in saying the WH could and should have done more.   But he isn’t saying that there is some conspiracy involving Obama and Lieberman.  That’s were you take the statement and invent your own theory behind.  It’s stupid.  Frankly I would have expected better of you…. you are generally smarter than this and actually follow logic and not some emotional tirade.    The fact is this.   The WH isn’t going to piss away that much capitol if the end goal was this bill.   Instead, this was the minimum of what they wanted… they had a specific thing they were blocking which was the drug importation (and that was sleazy and bad leadership) and anything else was gravy.    But once it all fell apart they just wanted to get it passed, foolishly believing that passing it sooner rather than later would cut the blood flow.   Its not some grand master plan from the beginning… the stupidity of that statement is just ridiculous.

    You know what, its like talking to a fucking teabagger.  You aren’t going to let logic and facts fuck up your argument.    

  40. I would say two pressure points- Burris (making a legacy for your people argument) and Sanders together in the Senate. I would also continue to exert pressure on Reid. He’s toast, but maybe he thinks he can still  win next year.

    In the House, threaten a few of the spineless “progressives” with a primary if not this time, then in 2012 if they do not act right. Make them realize there is a consequence for their not holding the blue dogs accountable.

    This is what I would do, but I dont have any power (and I imagine most centrists are happy that people like me are no where near real power).  

  41. Breathe in, breathe out.

    You guys disagree. OK. Let’s move on.

    For what its worth, and from what I saw talking to people on the inside, the Obama administration didn’t care one way or the other what was in the bill.  They played no role in the public option deal, either.  And there was no conspiracy forged by Lieberman and the Obama administration.

    What happened is that Lieberman lied.  Then, the White House, which wants a bill at all costs, and defends conservative Democrats at all costs, backed him up.

    And that’s what happened.  Now, let’s all relax the language to each other.

  42. I know it hurts to be betrayed by someone you love. Hurts much worse than being betrayed by a stranger or someone you never trusted to begin with.

    The first stage of expressing that hurt is usually denial. “Oh, no, the person I loved and trusted could never do that to me!  THERE  MUST BE ANOTHER EXPLANATION.” Kind of like a lover who has been cheated on, and knows it in their heart, demanding to see videotape of the actual act before they can accept what is plainly before them.

    And, yes, the facts are inescapable, Obama betrayed us, his “base.”  Refuse to see it, if you want.

    My theory is that Obama could NOT have gotten this bill 6 or 7 months ago, the outrage on the left would have been too great and directed against him, and the more liberal Senators would never have gone along.  This is how it had to play out so he could try to keep his fingerprints off the deed, put the liberals in a box and lay the blame on his ally and former mentor, Lieberman.

  43. If they are enabled by leadership and then progressive/liberals continually overlook it, we are part of the problem too.

    I have seen enough of how obama, his team, and dem leadership operates and will not support them anymore.

    Now is our best chance to start a third party – repugs are in shambles, they have been splintered by essentially a 3rd party, and we have enough time to make a strong statement before 2012.

    Disagree if you want, vote for the folks that continue to sell us out (hey, hows that bernanke thing workin’ out for ya and do you LOVE the endless wars?  “You can take that to the bank…”

  44. … like anyone outside the two-party system, unless for whatever reason you’re married to the self-fulfilled prophecy of duopoly.

  45. if that is what they actually expected in the bill all along.  Appears to me and many to be the case.

    But anyone can disagree about that if they like – but the facts are clear – those standing up for real reform are being shouted down by dem leadership and team obama.

    And LIE-berman, snow, and anyone else is being give a platform to derail the process.

  46. I’d rather TR someone for a more creative insult. Like, say:

    “To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit you. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?”

    But all we have here are some vulgarians…


  47. Glenn Beck stupidity tends to really piss me off and brings me to an ugly place.  To see someone insist on an argument with no merit whatsoever in the face of overwhelming logic, especially when others with much more insight and access to the process essentially are saying that the WH didn’t care and just wanted a bill done, just drives me nuts.  I guess one shouldn’t text in anger.   I’m not sorry for the words to those specific people, but I am sorry that those whom they weren’t intended for had to read them.

  48. I’m not sure what we can do on that front; but, so long as we have a de facto unicameral legislative branch, with the power being in the far less democratic of the House, we will continue to get worked over like tackling dummies.

