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Joe Lieberman: Full-blown wingnut

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 14:13 EDT
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Not only is Joe Lieberman intending to help Republicans filibuster a public option, he’s employing pure wingnut-ese to justify his spitting on his fellow citizens who need health care.

Lieberman added that he’d vote against a public option plan “even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line.”

It’s got all the hallmarks of wingnut speak. First, there’s the lying. Lieberman is painting the public option as if it’s a new Medicare, but of course it’s closer to the post office, a government-owned business that sustains itself on what customers pay, and can provide a service cheaply because there’s less overhead and no need for profits. They can also be more comprehensive, because of the no need for profits, which is why the post office can deliver a letter to even the most remote corners of the country.

What’s interesting is that if the public option was what Lieberman described, then the most clear term would be “Medicare available to whoever wants it”, but obviously, he wants to avoid saying that, because Medicare is a wildly popular program, and expanding it to everyone would be wildly popular. So he has to lie, but in very strange terms, because using terms that more accurately convey the lie he’s telling would make people get all excited about this potential new program that would save them so much money.

Instead, he used the phrase “entitlement program” and the word “taxpayers”. This is wingnut code for: “Non-white, poor people are going to take your money and throw parties with it that will wake you up at night with their weird music that scares you.” The word “entitled” tends to denote someone who gets something that other people pay for. That’s why feminists, for instance, talk about male entitlements—basically to women’s submission and labor, to keep it simple—but in the topsy-turvy wingnut world, the working poor who keep our economy running and are the most likely people not to be insured don’t contribute anything. And retirees that show up at teabagger rallies to wave Confederate flags should be commended for having “jobs”. Not that I don’t think people should be able to retire—my generation would sincerely like to do so one day, though sometimes I fear that’s not going to happen—-but the irony overwhelms me at times.

The point is that Lieberman is a full-blown wingnut, blowing racist dog whistles and lying his head off, with absolutely zero respect for the truth. The dirty hippie crowd on the blogs has felt this way about him for a long time, but it’s always nice to see one’s predictions confirmed so nicely. Except for the part where he’s screwing over the country.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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