Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Nov 8, 2009 in Breaking News, Economy, Health, Politics, Religion, Society | 30 comments

Lieberman’s Ego and Cao’s Conscience

Formerly Democratic, now Independent, Sen. Joseph Lieberman formally and officially confirmed to Chris Wallace this morning that his conscience requires him to vote no on health care reform when a bill reaches the Senate floor kill health care reform by joining a Republican filibuster to prevent the Senate’s health care reform bill from ever getting to the floor for a vote:

It isn’t really Lieberman’s “conscience” that is driving him to oppose the public option — more likely it’s his ego (since he told reporters that he likes feeling “relevant“). After all, Lieberman opposed the Senate Finance Committee bill even though it didn’t have a public option, and in 1994, his “conscience” told him that the filibuster was “unfair” and shouldn’t be used to block major legislation. He has also asserted that the public option would raise premiums and increase the debt, even though the Congressional Budget Office has disputed those claims. Furthermore, 60 percent of his constituents support a public option, but Lieberman has dismissed them as just being “confused.”

CNN Political Ticker reports that Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao told Pres. Obama, in a call the president made to Cao before the House vote, that he would vote aye on the bill if the Stupak Amendment was in it. His reasoning is interesting: A majority of the constituents in his Louisiana district want health care reform, but Cao himself opposes abortion. So his lone GOP vote yesterday was a compromise between the needs of his district and the requirements of his conscience. As much as I disagree with him on the merits of the amendment, I have to respect that kind of principled action — even more so because GOP bigwigs had made it clear that any Republican House members who voted for the bill could expect reprisals:

By supporting the bill, Cao has opened himself up to criticism from other members of his party, but the Republican said his vote was the right decision for his constituents and “the right decision based on my conscience.”

Last week, Republican National Committee Michael Steele warned GOP members of Congress that they will face tough consequences if they vote in favor of the health care bill.

“So candidates who live in moderate to slightly liberal districts have got to walk a little bit carefully here, because you do not want to put yourself in a position where you’re crossing that line on conservative principles, fiscal principles, because we’ll come after you,” Steele told ABC News.

But Cao had the last laugh:

Cao chuckled when asked about the comment and said he “would like to remind” Steele that he and other Republican leaders trumpeted Cao’s upset win over Democrat William Jefferson last December as a symbol of party diversity. Cao is the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress.

“He has the right to come after those members who do not conform to party lines, but I would hope that he would work with us in order to adjust to the needs of the district and to hold a seat that the Republican party would need,” Cao told CNN.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Leonidas

    Cao is likely gone next election no matter which way he voted. He came from the district of former Congressman and convicted felon William “”Dollar Bill” Jefferson. This is as heavy a democrtaic district as your likely to find east of San Franscisco. He likely hopes to use this vote in the next election, but I doubt it will do anything for him, this is just too blue a district, I mean they re-elected Jefferson even after he got caught with all that corruption cash in his freezer. He likely voted for it to make his job easier on other items until he is gone and to prevent a raging mob of liberals from lynching him if he voted otherwise.Its also interesting to note this:http://thehill.com/homenews/house/66857-the-gop

    Once the tally board lit up 218-213, however, Cao was free to put his congressional voting card in electronic key slot and cast an “aye” vote for the bill his party has dubbed “Pelosi’s healthcare bill.”

    So he didn’t actually cast his “Aye” vote until the measure had already passed.

    • kathykattenburg

      Well, none of the other Republicans did that, so it’s still to his credit. I think you’re looking for weird and silly excuses not to give credit where credit is due.

  • kathykattenburg

    Don’t take this the wrong way, Leonidas, but that is probably the most foolish statement you have ever written here. I could be missing one or two.

    Oh, and Cao’s district is east of San Francisco. West of San Francisco there is lots and lots of water.

    • Leonidas

      Oh, and Cao’s district is east of San Francisco. West of San Francisco there is lots and lots of water.

      LOL, you got me, I’m as bad on directions as Rachel Maddow is in knowing whats in the US Constitution.

      • Leonidas

        Don’t take this the wrong way, Leonidas, but that is probably the most foolish statement you have ever written here. I could be missing one or two.

        Considering the source, how could I take it as anything but a compliment =D Just curios what you find particularly foolish…. I mean he did vote AFTER the result was determined and he did come from the former felon’s very partisan district, that were willing to re-elect him even after he got caught red handed taking bribes. I wouldn’t put much past the democrats in that district, although I used lynching figuratively not literally. They likely wouldn’t go past making death threats or burning Cao in effigy if he had voted against..

        Also from the same article its interesting to note the bribery that was offered by Obama to get the vote:

        According to a written statement released later that night, Cao explained that Obama had promised to help out the lawmaker’s district still devastated from Hurricane Katrina.

        “Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals,” Cao wrote.

        I smell lots of tax payer funded bacon in that pork deal. A Happy Thanksgiving for Cao.

