Joe on bkcy

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Wed Aug 9 15:18:39 PDT 2000

On Wed, 9 Aug 2000, Doug Henwood wrote:

> Hmm, Chris Lehmann, who's a careful guy, says he voted against the
> min wage increase. And that bkcy bill was so evil that he should have
> voted against it no matter what was attached to it.

I agree he should have voted against the bill, but since it is not final passage and it involved a number of other issues, there are some murky strategic issues involved (especially with a promised Clinton veto), so it is a poor benchmark for measuring political virtue. One of the key issues for groups making ratings is to pick issues that are "clean" enough to avoid the procedural games endemic in Congressional voting. Given Lieberman's good vote in 1999, it is reasonable to question his judgement but not his politics on the issue, until we see a vote on final passage.

As to minimum wage, I specifically asked the UE guy about that issue and over Lieberman's whole record, he could not find an anti-minimum wage vote in any situation where they thought a vote mattered. Remember, almost all Dems just voted no on a minimum wage bill a few weeks ago that the GOP had promoted attached to a mess of corporate tax cuts. Is that the "no" vote Lehmann is referring to?

BTW I agree with Lehmann that Lieberman is a corporate pig on issues like tort reform and stock option valuation. Also, given his constituency of insurance companies, he has been terrible on many insurance issues and often in the pockets of the pharmeceutical companies.

On the positive side, Lieberman is one of the more outspoken advocates of ending "Don't ask, don't tell" and allowing gays to serve openly in the military - which he reiterated on television last night.

It's all a mixed bag, other than the unmixed fact that he is better on every issue than Bush-Cheney. Nothing you have to worry about if you don't care if Bush wins and are voting for Nader, but a pain in the ass for us lesser-evilists.

-- Nathan Newman

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