Joe Lieberman, Amnesiac

December 15, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

For the last 48 hours, all eyes in Washington have been on Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who stirred a storm Sunday by announcing his opposition to a kind-of deal between liberal and moderate Democrats over insurance reform.

The motivations behind that opposition grew suspect yesterday when a three-month-old video surfaced in which Lieberman endorses a plan to offer Medicare coverage to younger folks — the very provision he said Sunday he couldn’t support. Washington prognosticators for months have been trying to divine the motivations behind Lieberman’s plan to dilute the insurance reforms in the Democrats’ health care legislation, with the guesses spanning a spectrum from “He’s in the pocket of the insurance industry” to “That man needs a puppy.”

But no one has yet suspected that Lieberman might simply have amnesia, which was essentially the explanation the Connecticut senator gave to reporters yesterday. From The New York Times:

Democratic leaders noted that Mr. Lieberman on numerous occasions had voiced support for the Medicare buy-in proposal that he now wants dropped. It was part of a health care proposal that he championed as Al Gore’s mate in the 2000 presidential race, and three months ago he expressed support for the same concept.

“What I was proposing was that they have an option to buy into Medicare early,” Mr. Lieberman says on a video distributed by Democrats on Monday.

**In the interview, he did not dispute that he once supported the idea but said he had not recalled having done so, or the context, until Mr. Reid’s office confronted him about it. **[Emphasis mine.]

Which makes you wonder, if his memory doesn’t span longer than three months, why he still has a job in the Capitol.