Friday, August 21, 2009

Heavy Is the Chest that Wears the Gunk

I taught myself to use the GIMP to create this masterpiece:

Well worth it, well worth it.

So why junk up a perfectly good centrist? Because centrism doesn't mean chase money and votes in a completely self-servingly strategic fashion. Here's the NYTimes analysis of why Lieberman voted repeatedly to limit damages that could be awarded to people that sue insurers:
"Many of Mr. Lieberman's friends said he had no alternative but to take this position because it was the one favored by the insurance industry. The industry is important to Connecticut's economy and has generously donated to Mr. Lieberman's campaigns over the years."
Well, you know, everybody has constituents, right? At least he's a continuous and strong supporter of private health insurers, right? Lieberman in 2004, during the Democratic primary:
"LIEBERMAN: There is a morally scandalous fact-that that 43 million Americans don't have health insurance, 2 million more than when George Bush became president. I'm proposing to create a national health insurance pool like the one that members of Congress get our insurance from. If you don't have insurance now, you'll be able to get it, probably free, if you're among the low-income working poor. If you're a child, you will be covered by insurance at birth. If you are fired from your work or lose your job, you will not lose your health insurance."
Sounds great, Joe. People really should have health insurance, and since this is the electoral primary and public options for health care are really popular among Democrats, I'm sure this will really help your primary numbers! But what's this business about "probably free"? Oh, right. It's wiggle room, so that he can crawl back to the insurers that fund his campaigns, tongue lolling like an overheated spaniel:
"I don't favor a public option," Lieberman told Bloomberg News in an interview broadcast this weekend. And I don't favor a public option because I think there's plenty of competition in the private insurance market. We have a unique opportunity, a real opportunity to do this year what we've been trying to do for years, which is to reform American healthcare, I think the one thing that will stop that is pressure on the so-called public option. Let's get something done instead of having a debate,"
So the new message is threefold. One: we are doing GREAT. Helluva job. It is absolutely not true that the senators most likely to oppose the public option come from states with the least competition in health insurance or that Lieberman's home state of Connecticut is dominated by Wellpoint, which commands more than 50% of the state market (although the people of Connecticut are fed up -- their state legislature just overrode a Republican veto to establish universal healthcare statewide). Second: Lieberman is on the side of a nebulously defined 'we' -- which doesn't mean Democrats, exactly (Lieberman is technically an independent) or his constituents (see above state policy, which is overwhelmingly supported by residents of Connecticut). I'm guessing that health insurance companies make up a good bit of this 'we', and it's true -- they've been trying to write health policy for decades. Third: shut up already! Why is everybody debating what's best and not just jumping in with some halfhearted, bandaid-on-a-sucking-chest-wound reform-lite package? This, I think, is a very respectful echo of what we could call the Bush Doctrine.

So all told, until you get on board, Joe, you're going to have a chest full of poorly Photoshopped gunk.

EDIT: Also, there is a rhymey bunch trying to kick you out of the Democratic Party.

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