Top 5 Reasons Joe Lieberman Sticks It to Us

liebermanSenator Joe Lieberman continues to threaten filibuster of the Senate health reform bill even in the face of the recent Harvard study showing that 45 thousand Americans die each year because they lack sufficient health care. As recently as this morning on Face the Nation, Lieberman, the long-time senator from Connecticut, made statements that make it clear he will continue to fight for the interest of the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry over those of the American people.

Reasonable minded people such as Robert Reich have made a strong case the public option is the base minimum America needs from this process. So why does Joe Liebermann take the position he takes. Here are our top five reasons:

  • 1) Lieberman isn’t beholden to American voters because so many Americans just don’t vote. In an article posted in the LA Progressive last week, Craig Williams noted that, “Throughout the country in nonpresidential elections, less than 30 percent of voters turn out for elections.” This disengagement gives the incumbent an advantage that it’s hard to overcome. Lieberman had a close call a couple of years ago and as a result left the Democratic Party to become an independent.  The end result was that he was re-elected because of a well funded campaign and name recognition the best tool in an incumbent or celebrity’s tool chest.

  • 2) He can do what’s in his best interest because mainstream media is failing to do its job. Lieberman can take a position that is not in the people’s interest because most of the people won’t ever know about it. Someone once said Americans are over entertained and under informed. Its easier to find NFL scores or the latest Hollywood gossip than it is to find information on pending legislation — legislation that could have far reaching affects on our lives and certainly impact us more than knowing if the home team is winning. Politicians like Lieberman use this against us. They think Americans have short attention spans and equally short memories. And they’re not so wrong. But having a functioning media system that is in place to serve the people and not the corporations could change this. Without it, our system of government is at risk.
  • 3) Lieberman, like all of us, needs money. Big pharmaceutical companies, the insurance industry and others make mega donations to politicians for a reason. It gets them access. It gives them an opportunity to potentially shape policy so that they benefit. According to J. Taylor Rushing of The Hill, Connecticut is home to 72 insurance headquarters, with three times the U.S. average of insurance jobs as a percent of total state employment. With so many insurance companies in Connecticut, is it any wonder that Lieberman is on their side?
  • 4) He has a disproportionate amount of power. With an estimated population of 3.5 million, Connecticut ranks 29th in the country in terms of population size. California’s population is more than 10 times that of Connecticut yet Barbara Boxer and Joe Lieberman have equal voting power. This process was established at the founding of our nation when conditions were very different. Should we be so bound to tradition that we fail to re-examine a structure that may no longer serve the people in an equatible manner?
  • 5) Joe Lieberman can and will continue to do as he pleases simply because he can. And we, the people, will probably continue to allow him to do it.

Sharon Kyle
It isn’t enough to read  about these problems and complain. We need to take action. Even if you don’t live in a particular district, you can send donations to candidates that you believe will work for the people and not the corporations.  Here are three places you can go to learn more:

Sharon Kyle
Publisher, LAProgressive

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Comments

  1. Concerned Citizen says

    Mr Lieberman

    Is Mr Richard Lieberman ( lobbyist) related to you? If someone knows please respond.

    Concerned Citizen;

  2. Marshall says

    Alex was the first sane person to comment on this article, that appears to have been written in 2009. Too many people do not understand our form of government. The house is where we have one vote per person in the state’s populatiopn. Big states have more votes, small states less. The senate is where each state has two votes per state and that prevents big states from being able to rule the small states. Do remember we were independent states that joined together to became united states. The two houses balance each other in the way they vote for their population.

  3. Alex T says

    Lieberman votes with the Democratic congress more than 90% of the time…. This is the first thing that needs to be said about Him.

    As well any party that forces senator to vote against what they beleive is good for america sounds like a party that is undemocratic and proposing “thought police”. As a progressive I find these ideas to be very distateful and I’m ashamed to see what fellow progressives write about someone who supports them 90% of the time. If this is what our country has become… the insults… the thoughtb police…. wow.

  4. Ed Henson says

    Senator Lieberman was given a pass thanks to the president after he supported the Rep nominee. He was allowed to keep his Dem seniority rights, wherein he became a commitee chair. Now he’s again sticking a knife into the president by threatening to fillerbust the health care bill. He should be drummed out of the Dem party.