        • kathykattenburg

          What I find particularly foolish…. well, for one thing, the first paragraph is annoying because it repeats the information I gave in the post itself as if it it were new and somehow refuted what I wrote.And the second paragraph is just substance-free, fact-free churlishness. Attending to the needs of one’s district is what members of Congress are supposed to do.

          • Leonidas

            What I find particularly foolish…. well, for one thing, the first paragraph is annoying because it repeats the information I gave in the post itself as if it it were new and somehow refuted what I wrote.

            Nope it doesn’t repeat your post. You don’t refer to William Jefferson, you don’t mention that his district is primarily democratic, and that they are so much so that they were willing to re-elect Jefferson even after he got caught, you simply say his constituents support the Pelosi bill. So I did not repeat your post.

            And the second paragraph is just substance-free, fact-free churlishness.

            Its an opinion like much of your fact free substance free churlishness, take the posting of the comment about Liebermann’s ego for example. Take the many such comments you’ve made in most of your other postings as well. Your entitled to yours I’m entitled to mine.

            Attending to the needs of one’s district is what members of Congress are supposed to do.

            Yes and no. Certainly they are supposed to represent their district and do what they think is best for their district regarding a bill, but that doesn’t mean that they should only do so if offered a bribe at the expense of other Americans by getting pork rewards for their vote.

          • kathykattenburg

            Nope it doesn’t repeat your post. You don’t refer to William Jefferson, you don’t mention that his district is primarily democratic….

            *I* personally don’t refer to William Jefferson, but the quote that I pasted right smack dab in front of your face in the post refers to William Jefferson! And it also says the district is heavily Democratic! that’s the entire point of the compromise Cao made! And it SAYS the district is Democratic! Right there, Leonidas! In the post! READ!

            Forget the rest of your comment; this is too depressing.

          • Leonidas

            *I* personally don’t refer to William Jefferson, but the quote that I pasted right smack dab in front of your face in the post refers to William Jefferson! And it also says the district is heavily Democratic

            No you personally don’t, and the article only says it was an upset, not a democratic district. I’ll grant you that it did actually “refer” to him in passing and that my choice of words was inaccurate on that count, but it did not discuss the underlying reason as to why it was considered an upset. Usually when a long-term incumbent loses to a freshman congressman it is considered an upset. As to the reference to Jefferson of your link it also does not point out his corruption convictions 11 counts or so I believe, and the fact that the voters of that district still voted for him after being caught with the money in his freezer and re-elected him. As for whats on the front of my face its my nose, I can see it.

            that’s the entire point of the compromise Cao made! And it SAYS the district is Democratic! Right there, Leonidas! In the post! READ!

            No its not the point, the point is his district was full of voters who “want health care reform”. That doesn’t automatically make them democrats. In fact many democratic voters oppose it, including 25% of those in the House.Also you have this that you quoted:

            “So candidates who live in moderate to slightly liberal districts have got to walk a little bit carefully here, because you do not want to put yourself in a position where you’re crossing that line on conservative principles

            This leaves an impression that the district might be moderate.For a look at the recent voting history of the district see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana's_2nd_co…Also note this bit at the link:

            It has also historically been among the most safely Democratic seats in the country; the Republicans had not held this seat since 1891, until Republican nominee Anh Joseph Cao upset Democratic incumbent William J. Jefferson in 2008 for the term to begin in January 2009.

            Clearly not a moderate district.Forget the rest of your comment; this is too depressingSorry if you don’t like the facts, and additional information sources. If it makes you depressed to face them, I suggest you not make claims you can’t support.and doing what a lady I know reccommends….” READ!”, they say its fundamental, and I happen to agree.

          • kathykattenburg

            Also note this bit at the link

            If you read the link, you know that the CNN article specifically mentions that Cao’s district is majority Democratic.

            Having said that, I just clicked on the link and the article isn’t there anymore. I’m not sure why it was taken down, but I suppose I’ll have to drop the argument because I can’t quote from an article that has vanished.

  • suburbancorrespondnt

    What’s the saying? If you like sausages or laws, don’t look at the making of either? There is never a major bill passed without a lot of wheeling and dealing (or “bribes,” as Leonidas put it). That’s politics.

  • Leonidas

    “Wheeling and dealing” actually means selling out the majority of citizens on an issue for the minority. If there was a majority all along, no deals would be necessary. Its a shame that we can’t have one piece of legislation voted on at a time, but have to have them bundled with other, usually unrelated pieces. Its part of that nasty smelly swamp called D.C. that Pelosi promised to drain before adding her own new sewage pipelines feeding into it. “wheeeling and dealing” by shoveling pork and throwing it at Congressmen is just more Non Hope and Non Change.

