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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Harry Reid's Winging It

The day after Harry Reid boldly proclaimed that he was ready to produce a health care bill with a form of a public option, some serious cold water was poured on the idea.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.

Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid’s has said the Senate bill will.

"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."

Now, the question I would have is did Harry Reid take some sort of a whip count before announcing he was ready to produce a bill. It's no secret that Joe Liberman had problems with the bill. It's no secret that several moderates had problems with the public option. Are we really to believe that Harry Reid produced a bill without knowing if the votes were there to pass it?

This is the keystone cops version of legislating. Harry Reid appears to have put out a bill which he put together in secret with few others and he had no idea if he had or has the votes to pass it. Now, we know he doesn't have the votes to pass it. In the piece, it says that "several moderates wanted to wait for details" before deciding whether to support the bill. That means that Reid put this out without giving them the details.

It's hard to put into words how looney that is. Harry Reid produced a bill that is extremely controversial. He did with little input from the rank and file in his own party. He did it without knowing if he had the votes to pass it when he did. The health care debate is in total chaos.


Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing this is as bad as it sounds. Harry Reid is not at all the kind of guy who takes even small risks. Yes several conservative Democrats said they'd wait to see the bill before declaring their support, but whether they vote for it has always been irrelevant. The only relevant question is would they join an increasingly radical Republican Party in filibustering the centerpiece of their own party's agenda. So far, all of them have said they would not. That Lieberman is now saying he would means he had previously lied when he said he would not. I'm not even sure Lieberman is saying he will filibuster so much as he wants to see some floor amendments.

In any case, I don't think Lieberman has any room to filibuster. If he were to do so, his career would be OVER. Technically its already over since the last poll I saw showed he's currently polling 3rd for the 2012 race behind Blumenthal and Rell, but he was already at risk of being stripped of his chairmanship. If he were to pull this he would almost certainly lose his chairmanship, if not be expelled from the caucus outright.

mike volpe said...

You mean the kind of cautious person that said the Iraq war was lost before even all the surge troops were put into place. No, that sounds reckless.

So far, Reid's proven rather incompetent as a leader. I think you need to take count. If Liberman joins the Reps, there is no bill. Period. His career is probably over after this term anyway and if you think that he ever worries about his career over doing what he thinks is right, you don't know Joe Lieberman. Remember, he was at the Republican convention in 2008. He wasn't all that worried about his career then. He went with the Reps in 2006 for Iraq, even though that almost cost him the election.

Of course, it's as bad as it seems. The whole process is as bad as it seems. There's nothing but confusion and chaos and this is the latest step.

Anonymous said...

On July 6, 2006, Joe Lieberman claimed he supported universal health care. Apparently that support only extended to election day.

You're probably right about Lieberman always doing what he thinks is right. Right for Joe Isadore Lieberman, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the White House is so skeptical of Reid's efforts, they essentially told him "don't come crying to us when you need that last vote."

I can understand if the White House is skeptical, but my goodness, man, show some freaking leadership! If you think triggers will get all the Democrats and Snowe on board and that nothing else will pass, SAY SO! Don't just leave Pelosi and Reid twisting in the wind while you hide under your desk hoping the teabaggers won't notice you.