Tuesday, October 27, 2009

[A little more than] Cautiously hopeful about this news from the Senate: Joe Lieberman says he'll block the vote on Harry Reid's plan

Joe Lieberman (I, Connecticut) has consistently said that he would oppose a public option if it were part of a health care bill. Evidently he's sticking to his guns, since Tuesday he said that he will back a GOP filibuster of Harry Reid's crap-tastic ObamaCare "reform" bill.

Here's the quote from Politico, who has the story today: "Lieberman said that he'd vote against a public option plan 'even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new govenrment entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line.'" Lieberman says that he's told Reid that if the bill stays as it is, he will vote against cloture.

White House minions came out on the Sunday shows, tiptoeing past the graveyard, speaking as though Reid has the 60 votes to pass the bill through cloture in his back pocket. Reid has insisted that the public option will be part of the bill, which has made me cautiously optimistic that his stubborn arrogance will be the bill's downfall. If Reid has lost Lieberman, has lost Olympia Snowe--who's next?

The blue dog Dems, that's who.

Update: In case you went to public school and didn't learn how a bill becomes law (I went to public school and we learned all of that in seventh grade, but then--I'm old), here's a short procedural summary of how this works and what it all means. It's not that difficult, once you get past what "cloture" means. If you pay taxes, you might want to check it out. Just sayin'.

Update #2: This from Huffington Post (source warning!) is hilarious. I admit I've had a couple of glasses of wine tonight, and I'm having a little trouble following it. But it seems to me, as it has seemed all day, that dimwit Harry Reid should have known going in whether he did or didn't have the votes--that's pretty much his only job. He doesn't, apparently--so what the heck is he doing? This is from M.S. Bellows, Jr. at the Huffington Post, whoever he is. It's actually pretty funny: "How Lieberman Stole Reid's Candy and Drank Snowe's Milkshake."

When Reid made his happy announcement, I assumed he had cut a deal with Lieberman to guarantee his vote on cloture, because it would be foolish beyond foolishness to abandon Snowe without knowing -- knowing -- that Lieberman's vote was secure. And now we learn that Reid was foolish, and Lieberman's vote was not secure, and health care reform may well be dead.

Lieberman said today: "I also told him [Reid] that if the bill remains what it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage. Therefore I will try to stop the passage of the bill." In other words: "I will join the Republican filibuster of the bill Reid announced yesterday unless you give me what I want."

If these Washington machinations interest you at all, you have to read the article. In a word (or two) it's highly amusing.

Continues Bellows: 24 hours ago, Snowe became irrelevant -- and two hours ago, Lieberman seized the opportunity, sprang the trap he had set long before, announced his support for a filibuster, and thereby, instantly, became The Most Important Person In The Universe to Obama and Reid.

Health care reform may well be dead, and Harry Reid dead along with it. Sing it, Sisters: "Senate Majority Leader Schumer." Hahahahahaha. I know, a lot of this is inside baseball, unless you follow this like a religious nut the way I do. But trust me, this is comedy gold.

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