In a ridiculously partisan bit of writing, even by Washington Post standards, Lois Romano and Alec MacGillis introduce a piece about Sen. Joe Lieberman this way:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) has once again inserted himself into the middle of an inflamed partisan debate, raising questions about his motives, his ego and his fickle allegiance to the Democratic Party, which forgave him after he supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president.
There you have the Washington Post’s take on Lieberman — bad faith politico, egomaniac, and ingrate. Oh, and serial liar too. Romano and MacGillis claim, based on the say-so of “health-policy experts” that Lieberman has made “serial misstatements about reform proposals.” The one expert they quote is Jacob Hacker, who “helped craft the initial proposal for the public option.”
Romano and MacGillis descend even further into one-sided lefty reporting when they attempt a point-by-point refutation of Lieberman’s reasons for opposing the public option:
Lieberman says the public option is a sop to supporters of full government-run health insurance. He argues that the proposal lacks public support, although polls show a majority favor the concept. He says the government has no place in providing health insurance, despite its role in overseeing Medicare and Medicaid.
Most of all, he insists that a public option would drive the country further into debt. But this argument muddles how the new system will function and is at odds with independent assessments.
The poll results are actually more ambiguous than Romano and MacGillis care to admit, and it’s a non sequitur to suggest that because the government oversees Medicare and Medicaid, it is somehow wrongheaded or illegitimate to oppose new legislation under which the government provides health insurance to Americans not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
But never mind. If, like Romano and MacGillis, you start from the premise that implementing the public option is so overwhelmingly the right thing to do that no reasonable person can oppose doing so, then naturally you’re going to be unhappy with anyone who does, in fact, oppose the public option. And this will be especially true when it comes to a blue state Democrat opponent. But that still leaves open the question of whether the Post should run, as a news story, this sort of partisan attack.
Apparently, this is no longer a question that’s asked at the Post, however. The only question now is where to put such stories. In this case, the answer was page 3. I suppose we should be grateful it did not end up on the front page.