Who’s Zooming Who?

(8:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

From Salon

Why is Obama still protecting Lieberman?

I am beginning to see the inevitable healthcare “compromise” as the product of a political song and dance conducted by Democrats and Republicans solely to appease various constituencies within their parties — and nothing else. Remarkably, The Onion accurately assessed the situation several months ago with the satirical essay “Congress Deadlocked Over How To Not Provide Health Care.” The Onion “quotes” Nancy Pelosi in a very smart passage:


Both parties understand that the current system is broken,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Monday. “But what we can’t seem to agree upon is how to best keep it broken, while still ensuring that no elected official takes any political risk whatsoever. It’s a very complicated issue

Hmmm. Seems like the Onion is on to something.

But the author, Darren Hutchinson, of the Salon article asks a very legitimate question at the end just directing it at the the wrong group of people.

To liberals who still believe that criticizing the Obama Administration is treasonous, I ask the following question: What must the White House do to receive legitimate criticism from the Left?

While Mr. Hutchinson makes some pretty good points about this debacle, I think the main point he is missing is pretty clear from the title..”Protecting Joe Lieberman”. More like President Obama is using him to further his own agenda which is, as Russ Feingold said, get the bill he wanted all along.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.

   “This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. “I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

Has the White House threatened Democrats in the House with refusing to back their re-election unless they capitulate on HCR like they were forced to do over the war funding bill last June?

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won’t get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“We’re not going to help you. You’ll never hear from us again,” Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. She wouldn’t say who is issuing the threats, and the White House didn’t immediately return a call. [UPDATE: White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says Woolsey’s charge is not true.]

Woolsey said she herself had not been pressured because the White House and leadership know she’s a firm no vote. But she had heard from other members about the White House pressure.

Obama supported Lieberman in his last race. Now, is this is the favor returned? Is Lieberman taking the heat for the President?

Who’s zooming who?

h/t also to Glen Greenwald

(all emphasis is mine)



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    • TMC on December 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm
  1. I agree.  It became obvious months ago that Obama did not want a Public Option.

    These guys are masters of obfuscation, magicians of sleight of hand, mendacious manipulators of smoke and mirrors.

    I’m so glad we are seeing through them.  They are transparent.  Maybe next we can disappear them altogether.

    • Edger on December 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

  2. This makes way too much sense.

    I think I’ve just lost all faith in humanity.

  3. Incidentally, the “defense bill” for $130 billion is being voted on today.

    The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today, Wednesday, December 16th, on a war funding bill that will pay for the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Nobody will tell you that. They’ll tell you it’s a “defense” bill, and that a small part of it — a mere $130 billion — is for wars (which therefore have something to do with “defense”). They’ll tell you the $130 billion was approved in June before the announcement of an escalation by the president. They’ll tell you that another bill will have to be passed in the spring to pay for the escalation. And they will be lying, or as we have to say in the post-Bush era: knowingly lying. . . . .


    Unfortunately our only chance of decent healthcare reform any time soon must begin with House members committing to voting No on bills like those now under consideration. Of course, a sufficient number of them have already committed to voting No, but most of those congress members nonetheless voted Yes already and can be expected to do so again unless we demand that they keep their word. . . .


    • justCal on December 16, 2009 at 10:33 pm


    Lieberman is Obama’s frontman in the senate.

    • banger on December 17, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I am beginning to see the inevitable healthcare “compromise” as the product of a political song and dance conducted by Democrats and Republicans solely to appease various constituencies within their parties…

    Well clearly that’s what is going on. We should know by now that any kind of reform of anything is completely impossible. Everything has been gamed and the gaming has utterly gummed up the works so nothing can get done but sustain the current oligarchy pretty much as it is. Because what is true for HCR is true for every issue. Obama is a representative and creation of the oligarchy. He was their favorite since 2004. It’s all Madison Avenue, as they used to say but of course Madison Avenue expanded to include the whole world. Bernays would be happy.

    So what to do? The system is locked shut. Now people on the left are beginning to realize it — I took a few hours to look at DKOS today and most of them are ready to dump Obama — many seemed to be in open rebellion and there is no going back. If DKOS can move back to the left perhaps we can get some solidarity on the issues that matter and begin to create a third force if not a new party to counter the two right-wings of the same party called Republican and Democrat.

    I personally believe in a new party so something new can be built that runs in a kind of parallel track to the electoral system (which I believe is rigged — I mean both in reliability of the actual polling machines and manipulation of the information citizens need to make a decision). The electoral system has been gamed and other kinds of political action need to take place until that is sorted out.

  4. over the last year: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…it was the Spring of hope, it was winter of despair…we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…

    Yup, change you can believe in, and the audacity of hope.

  5. Love ya, Mom Cat, but…erm…

    It should be Who’s Zooming Whom?

    Sorry.  That mistake in you header was just driving me crazy.  You’re a better writer than that.

    • jamess on December 17, 2009 at 3:45 am

    to urge someone to run?

    Why is this guy, NOT in the Cabinet?

    The People, need a Lobbyist too!

    The People need someone who will bother to

    Stand up for US!

  6. Lieberman has obviously burned enough bridges that he can’t hope to run as a Democrat in 2012.  He will either continue as an independent (although the Republicans would need to run a little known candidate again), or switch to the Republican party.  Holy Joe will, of course, do whatever suits him.  And there is an additional possibility for Lie-berman, that of retiring to become a lobbyist, hauling a seven-figure salary as his payoff.

    The Dems, who, with rare exception, don’t really want to pass meaningful legislation, are all too happy to have Lie-berman provide political cover for them.  Holy Joe is drawing away much of the fire that might otherwise be directed as Baucus-MT; Lincoln & Pryor — Wal-Mart, Landreau — LA, LA, LA,…; Nelson-Mutual of Omaha, etc.  And then there are the thirty turncoat Dems in the Senate who deep-sixed the pharmaceutical reimportation bill.  And then there is Obama, who has brazenly done the bidding of his corporate suitors who supported his campaign, knowing that he would become their marionette in office.  But Lie-berman is drawing much of the ire away from the Dems.

    Perhaps this was a pre-condition for Lie-berman being allowed to caucus with the Dems and hold a powerful committee chairpersonship, whle at the same time auditioning for a potential switch to the Republican Party, who should enjoy considerable gains as disillusioned Dems stay home from the polls during the next election.  Think of Holy Joe as serving in the role of a rodeo clown.

    Doesn’t it seem that the Republicans are accomplishing more of their goals now as a minority party than they were under Bush?  Meanwhile, many progressives who would normally be screaming from the rooftops if the Repukes were the majority party and McCain was in the White House, now remain silent in deference to “their guy” Obama.  

    Maybe up is down, war is peace, black is white, and Hendrix was right…


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