Quantcast
Connect with us

Glenn Greenwald: White House should put serious pressure on Lieberman

Published

on

Sen. Joe Lieberman has announced that he might filibuster any health care reform bill that includes a public option, but MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finds Lieberman’s motivations something of a mystery.

For one thing, Lieberman has stated that he opposes the public option because it is a vast new entitlement program that would either be paid for by taxpayers or send the federal deficit skyrocketing — all of which is inaccurate according to a Congressional Budget Office study cited by Maddow. For another, Lieberman has previously opposed filibusters on principle, even signing a pledge in 2005 that he would filibuster only under “extraordinary cirumstances.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Maddow turned to Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, asking, “What do you think is motivating him?”

“It’s clearly not because the people he’s supposed to be representing favor it,” Greenwald replied, pointing to a recent Daily Kos poll showing that Connecticut voters support the public option by an overwhelming margin of 68-21. “I think clearly what it’s about is primarily the fact that the industry that he’s serving by doing this … is an industry from which he receives a very substantial benefit.”

“He’s drowning in campaign contributions from the insurance industry, the health care industry, the pharmaceutical industry,” Greenwald continued. “In early 2005, his wife was hired by a large PR firm, Hill & Knowlton, in the pharmaceutical division. … I think what you’re seeing here is the kind of legalized corruption, legalized bribery that runs the United States Senate — only in this case it’s particularly sleazy and transparent.”

When Maddow asked why the Democrats should allow Lieberman to retain his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee, Greenwald noted that the Obama White House has not been reluctant to put pressure on progressive Democrats in Congress by threatening to withhold its support in their future campaigns. “There are all sorts of things the Democrats and the White House can do if they’re serious about pressuring members of Congress to support a public option — and we’ll see how serious they are,” Greenwald concluded.

ADVERTISEMENT

Analyst Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, however, has a very different take on Liebeman’s motivations, and he suggested earlier this week that “the reason this is a little scary for Democrats is because the usual things that serve to motivate a [c]ongressman don’t seem to motivate Joe Lieberman.”

“Lieberman is generally not one of the more sold-out [s]enators,” Silver notes, “ranking 75th out of the 100-member chamber in the percentage of his fundraising that comes from corporate PACs.” After pointing out that Lieberman doesn’t seem to care about his constituents, the Democratic Party, or even sound public policy, Silver offered the idea that “What Joe Lieberman wants, in all probability, is attention. … He wants everyone to know how maverick-y he is.

“It’s tough to bargain with people like Lieberman who are a little crazy,” Silver concludes. “In certain ways, he resembles nothing so much as one of those rogue, third-bit Middle Eastern dictators that he’s so often carping about, capable of creating great anxiety with relatively little expenditure of resources, and taking equal pleasure in watching his friends and enemies sweat.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Oct. 28, 2009.



Download video via RawReplay.com


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence

Published

on

Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Fox & Friends hosts deflated after legal analyst shoots down latest GOP impeachment talking point

Published

on

The hosts of "Fox & Friends" on Thursday appeared disappointed when legal analyst Andrew Napolitano gave them unfortunate news about the White House's latest objections to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Specifically, Napolitano addressed the letter sent to Congress by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, which claimed that the executive branch did not have to comply with any subpoenas of documents until the House formally voted to open an impeachment inquiry.

"The Republicans changed the rules when John Boehner was the Speaker of the House allowing each individual committee to issue subpoenas without a House-wide vote," he explained. "So those subpoenas are valid, and those people who resist them, ignore them, who put them in a drawer, do so at your peril."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Nancy Pelosi goes there: Trump’s White House ‘meltdown’ is a sign he’s cracking under pressure

Published

on

We’ve reached the season where faithful viewers are forced to quit the series. If this were a Tom Clancy novel, it wouldn’t be believable. Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency has jumped the shark.This article first appeared in Salon.

“I think now we have to pray,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters upon returning to Capitol Hill from the White House late Wednesday. Along with other Democratic leaders from Congress, Pelosi had earlier walked out of a White House meeting after what she described as "a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image