On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Kurt Schmoke
Political/Education leader

Kurt Schmoke

A former mayor of Baltimore City, Kurt Schmoke is Dean of Howard University School of Law.

Putting in charitably

To say that Senator Lieberman has been exercising leadership in the health-care debate is putting a gloss on his conduct that is far more charitable than he deserves. It is better to say he has been acting in a fashion that the constituents of his state would expect from him, no more and no less.

Lieberman represents a state that traditionally has been home to large private insurance companies, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that his statements and votes on the health care legislation would help to protect a major employer in his state. What the Senator did is similar to what others have done in protecting local interests. Senator Nelson apparently obtained financial concessions for his state, and Senator Landrieu did for hers. As the full bill is revealed, the public will be informed of the great degree to which compromise was reached in the old fashion ways of legislative bodies, i.e. you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

In my view, Senator Lieberman's conduct should neither be praised nor condemned. His actions mirrored those of his colleagues. It was only the timing that heightened awareness of his actions. The concessions achieved by other Senators will be better known the closer we get to the midterm elections. So it goes.

By Kurt Schmoke

 |  December 21, 2009; 1:31 PM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Christmas soldiers of 1776 | Next: Ego over team-work

Comments

Please report offensive comments below.



Mr. Schmoke,

You made an error in regards to Sen. Lieberman's state. Sen. Lieberman is from the state of Israel by way of Likud and his long-time ally, Avigdor Lieberman (no relation).

Sen. Lieberman merely owns real estate in Connecticut.

Sen. Lieberman is of, by, and for Likud and the West Bank settlements.

Posted by: MarkinJC
----------------------------------
I think you're confusing Sen. Lieberman with Sen. Ben Nelson, who is from Rome, representing the Vatican, fighting at the UN to withhold condoms in Africa so as to increase the spread AIDs all over the continent.

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | December 23, 2009 2:24 AM
Report Offensive Comment

What do we say about Sen. Ben Nelson's "leadership"? First he proclaims that he cannot approve of anything unacceptable to "the bishops," then for his noncooperation gets one hundred million of our tax dollars for his state?

Oh, yes, and putting it not so charitably, as is all over the web and WaPo, he receives millions each year from Big Insurance and tons from Big Pharma in campaign contribution.

Sen. Ben Nelson is the servant of three masters: Big Insurance, Big Pharma, the Vatican, and above all, his stock portfolio.

How's THAT for leadership?

Would we could find a leader with principle, one who would get the Ben Nelsons out of the Congress and under investigation.

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | December 23, 2009 2:21 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I completely forgot about Connecticut and insurance. Isn't the state like one huge office park of insurance companies? Is there any other state in the nation like that?
Wouldn't someone point that kind of thing out when someone from Texas votes on a matter pertaining to oil, for example?

Posted by: KathyWi | December 22, 2009 10:57 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Sen. Lieberman was not elected by the Insurance Cos. in his state. He was elected by the citizens. The problem remains who funds Senators elections. We're wasting our time analyzing the actions, words and deeds of Sen. Lieberman or any other Senator. They are all putting their re election before the country. I won't repeat the now often heard Sinclair quote, but it applies to politicians too.

Posted by: ussgeronimo | December 22, 2009 6:31 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I'm not surprised that Traitor Joe supports the insurance companies in CT that line his pockets. Nor am I surprised that he vascillates back and forth to suit his own interests. No I'm not surprised--just disgusted.

Posted by: libertyanne | December 22, 2009 1:29 PM
Report Offensive Comment

"Putting in charitably" described Senator Lieberman's behavior accurately. We will get the kind of health-care system that we deserve (senators already have theirs) with the types of politicians we have (re)elected. Senator Lieberman's compliant regarding the public option cannot be very serious,unless he would be willing to drop the anti-trust exemption that the insurance companies enjoy. That would be a cold day in Hades, as we all know.

Senator Lieberman like Senator Byrd, is not a surprise; simply a disappointment or a good argument for term limits.
Happy Hanukkah,from a real independent.
Terry L. Burgess

Posted by: TerryLBurgess | December 22, 2009 1:06 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Perhaps we could be a little more charitable to Lieberman if he had not changed his stripes so drastically since September - a mere 3 months ago.

Wonder what he got in return for his change of mind.

Posted by: Utahreb | December 22, 2009 8:04 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Mr. Schmoke,

You made an error in regards to Sen. Lieberman's state. Sen. Lieberman is from the state of Israel by way of Likud and his long-time ally, Avigdor Lieberman (no relation).

Sen. Lieberman merely owns real estate in Connecticut.

Sen. Lieberman is of, by, and for Likud and the West Bank settlements.

Posted by: MarkinJC | December 21, 2009 4:55 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Joe? A leader? Good joke! The old adage proves true again: follow the money.

Posted by: frodot | December 21, 2009 3:52 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company