Feature

Joe Lieberman: 'Egomaniac'?

With Lieberman potentially holding the fate of Obama's health-care reform in his hands, some worry that the senator is on a power trip.

Last week, Harry Reid announced that a panel of 10 senators, including Joe Lieberman (I, Conn.), had reached a breakthrough compromise on the contentious health-care bill. But over the weekend, Lieberman withdrew his support, citing specific concerns over Medicare — upsetting liberals (in the blogosphere he was called an "egomaniac" and much worse) and endangering the larger prospects for health-care reform. Many Democrats believe Lieberman is simply pursuing a vendetta for his loss in a 2006 party primary, raising the question: Is Lieberman taking a stand on principle or just settling a personal score? (Watch clips showing Lieberman's change of heart on filibusters)

Lieberman is torturing the Dems out of spite: Harry Reid made a special effort to include Lieberman in the process of drawing up a compromise health -are bill, says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. But Lieberman skipped all the meetings, waited for the compromise to be announced, then stated his opposition before the Congressional Budget Office even had a chance to assess it. There is no discernible "policy rationale" here — rather, Lieberman "seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people" simply to annoy liberals by destroying any compromise they find palatable."Joe Lieberman: Let's not make a deal!"

It's Harry Reid who's the bully: Lieberman has been entirely consistent in his policy stance, says Jennifer Rubin in Commentary. Meanwhile, Reid and others are planting quotes in the press that make it seem as if "the senator from Connecticut and others had bought into a [compromise] deal, when in fact none existed." Reid's desperate tactics against Lieberman reveal how fast things are "unravelling" for the Democrats."Reid panics"

The Dems are letting Lieberman walk all over them: Once again, Lieberman is undermining the Democrats while the party leaders take it like wimps, says Chris Bowers in Open Left. "If Democratic Senators wanted to punish Lieberman for his consistent transgressions against the party, they could" — but they're "not going to." Lieberman knows this, and it grants him tremendous power and exposure."Lieberman seizes control of the Senate Democratic caucus"

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