How to Reason With Joe Lieberman: Reconciliation

Ezra Klein wants to reason with Joe Lieberman. I assume it is for rhetorical effect. But the real question is how do Democrats reason with him? I think the answer is quite simple. You tell him what you will do if he filibusters health care reform - to wit, you will use reconciliation.

Of course we all understand that is not the preferred course (the Parliamentarian, etc.), but here's the thing - you need to let people know that is what you will do if you have to. The point here is to neutralize Lieberman (and Lincoln and Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu and Evan Bayh.) And that is how you do it. You tell him - we can pass "something" on healthcare via reconciliation, and we will, if you make us. And that something will be done without any input from you. (This goes for Snowe's gang as well.) Either these obstructionists get with the program and fight for influence on the bill, or they vote No. And if they vote No, then the folks voting Yes call all the shots. I think it is a simple but important point.

Speaking for me only

< Monday Morning Open Thread | 41 Dems Vow To Oppose HCR If It Includes Stupak Amendment >
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    why threaten? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:58:25 AM EST
    If you have the votes for reconciliation and can push it through, you don't have to threaten and thus give talking points to the propaganda machine of the right wing vis a vis fox.

    If joe wants to filibuster let him.  Push it through reconciliation and when all is said and done he loses his committee seats.  And after that, fund Lamont or whatever demo run in CT full steam.

    Is Joe "afraid" of reconciliation?

    Let Joe try to figure out what is going to happen as opposed to appearing spiteful.  If Joe is not representing the demo party caucus you can strip him later, if he is not representing the people of CT they should strip him later.

    I think reconciliation as a threat is useless because those opposed know the votes are there.  

    Polling says the american people want HCR, if the demo party cannot figure out how to run ad campaigns in vulnerable districts to set up repubs for failure in the next election, reconciliation won't mean anything in those races.  Make it mean something.

    That is a wrongheaded strategy imo (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:07:38 PM EST
    If you say it now, THEN you can blame Lieberman for it. In essence, let Lieberman know he will be to blame for such an occurrence.

    Lay out the marker now.

    Let me give you an example - Bart Stupak - he said all along what he would do - and then he did it.

    Whether you favor the Stupak Amendment or not, it happened because Stupak SAID it would happen. If he had said nothing and tried it at the 11th hour, I doubt it would have worked for him.


    By now Lieberman's beyond future punishments (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 02:01:29 PM EST
    ... working as a promised threat.

    If he misbehaves, if he does this or that, then we'll spank your @ss ... ?

    He's too far gone for that.

    Nope, he's repeatedly been on network TV directly opposing the Dem agenda and in those appearances also explicitly vows to work more actively against it in the future.

    Allowing that level of ingratitude and disloyalty without immediate and meaningful punishments (like stripping him of his Chair) is weak, bad negotiating.

    Start the motion to do so and don't let him sit back down until he's eaten his words (on media appearances) and, yes, delivered a loyalty oath in the form of NYT/WaPo OpEd full-throatedly supporting Dem measures.

    Give it back only when he's publicly ruined his ties with the Repugs.

    What you said only further prolongs his ongoing eight-year anti-Dem tantrum.


    I have searched for information (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:15:39 PM EST
    prior to Saturday as to any amendment containing all the language of the Stupak amendment.  Haven't found any source yet.  Did find an Ezra Klein piece referring to a different proposed amendment.  

    What can I tell you? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:18:49 PM EST
    I knew about it for months.

    Try Open Left who spent a good deal of time on it.

    I am sorry that most of you were unaware of it, and that most of you were unaware that undocumented aliens are excluded from the public option and public subsidies, in ALL versions of HCR.


    I would greatly appreciate a post (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:34:29 PM EST
    from you, should you choose to write it, of course, as to why you supported the present House bill, assuming you realized the present Stupak amendment would be included, and all undocumented immigrants would be barred from receiving any benefit from the bill.  Thank you.  

    Not anytime soon (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 02:12:59 PM EST
    Here is a narrower request: distinguish (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:23:13 PM EST
    the Hyde amendment and the final Stupak amendment.  

    I will not (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:51:30 PM EST
    I have had it with a good deal of the commenters here.

    I ain't taking requests or insults.