  49. You need some Senators willing be as stubborn and assholish as Coburn and try to shut down the entire government, not letting anything pass, whether good or bad.

    I’ve suggested in the past that a good way to start is to try and take the entire country hostage by refusing to vote for raising the debt ceiling.

  50. …parties?  How about rewarding parties that don’t play harder ball and dirtier pool against minor and indie candidates than against the R party?

  51. and why I am seriously not wanting to stay around politics much longer is how much emotions you vest in a personality. I just went through this with bush, and frankly am not in the mood for it in another presidency where we got to spin years just to get people to admit to things that are right there in front of them if they were to treat the president like any other politician.

    I mean- let’s say that Obama here is completely been crassly lying, he’s still president. We still have to deal with him either way. What is your point of being angry that people are presenting evidence that he in fact never gave a crap about the PO or the shape of the bill so long as he got any bill? I don’t get. As Maher said, this guy is the president and not your boyfriend. Yet, I repeatedly see this faith in him that rises beyond him being a president or a politician. Forget for a moment this issue, how is that a good thing?

  52. Except the poster HAD no well reasoned argument.  They simply agreed there was a grand plan between Obama and Lieberman to produce a weak bill and that is not a well reasoned argument.    Misconstruing the meaning behind Feingold’s words is not a well reasoned argument.   Glenn’s article is the same as a Glenn Beck show… offering up opinion and claiming its fact and proof.   There is no hard evidence anywhere supporting this Lieberman conspiracy theory.  For people to present it as fact is irresponsible.   Produce some actual evidence…  documents, emails, videos, etc.    

  53. “May as well donate to something that can do some good” immediately followed up by a call to support 3rd party candidates.  Thanks for the laugh.

  54. I need to see a viable third party.  Unfortunately there isn’t one.   If the Progressives leave the Dems, I think the country is screwed unless the Wingnuts leave the GOP as well.   My ideal would be for the Wingnuts to form a new party, for the Conservadems to join the GOP and the rest of us bring the Dems to the left.

    Seriously, I don’t think I could donate to the Republican.   If it was simply a two year term I could, but not for a 6 year term.  I just want Lincoln punished.

  55. You instead suggested some huge master plan to produce this specific bill.   THAT and you attacking Chris got you that response.    

  56. I’ve been on this site a heck of a lot longer than you have.    And yes I lost my temper.   The first poster attacking Chris just pissed me off royally.  Although I notice that you didn’t troll rate his attack on Chris’s integrity.    

  57. and whether there’s any antidote or counterattack that the left (not the Progressive Democrats, just a rogue wing of one wing of the one party) can use against it.

  58. Certainly progressives and Dems in general had more things on the table they could do to try and actually pass something good.  Even if you accept that reconciliation is impossible, why Lieberman was simply never threatened with his chair is completely ridiculous and irresponsible of the 51-56 Dems who had said they were willing to vote for a triggerless PO.

  59. There is a big plan between Obama, Lieberman, et al to produce this HCR bill is by definition a conspiracy.  

    From Dictionary.com: Conspiracy: an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

    What they are describing is a conspiracy.    

  60. That’s not what I’m mad about.  It isn’t attacking Obama.  I AGREE 100% that the WH didn’t care about shaping the bill.  That’s not in dispute.  If you read what I wrote, I take exception with this notion that the bill we got is because Lieberman and Obama and Rahm are part of some plot to make it so.   Its such a ridiculous thought, that it belongs on Glenn Becks show.  The fact that several people spout it as fact on here, WITH NO evidence and defying all logic that points to the White House not caring enough to shape the bill and instead JUST care about passing it by the self imposed deadline is what makes me mad.    Spouting conspiracy theories in anger does NOT help address the problem.    Granted neither does getting pissed off at the people doing it, which I apologize for.  The insult to Chris really set me off and it just started building.   It was… unfortunate.   I’m not saying Obama is perfect, but I do think that the talk that he is worthless is premature.  So far he is following the Clinton path, a President who did a much better job as time went by.     I’m not excusing his actions, but I’m not for crucifying him right now nor do I think comparing him to the likes of Palin, Beck, Bush, etc is warranted as I’d rather have Obama and his flaws than any of those people.   That being said, there is a lot of disappointment currently due to the failure of the WH to provide better leadership on the bill.

