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Lieberman defection on healthcare enrages liberals

October 28, 2009 |  7:20 am

The U.S. senator was the Democratic Party's nominee for vice president in 2000. By 2008, Connecticut's Joe Lieberman was an independent and the Official Best Friend of the Republican nominee for president.

In the aftermath of the election, some Democrats wanted to punish Lieberman for his nasty comments against Barack Obama during the campaign, but a magnanimous President Obama urged the caucus to allow Lieberman to retain his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Now, Lieberman has said he will join Republicans in filibustering a public option in the Obama healthcare plan, and the liberal blogosphere is furious.

In a piece called "So Why Was It We Didn't Kick Joe Lieberman Out of The Caucus?" TPM suggests that Lieberman has been "pissing inside the tent for a decade, at least. His treachery was capped off by his opposition to Barack Obama in the 2008 general election. His whole raison d'etre is to harm the Democratic Party."

In a piece called "Surprise! Lieberman Stabs Dems in Back," truthdig.com offers this analysis: "People are dying for lack of affordable health care. Delaying urgently needed reform for political gain is repugnant. It’s also exactly the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect from Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut."

As one correspondent, wheelimus, put it on Daily Kos: "Joe Lieberman should have been kicked out of the caucus a long time ago. But, damn it, we as a party and a majority have no backbone if his gavels are not ripped from his hands once he makes history by filibustering with the opposition."

Still, as newser.com points out, Lieberman is only one of six big headaches that Nevada Democrat Harry Reid has in corralling 60 votes in the Senate for the legislation. Check out the others here.

-- Johanna Neuman

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