This was the topic of hot discussion in the McSuderman household this morning. If Lieberman really wants health care reform but is (as he is supposed to, I reluctantly concede) protecting his state’s insurance interests, then all the progressives need to do is say “Give us the list! Whatever you want, you can have it!” The problem is that
a) Reid’s apparently seriously pissed off and not acting particularly rationally
b) Lieberman already knows he’s going to lose his committees the minute the Democrats don’t need him next year and
c) Since it’s not clear that he actually wants anything to pass, there’s a serious worry that he’ll just dance away and make more demands.
But it’s not just Lieberman. I doubt Blanche Lincoln actually wants to vote for this thing, but she needs the party for reelection help in a tough race coming up, so she’s perfectly willing to let Nelson and Lieberman kill it if they can. If they get on board, I suspect that Lincoln might develop sudden last minute doubts. I’m not sure Landrieu wouldn’t as well. Conservative Democrats facing tough reelections do not actually want to have to go on record as voting either before or against this.
Lieberman is in some ways in the easiest position–the party is not helping him get reelected, and he’s going to lose his committees eventually anyway, because everyone’s mad at him. So the other weak sisters are willing to let him take the lead. But if he gives in, will they go along, or will they just find their own reasons for saying no?
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