    Had those same people, I don’t Obama was a poor leader on the bill and didn’t do anything to pass what was most important, I would agree 100%.   That was my problem.  And yes I got emotional.

  61. the Obama administration didn’t care one way or the other what was in the bill.

    A large part of the reason we are here today. Had the administration used the bully pulpit and advocated for a form of public option, then perhaps there would have been no room for Lieberman et al to lie. (but then again Lieberman lied to Reid, that’s a big boo boo, Reid will get back at him, somehow).

    My main point is that because the White House gave no guidance, it let the herd drift apart so to speak. Thereby allowing the lying to take place, without consequence.  

  62. So the overarching goal, at least as I see it, is to get

    * left-wing

    * legislative candidates

    * on ballots

    * and elected to (preferably Federal) office

    * no later than 2012

    * independently of the D party

    * and its purse strings.

    This translates to, and not necessarily in order:

    * building a platform

    * finding suitable candidates

    * getting ballot access

    * building and running campaigns

    * cultivating a sense of urgency

    * finding competent non-duopoly staff, strategists and messengers whose souls are not entirely for sale

    and last but not least

    * raising funds to support a platform that could be inimical to large donors

    Sounds like a tall order as it is.  Am I missing anything?

  63. when Coburn had so recently demanded Sanders amendment be read in full in a transparent attempt to hold things up. Maybe if the GOP wasn’t engaging in such tactics, people could get a few extra minutes.  

  64. Given that Progressives would have been Reid’s saving grace, I’m not so sure Reid will be around after January of next year.

    And your thoughts are well reasoned and in my opinion dead on.

  65. One way or other unless you are trying to protect your image of Obama. THis is what makes debates nearly impossble online. This shtick of protecing some personality or another at all cost. The truth I don’t care what obama fucked up. The point is that he did. He’s not with us regardless of his motivation.  

  66. The point is that he did in fact fuck up.

    Let me add- we live with his fuck ups as Americans regardless of whether his intent was good or not. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intention.

    Ultimately, that;s why I found the Nate Silver 20 questions revealing yesterday. They said A LOT more about his emotonal investment than those who wanted to reach with his quesiton. My emotional investment right now are a) my mother died due to crappy insurance policies in this country b) my family still has to deal with it and c) I am starting a business under crappy policies for small business including in the health care area. Those are things I care about. Obama- fuck him. He’s going to live a good life regardless, and that’s why I don’t get the emotonal investment in understanding what is in his heart of hearts. It is not his heart that affects my life. His policies do.  

  67. maybe it’s just party policy.  I haven’t seen a whole lot over the past decade or two that I’ve actually been watching things all that closely that says otherwise.

  68. and tell me how donating to the GOP candidate helps progressive interests any more than donating to, say, the Libertarian Party candidate.

  69. But sometimes a vulgarity laced tirade really helps you to feel better.   DOesn’t make it RIGHT, but it can help get a lot of anger out.  Better an anonymous person than your family 😉  

    Seriously though… I actually just really like the work Douche bags.  

  70. It punishes people who are not trust worthy and who managed to harm both the country and the interests of the vast majority of Democrats.  As Howard Beal said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”

    Once the Dogs and the conservadems know that they are paying the price and that we can no longer be played for suckers, the results will get better in a hurry.  We are their bosses (or should be), not Barack Obama or some insurance lobbyists.

    Popular election of Senators does not mean popular election by insurance companies and only insurance companies.

  71. My apologies for yelling earlier.   Your post was extremely rude to Chris in my opinion and that first set me off and it escalated.  While I still disagree with much of what you said… while I think lying Conservadems and poor leadership in the WH and Senate are to blame and not that Obama is in bed with Lieberman which is ridiculous….  I shouldn’t have attacked you in the way I did.  So My apologies for the way in which I responded.

  72. I doubt its a lie… its too easy to expose.   I’m guessing he genuinely doesn’t know.

    That is one think that better get put in COmmittee.

  73. I think there are more than 50 votes for passing this normally, but quite possibly not 50 votes for passing anything through reconciliation.

    If reconciliation just isn’t going to happen, it’s quite possible that the best possible bill that can be passed is limited by how far left you can move Joe Lieberman and that you maximize that leftward movement by coddling rather than coercing him and working to get this done as fast as possible so that he has less time to come up with new concessions that he can demand.

