Filibuster: Joe Lieberman Continues To Be A Jerk Of The First Order

In the grand tradition of cartoon villains Snidely Whiplash and Dick Dastardly, Joe Lieberman scored a blow to health reform by engaging in what Matt Yglesias describes as "the old double cross."

Instead of just tying health care reform to the train tracks and letting nature take its course, Lieberman had to kick the Dudley Do-Right Dems when they were down, waiting until they had confidently announced an impending compromise to reveal he was against the plan. He chose to do this on Face the Nation.


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According to TPM, Lieberman has threatened to filibuster over the expansion of Medicare to those 55 - 64 years in age.

This should be no surprise. After all, Lieberman's relationship with the Democratic Party has generally gone like this:

Yglesias also points out that unless Democrats are willing to push for reconciliation, Lieberman, Nelson, and the Republicans have them over a proverbial barrel:

Can't liberals be just as stiff-necked as Lieberman? Sure, they could. But liberals members do have an incentive to compromise-the tens of thousands of people who die every year for lack of health insurance. The leverage that Lieberman and other "centrists" have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

Speaking of sociopathic indifference, there are two major developments on the women's health front- neither of which appears geared toward improving the actual lives of women.

Senator Ben Nelson, saddened by the defeat of his "this is not extending Hyde...but it really is" amendment, swears to fight on, saying that he can't support a bill that doesn't allow him to get his way. Interestingly, back in 1991, Nelson's anti-abortion stance put him in a precarious position within the Democratic party. Now, the Democrats are no longer as staunch in their defense of a woman's right to choose, which has allowed Nelson to gain some traction.

Meanwhile, the recent advisement about changes to breast cancer screening guidelines has become the latest political football, with both Democrats and Republicans dog-piling on the issue. But make no mistake - this is done to score points, not to do something silly like figure out what is best for women. Dems want to prove that Republicans don't care about women; Republicans want to win back female voters.

The end result? Who cares about that?

Welcome To The Lieberman Administration [Think Progress]
Health Care Reform In Peril; Lieberman Threatens Filibuster Over Medicare Buy In [TPM]
Nelson: Won't Vote For Abortion Language [UPI]
A Senator's Moral Dilemma On Health Bill [Washington Post]
Mammograms As Political Weapon [Politico]

Earlier: New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Spark Confusion, Criticism