John on December 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm
You have to wonder. Dionne is incensed that Joe Lieberman dares to kill the Democrats latest offering, the medicare buy-in. He marshals the evidence to make this devastating critique:
This is not about substance. It’s about political positioning.
That’s the official TPM, journo-list line being repeated everywhere. Now scroll back up a couple paragraphs into the same column and you find this:
The vast majority of Senate Democrats — reluctantly, sadly, in some cases, angrily — caved to Lieberman because, in the end, they share President Obama’s view that a health-care bill needs to get out of the Senate before the end of the year. The Democrats need a health-care bill signed into law by the president’s state of the union address 1. to show they can govern; 2. because the surest way to kill a big bill, as Ezra Klein points out, is not to vote it down but to let it languish; 3. because the legislative process, particularly in our dysfunctional Senate, makes everything it touches look uglier the longer the process goes on; and 4. because they need to move on to other issues, i.e., jobs, before next November’s elections.
Why do Democrats need a health care bill signed into law by the state of the union? Dionne offers four reasons. Let’s examine them one by one:
- “to show they can govern.” – In other words, they need a win. Sort of sounds like, I don’t know, politics?
- The bill will fail if it languishes – And that would be bad because…um, see #1. It would be a failure to govern, i.e. a big loss for Democrats. Hmmm. Sounds like politics a bit.
- The longer this goes the less support it will attract – Again, that’s bad because failure would mean…umm, failure. Failure is bad. Politics.
- They need to move on to other issues prior to 2010 elections – Okay, I’m going to really go out on a limb here and say that maybe this is also about politics. I think it was the 2010 election part that tipped me off.
In short, Lieberman is a slime-sucking scumbag because he dares to play politics with the health reform bill in the middle of the Democrats playing politics with the health reform bill. Outrage!!!!
Again, this is all in the same column. Is there no one at the Post who can peel the scales from E.J. Dionne’s eyes?