    Is anyone going to back the idea of primarying Feingold for his opposition to reconciliation?

  74. Its not rude to point out that a post blaming all of this on a “few senators” overlooks (and obfuscates) where the real responsibility lies – with the folks that enabled the “few” in the first place.

    If a condescending and judgmental with a faux apology makes you feel better, knock yourself out – its a legit point that many have agreed with in this thread an others.

    This certainly IS NOT just about a few senators and other threads here and elsewhere make this plain.

    It a point that belongs in this dialog too, whether it was omitted by oversight or intention and note that I did not question the post’s intentions, just pointed out some facts.

  75. Instead, they support Obama having a baseline, not carrying about the PO or other elements so letting the Congress handle it and not lifting a finger.   Bad leadership.

  76. Imho that “news” was only a misinterpretation of a meaningless quote by her. However, regardless, with Burris and Sanders vs. Snowe, we have two possible Nay votes vs. one Aye, so it’s more probable the 60 votes aren’t there.

  77. Just throw the bums out.  If they want to throw a hissy fit and pull a Lieberman, they can do it without any bribes from the left.

  78. If we split and the GOP becomes dominant, we risk the GOP ruling the country.    

    Whereas if the GOP splits, then we can do what Lost in America says and kick them to the curb.

  79. I mean, the conservadem half of the party is pretty much Wall Street’s.  Is there enough money in the other half left to actually DO anything?

  80. I’d get into the same argument with people who say Bush blew up the WTC.   Its a pet peeve of mine and gets me aggitated.  Since I was already pissed, it was like gas on an open flame.    

    Because I also think that its irresponsible to just give up.    Throwing in the towel on a guy after one year shows no commitment to the betterment of the country.     Instead of all the quitting talk, I want to hear people talk about protests, letters and promoting progressive politics.  Obama has supported some very progressive policies in the past.  He is capable of doing so again.   Since he has this capability, I’d rather fight than give up.  

    Its the quitter attitude.   That’s why I care.    I want to make the country a better place.  I’m pragmatic enough to know that we have a far far greater chance under Obama than any Republican and many Democrats.

  81. The investment is in the way I want to see the country run.    And pissing away 3 years or 7 years without lifting a finger to improve the country bothers me.    People want a Howard Dean type int he white house.  He isn’t there.   Obama hasn’t shaped out to be the guy we thought, but its only been a year and that doesn’t mean that he can’t improve, the way Clinton did.   He’ll never live up to the hype, but if you care deeply about the state of the country, the way I do, you keep on pushing the President on his policies.

  82. I am perfectly happy to give up on people I dont know. Obama is not someone I know,. He’s someone I took a gamble on electing, and now realize for whatever reason is not up for the job. You can still go after issues without having to feel emotionally invested in him.  

  83. for example when is say I am giving up on the democrats and party – that does not mean I am not going to do anything. It means I am not going to waste time on party politics. No money. no time. I will devote those to other things I care about.  

  84. That was a sincere apology.  I don’t do faux apologies.    There is no need for it as I don’t know you and couldn’t care less about what you think of me.  I’m sincere in if I think your an asshole, I’ll call you an asshole.  As you noticed I had no problem in doing it earlier… of course above it was cleaned up a bit from what I wanted to originally write.  Also,  If I feel I’ve done someone wrong, then I’ll own up to it.

    My apology was that I shouldn’t have insulted you.   I think what you wrote was completely wrong and your attack on Chris really irritated me but it didn’t warrant a personal attack.     You basically called Chris a liar and someone hiding the truth on your first post which really pissed me off and was very rude to Chris.   You claiming this was some big elaborate plan between Obama and Lieberman bugged me as well but not the part I thought rude.

    I regret losing my temper earlier and personally attacking you by calling you stupid.    However if you want to spit on that apology then fine, although it’s kind of a jerk move.

  85. Theres a big part of me that wants to take this to committee instead and see how we can improve it.    Annual caps, etc.  I think killing it now would be a bigger mistake than rolling the dice.   Of course who knows if that will be the case.

  86. You feel that is the best way to achieve action from the outside.   I feel pushing from the inside has a better chance of achieving action.  Difference of opinion on the best style.  