  5. Walter Ballin says

    Sandi Bresee wrote: “Walter, the answer to this is in the word “sellout”. The bill is not a “bailout”. It would mandate that insurance companies could not deny anyone medical health insurance, even if a person had a pre-existing condition, the Insurance Companies would HAVE to insure them. Plus, it would put the Insurance Companies on alert to make their policies compareable to other “lower premium” companies which would cause the prices of the insurance premiums to go DOWN in order to stay competitive. Makes sense doesn’t it?

    The Insurance Companies have been able to have their say for YEARS. They have remained UNTOUCHED by any kind of intervention or accountability. This bill would allow the United States of America to MANDATE the law that no citizen of America (the illegal aliens are REMOVED from getting this) will be LEFT OUT of RECEIVING any kind of insurance policy/premium and the “Public Option” would allow the United States help you pay for a health policy of your choosing. The Pharmaceutical companies are “upset” and have already raised the costs of HIGH END/TIER medications. Even though they told Barack Obama this year, that they would contribute money towards ‘LOWERING’ prescription costs.

    “The Healthcare Reform bill would eliminate the doughnut hole that those people on medicare, medicaid and social security fall into every year. NOW THAT IS A SAVINGS IN ITSELF.

    “I hope I have helped you understand why the Filibuster and why the GOP/Republicans are lobbying hard against this Healthcare Reform bill.”

    Thank you Sandi. Oh I definitely understand. I asked the question on why the insurance corporations are fighting this tooth and nail, because Staggenborg said that the bill is a bailout and some other people who support Single Payer also said that the bill is a sellout to the insurance corporations. If the legislation was in fact simply a bailout for or a sellout to the insurance corporations, then they would be supporting rather than opposing it and many Congressional Repugs would be behind it. Also if it was such a bad bill, then the AFL-CIO would be in opposition. As a matter of fact I send out tons of information to people on my email list, about the huge benefits of the bills in Congress. They open the door for more.

  6. Sandi Bresee says

    Walter Ballen:

    You asked if the bill was such a sellout to the insurance companies “why were they fighting tooth and nail to defeat it, and why they have all of the Repugs on their side to fillibuster it?

    Walter, the answer to this is in the word “sellout”. The bill is not a “bailout”. It would mandate that insurance companies could not deny anyone medical health insurance, even if a person had a pre-existing condition, the Insurance Companies would HAVE to insure them. Plus, it would put the Insurance Companies on alert to make their policies compareable to other “lower premium” companies which would cause the prices of the insurance premiums to go DOWN in order to stay competitive. Makes sense doesn’t it?

    The Insurance Companies have been able to have their say for YEARS. They have remained UNTOUCHED by any kind of intervention or accountability. This bill would allow the United States of America to MANDATE the law that no citizen of America (the illegal aliens are REMOVED from getting this) will be LEFT OUT of RECEIVING any kind of insurance policy/premium and the “Public Option” would allow the United States help you pay for a health policy of your choosing. The Pharmaceutical companies are “upset” and have already raised the costs of HIGH END/TIER medications. Even though they told Barack Obama this year, that they would contribute money towards ‘LOWERING’ prescription costs.

    The Healthcare Reform bill would eliminate the doughnut hole that those people on medicare, medicaid and social security fall into every year. NOW THAT IS A SAVINGS IN ITSELF.

    I hope I have helped you understand why the Filibuster and why the GOP/Republicans are lobbying hard against this Healthcare Reform bill.

    :)

  7. Walter Ballin says

    “Joe has got to go, but I have to express my appreciation for his effort, however motivated by perceived self-interest, to block the despicable Democratic bailout of the medical insurance industry.”

    I’m also active in the cause of Single Payer. While the bill before Congress isn’t my ideal, it will help a lot of people and it will benefit people like me who are on Medicare. I just have to ask, if this health care bill is such a sellout to the insurance corporations, why are they fighting tooth and nail to defeat it and why do they have all of the Repugs on their side to filibuster it?

