'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

President Joe Lieberman 

Over 50,000,000 Americans have yet to realize that they really voted for him in November 2008. The bailout, the stimulus, executive salaries, Afghanistan, and now health care, Joseph Lieberman is the man. Curiously, people who post at liberal sites like firedoglake still persist in pejoratively talking about President Olympia Snowe and President Susan Collins as a way complaining about Obama's lack of leadership and his seeming obsession with bipartisanship, but they never say President Joseph Lieberman. They persist in the perpetuating the fiction that Lieberman is some sort of outrider, a self-serving mercenary on the edge of the legislative frontier raiding liberal outposts, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Perhaps, it is too close to the bone, given that Lieberman was Obama's mentor when he entered the Senate in 2006. Meanwhile, as the health care bill is eviscerated in secret, the unions have gone silent, holding their powder again until after all the important decisions have been made. A visit to the AFL-CIO home page reveals that the emphasis upon the public option has been replaced by a new theme, Don't tax our health benefits. An television ad to this effect, absent any reference to the public option, is also posted there. Sadly, the AFL-CIO is conducting itself as predicted after it allowed the Baucus bill to escape the Senate Finance Committee without opposition:

One wonders how their members are going to react when they discover that, starting in 2013, many of them are going to be facing a 40% surcharge on portions of the health plans, plans that actually provide decent coverage, because they are considered, in the words of the President and others, Cadillac plans.

One suspects that, in the end, organized labor will soften the blow of this provision during reconciliation, without fully eliminating it, and call it a victory after the Baucus bill is signed.

After more than a week of secret negotiation in the Senate, most of what the liberals attempted to insert into the Baucus bill has been jettisoned. All that remains is the illusion of a reconciliation process with the House whereby enough crumbs are tossed the way of the AFL-CIO in order for it to claim victory.

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