Alter: Lieberman, Health Care, and Hurt Feelings | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter | Newsweek.com
I'm not a public-option-or-bust guy. There's enough good stuff in the legislation that the loss of a public option, while damaging, wouldn't wreck the whole thing. I'm a bill-or-bust guy. If we need to fix the legislation later—Social Security was fixed several times after enactment in 1935—we can. But failure is not an option. I don't get the impression that Lieberman agrees. If the public option is defeated, he'll find something else to complain about. The only leverage Harry Reid has over him is the threat to take away his committee chairmanship. It may yet come to that. History is littered with big moments that turned on the pettiness of small men. Now the fate of the most ambitious social legislation in a generation may come down to the hurt feelings of one senator.