Is it Time to Dump Holy Joe and Start Courting Snowe?

December 15, 2009

(ChattahBox)—- Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) betrayal of his Democratic colleagues, his constituents and all Americans who desperately need health care reform, has left Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) furious and scrambling for a consensus in the Democratic caucus. Lieberman surprised the Democratic caucus on Sunday, appearing on Sunday talk shows, stabbing Sen. Reid in the back, vowing to kill the bill if it included a Medicare buy-in, after he previously voiced support for the provision. Monday night, Reid was forced to cave into Lieberman’s demands, or lose the once in a generation chance to pass a health care bill before Christmas. But maybe Holy Joe overplayed his hand this time. Reid might end up with a better bill if he could strike a deal with Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine. And the word on the Hill, is Reid is meeting with Snowe.

The public option was already torpedoed due to Lieberman’s threat of a filibuster. Now, Lieberman’s new treachery has resulted in the scrapping of the Medicare buy-in. And Lieberman is insisting that even a public trigger option be removed from the bill before he would vote for it. Additionally, Lieberman is balking at the long-term health care provision in the bill.

The risk to Reid, is that after jumping over backwards to appease Lieberman, the Independent Senator may still decide to betray the caucus and side with Republicans to kill the bill. Since Lieberman has shown he is not dealing in good faith, he can’t be trusted.

So, why not reopen negotiations with Snowe? She already voted for the Baucus bill. And she has publicly stated that she would support a public trigger option. That’s at least a better bill than what the Democratic caucus would end up, after trying to appease Lieberman.

According to Greg Sargent’s The Plum Line, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl tweeted: “I am told Snowe is meeting with Harry Reid as we tweet.”

If Reid could lock in Snowe as the 60th vote, that would leave Lieberman out in the cold searching for relevancy. Sixty votes are needed to move the health care reform bill through the Senate. And the President wants the process finished before Christmas. The only drawback with Snowe as the 60th vote, is her insistence that the voting on the bill be delayed until January. And there is still the wavering of conservative Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska

Sargent summed the situation up nicely:

“What’s more, getting Snowe allows Dems to claim the bill is bipartisan, which could have political benefits heading into 2010. It would marginalize and infuriate Lieberman, depriving him of the outsized power he continues to wield over the process.Finally, there’s the armageddon scenario to consider: Who’s to say that Lieberman won’t privately assure Reid that he’s on board in exchange for multiple concessions, only to vote against the final bill in the end? There’s no ruling out that scenario. If Snowe were to privately pledge support, her word might be expected to prove more reliable than Lieberman’s, when it comes down to it.”

Stay tuned.

Source: The Plum Line


2 Responses to “Is it Time to Dump Holy Joe and Start Courting Snowe?”

  1. Joe on December 15th, 2009 10:46 pm

    This man has flip flopped for the past 10 years. After failing with Al Gore (or should I say, helping poor Al fail) and sucking up to McCain in this last election, this guy looks more like an opportunist then a politician. Talk about transparency. I see this guy on the side with the most money and goods.

    Looks like America’s got a new uncle scrooge. Thanks, Trader Joe.

  2. Old Man Dotes on December 16th, 2009 10:09 am

    Lieberman really needs to join Oral Roberts. This nation would be far better off if he were dead.

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