Give Coburn And Lieberman A Chance
June 29, 2011

Tom Coburn and Joe Lieberman's bipartisan plan to cut Medicare is one of those notions whose every word ("Coburn," "Lieberman," "bipartisan," etc.) seems designed to provoke liberal antagonism. Talking Points Memo calls it "Ryan Plan 2.0." Joan McCarter and Greg Sargent are attacking it as well. I think they're making a mistake. First, it's just not accurate to conflate this proposal with Ryancare. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan has two huge problems. First, it privatizes Medicare, fragmenting the system into an inefficient private insurance market.

Why The Climate Bill Is Stuck In Neutral
May 21, 2010

Now that financial reform has passed through the Senate, is energy next? As always, that's… unclear. A big problem right now is that no one actually seems to be at the forefront of shepherding the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act through the chamber.

A Blue Dog Dream
March 03, 2010

So, rather inevitably, the fate of health care reform now rests largely with a group of Blue Dog Democrats in the House. More specifically, the question is: Can Nancy Pelosi convince a small fraction of her caucus to endorse the Senate version of the bill, even though they initially rejected the House’s iteration? She’ll need to flip these members to her side because the abortion provisions in the Senate bill will necessarily cost her some votes. The media chatter is all about these members' political calculus: How unpopular is health care reform in their districts?

Reid Sticks To Spring Climate-Bill Schedule
January 15, 2010

Last week, I mentioned that it's too soon to start writing obits for the climate bill. A cap on greenhouse gases will face a lot of hard obstacles in the Senate, no question (especially if Republicans snag that Massachusetts seat), but energy and climate change still appears to be on the agenda for the spring. Here's Harry Reid, confirming that point in a speech to the Geothermal Energy Association this week: As you know, the House has passed a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill that does many of these things.

Joe Lieberman Is Not What His Enemies Say He Is, Not By A Long Shot
December 14, 2009

I've known him for years and he is a conscientious man and a man of conscience, besides. They are different, and he scores high on both counts. I do not know Ezra Klein, and I do not recall reading any of his writing, except the one today in the Washington Post online. It is his screed against Senator Lieberman to which my attention was called by the former editor of TNR, Chuck Lane, also in the Post. What is it all about? Lieberman's opposition to some of the present shaky provisions scripted by Harry Reid? As you see, Klein accuses Lieberman of murder.

Refocusing the Health Reform Debate
November 23, 2009

As has been the case all year, progressives are giving mixed reviews to the latest legislative step health care reform legislation, the 60-40 Senate vote-to-proceed, which is basically a preliminary cloture vote.

Overthinking Lieberman
November 03, 2009

Ezra Klein plays my favorite parlor game: What Does Joe Want? After breaking with the Democratic Party over national security, killing the public option would cement Lieberman's status as a conservative hero. The Republican Party is angry and scared right now, and Lieberman is in the peculiar position of being able to grab them emotionally even as he's not fully aligned with them substantively.

Why Doesn't Lieberman Join The Gop?
July 14, 2008

Other than ideology, inertia, and nostalgia for his career as a Democrat, of course, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't. From a purely tactical perspective, it makes a lot of sense. If Lieberman joins the GOP, he gives them control of the Senate (with Dick Cheney's vote), which could marginally help John McCain's chances of winning this fall (the GOP would determine which measures came up for votes, etc.), which is the only way Lieberman isn't toast next year.

What Kind Of Veep Would Lieberman Have Been?
April 21, 2008

Yesterday's NYT had an interesting counterfactual article speculating on the potential dysfunctionality of a Gore administration had Gore won in 2000 and Lieberman became veep: Not only have Mr. Gore and Mr. Lieberman staked out diametrically opposite positions on the Iraq war, Mr. Gore went so far as to endorse one of Mr. Lieberman’s presidential rivals in 2004, Howard Dean, largely because of his opposition to the invasion. Mr. Lieberman is campaigning for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona. The two men barely speak. As Mr.

You Can Add Ungrateful To That Description Of Lieberman
April 15, 2008

Actually, Chris, what Lieberman did is worse than you think. Back in 2006, Obama stuck his neck out to endorse Lieberman in his primary fight with Ned Lamont (which, as you might imagine, didn't exactly endear him to some of the folks he was going to need to support him in his presidential bid). But I guess only Marxists understand the concept of gratitude. --Jason Zengerle