Senator Barack Obama, His Buddy Joe Lieberman & Tort Reform – a Poisonous Mix

Senator Barack Obama, His Buddy Joe Lieberman & Tort Reform – a Poisonous Mix

Barack Obama is a hot political item these days. He seems to be taking the Obama political scene with a tsunami like wave of public approval. But, should Democrats, and especially plaintiff trial lawyers, jump on his presidential band wagon? Rolling Stone Magazine, in an interview about him, pointed out:

"What Obama stands for, if anything, is not yet clear. Everywhere he goes he is greeted by thrilled crowds, trailed constantly by a reporter from the Chicago Tribune who is writing a book about the senator…The danger is that the public has committed the cardinal sin of political love, forcing Obama onto the national stage before knowing him well enough to gauge whether he’s ready for it…’Barack has become a kind of human Rorschach test’ says Cassandra Butts, a friend of the Senator’s from law school…"

There are some disturbing things in his political background that bear careful examination. The most disturbing is his support of Senator Joe Lieberman, now professing to be an "independent" but who falsely claimed to be a Democrat until his defeat in the primary and then, by slight of hand, transformed himself Lieberman into an Independent. I’ve commented about Lieberman’s hypocrisy before (See: Take the mask off Senator Lieberman 3/7/07) Here is this Bush supporter who has been the leading tort reform advocate in the Senate. He never saw a tort reform proposal he didn’t support and voted for every one of the Republicans anti people bills as well as proposing some of his own. Lieberman, the close buddy of George Bush and supporter of the Iraq war. So how can Obama, professing to be for the people, act as such a strong supporter of Lieberman, whom Obama regards as his "mentor"? In fact, Obama went to Connecticut to campaign for Lieberman against his Democratic opponent and here’s what Obama said as, quoted in the blog Vichy Democrats:

"I know that some in the party have differences with "Joe," Senator Obama said, all but silencing the crowd, "I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s the elephant in the room, And Joe and I don’t agree on everything. But, what I know is, Joe Lieberman’s a man with a good heart, with keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America…"

Obama thinks Lieberman cares about working families in America? You’ve got to be kidding! Lieberman who supported the bankruptcy law that benefited business and took away protection for working people? Lieberman who supports caps on damages and limitations of civil justice for the working people? Lieberman, who has had unreserved support for the Iraq war and all of the misguided war policies of George Bush’s – and is close to Bush – "for the working people"? I think not.

But, what is Obama’s view of tort reform? It’s not favorable to ordinary Americans. His views seem consistent with his close friend Lieberman on the subject. We know the Bulletin of the Chicago Trade Association of May 2004 noted "Obama acknowledged the need for tort reform" and that he was quoted as saying "Anyone who denies there is a crisis with medical malpractice insurance is probably a trial lawyer." We also know how he voted on the pro business bill which limited class action lawsuits – he supported it as well as voted for it. And Rolling Stone’s article observed:

"…But since he arrived in the Senate, many of those who hoped Obama would become a great liberal champion have been disappointed. He has voted with conservatives on tort reform and industry friendly provisions in the bankruptcy bill and the troop pull out bill he introduced in January was a late and unremarkable entry in the debate over Iraq.

The evidence shows his pro business stance on tort reform. He regards the leader of tort reform in the Senate as his mentor and campaigned for Lieberman against the anti Iraq war Democratice opponent. How can anyone who identifies with Joe Lieberman and advocates tort reform be genuine Democratic candidate for the presidency? How can trial lawyers who represent plaintiff’s support such a candidate?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *