Barack Obama | Health | Joe Lieberman | Keith Olbermann | News

Olbermann Slams Health Care Bill, Obama in Special Comment


I haven't posted one of Keith Olbermann's Special Comments since before the election, but his comment from last night was especially on and searing. On health care reform, Lieberman, and Obama's weakness:

"They say they have done what they have done for the most important, the most fiscally prudent, the most gloriously phrased, the most inescapable of reasons. But mostly they have done it for the money. Lots and lots of money from the insurance companies and the pharmacological companies and the other health care companies who have slowly taken this country over. Which brings us to Mr. Lieberman of Connecticut, the one man at the center of this farcical perversion of what a government is supposed to be. Out of pique, out of revenge, out of betrayal of his earlier wiser saner self, he has sold untold hundreds of thousands of us into pain and fear and privation and slavery — for money. He has been bought and sold by the insurance lobby. He has become a Senatorial prostitute. And sadly, the President has not provided the leadership his office demands."


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  1. Keith is 100% correct-and it is only going to get worse when the Republicans win more seats in 2010 and take back the WH in 2012.
    It is disheartening to see the DINO's blow the only chance they will likely have for a very long time -holding such a commanding majority- it won't happen again. None of this is surprising-it is just sad that it happened so quickly as so many had such hope on so many levels. None of the dreams that BO supporters had a year ago have been even remotely addressed.

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 17, 2009 8:50:48 AM

  2. I agree with Keith 110% ...this CRAP Health Bill is Obama's Waterloo!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Dec 17, 2009 8:51:48 AM

  3. ARGH! Why can't I see MSNBC video? I'm missing out on Rachel and Keith! Does anyone else have this problem?

    Posted by: MT | Dec 17, 2009 9:07:10 AM

  4. I thought it was the Senator from Nebraska that is holding up health care now and not Lieberman.

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 17, 2009 9:18:20 AM

  5. I agree with Keith 110% ...this CRAP Health Bill is Obama's Waterloo!

    Yes, and a "Waterloo" for Obama and the Democrats may bring on the same fate as Sodom and Gomorra for many Gay Americans.

    I thought you were a Conservative, Disgusted American, who didn't support large government programs (I'll apologize if I'm wrong). So which are you happier about: the health care initiative failing or the president and his party failing (temporarily)?

    Don't allow your hatred for this President and the Democratic Party to come back to bite you on the ass ('course maybe you enjoy that sort of thing).

    NICK says, "None of the dreams that BO supporters had a year ago have been even remotely addressed."

    How presumptuous for an Obama Hater to speak for us Obama Supporters--and according to some recent polls that accounts for about 55% of the public.

    Many of us "BO supporters" aren't naive enough about American politics to give him (and the Democratic Party) just one year.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 17, 2009 9:41:54 AM

  6. While it has been "just one year," the health care reform bill has been the goal of this year--it took away the majority of Obama's focus on many other issues and what is coming out of it? A pathetic looking attempt. Keep in mind that the democrats cited health care reform as taking up too much of their time and resources to deal with Obama's campaign promises to gays.

    I like Obama and I think he has the best of intentions, but he needs to grow a pair if he plans on accomplishing anything during the next three years.

    Posted by: TheOtherMark | Dec 17, 2009 10:04:15 AM

  7. One can be an Obama supporter and not like what has transpired in the 1 year of his presidency. There are alot of people who supported and believed in him and are sadly disappointed. He needs to grow a pair -as
    theothermark has suggested. I won't presume to know what motivates some to make the comments they do but perhaps it is because alot of people thought this time would be different and it isn't and time is slipping away- because with the election cycle kicking in -all of the politicians will be afraid to take any kind of stand at all. We can hope next year will be better-history and this year suggest othterwise.

    Posted by: Dan | Dec 17, 2009 10:16:51 AM

  8. Spot on! The Democrats need to get a spine and blow up the filibuster rule already. The United States Senate has become the place where democracy in America goes to die.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 17, 2009 11:15:45 AM

  9. Lieberman has single-handedly screwed the middle class and robbed our country of its best chance in decades to bring some sanity to this system.