    Sorry to hear that, as I value your (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    analysis.  No need to suffer insults of course, as that is the trade off for posting here.

    Nooo (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:22:05 PM EST
    It is not a trade off.

    I won't have it.


    Trade off I thought was you can't (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:29:00 PM EST
    go off on a rant at commenters and they can't insult you.  

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:37:08 PM EST
    That is the deal.

    I enforce it strictly.


    Oct. 5/09 is the first hit with "Stupak" (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    as the search term.  Bowers predicts HCR in house would fail if Stupak amendment included.  Open Left

    Stupak (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:30:44 PM EST
    Has been talking about this since summer - I believe it's one of the reasons that the vote was put off then until now.

    Here's a mention of it (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:32:41 PM EST
    This language is the same as the Hyde (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:37:41 PM EST
    language.  Stupak amendment submitted Sat. and included in the bill passed by the House on Sat. is broader.

    That's what I saw (none / 0) (#22)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:15:32 PM EST
    as well in an article I had read about it a while ago vs. what it was by this weekend.  If anyone has a link to a timeline of when it morphed, when and where that was reported, it would be appreciated (as that could indicate a good source to bookmark for future information purposes, as I continue my search to find sites that actually will do so, and on more issues than are covered with what I have now, which did not do so well).

    Read Sam Stein's column today (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:16:37 PM EST
    on Huff Post and the links.

    Here's a handy shortcut to the jumps (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:45:24 PM EST
    ... as listed on oculus's post earlier in the AM.

    (Skimming them in another tab. Eye-opening, for sure.)


    You gain nothing (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:21:55 PM EST
    trumping it out now.  Either the people in CT want it as a majority or they don't.  A more comprehensive strategy would include states that "want" HCR that are represented by people who are intent of not giving it to them.  Period.

    When you run in CT in the next election, you remind them who voted against it and how you had to cram it through reconciliation and didn't get the best bill because of the likes of Joe.

    I will have to agree to disagree to your logic here as I simply see more losses short term and long term by trying to intimidate a guy who is fully aware that reconciliation will be used again if need be.

    Joe wants the camera and a fight against democrats reconciliation threats changes the narrative substantially before it needs to.  The debate has no narrative that  is working right now and reconciliation threats add to it.

    The problem is not Joe or Snowe, but the administration and party in general.  More than 50% of the population wants Hcr and they are completely relying on "change" as the narrative when the population at large is "hope"less about the economy.

    Change, to most americans right now is what they are bringing to the bank to trade in for dollars to help pay the bills.  

    Collectively, we want dollars, not change.


    We simply disagree (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:27:19 PM EST
    I think you gain everything by doing it now.

    You establish that you will do it in a public way and perhaps can avoid doing it by letting people know you will do it.

    This is Bargaining 101.


    Especially disagree (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:28:26 PM EST
    with the "Joe knows it" idea. The Dems' reluctance to talk about it signals that you do not have the gumption to actually do it.

    I think what you accomplish (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:57:44 AM EST
    in threatening reconciliation is an out for Joe.  the "liberals" wouldn't negotiate and so on.  Joe knows that and my guess is he is hoping for the threat.  In his mind he gets a pass on HCR because the negotiations were meaningless as the others were going to pass it either way.

    I still see the strengths of making sure you have 51, and forcing Joe to play his hand first.

    You don't have filibuster until you have it and making Joe say no to the american people without a gun to his head is a better strategy.  Aren't statements made under duress inadmissable?????


    Lamont sent me a begging letter - he's (none / 0) (#41)
    by suzieg on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:08:02 AM EST
    running for some state office - I sent it back telling him I'm no longer financially supporting democrats and wished him good luck!

    I don't think... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:07:30 PM EST
    that I've ever seen the word "reason" in the same sentence with "Joe Lieberman" before.

    Reid needs to start reading this blog (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Coral on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:48:45 PM EST
    Obama, too.

    I think all Joe wants is for Kos to kiss his butt (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by steviez314 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:34:34 PM EST
    and say sorry about that whole Lamont thing.

    John Murphy the independent candidate (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by suzieg on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:14:14 AM EST
    for the 16th district in PA in 2006 and 2008 makes a good point on how Lieberman can save single-payer on:


    Thanks (none / 0) (#43)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:44:51 AM EST
    for the link.

