On CNN today, Sen. Joe Lieberman embraced the incremental approach to health care reform (emphasis in original):

Last week, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the most conservative member of the so-called bipartisan “Gang of Six” working on the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill, stated that he preferred that Congress deal with reform incrementally. “I think the only way it will happen is we need to break it down into smaller parts than we have now and put it through one at a time,” he said.

Today on CNN, Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT), an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, embraced Enzi’s idea. “Great changes in our country often have come in steps. The Civil Rights movement occurred, changes occurred in steps,” he argued. Lieberman added that Congress should address the nearly 50 million uninsured at some point down the road:

LIEBERMAN: Morally, everyone of us would like to cover every American with health insurance but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less that is estimated, the estimate said this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.

Later, host John King asked Lieberman if he would vote with the Democrats if the reconciliation process is used to pass health care. “I think it’s a real mistake to try to jam through the total health insurance reform,” Lieberman said, adding, “It’s just not good for the system. Frankly, it won’t be good for the Obama presidency.”

Frankly, it wouldn’t be good for Joe Lieberman’s bank account, either.

Kathy Kattenburg
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I always liked Lieberamnn, the man taks sense, pragmatism, and bi-partisanship.

BTW Kathy he didn’t say “Save the 50 million uninsured for the last step” nice strawman, also kinda ironic given the title of Dorian’s post above yours.


Double post. Please delete.


I don’t know that he’s wrong about this, Kathy. One can argue both for and against the enormous expenditures to date to fight the recession, but the fact of the matter is that the spending happened. And it was rather a lot. And although lots of folks are optimistic, another fact of the matter is that we are actually still in that recession.

Dismiss it as you wish, but people really, truly are not comfortable with the pace of the outflow. It’s part of what’s behind the vast pushback.


The problem with Lieberman’s argument, as Matthew Yglesias argues today, is that the health care bill ALREADY phases in. The public option, for example, doesn’t even begin until 2013. Lord help us if we’re still in a recession in 2013. The reason for phasing this in – deficit neutrality.

If there was an actual plan to spend a trillion dollars right away on this then I could see Lieberman’s point. But right now it looks likes High Broderism at its worst – “People are upset so we must slow down.” As if that stopped him with the Iraq war…


Hey Joe Lieberman, read my lips,


We want the un watered-down public option. No compromise. Your step-system is just another version of MedMobs strivings to tool this thing for future revamping when the GOP gets reseated in bigger numbers. We know how it works. There is no compromise this time, none, cash in your MedMob lobbying money and tell them you're sorry you couldn't ram it through..


“We want the un watered-down public option.”

Joe won his seat without the support of that particular “We” do you think he cares what that “We” thinks now?


@ Kathy,

“… you are looking at the literal FACT of what he said, and not the actual TRUTH of what he meant”

Sorry I didn’t realize you were a Bene Gesserit Truthsayer?


“Lieberman said, adding, “It’s just not good for the system. Frankly, it won’t be good for the Obama presidency.”’

Oh so now he’s worried about the Obama presidency. Why doesn’t he use his influence with Republicans and have them reign in their lies about the healthcare reform? (It’s a rhetorical and sarcastic question.)


Oh facts are a pesky thing Kathy here is an interesting one.
First off, who has recieved more money from the Insurance industry than Liebermann?
McCain, John (R-AZ) $2,894,353
Obama, Barack (D) $2,458,347
Dodd, Chris (D-CT) $2,251,646
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,881,165
Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND) $1,819,606
Johnson, Nancy L (R-CT) $1,612,499
Rangel, Charles B (D-NY) $1,403,935
Kerry, John (D-MA) $1,396,617
Santorum, Rick (R-PA)$1,267,850
Nelson, Ben (D-NE) $1,231,299
Baucus, Max (D-MT) $1,190,463
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY)$1,073,200
Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,055,655
Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $1,033,402

So do you think Obama, Chris Dodd, Hilliary Clinton, Earl Pomeroy, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry, Ben Nelson, Max Bacus, Chuck Schumer, and Arlen Specter have been bought off as well? I mean thats what you see if you follow the money.