    To put it another way, I get the feeling you thing the whole system can be torn down and rebuilt.  I don’t think its possible without a constitutional amendment banning lobbyists, setting a hard cap on donations and publically funding election… therefore, I think the best way is to continue to push within the system.  As disappointing as the setbacks are… UP UNTIL those setbacks progressives did very well.    A lot better than any other fight I have seen.   If we had 4 different Senators… Lemont and three others… there is a good chance we could have passed and gotten the PO.   I want to push the party and continue to work for More and BETTER Democrats instead of trying to establish a 3rd party and grow it to the same prominence.    The conservadems have stolen are party… I believe we can take it back.    That means getting rid of the garbage (Nelson, Lincoln, Landrieu, Bayh) and trying to fix those who I think can be made better (Obama, Tester, Harkin, etc.)

  87. For instance, for Chris to post this diary, however well meaning, to me is absurd. I mean- literally this diary reads like breaking new! scorpions sting!

    the issue is the character of progressives are not yet there for doing what is necessary. We must be more ruthless than the right. Trust me . I grew up poor. It required more discipline than the middle class has to muster to come out of poverty. I don’t see that on the left, and frankly, I need to for my own health focus other things. My posting here with mostly non like minded people is not productive. If I thought chris and others were moving toward something bigger- then it would be of value. I would be happy to chip in. But this is just insane- 5 years out they are still surprised by what conservatives are willing to do to win? Really? At this point they should be just as aggressive about winning rather than bitching about the “mean” conservatives who refuse to play nice.  

  88. …for something better from reconciliation. Don’t forget, almost everybody involved wants to pass something “healthcare” before the end of the term. Sry, but I don’t think your argument holds water.

  89. But some people here want to run against Obama and primary him from the left in 2012, even though it may do the same thing.

    Blow up the current Democratic coalition and force the left to look for a new partner in a center-left coalition in an ideological reconfiguration.

    These Blue Dogs and centrists practically act as a separate party anyways.  Why not make it formal so the left knows exactly what it is bargaining away when it tries to persuade the center that a center-left governing majority is better than a center-right one.

  90. The left wanted single payer, but we were told by the people who have a vested interest in making sure it never passes that it was never going to pass, so we settled for a public option.  We started asking for half a loaf.  Naturally, the opposition knew we’d settle for a quarter loaf, cut the half loaf in half, and told us we were never going to get half a loaf.  So we settled for a quarter loaf.  Naturally, the opposition knew we’d settle for an eighth of a loaf, and so on, so now we don’t even have the crumbs we were willing to settle for.  It doesn’t help that self-proclaimed progressive leaders start off supporting the compromise and then urging us as even that was whittled down to nothing that nothing we wanted was going to pass, so we might as well give up and drop it so we don’t get conservatives run against our progressive wafflers in the Congress (which has been happening and will continue to happen no matter what we do).

    All I’m seeing from so-called leaders is capitulation after capitulation, and when anybody tries to speak up and call b***s***, all we get is snark and bannings.  I saw that in spades over at DK and it seems this place is no different.  And the one guy I’ve seen who’s offered anything in the way of ideas for what we on the left can do, I’m learning his posts got pulled from the front page because the site owner thought it was a personal swipe at him (when it quite obviously wasn’t).  I’m not sure what to think of the netroots anymore.  No one seems to be taking charge and there sure as hell isn’t any real challenge to the Dems for stabbing us in the back at every turn.

  91. even if not an intricate plot, and such a charge in my view is as serious as claiming a plot, and essentially equivalent.  Obama says his personal preference is single-payer.  If he accepts a known party policy of deliberately serving corporate interests at the expense of public welfare, then he is involved in a plot, intricate or not.  There is no evidence whatsoever for this, and it implies Democratic politicians, lobbyists, etc., are somehow able to keep the plot a secret from all decent human beings, and they certainly interact with plenty.  I find that highly implausible.

    And when you say “party” policy, is anyone excluded?  Kucinich?  Raul Grijalva?  John Conyers?  Howard Dean?  If so, are these not Democrats?  Do they keep it secret somehow from Bernie Sanders, or is he in on it too?

  92. Lieberman’s score on “critical votes” ranked him tied for 29th in the Senate this year according to Progressive Punch.  He is statistically a middle of the road Democrat who is voting better than in the past.  But when Joe goes off the reservation he pulls a whopper.   Joe has a minor chairmanship and a major ego.  He has no scruples.  None.

