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Obama, Lieberman, Emanuel—
All Skewered as Not “Tough Enough to Govern”


Joe Conason in a hard-hitting Truthout op-ed rips Joe Lieberman for demanding, and President Obama and his chief of staff and “self-styled tough guy from Chicago” Rahm Emanuel for bowing to the gutting of the elements of real reform in the Senate health care legislation:

By bowing to Sen. Joseph Lieberman and his obstructive pals in both parties on health care reform, President Obama has confirmed what Republicans always say about Democrats: They simply aren’t strong enough to govern. Or at least the Democrats elected last year—and their colleagues in the Senate leadership—don’t seem to be.

Their moment of truth came when Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and self-styled tough guy from Chicago, urged the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to strip out the most progressive aspects of the proposed health care reform bill in order to appease Lieberman. Unless the Connecticut senator got his way, he threatened to join a Republican filibuster—conniving with a political minority to kill reforms that a majority of Americans has wanted and needed for decades.

Neither Emanuel nor his boss possesses the courage to call the bluff of the reform opponents and urge a victory for that majority through the legislative process known as “reconciliation,” which allows the Senate leadership to stuff a sock in the mouth of the filibuster. Instead, they have surrendered to the same forces that want nothing more than to frustrate and ruin them.

Not surprisingly, this spectacle of capitulation evokes disgust among many Democrats, surpassed only by the revulsion they feel as they gaze upon Lieberman’s self-satisfied grin. . . .

Keep reading “The Democrats Blinked” . . .

Joe Conason is the author of It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush; Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth; and The Raw Deal: How the Bush Republicans Plan to Destroy Social Security and the Legacy of the New Deal.

H/T to SRF of NYC.

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