Tell you what, why not have all those listed from Lieberman up reclused from involvement in the Healthcare debate and voting on it. (of course the President would still be able to sign any bill, he would just have to keep his mouth shut during the debate since he is tainted with so much Insurance money).I’m all for it, what do ya say?


Ok expanding it beyond the Insurance industry an getting into the Finance/Real Estate/Insurance larger sector
Career totals Libermann and above:
Obama, Barack (D) $42,252,086
McCain, John (R-AZ) $33,330,858
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $29,771,803
Kerry, John (D-MA) $19,240,906
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $14,303,696
Dodd, Chris (D-CT) $13,710,266
Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $10,042,074

Well well Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Hilliary Clinton, and Barack Obama still above him as far as Democrats go.

Now the above was career totals lets look at the 2008 cycle
Finance/Insurance/Real Estate: Top Recipients
1 Obama, Barack (D) Senate $39,502,719
2 McCain, John (R) Senate $28,945,592
3 Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $20,238,984
4 Romney, Mitt (R) $13,712,457
5 Giuliani, Rudolph W (R) $13,411,959
6 Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $5,967,536
7 Richardson, Bill (D) $2,916,752
8 Coleman, Norm (R-MN) Senate $2,792,840
9 McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) Senate $2,426,708
10 Warner, Mark (D-VA) $2,350,429
11 Edwards, John (D) $2,125,162
12 Cornyn, John (R-TX) Senate $2,079,948
13 Thompson, Fred (R) $1,943,704
14 Sununu, John E (R-NH) Senate $1,785,380
15 Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) Senate $1,702,928
16 Baucus, Max (D-MT) Senate $1,631,225
17 Biden, Joseph R Jr (D-DE) Senate $1,623,886
18 Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC) Senate $1,543,241
19 Rangel, Charles B (D-NY) House $1,367,519
20 Durbin, Dick (D-IL) Senate $1,355,633

The 2010 cycle
1 Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) Senate $1,445,800
2 Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) Senate $792,450
3 Reid, Harry (D-NV) Senate $723,410
4 Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $533,342
5 Portman, Rob (R-OH) $508,050
6 Crist, Charles J Jr (R-FL) $459,578
7 White, Bill (D-TX) $434,004
8 Cantor, Eric (R-VA) House $388,300
9 Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) Senate $346,478
10 Giannoulias, Alexander (D-IL) $330,650
11 Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR) Senate $301,100
12 Shelby, Richard C (R-AL) Senate $285,750
13 Kirk, Mark (R-IL) House $285,675
14 Maloney, Carolyn B (D-NY) House $267,250
15 Murphy, Scott (D-NY) House $264,050
16 Specter, Arlen (D-PA) Senate $263,125
17 Fisher, Lee Irwin (D-OH) $255,134
18 Himes, Jim (D-CT) House $251,343
19 Bayh, Evan (D-IN) Senate $245,570
20 Dorgan, Byron L (D-ND) Senate $240,650

Gee Joe Lieberman’s name wasn’t on any of those top 20 lists was he?
When did Liebermann get most of his donations? you have to go back to the 2006 cycle, but Hilliary still got more.

1 Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $5,000,155
2 Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) Senate $4,885,762
3 Santorum, Rick (R-PA) Senate $2,947,265
4 Ford, Harold E Jr (D-TN) House $2,415,717
5 Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) Senate $2,198,256
6 Corker, Bob (R-TN) $1,933,617
7 Talent, James M (R-MO) Senate $1,843,183
8 DeWine, Mike (R-OH) Senate $1,706,125
9 Nelson, Bill (D-FL) Senate $1,684,995
10 Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) Senate $1,663,284
11 Allen, George (R-VA) Senate $1,572,423
12 Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $1,486,341
13 Kennedy, Mark (R-MN) House $1,477,089
14 McGavick, Michael (R-WA) $1,272,021
15 Cardin, Ben (D-MD) House $1,269,096
16 Pryce, Deborah (R-OH) House $1,151,303
17 Nelson, Ben (D-NE) Senate $1,137,286
18 Casey, Bob (D-PA) $1,135,786
19 Kean, Thomas H Jr (R-NJ) $1,132,339
20 Bayh, Evan (D-IN) Senate $1,129,345

Now I really have to question that $8 million figure of yours for last year since Liebermann got career donations of $10,042,074 from these industries and $ $4,885,762 came from the 2006 cycle. You see its mathematically impossible as only $5,156,312 is left. and you know what, 2004 was also a big year for Joe he got $3,049,626 from those industries, that means only $2,106,686 is left, about 1/4th of the number you claim

Well my source indicates that during the 2010 cycle Joe has recieved $42,100 from this sector, thats it. and in the 2008 cycle? $-1,500, thats right a negative number.

