Health Care Debate: Liberal Extremists Vs. Local Constituencies

Olympia Snowe went against the Republican grain in deciding to support the “Baucus bill,” but Joe Lieberman, once a Democratic Party vice presidential candidate, is making another stand against the left-wing extremists leading the Democrats.  Kim Strassel gives her take:

If Mr. Lieberman doesn’t like the bill now, he’s likely to be even less happy after Majority Leader Harry Reid has combined it with Sen. Chris Dodd’s more liberal product. Mr. Lieberman is on record opposing a “public option,” which remains the chief desire of Senate liberals.

A Lieberman defection on ObamaCare would, of course, send the Netroots around the bend — those ultra liberal activists who agitated successfully for his defeat in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic primary. But Mr. Lieberman, having faced them down to win reelection in the general election, doesn’t seem to much care about their displeasure anymore. Worse for his party’s liberals, his stance might prove an attractive example to many swing-state Democrats who still aren’t sure they want to support such a big government takeover of health-care.

The real battle isn’t Republicans vs. Democrats.  It’s the true left-wingers leading the Democrats on the national stage battling against the more moderate constituencies in most congressional districts.  Though the Democrats have control of Congress and the White House, the voters who put them in those positions mostly don’t identify themselves as being “liberal.”  It appears the disconnect between the Washington political machine and most of America is becoming more pronounced as the debates over enacting  left-leaning policies such as nationalized health care and “cap and trade” heat up.


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