  8. Walter Ballin says

    Craig, Good comments! Here’s my comments to these 2 points that you made.

    “We could also be much better off if the Senate was based on population. California then would have about 10 Senators based on one Senator per 3 million people. We have the most undemocratic upper chamber in the world.”

    Better yet, why not do away with the Senate? Instead we could expand the House of Representatives to 535 members, and House members would represent smaller districts. We also need to get money out of politics. No more paid slick tv advertisements and mailers. Make candidates for office present themselves in debates and forums.

    “Lieberman is also just around the corner from Wall Street and some inside D.C.Democrats believe that Wall Street pushed Gore to take him on instead of John Edwards who as it turned out wasn’t such a great guy either, but he may have helped Gore enough to win by a bigger margin.”

    Gore picked the wrong Jew. He should have picked Russ Feingold.

    “Connecticut is really a Red blue blood state. Lieberman won because a third of the voters are Independents but Independents that tend to be Republican leaning. Clinton and Obama also campaigned for their old friend Joe.”

    Obama did endorse Lieberman in the Demo primary in 2006, but endorsed Lamont in the General. Connecticut is a blue state. Most of the independents voted for Obama last year. Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama all carried the state. I think that a lot of independents voted for Lieberman in the General in 2006, because he promised to caucus with the Democrats. I think that Lieberman’s support of McCain, his statements that he will support other Repugs next year, and his efforts to block health care reform will alienate more people who voted for him last time.

  9. Rick Staggenborg, MD says

    Joe has got to go, but I have to express my appreciation for his effort, however motivated by perceived self-interest, to block the despicable Democratic bailout of the medical insurance industry. I do not think that the pharmaceutical industry will be disappointed with the final product either, and Scmoe Lieberman will be one of those making sure, if passsage of the final bill appears inevitable.

    I and other members of Physicians for a National Health Plan, Health Care Now and other groups supporting a single payer solution are advocating anything to BLOCK THE BAILOUT and GET SINGLE PAYER ON THE TABLE NOW!

    Coos Bay, OR
    541-217-8044

  10. doubleaseven says

    Here is my take on corruption is MSM on a different but similar situation.

    It is a shame that all the media, is so sympathetic to the Lincoln and other Blue Dog’s hardship come next election. I have yet to hear any base level reason from these Blue Bitches and Dogs, about why the Public Option is not going to do what their President has been saying all along, lower cost and keeping the insurance companies honest. I can not imagine anybodies’ conscience telling them to not vote for a Public Insurance Option. Only thing that is propelling them is their Corporate Patrons.

    Instead of challenging their lack of lack of logic and being Corporate Tools, MSM has gone right along, in some cases pushing an anti_Reform agenda. As Paul Krugman says, the MSM has been falling for the GOP propaganda hook, line and sinker. They do not have the guts to call an obvious lie a lie. Instead they project the lie as another valid point of view deserving equal to the proposition about which the lie is being spread.

    Only conclusion I come to is that being a Corporate Tool is not the exclusive province of legislators, many in MSM, are driven to curry the same favors.

  11. says

    Good article.

    If a politician like Lieberman lost an election he would immediately start working for an insurance lobby firm. That’s how corrupt the system is. We could also be much better off if the Senate was based on population. California then would have about 10 Senators based on one Senator per 3 million people. We have the most undemocratic upper chamber in the world. The Electoral College creates a battleground state presidential election which also isn’t one person one vote.Eliminate the Electoral College and every vote and every state counts.
    Lieberman is also just around the corner from Wall Street and some inside D.C.Democrats believe that Wall Street pushed Gore to take him on instead of John Edwards who as it turned out wasn’t such a great guy either, but he may have helped Gore enough to win by a bigger margin.
    With a weak party system we don’t dare challenge the media. The brilliant anti-Dobbs campaign could be a model. It could even be a model for a one person one vote Senate campaign. The campaign could start with four super size states NY,Ca.Texas and Florida. Don’t cover the issue and we won’t watch your network. With a strong party communication system we could demand that they cover other issues better.
    Connecticut is really a Red blue blood state. Lieberman won because a third of the voters are Independents but Independents that tend to be Republican leaning. Clinton and Obama also campaigned for their old friend Joe.

