Progressive political action group MoveOn is raising massive funds to run ads against conservative independent senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut for his opposition to health care reform. From an initial goal of $400,000 on Dec. 15, MoveOn has at time of this writing raised more than $900,000 toward a new goal of one million dollars, and the contributions keep rolling in. Says MoveOn:
"First, Joe Lieberman helped President Bush invade Iraq. Then he endorsed John McCain and attacked Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention. Now he's single-handedly gutting health care reform. It's time to hold him accountable. Senator Lieberman must go.... So we're going to make sure every voter in Connecticut knows what he's doing. And then, when he comes up for re-election, we'll make sure we send him home for good. Can you chip in to make Joe pay? "
Although Lieberman won't be up for re-election until 2012, it's never too early to start working toward getting rid of him once and for all. Recent polls in Connecticut have consistently shown low approval and high disapproval ratings for Lieberman, and indicate that if the election were held today he would likely lose.
In the meantime, Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats can and should be pressed to strip Lieberman of his seniority, his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee, and his other committee memberships for his opposition to health care reform. Polls on health care reform indicate that a majority in Connecticut and across America want robust reform including a public option now. A recent Research 2000 poll commissioned by Daily Kos found that 68 percent of likely voters in Connecticut support a public option, while only 21 percent oppose. National polls likewise show that a clear majority support the public option (Boston Globe, Reuters, Washington Post). Lieberman clearly has his own agenda, however, serving not only his own obvious arrogance and vindictiveness but also the for-profit health and insurance industries that have given him millions of dollars in campaign contributions while residents of his state have suffered due to lack of health insurance (See also Rachel Maddow, Salon).
Mark C. Eades