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  Democrats take on the Liebermonster
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Last EditedScottĀ³  Dec 20, 2009 10:43pm
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AuthorDana Milbank
MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateMonday, December 21, 2009 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description"The reviews of Sen. Joe Lieberman's handling of the health-care bill were savage.

The Connecticut Democrat "snubbed" the president's health-care entreaties and gave "aid and comfort" to the Republicans. Liberal activists arrested in a protest outside his office said "we blame Lieberman" for weakening the Senate majority leader's bill. Liberals said he made a "political decision early on to pander to the insurance industry." He shifted positions so much it was "like trying to hold quicksilver in your hands."

Sound familiar? Those quotations are all from the summer of 1994. The president he snubbed was Bill Clinton, the Republican he aided was Bob Dole, and the majority leader he weakened was George Mitchell.

The iconoclastic senator is again infuriating liberals. To them he has become a Liebermonster, loathed as if he were Dick Cheney -- maybe more, because liberals feel betrayed by Lieberman.

The story now is that Lieberman, bitter about losing his Democratic primary in 2006, has shifted to the right with the goal of "torturing" liberals on health care and other issues. The narrative is as satisfying as it is pervasive. It's also wrong.

Lieberman probably is still angry about being beaten by Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont and forced to run as an independent while his Democratic colleagues -- including Barack Obama -- campaigned for his opponent. And his explanations of why he is undermining the Democrats' health-care legislation aren't exactly cogent."
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