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John R. Bohrer

John R. Bohrer

Posted: December 14, 2009 03:55 PM

Lieberman, Republicans and Why Change Still Means Something

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In case you needed any more proof that Senator Joe Lieberman wants only to slow down and kill health care reform, Greg Sargent has the smoking gun. In a September interview with the Connecticut Post, Lieberman whole-heartedly endorsed the Medicare buy-in, which he now says is the reason he cannot support health care. This is the latest in a long list of excuses he's found to stall the Democrats' signature legislation of the 111th Congress.

Lieberman is too egotistic (and from too blue of a state) to come out and admit that his sole purpose is to block reform from happening. But Michael Steele isn't.

No, Steele's launching a radio ad that un-apologetically embraces the 'kill the bill' mantra. Upset that he didn't get credit for taking the statehouses in Virginia and New Jersey, he's using RNC money to paint the idea of stopping health care reform as his idea.

Of course, he's wrong. Blocking reform outright wasn't his idea. Maybe it was Jim DeMint's. But more likely, it was just a Republican Party, flat out of ideas, not knowing what else to do. They have no alternative of their own, except to stand in the way of change, the way of reform. And so they hold on tight while they wait for the restoration, hoping to be returned to power by making Democrats look like ineffectual failures.

It is a Republican Party that never looked inward at how it could better itself coming off the Bush years. It never looked at new ideas. They have the intellectual consistency of a 2009 Joe Lieberman -- adapting whatever works at making your opponents bleed. Anyone who thinks Lieberman isn't playing a waiting game is deluded. He's a miniature of today's Republican Party -- hoping to go back to the way things were in 2003, 2004. And given the chance, that is exactly where they will take the United States in 2010 and 2012.

For their vision for America doesn't go forward. It extends as far as their ideas: the administration of George W. Bush.

Most, if not all, political observers will say that card is played out -- that people don't care about George W. Bush anymore. But that's what it has come down to. The Democrats are still fighting against the ideas borne out of the Bush years. Because if the Republicans are returned to power over the next few years without having to reexamine what they stand for, it will just be a restoration of the Bush era. And Democrats shouldn't stand for that. Nor can they let Americans be fooled.

If Democrats want to retain the support of the American people in the face of a Republican Party with vampire politics and zombie ideas, it's time they embrace the mantle of change.

Change is, after all, still what they're fighting for.

 

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