    Posted by: Z | Dec 17, 2009 11:23:58 AM

  10. I agree with the Congressional Black Caucus when they say President Obama's support for the Lieberman legislation - and I think it is fair to call it that at this point - will make life much harder for the poor.

    There are no cost controls.

    The insurance companies can continue to reject those with pre-existing conditions because of the Senate's "unreasonable constraints" loophole.

    Who gets to decide what's reasonable?

    Not you and your doctor.

    And now the people who can least afford more complication in their lives are going to get slapped with government fines for not having health insurance because of the mandates.

    This is not health care reform. It is not even insurance reform by some measures. If the Democrats want African Americans, unions, and many other elements of the base to show up for the mid-term elections, the House of Representatives has to send Senator Lieberman's HMO written non-reform bill to the death it so richly deserves. And they have to do it soon because people are growing increasingly impatient.

    Posted by: John | Dec 17, 2009 12:06:02 PM

  11. This is a sweetheart bailout for the insurance companies. The health insurance lobby spent over $150 million to push for this bill that Obama supports. It's a game to pretend that they're opposed to it. It doesn't regulate the cost of pharamceuticals, nor regulates the cost of mandatory individual policies and has relabeled preexisting conditions. Oh well...

    What's really frightening, however, is that if this is how congress and the obama administration responds to the big pharma and the insurance lobby, when they attempt to pass a meaningful finance reform bill to regulate the banking industry...they're not going to get even THIS far. The fact is that the banking lobby is the most powerful lobby on makes big pharma and the insurance lobby look like a schoolyard bully.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 17, 2009 12:22:03 PM

  12. I don't know why people are always relying on the one year excuse to overlook mismanagement and bureaucratic ineptitude. This would have happened if obama were three years into his first term, or three and a half years into his second term. Generally, the first year is the most important, and given the momentum and majorities that obama squandered, the year that Obama could have achieved the most.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 17, 2009 12:25:01 PM

  13. Mr. Olbermann has captured fully what I was kept awake last night thinking about. President Obama needs to do the right thing and veto this legislation if it comes to him in the form it's in in the Senate. He won't but he needs to. I'm so sad that we are under the dictatorship of a sad, bitter, little man from Connecticut.

    Posted by: JT | Dec 17, 2009 1:13:58 PM

  14. For some administrations it is in that 1st year that they realize what ruthless fuckers they are up against, even a few in their own party. The Democratic has a long history of vicious fights within.

    Be it Presdident Hillary Clinton, or President John Edwards, or President Al Gore--they probably would be facing the same bullshit when going up against conservatives and corrupt Democrats. And my support would be as strong for any of the above "coulda' been presidents" as it is for this President.

    I'd love to have a President Kucinich or a President Feingold to go down fighting, but it aint gonna' happen. Idealism is cute, but....well, it's cute.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 17, 2009 1:51:45 PM

  15. Sometimes Olbermann is a poor representative for the left.. but here he is at his best, very well spoken and to the point. The fact that this bill started as healthcare reform and now is turning into a way to pad private insurers pockets is shameful. I think having Howard Dean come out against it is really saying something, what with him being a medial doctor and all and knowing much more about this issue than 'ol Joe could ever. If Obama signs this into law he can kiss a second term goodbye, I'll be voting for someone I actually want to see run this country (a third party candidate).

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 17, 2009 2:24:20 PM

  16. Between this, the escalation in Afghanistan, the bigotry displayed by the White House on gay rights, their corporate lapdog behavior and their failures to address any of the due process or illegal spying practices of the Bush administration, Obama has completely lost my support. I don't think he'll be getting it back, either, because he's lost my trust. I honestly think the guy's a scumbag at this point.

