Monday, December 14, 2009

Lieberman thoughts:
  • The discovery of the video from 3 months ago of Joe saying he'd be for a Medicare buy-in, may be the tipping point as far as establishment Democrats in DC are concerned. Nobody will say it in public, but those Democrats will put Joe on their shit list.

  • Where are the citizens of Connecticut on Joe? The local press? What's Lieberman polling in the nutmeg state?

  • Liberman's Jewishness, or rather his professions of extreme piety, will start to be a factor. On what religious grounds do you deceive (with promises of compromise later revoked) or deny (coverage for many who otherwise would die)? Where are the rabbis on this?

  • The anger towards Lieberman is intense. Some comments on various blogs are going so far as to wish him and his wife a painful death due to cancer. Instead of an amorphous group of Republicans, Joe Lieberman may become the one person who, in the minds of many, derails health care or eliminates important provisions. That's a dangerous place to be.

  • It's hard to see how Lieberman won't follow the trajectory of Zell Miller.

  • The Lieberman episode must be a catalyst towards elimination of the de facto 60-vote threshold to do business in the Senate. The Senate is already non representative of the general will since votes are not allocated according to population, and tossing on an additional supermajority hurdle makes any popular legislation hard to get out. Up until 15 years ago, various traditions prevented the abuse of Senate procedures - secret hold, blue slips, filibuster - but ever since Gingrich, they've been abandoned (the traditions of moderate usage). A new set of rules will have to be implemented to get the upper chamber working again.

  • There are blog wars heating up in "respectable places" (e.g. Ezra Klein vs. Charles Lane in the Post [1,2]). Battle lines are being drawn. This is reminiscent of the situation before the Iraq war when discussion and compromise was no longer possible. That means it's going to boil down to a no-talk/just-get-the-votes situation. At that point, arguments are a waste of time and the (inherently conservative) procedures in Congress are all that matter.


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