Joe Lieberman may have got his way and gutted the healthcare reforms. But everyone hates the smug (redacted) with his smug (redacted) face — and even the Times can't resist mentioning it.

The opening line of today's story — in which Lieberman comes off as a bigger cuntbag than he's ever managed to before (which is no mean feat) sets the tone:

Just the thought of Joseph I. Lieberman makes some Democrats want to spit nails these days.

The article goes on to elaborate on Lieberman's feelings at this difficult time. Is he agonized? Surely the thought of denying healthcare to millions over some abstract notion of future debt is giving him pause?

Mr. Lieberman could not be happier. He is right where he wants to be - at the center of the political aisle, the center of the Democrats' efforts to win 60 votes for their sweeping health care legislation. For the moment, he is at the center of everything - and he loves it.

"My wife said to me, ‘Why do you always end up being the point person here?' " he said, flashing a broad grin in an interview on Monday.

Whereupon the New York Times correspondent punched him in the face. In ideal-world. What really happened was that he appears to have got his own way completely. By being a dick. There's plenty more tooth-grinding detail here — reporting galore in fact. But perhaps it's worth following the example the Times say other politicians have taken, and going zen on the whole thing.

Many Democrats say they have given up trying to divine the motivations of Mr. Lieberman.