You might ask what my source for all this is, its Opensecrets.org run by The Center for Responsive Politics. Go have a look yourself
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large. The Center’s work is aimed at creating a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more responsive government.

Support for the Center comes from a combination of foundation grants and individual contributions. The Center accepts no contributions from businesses or labor unions. You can support the work of the Center directly by contributing through opensecrets.org.

Here is their board of directors
Robert A. Weinberger, Chairman. Former Vice President for Government Relations, H&R Block.
Mark Ranalli, Vice Chairman. President and CEO, Helium, Inc. Former head of BaseSix, a marketing strategy firm that specialized in servicing F100 Communications and Media companies.
Sonia Jarvis, Member. Visiting Professor of “Equality and Justice in America” in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College – The City University of New York.
Ellen S. Miller, Member. Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation. Served as CRP’s executive director from 1984-1996.
John Purcell, Member. Media and public advocacy consultant. Advisor on internet strategy to leading non-profit, professional, and media companies.
Frank P. Reiche, Member. Attorney, Archer & Greiner, Princeton, New Jersey. Chairman, New Jersey Election Commission 1973-1979, FEC Commissioner 1979-1985.
Whitney North Seymour, Jr, Member. Attorney. Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Independent Counsel in the Michael Deaver case.

Want more?

Here is Open Congress on Liebermann

Here is some more interesting data on lobbyist, Liebermann isn’t mentioned though


As I said elsewhere, Lieberman is a sane Dem, a rarity. Obviously health care and other costly things should have waited until after economic recovery, not to mention not be pursued so sloppily and rashly.

No wonder Kathy is so annoyed.


“Oh so now he’s worried about the Obama presidency.”

That’s because once again, he’s a rare sane Dem. Too bad Obama isn’t smart enough to be worried. He was fine early in the year when he muzzled the lib Dems, but openly came out on the dark side with the climate bill (with earlier hints related to things like the Detroit automaker takeover). He’s become almost obscessed or otherwise neurotic about this health care effort, which is the worst thing the Dems have done so far. It’s no surprise except to the low tail of the IQ bell curve why the effort is failing, and why even Dems like Lieberman are stating the obvious (to all but those at the low tail of the IQ bell curve).

* * *

“We want the un watered-down public option. No compromise. Your step-system is just another version of […]”


The public option *** ITSELF *** is the big step here, the incrementalist step toward federal health care takeover. (Talk about sheep being easily led…)

If the Dems hadn’t compiled a dirty record of poor behavior and results this year, and had they engaged in a coherent, purposeful health care effort currently, then they might stand a chance of public acceptance rather than the widespread concern that continues to grow, the more people know. But they continue to flail and be dishonest and inept, and it’s no surprise to most (and more) people why the effort is failing and why some Democrats now have concerns along with everyone else but the naive, the neurotic, and worse.

(The concerns are not only about the childish rushing and ineptitude that makes the Dems now rival if not surpass the GOP in the dysfunctionality department, but about at least some Dems’ re-election prospects.)


“people really, truly are not comfortable with the pace of the outflow. It’s part of what’s behind the vast pushback”

The nature and content of the outflow to date, this year, on successive issues, and the current and future results we already see and foresee so far, and apprehension of consequences of this health care effort (in whatever form the hurrying kiddies arrive at, eventually), is behind more of this public push-back.

The public clamored for the Dems _not_ to pass the idiotic climate bill. The Dems did it, and incidentally, Obama chose to be more public, and take the wrong side, and insist as well that it be passed.

The health care effort is the worst thing of all so far, and Obama is pushing it worse than the climate bill.

It’s a push-back of Obama and the Congre-Dems’ own making.


I notice Kathy has not responded. Not surprising. Facts are pesky things, especially if you put forth a fallacious argument.