But Lieberman is not WITH the caucus-- he has positioned himself within it because that's the place from which he can inflict the most damage on Obama and the liberals. His alignment is with what the Republicans are trying to achieve --which is to say making Obama fail-- but he's doing it from inside the Democratic Party where he can discredit the party by giving them (officially) a 60 vote bloc that should allow them to pass ANY legislation, while one of that 60 is really a mole, and he's taken on the job of throwing monkey wrenches into anything that might be achieved.
Lieberman should be called out in and denounced in strong terms because what he is doing is most vile. To avenge himself for his defeat in the Connecticut Democratic primary in 2006, he now sacrifices everything that he use to say was good in order to punish those who have hurt his feelings.
This is human monstrosity of a kind that it would take a Shakespeare to show in its full primitive vengeful impulse. Can you imagine the speeches Shakespeare would have given his Joe Lieberman, painting word pictures of the world as he inhabits it and carries out the vengeful vandalism of his world!
No forgiveness for those who wounded his ego by rejecting him in favor of Lamont.. In that sense, it could well be that the ultimate target of Lieberman's anger is the Democratic electorate of Connecticut that rejected him, and that now wants health care reform to succeed.
Here's a pertinent piece to help flesh in this profound moral defect on display with Joe Lieberman. Exposing this in a loud voice may be politically most effective way of dealing with this situation.
To fail, but by kicking Lieberman out of the caucus-- calling him out as a mole, and indicting the Republican Party for putting forward the wholly obstructionist strategy that Joe LIeberman is but the saboteur who serves that Republican strategy. Harboring as much bitterness as Iago.
Kick him out-- expose a) the reality of your having but 59 votes in the caucus and b) the reality of Lieberman playing a most vile role as traitor and spy and saboteur, and c) the reality of the Republicans wanting ONLY to make the other side look bad, and being indifferent as to what would best meet the nation's present needs, which include getting a hold on health care costs and on the tens of millions that lack insurance.
This is what the American people have to be helped to see. The job of the Democrats --including Obama-- should be to expose to the American people the purely destructive and amoral level which their obstructionist opposition is coming from.
Here's some news:
Ezra Klein on Politico
The Huffington Post and Roll Call are both reporting that Joe Lieberman notified Harry Reid that he will filibuster health-care reform if the final bill includes an expansion of Medicare. Previously, Lieberman had been cool to the idea, saying he wanted to make sure it wouldn't increase the deficit or harm Medicare's solvency (and previously to that, he supported it as part of the Gore/Lieberman health-care plan). That comforted some observers, as the CBO is expected to say it will do neither. Someone must have given Lieberman a heads-up on that, as he's decided to make his move in advance of the CBO score, the better to ensure the facts of the policy couldn't impede his opposition to it.
To put this in context, Lieberman was invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill's failure that much more. And if there's a policy rationale here, it's not apparent to me, or to others who've interviewed him. At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.
This leaves Reid in a tough spot. Sam Stein runs through his remaining options, none of which are very good:
The first is to convince the Senator to support Democrats in breaking a Republican filibuster before casting a vote against the bill. This would allow for the legislation to pass with Lieberman still registering his opposition. Lieberman, however, has said he considers the procedural vote to cut off debate to be of the same significance as a vote on the bill itself.