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What Is Joe Lieberman's Plan, Exactly? [Explainer]

You have heard, probably, about how Connecticut Senator Joe "Wallace Wimple" Lieberman inserted himself into the health care debate by announcing that he'd join a Republican filibuster against Harry Reid's bill. But no one has explained why!

Back when establishment Democrats (like Obama!) were trying to convince us loony internet liberals not to campaign against Joe Lieberman, you heard a lot about how Lieberman is only a conservative on foreign policy, and not domestic issues. (How his full-throated support for any bombing campaign against any Muslims anywhere in the world is supposed to be not as big a deal as the fact that he doesn't want to publicly execute gays or whatever has always been beyond us, but that is what we were told.) Now he's pissed that distinction away.

We all know that Vinegar Joe Lieberman is a sanctimonious, thin-skinned, self-satisfied monster. And a pious, amoral scumbag. And a narcissistic, deluded underminer who represents everything that is wrong with the United States Senate. And a war-mongering, concern-trolling religious zealot. And, generally, a bastard. And probably a racist. But why would this weasel-human hybrid who is actually literally slowly receding into his own asshole a little bit every day suddenly pipe up on health care reform with a position at odds with most Connecticut residents and a vast majority of the Democrats he claims to represent?

Because no one had been paying attention to him! (And also because he is owned by the various insurance companies of Connecticut. Like he is literally Aetna's personal offensive Jeff Dunham puppet. Well, they have to share him with AIPAC.)

This is the thing, Joe. The opt-out public option is a conservative compromise. It is a compromise from a non-opt-out public option, which is a compromise from a non-opt-out public option tied to Medicare rates, which is a compromise from a non-opt-out public option tied to Medicare rates and open to everyone, which is a compromise from single-payer. You would like a further compromise, to "no health care reform, at all, unless the Democrats all kneel down and blow me, as I will demand they do whenever they might need my vote, from now until I finally decide to caucus with the Republicans, which will only happen if the Republicans take the majority and the Democrats stop blowing me periodically."

And, obviously, his literal, stated objections to the bill are not based in any way on reality.

So the question basically is, what is his end-game here? What the fuck is he doing?

Whether Joe Lieberman will run for reelection in 2012 is currently a mystery. He has $1.4 million in the bank, which is a lot, but not as much as he had in 2006.

He also is polling rather terribly in Connecticut, where Democrats and independents both prefer real Democrats. He could run as a real Republican, but, as we said, those independent voters he needs to win do not like him, at the moment.

So our "what is Joe Lieberman doing" possibilities are:

  • He is just following the golden path of his own of self-delusion, thinking he will be remembered as a mavericky hero who bucked the status quo once he retires in 2012.
  • He's going all-in as a Republican in the desperate hope that a 2012 GOP landslide will win him one more term.
  • He is just trying to sink health care completely for his insurance company friends, who will give him a lucrative post-Senate job.
  • He is just trying to force Harry Reid to pay him fealty once again, because it makes him feel nice.
  • He is just a prick.

Weirdly, Lieberman said he'd vote to bring the bill to the floor, and then he'd support a GOP filibuster. A GOP filibuster is decidedly not a sure thing, though it certainly moves one step closer to a sure thing every time Joe Lieberman opens his mouth. Christ, what an asshole.


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