  • Leonidas

    And I think your giving the man praise not so much for his “principled action” but because he voted for your progressive bill unlike the 25% of Democrats who are less off center. Where is your praise of their “principled action” in voting for what they believed in despite the Party arm twisting? What about all those “principled actions” of Joe Lieberamnn when he stood up to his party and voted for what he believed in. Where is the criticism of the 16 Democrats who voted for this bill when their districts didn’t likely want it given that those districts went for McCain in the 2008 election?Sorry but “principled action” doesn;’t occur only when the vote goes your way Kathy. I think you might consider spreading some of that due credit to the other side of the vote based on your own stated criteria.

  • keelaay

    Mr. Leonidas’ first paragraph most certainly does not repeat the information from your post, Ms. Kattenburg. It adds interesting and relevant context that is not presented in your post. Frankly, I don’t understand your rude and demeaning replies to Mr. Leonidas. He has a differing view which is reasonably based on additional information and a different perspective, all of which deserve respect, not derision. That Mr Leonidas disagrees with your analysis seems to be the only grounds on which you deride his argument as “churlish”, “foolish”, and “annoying”.Lastly, whether one votes ones “conscience” or the majority view of ones constituents is the harrowing divide every congressperson must confront. There is no absolute right or wrong answer… except for the Monday morning bystanders who can make accusations of “egoism” when a political enemy votes their conscience, or “political selling out” when the vote is with the majority. Voting ones conscience is sometimes bravery, sometimes a cover, and sometimes just plain ol’ politics (as Mr Leonidas postulates in here). Again, agree with him or not, I believe Mr Leonidas’ insights are as worthy of our respect as yours.

    • Leonidas

      Thanks Keelaay, but don’t worry about Kathy’s tone, she just gets emotional from time to time and its not any real rudeness towards me personally, just a general attitude to those with a different political outlook. It doesn’t bother me in the least. I actually am fond of Kathy, she grows on you. I doubt I’d like her as much if she weren’t a bit cantankerous.

      • kathykattenburg

        ROFL!! Thanks — I think.

      • keelaay

        Maybe not personally to you, but it was rude and condescending and cheapens (or simply truncates) the discussion for those who might not fully agree with her political outlook — or even those of us like me who often do agree, but also value open minded and empathetic discourse. Anyway, seems you are the good sport.. have fun!

  • StockBoySF

    So does this mean that Lieberman’s conscience is the same as Republican principles; only around when they’re handy?

  • rudi
  • JSpencer

    Does Joe Lieberman even know what a “conscience” is?

  • redbus

    Nice to see you back, Leonidas. It just didn’t seem like TMV without you and KK sniping at each other.

    • kathykattenburg

      It’s just so easy to do. 🙂

      • Leonidas

        It’s just so easy to do. 🙂

        See, we can agree I find it very easy as well. =D

  • inded, redbus, the comment section of this post seems to be about Leonidas’ ego

  • DLS

    Kathy, Kathy, Kathy…tsk, tsk, tsk…

    “Conscience”? That’s right out of the 1960s. I’m surprised you didn’t say “Compassion.” [chuckle]

    The griping about Lieberman has about as much depth, too.

    What happens when the Senate shoves the legislative effort for “reform” back more toward reality?

    What happens if the Senate says “no public option,” even worse than a “trigger” with the equivalent of an anti-gun lunatic’s dream of a “trigger lock” on it?

    • kathykattenburg

      “Conscience”? That’s right out of the 1960s. I’m surprised you didn’t say “Compassion.” [chuckle]

      What can I say, DLS? I’m from the 1960s. I can’t shake all that antiquated stuff about compassion and conscience.

      Just call me old-fashioned.

      • Leonidas

        I’m from the 1960s. I can’t shake all that antiquated stuff about compassion and conscience.Just call me old-fashioned.

        You Hippie! =P

        Me, I’m probably more old fashioned, you know all that limited government stuff spouted by those old Codgers like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and John Locke. If they were still around they’d be telling that youg punk Marx to get off their lawn.

  • DLS

    “Just call me old-fashioned.”

    Sixties definitely is old-fashioned! OK, so you still dream big — public option is a great compromise, etc.

    Plus, you don’t like righties, but you’re not (usually, or often) reactionary as so many lefties are, just a bit defensive now and then.

    Don’t worry yet about the fate of the public option and health care “reform” in the Senate, on in conference. Not yet. Don’t even worry yet about abortion (though social-cons may seize the issue now).

  • DLS

    And I’ll ask again, where’s the Che[-Vette] Beret, Kathy? Where’s the hat?

  • DLS

    “If they were still around they’d be telling that youg punk Marx to get off their lawn.”

    Goldwater tried, and failed, in 1964. Well, with the New Deal, not necessarily with Marx.

    Kathy’s peers (Sixties) wanted to go farther than the New Deal. Oh, the setbacks after 1980.

    (Kathy — if you have radio you can listen to, try Thom “Reagan = Dark Age Initiation” Hartmann or Big Ed “Kick Harry Reid in the Butt and Make Congress Do Their Job on Health Care and More” Schultz.)

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com