  12. Walter Ballin says

    I think that Joe Lieberman is in his last term as a Senator. The Democrats will make sure that they get rid of him next time in 2012, even if he runs as an independent. Connecticut is a blue state. Not only should the Democratic senators kick Lieberman out of the caucus and strip him of his committee chairmanship, the Democrats should use the ‘nuclear option’ and ban filibusters as the Repugs threatened to do when they controlled the Senate. If the Democrats fail to pass health care legislation because of their false belief that they need 60 votes, then they are giving Lieberman power that he doesn’t deserve. Speaking as a A Jew, I say that Joe Lieberman is the type of Jew who served on the judenrats in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe during WWII. They sold out other Jews falsely thinking that it would save their own skins.

  13. Sandi Bresee says

    Judy Rosner, Ph.D.:

    I agree with you, also, and I feel badly for the Democratic Senate who took him in.

    I’ll bet the Republicans are rejoicing that he isn’t in their Senate.

    I don’t know if Senators have to take an “Oath” when they are sworn in (if they are, I’m not sure), but they should. I know there is an “Ethics Committee”, who could certainly look into this type of behaviour. I guess if you work like Mr. Lieberman for “Big Business” when you vote, you just vote “Present”. No “yes” or “no” vote. Unless it behooves these businesses then he would, of course, vote YES.

    Yes, “It’s A Sad World We Live In Master Jack”. :(

  14. Sandi Bresee says

    Francis Miller,

    I totally agree with you. I just wonder how many more Democrates we have on the Democratic Senate that are Independent Fence-Sitters, or worse, they may even be copying Mr. Lieberman’s “point of view”. Money and power talks and bull pucky walks.

    I also wonder how many Republicans come from States that have thousands or millions of people who lack health insurance, or are retired and live on fixed incomes that pay the HIGH costs of generic and name brand prescription drugs. I am sure that they are hearing the pleas from the people in their states, but follow John Boehner or the philosophy of Joe Lieberman. I feel sorry for people stuck in a Republican Senators state.

  15. Sandi Bresee says

    Mr. Joe Lieberman:

    I was a bit shocked to read this article.

    You are an “elder” so I should respect you. I was taught that. However, you are a “wanna be”. You “wanna be” rich, you “wanna be famous”, you “wanna be recognized”, and you “wanna be remembered”.

    Well, you have definitely succeeded in getting all “you want” from tax payers money. We pay taxes in the form of dollars (and many of them) and you turn around and vote “no” on everything that Americans would benefit from. But when it comes to things the Insurance Industry wants or the Pharmeutical Industry wants (turn your head) and then say a big “YES”.

    I would classify you as a “HUMAN LEECH”. You suck the blood out of hard working Americans and bask in your rightous glory that no matter what, you will always be taken care of by BIG INDUSTRY.

    You and your wife work tirelessly for the INDUSTRIES OF YOUR CHOICE, but when it comes down to your “real job CLASSIFICATION. You lack the muster to distinguish whether you are a “Politician” or a “Businessman”.

    You have opted for the BIG “safety net” called MONEY and POWER over the “little job of Mr. Lieberman goes to Washington”.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Lieberman, you will not become a SUPERSTAR, you are too old to be a famous NFL hero, you will go down in the history books, but not very flatteringly. You will be remembered for what you “haven’t done” for the people of the United States of America.

    Only “you” can look in the mirror and be happy with ‘YOU’.

    WE AREN’T.

  16. Judy Rosener Ph.D. says

    Joe Leiberman does what he does because the Democratic Party does not kick him off the commitees and dethrone him from the Chairmanship to which he is appointed.

    He thinks and votes like a Republican, so why do we assume he will vote the Democratic Party way?

    Dump him….then he would be nowhere.

  17. Frances Miller says

    Dear Mr Lieberman
    Why don’t you care about the American people? We give you a job and you want to treat us badly. Your job takes care of your health and keeps you comfortable with benefits for the rest of your life. WHY??? What will happen when your next election comes up?
    It’s time to be a MENSCH!!!! Care about the American people and give us health care we deserve!
    Yours Truly
    Frances Miller

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