The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. - Bertrand Russell
Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.
--Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513
I wish to make a political observation.
In 2006, Liberals, affronted by Joe Lieberman's support for President Bush's War in Iraq, supported the insurgency candidacy of Ned Lamont. Mr. Lamont won the Connecticut primary...forcing Senator Lieberman to run as an Independent in order to secure re-election, which he did.
Senator Lieberman never forgot this slight by Liberals in the Democratic Party. Caucusing with the Democrats, he needed only to wait to take his revenge...and now he extracts his pound of flesh...and there is NOTHING Liberals can do to stop it.
Senator Lieberman has an interesting policy resume; he co-sponsored the 1990 Clean Air Act, voted "No" on a Constitutional ban of Same-Sex Marriage (rated 88/100 by Human Rights Campaign), has an "F" from the NRA and a 90% rating from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, supports Stem-Cell Research, and opposed amendments criminalizing flag-burning.
In addition, Lieberman is unwavering in his support for Israel...and concludes that any threat, however pathetic in comparison, like Iraq, must be neutralized. Iraq "threatened" Israel...therefore, Saddam Hussein must be destroyed. But for this one policy position, of which Senator Lieberman was NOT the lone supporting Democrat (Hello, Senators Clinton, Kerry, Reid...), Liberals attempted to destroy him....and failed.
There are still many good things in the Health Care Reform Bill before the Senate that deserve passage:
- Requiring most people to have insurance...and helping those that have trouble paying for coverage
- Creating health insurance exchanges, with 4 different kinds of plans from basic to premium
- Barring insurers from denying coverage or charging people because of pre-existing conditions
- Ending separate rates because of gender
- Limiting how much more an insurer could charge for age
But Liberals can forget about the "Public Option"...it's dead.
Hubris comes with cost (Good-bye, Republican Congress...)...and I admit my own fault on this score. But for Liberals and their bloggers like Huffington Post, FireDogLake, DailyKos and others to supplant Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic Senatorial Primary....only to see him win re-election...AND expect him to continue to support their most cherished health care position is naive in the extreme.
If Liberals had crushed Lieberman, Senator Lamont would be supporting the Public Option. If Liberals had given Lieberman the same, consistent treatment they gave Clinton or Kerry, it is possible Lieberman would be supporting the Public Option.
Ignorant of the nature and use of political power, Liberals took the short-term view, and did not consider the possible outcomes of their actions.
Senator Lieberman is now avenging himself of ligher injuries.