If Geo. W. Bush had not been handed the presidency by the Right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme court back in 2000, Al Gore would have become president; and Joe Lieberman, vice president. Reading articles such as this in the New York Times -- telling us of how smug and happy Sen. Lieberman is as "point man" and spoiler, dictating terms of legislation -- I cannot help but feel that Mr. Lieberman is playing out a fantasy of his envisioning himself as by now being "President Lieberman."
Unfortunately for Mr. Lieberman, and our nation with its unhealthy health care system, that is just that: fantasy. Mr. Lieberman may revel in his "power" of defeating the public option and Medicare buy-in, at least for now; but in the end, turncoats are usually abandoned by the very folks they sell out to: for no one ultimately trusts a betrayer.
It's high time for Sen. Reid, who has been publicly embarrassed and reportedly blindsided by Sen. Lieberman, to exercise his own, rightful power: Serve the will of a majority of Americans and pass this vital health care reform -- including a robust public option and a Medicare buy-in -- by budget reconciliation, as Pres. Obama insisted earlier this year the legislation allow for (and John Podesta, presidential advisor and head of the Center for American Progress, is now seriously considering, to outmaneuver Lieberman et al.). I'm sure Vice Pres. Biden, as president of the Senate, will secure passage of the reforms even if the parliamentarian rules against any provision, as allegedly being in violation of the Byrd Rule (Biden will be on solid ground, for health reform will indeed impact the budget, and probably for the better).
The bottom line is: Democrats, use your power or lose it.