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Contentions

Going Post-al on Lieberman

The Washington Post, like many mainstream papers, likes nothing better than to slam a Democratic heretic and disguise it as political reporting. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are mavericks, but Joe Lieberman, according to this hit job, has “inserted himself” into the health-care vote (isn’t he a senator with a vote and everything?), thereby — passive voice alert — “raising questions about his motives, his ego and his fickle allegiance to the Democratic Party.” This presumably is a phrase off the Pelosi-Reid talking points.

He is a foe of the public option, and the Post‘s reporters dutifully report:

A number of senators are privately furious, Senate sources said. But they added that it is unlikely the Democratic caucus would take punitive action, such as stripping his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — at least not in this Congress.

These would be the same folks who suggested the story and provided the talking points, no doubt. But aside from the not-very-well hidden agenda (Tell Lieberman he’ll be punished!), the reporters abandon any serious attempt to explain Lieberman’s objections, including his view (one widely held) that the public option won’t do anything to lower costs. But the piece isn’t about that — it’s about how darn mad the Democrats are and how they are once again out to smear the heretic of liberal orthodoxy, using the pages of the Post’s “news” section to do so.

Lieberman’s rationale for opposing the public option does slip out toward the final graphs (“an aggressive government-run plan would put undue pressures on medical providers and force them to shift costs to private insurers”). And lo and behold, the CBO confesses that some 10 million people would lose private insurance as they and their employers gravitated toward public subsidized plans.

One wonders why the Post allows its “news” pages to be used to smear one senator on behalf of a group of aggrieved liberals. After all, there is a entire opinion section for that.



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