    Might as well float it now (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:02:47 PM EST
    so everyone in the media can go completely overboard for a week or two, and then journalists can eventually correct the worst of the idiots with the facts about "partisan reconciliation."

    Isn't there a deadline on reconciliation? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    Like soon? I thought one of the limitations on reconciliation was that you could only do it as part of the annual budget process.

    Actually no (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:56:43 PM EST
    there was a deadline of October 15 but it was a REVERSE deadline.  The budget instruction for this year said that if there isn't a budget by October 15 that does X Y and Z, reconciliation becomes available.  I don't think there is an end date.  The entire purpose of reconciliation is to make it easier, not harder, to pass a budget if things drag on.

    Thanks, but once they do ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:07:17 PM EST
    pass a budget, that ship has sailed, right. And don't they need to finish that soon?

    This seems unnecessary ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:08:32 PM EST
    couldn't you just take his argument away from him?

    If his main complaint is that the public option will increase the debt (and most agree it won't) perhaps it's possible to confront Lieberman on this issue alone.

    Since Obama has repeatedly said he wants the bill to be deficit neutral, where do they really disagree?

    I'd start here with some soft pressure on his supposed complaints before I went the hard-line reconciliation route.

    Because his stated objection (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    is a crock.  It's not why he's digging in his heels, it's an excuse he made up because it sounds reasonable.  He's against it because his bosses in the insurance industry in CT are against it.

    Probably so ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:39:27 PM EST
    but deal with what he's saying not the underlying motive.

    That's always the smarter political move.


    Take off Lieberman's veil. (none / 0) (#44)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:54:40 AM EST
    It would be more interesting, more persuasive and better theatre if Senators and media folks would directly confront Lieberman about his ties to the insurance industry.

    If this country had its' head on straight, this would be headline news - especially since he is framing his opposition as a matter of "conscience".

    Talking about deficit-neutral will only put people to sleep and wind up with a he said / she said situation with both sides throwing up conflicting statistics.

    But revealing Lieberman for the crook he is could render him neutral.


    Not too many senators (none / 0) (#45)
    by shoephone on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:28:45 AM EST
    could confront him about his ties to the insurance industry without looking and sounding like total hypocrites...

    Saint Joe (none / 0) (#48)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:47:19 AM EST
    But the media types almost always go after someone on the left to attribute a base motivation to them or they dig something to personally discredit them.


    Senator Byrd to Larry King: The administration has no case going to war in Iraq. There are no WMDs. There was no meeting about yellow cake.

    Larry King responds: Hey. Didn't you once belong to the Klan?

    - End of Interview.

    But with Lieberman, his obvious ulterior motives are not even touched upon. Once again, our jaded bloated press is revealing itself to be the town criers for the cretins who are running the show.


    over the weekend (none / 0) (#20)
    by CST on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:10:44 PM EST
    he said it was a matter of "conscience" that he wouldn't vote for cloture on a public option since it's too big an expansion of gov't or something like that.

    His use of the word ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:13:07 PM EST
    "conscience" was specifically tied to the debt issue:

    If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe debt can break America and send us into a recession that's worse than the one we're fighting our way out of today. I don't want to do that to our children and grandchildren.

    Joe has an, um, extremely (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 02:44:03 PM EST
    flexible "conscience."

    Heh. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:38:14 PM EST
    He has no conscience (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:09:58 PM EST
    He had no conscience when it came to the supplemental bills to fund the war. If he was truly concerned about saddling our children and grandchildren with debt, he should have thought about that before he voted on over a trillion dollars in war funds. The whole point of the suppliments were so they didn't have to be accounted for in the budget.

    "Speaking for me only" (none / 0) (#25)
    by pcpablo on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:42:00 PM EST
    Yeah, that's a problem, now if you were speaking for Harry Reid!

    I got your Bi-Partisonship right here!!

    What happened to "upperdown" (none / 0) (#40)
    by s5 on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:53:14 PM EST
    I want to read this every day in the media from Reid. The American people deserve an up-or-down vote on healthcare reform.

    Dens need Lieberman (none / 0) (#47)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:20:42 AM EST
    Realpolitik view: 2010; 15%+ unemployment and no Obama on ticket. Afterwards dems will need Joe. Hate to say it. Is what it is.