William K. Wolfrum's picture

    In closed-door meeting, Lieberman & Blue Dogs put pressure on Ben Nelson to kill Public Option

    Eisenstadt & Joe Lieberman

    “Marty Eisenstadt” poses for a photo with Sen. Joe Lieberman - moments before Lieberman and Blue Dog Dems invaded Sen. Ben Nelson’s office for some arm-twisting.

    (Sometimes, it takes a hoaxer to uncover a real story. This is a true story as related to me by Eitan Gorlin.)

    Martin Eisenstadt creators Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish were in Washington D.C. today, tooling about Congress pressing the flesh to promote their new book “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.” According to Gorlin, the two had given an autographed copy of the book to Sen. Tom Harkin (Mirvish once worked as a speechwriter for Harkin) as well as Sen. Ben Nelson.

    Moments after the picture was taken, however, Gorlin informs me that Lieberman, along with Blue Dog Democrat Senators Mary Landreau and Blanche Lincoln and one Senator they couldn’t identify went into the office of fellow Blue Dog Ben Nelson, leaving the Eisenstadt duo behind.

    “I posed for a the picture with Lieberman and he asked my name. I said “Marty Eisenstadt,’” said a laughing Gorlin, the face of the infamous hoax neocon pundit. “We were just kind of schmoozing with people outside Nelson’s office, and one by one, every moderate senator walked into Nelson’s office.

    “There was no press or staff and they all looked very stern,” continued Gorlin. “It was obvious what was happening. Nelson is the swing vote on health care reform and everybody in Washington is talking about him.”

    Nelson previously called the Public option a “Deal-Breaker,” but has recently softened his stance.

    “He made it clear that he is open to the public option. That’s not a line in the sand where he says it must be off the table for him to move forward on health care reform,” Nebraska Democrat Jane Kleeb.

    So will Nelson go against the public option now that it appears Lieberman - who has said he would filibuster the bill due to the public option - is actively campaigning against it? Gorlin said that while he wasn't privvy to what went on in the meeting,  so many moderate Dems at Nelson's office gave the strong appearance of what went on inside.

    “You’re going to see Nelson come out against the health care reform bill, I’m sure of it,” said Gorlin.

    Marty Eisenstadt Ben Nelson office




    So, the "real story" is that Senators have meetings?  Or am I supposed to be surprised by the notion of arm-twisting?

    Real news would be Obama doing some arm-twisting.

    I'm guessing one of WKW's purposes in posting the story is to warn us that he suspsects Nelson will come out against the public option after all. A motive behind that is to encourage those who can pressue Nelson to not flip back to do so, and for those who are counting on him supporting the public option to make sure they don't absolutely need his support.

    I guess I just didn't think that viewing Nelson as a swing vote on this issue was very controversial.  I was under the impression that he was part of the middle-American group of conservative Dem Senators that's been in the center of the cyclone in that esteemed body.  After all, he's the guy who ad hoc'd a new standard for passing legislation.

    Technically, none of the people Sen. Nelson met with are "Blue Dogs." That term applies only to a coalition of 50 or so fiscally conservative Democratic members of the House of Representatives.

    The corresponding term in the Senate is "Democrat." 

    I'd like to buy this joke a beer.

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