    Baucus already played footsie with the Republicans, he votes worse by a lot but his crappy way is more predictable.  There is no way in God’s green earth that Max Baucus should chair a major committee.  There is no way that Kent Conrad should either. Baucus’s Senate bill should have been deep sixed with malice aforethought.  Instead, it was instantly  worshiped by the WaPo and the Versailles boys and girls.

    When people break a deal, the negotiation starts over.  Otherwise Lieberman, Ben Nelson and the others have no incentive to actually keep to the deal.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Since deal A is off the table, ask , no demand more.  You can often get it if you do it somewhat quietly.

    Any negotiator who has to have a house, an employee, a bill will overpay.  Sometimes it is OK.  Pay a few thousand more for a house but not what is happening.  This one is no longer OK.  

  93. Just as some Democrats vote for cloture for bills they vote against.

    Earlier this year, an amendment passed barring use of budget reconciliation on cap-and-trade.

    Here are the Democrats voting for that amendment, not including Specter, who was a Republican at the time.

    Max Baucus (Mont.)

    Evan Bayh (Ind.)

    Mark Begich (Alaska)

    Michael Bennet (Colo.)

    Jeff Bingaman (N.M.)

    Robert Byrd (W.Va.)

    Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.)

    Kent Conrad (N.D.)

    Byron Dorgan (N.D.)

    Dick Durbin (Ill.)

    Russ Feingold (Wis.)

    Kay Hagan (N.C.)

    Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

    Herb Kohl (Wis.)

    Mary Landrieu (La.)

    Carl Levin (Mich.)

    Blanche Lincoln (Ark.)

    Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

    Ben Nelson (Neb.)

    Mark Pryor (Ark.)

    Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.)

    Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

    Jon Tester (Mont.)

    Mark Warner (Va.)

    and Jim Webb (Va.).

    If a similar amendment was attached to a health care bill, I bet it would pass.

  94. And almost nobody else of us mere mortals are ever frontpaged, so why Jeff, with his not really worked out idea? Using that chance to make side blows at the blog owner certainly wasn’t the best tactic. Then, nobody keeps him from writing a new diary, but he doesn’t. Is he only interested if he gets the frontpage? D’oh. Maybe he should check out some other blogs.

  95. calling an honest, legit point an attack on chris – even little children know better than to apologize with another attack and most parents won’t accept it.

    Sorry if the thread left off who is really responsible for the fact there never was a “deal” and the envelope keeps getting pushed farther to the right.

    Only an arrogant knob proclaims a non-apology as an excuse to continue attacking – repeatedly now!

  96. I refuse to argue if the logic and facts support what many, including I, feel was always Obama’s intentions.  I think they do. But isn’t Obama “not caring about the PO or other elements” a type of betrayal as well?  This is not what he campaigned on, nor what he said at the beginning of the process.

    I think you let him off too easy. It’s worse than bad leadership.  Otherwise why would he seem so content with the ditching of the PO or any other measure to make the bill effective, reasonable, or put any pressure on private, for profit insurers? Why the open hostility to progressives and the strong arming of liberals to vote for the bill and the all too easy accommodation of Lieberman?

  97. ….give me an alternative to Lincoln that’s valid and I’m in.  We have to make it crystal clear to these Corprocrats that they pay a price for their attitude.

    And as for Lieberman….many of our Senators wet their pants when we send a couple hundred faxes for or against an issue.  If we did that with multiple thousands a day, EVERY day, until they get the point, they’d either brick up their office entrances or realize, once and for all, that they’d better do what’s right or pay the price.  Add to that the threat of drying up at least one channel of their fundraising capabilities, and I think a few heads would turn.

  98. to the LP does absolutely nothing along those lines?  

    And I can’t help but chuckle at the innocence in thinking that a vote for the other party, whose interests as shown by action are in pretty close to the same ballpark as “your” party, are any sort of punishment.  They get paid either way.

  99. You sit on your duff and vote third party or Republican.  Dropping them on their asses and removing them from office is the only way.  Club for Growth probably has a manual.

  100. yitbos has a point: Private investigators may hlp in removing lawmakers which sold out. Nothing drives the popularity numbers during a primary down like a fine, juicy, scandal!

  101. yitbos has a point: Private investigators may hlp in removing lawmakers which sold out. Nothing drives the popularity numbers during a primary down like a fine, juicy, scandal!

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