Senator Tom Harkin did everything but place a horse’s head in Joe Lieberman’s bed as he discussed the Connecticut Senator’s Decision to join a filibuster of any Obamacare bill which contains the public option. He implied that if Lieberman , and independent, voted for the filibuster he would lose his committee chairmanship and would no longer be allowed to caucus with the Democratic Party:
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, told reporters that Lieberman (I-Conn.) ought to consider the benefits of his membership in the Democratic caucus before he decides how to vote on healthcare reform.
“[Lieberman] still wants to be a part of the Democratic Party although he is a registered independent. He wants to caucus with us and, of course, he enjoys his chairmanship of the [Homeland Security] committee because of the indulgence of the Democratic Caucus. So, I’m sure all of those things will cross his mind before the final vote,” Harkin said in a conference call.
Lieberman already has two stikes against him ever since he endorsed and campaigned for John McCain in 2008. At the beginning of this Congressional session in January, some progressives called for him to be expelled from the caucus and stripped of his commitee chairmanship, but Joe was kept around for the possibility of attaining a filibuster-proof majority.
It’s premature to say what action Democrats may take against Lieberman if he follows through on that suggestion. Still hoping to win his votes, Democratic leaders have been hesitant to openly criticize him.
Harkin, for his part, suggested that Lieberman would eventually come around.
“As I said before, when it comes down to getting the 60 votes necessary to pass this bill, I do not believe that Joe Lieberman would want to be the one person who caucuses with the Democrats…to bring this bill down,” Harkin said. “I don’t think he wants to go down in history like that.”
The opposite is also true, maybe Joe Lieberman may not want to go down in history as the guy who gave America the higher taxes and lower quality of care that goes along with this oppressive health care plan.