    I hope his ass his primaried in 2012. Personally, I'm rooting for Howard Dean to take him on. Only Dean has the right combination of things going for him to mount a credible challenge (at least out of those people who would have courage enough to take on a sitting president in a primary): Being right on most of the issues, from health care to the war; the ability to attract enough volunteers and leadership to get a great organization and, unlike Obama and 99% of national democrats, a spine.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 17, 2009 4:10:27 PM

  17. Yep, this is very disappointing act by my President and his administration. I keep believing that there is some long-term or hidden strategy...but like I said, idealism is just cute, and that's all it is.


    even if Obama is in bad shape in 2012, a primary battle would mean an even greater disaster for Democrats. We saw that in 1980.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 17, 2009 4:16:55 PM

  18. Of course, I had to go "google" presdential approval ratings because of this forewarnings of a disastrous 2012 for Obama. At this point in their administrations--Reagan, Clinton & George W were all at low points, and it got worse in their 2nd year in office.

    What does that mean? I don't know? Maybe y'all are gettin' on my damn President too.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 17, 2009 4:37:21 PM

  19. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep."

    I'm not happy with the health care bill either but it DOES force insurance companies to accept persons with pre-existing conditions, cap lawsuits, etc.

    This is the groundwork from which we can build strong health care reform.

    ON THE OTHER HAND I still don't know why we just didn't send the numbers to the CBO to check on the cost of expanding Medicare to those 40 and over - it would have been the closest thing to single payer and a public option.

    Stop blaming Obama for this mess - it's the self-indulgant, preserve-themselves-at-any-cost members in Congress we need to yell at.

    TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS!! If they can apply it to the presidency - why not Congress?!

    Posted by: CARIBTONY | Dec 17, 2009 5:09:17 PM

  20. Derrick: Dang, I admire your ability to be positive about the current President. I didn't trust him during the primary and I am now convinced (see Ryan's post and go to his blog) that President Obama is as much a lying piece of crap as Senator Lieberman. I am so disgusted with this whole thing. Seriously, go to the link Ryan gives to the article.

    I only hope the Republicans don't nominate Palin. I couldn't vote for her, but there are any number of Republicans I could support.

    Posted by: JT | Dec 17, 2009 6:05:43 PM

  21. Here's an I told you so from two years ago: no experience + no accomplishments = pathetic president. I've held on to my 'Hillary' signs. I disagree with Derrick. A good bill could have passed with effective leadership--neither of those words apply to this president.

    I strongly disagree with CaribTony. Term limits are the answer to this problem like drinking a container of anti-freeze is the answer to feeling cold. We don't need hundreds of amateurs in Washington being manipulated by lobbyists at every turn. No one fought harder for health care than John Dingell, who has introduced single-payer legislation every year since 1955--he's been in the House longer than anyone else, ever. The answer to the problem isn't term limits, which would still allow insurance companies to pay for senate and house campaigns. The answer is public campaign finance, or a prohibition of all contributions (and advertising or other promotions) by non-individuals and a cap on those donations by individuals.

    The reason this bill didn't pass wasn't only the strong lobbyists and deep pockets of special interests. The Republicans have decided to play hardball and be obstructionists. Nancy Pelosi is up to the game. Harry Reid and Barak Obama aren't.

    Posted by: Mort | Dec 18, 2009 12:24:11 AM

  22. It is unconstitutional to force feed Americans to pay for a bill they chose not to take part of. There is nothing written in our constitution that states in which this government has the right to use tax payers money to mandate health care for people who by choice are ailling to accept a government given free health plan. As an American, I choose my own!
    Government can be sued for this!
    Since the 1930s, the Supreme Court has been reluctant to invalidate “regulatory” taxes. However, a tax that is so clearly a penalty for failing to comply with requirements otherwise beyond Congress’s constitutional power will present the question whether there are any limits on Congress’s power to regulate individual Americans. The Supreme Court has never accepted such a proposition, and it is unlikely to accept it now, even in an area as important as health care.
    Congress could evade all constitutional limits by “taxing” anyone who doesn’t follow an order of any kind—whether to obtain health-care insurance, or to join a health club, or exercise regularly!

    Posted by: Francesco Cece | Jan 7, 2010 9:20:32 AM

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