Democratic Elites Urge Progressive Block To Fold

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 10:30


There are a lot of actions that progressives can take to help progressive health care legislation become law. You can call members of Congress or the White House. You can attend town hall events. And, just as importantly, you can push back against the emerging elite Democratic opinion that the Congressional Progressive Caucus should drop its their threat to vote against health care legislation that does not include a robust public option.

If you have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, if you write letters to the editor, or even if you just talk to friends and family about politics, you need to help push back against this new line of elite opinion. Tell the Progressive Block to hold together. Explain to people why it is so important they hold together. Thank members of the Block for holding together. Please do this because, if we don't push back, then not only will the public option will die a swift death, but Progressives in Congress will have little to no voice in upcoming legislative fights.

First, some background. Sixty members of the House have signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi stating that they "simply cannot vote for" health care legislation that does not include a robust public option. Since 60 Progressives plus 178 Republicans represent a clear majority, this Progressive threat has, on numerous occasions, led Speaker Nancy Pelosi to state it is impossible to pass health care legislation through the House without a public option. This is the Progressive Block strategy on health care, which seeks to block the Democratic leadership from something they value highly (in this case, a health care bill) unless Progressives receive a major progressive concession in return (in this case, a robust public health care option).

The administration is clearly aware of this strategy, as Rahm Emanuel said last Wednesday (emphasis mine):

"We have heard from both chambers that the House sees a public plan as essential for the final product, and the Senate believes it cannot pass it as constructed and a co-op is what they can do," Mr. Emanuel said. "We are cognizant of that fact."

Given this situation, if the Progressive Block were to disband, and if its members were to announce they would support any health care legislation (as Paul Begala urged them to do in a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, as Bill Clinton urged them to do on Friday night at Netroots Nation, and as Paul Krugman might have done in his column today), the co-op proponents in the Senate would immediately win. A public option of any sort, much less a "robust" one, would be dead. And that isn't all:

  1. The House Rules committee would merge the three existing House health care bills, and in the process make the final product weaker than any of those three.
  2. The Senate Finance committee would immediately come out with a bill even weaker than the one proposed by Kent Conrad.
  3. The Senate HELP and Finance committee would merge their two bills into something even weaker than the Finance committee's bill.
  4. The Senate would weaken that bill on the floor via amendments.
  5. The House would weaken their bill on the floor via amendments.
  6. When the House and Senate bills are merged in the conference committee, the bill would get even weaker still.
The only reason this has not happened already is because Progressives have indicated they might vote against health care legislation, rather than stating they would support said legislation no matter what form it takes. The result of this Progressive Block (and yes, the k is intentional) has been actual examples of leftward, strengthening movement in the legislative process on health care. For example, Senator Hagan was forced to do a 180 degree turn on the public option, rather than being able to strip it from the Senate HELP bill ala Colin Peterson. In the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman was forced to give back some of the compromises he made to Blue Dogs, instead of Blue Dogs on other committees tacking on even more demands.

While these are not monumental leftward shifts, it is monumental that there has been anything but right-ward slides in this process. In 2009, for all legislation without a Progressive Block making real demands, there has been only one direction the legislation has moved: backward. From the first proposal and drafting of the legislation, to the final defeat and / or passage of the legislation, all legislation without a Progressive Block has consistently grown weaker and less progressive.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act is a good example of this. The bill was first introduced as a "discussion draft" on March 31st. Lacking a Progressive Block drawing a line on the bill, the legislation has only moved in one direction since that time. (More in the extended entry).

Chris Bowers :: Democratic Elites Urge Progressive Block To Fold
Here is the rightward, one-way drift of the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

  1. A discussion draft was introduced. Joe Romm, one of the leaders of the "pass anything" contingent, gave it a B+ (whatever these grading systems mean, anyway).
  2. The discussion draft was weakened in committee. Romm lowers his grade to B-
  3. Collin Peterson then got a hold of the bill on the Agriculture committee, and wins every single concession he asked for. No grade given from Romm.
  4. Despite rhetoric about strengthening and passing the legislation, behind the scenes many green groups fight against any attempts to strengthen the bill on the floor of the House.
  5. The ACES move to Senate, where Senator Harkin takes up the bill in Agricultural Committee. Harkin announces that he not only wants to keep all of Peterson's changes, but that he wants to go even further.
This weakening, right-ward slide of the ACES will continue at every step of the process. It will get weaker in other Senate committees. It will get weaker when the Senate committee bills are merged. It will get weaker on the floor of the Senate. And it will get weaker when the House and Senate bills are merged in conference. At every step of the process, there will be more giveaways to polluters, lower renewable energy standards, weaker regulations and other changes that make the bill more friendly to corporate interests.

The reason this happened is because many Progressives announced (or at least made it clear in some way) from the start that they will vote for any climate change legislation, no matter what it includes. This was the case for members of Congress as well as many large green groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters. Since no lines were drawn, Progressives effectively removed themselves from the negotiating process entirely.

Here is a series of propositions outlining this pattern:

  1. Group A has no demands, and will support Legislation X no matter what;
  2. Group B has demands, and will support Legislation X only when those demands are met;
  3. Group A considers Legislation X essential to pass;
  4. In order to pass Legislation X at all costs, Group A gives Group B everything it wants.
Too often, Progressives find themselves as Group A, and Blue Dogs as Group B. No wonder Blue Dogs have more influence. The only outcome from such a scenario is that Group A (Progressives) will give in to all of the demands from Group B (Blue Dogs). This happened on the stimulus, the housing bill, and the Employee Free Choice Act just as much as it is still happening to the ACES.

It would have happened in health care too, were it not for the Progressive Block demanding a public option. If Progressives had just announced they would support any bill, then the public option would already be dead, and Progressives would have no voice in the health care negotiating process whatsoever.

The Progressive Block is the reason for the different direction of negotiations on health care, and the reason why there is still even a chance for a public option. With the White House clearly not drawing a line in the sand, we have to keep the Progressive Block together, or else the public option is dead, and the rightward slide will become unstoppable.

In fact, a lot more than the public option will end up dead in the bill if the Progressive Block folds. The compromises will continue, both on health care and all other legislation that moves through Congress in 2009-2010. If Progressives fold on this Block, they will never be able to credibly form another one on any piece of legislation. Given all the noise they made on the public option, who would believe their threats on anything anymore?

As such, we have to fight against the emerging meme of Paul Begala, President Clinton (and maybe even Paul Krugman) and other elite opinion makers in the Democratic Party urging the Progressive Block to fold. If you have any means of pushing back against this emerging line of thought--letters to the editor, blogs, tweets, comments, discussions with family and friends--please, please don't hesitate to do so. Countering the elite push for the Progressive Block to fold is just as important as any other action we can take on health cre right now. Without the Progressive Block, not only will the public option be dead, but all progressives will have no voice in legislative negotiations in Congress.


Tags: , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

It appears (4.00 / 1)
at least with respect to the Public Option, the elites have been joined by Krugman.


Added (4.00 / 2)
I added Krugman to the list.

The push seems to be coming from everywhere now. I don't know if it is coordinated by the white House, but clearly Democratic Party elites have decided it is easier to pressure 60 House Progressives than it is to pressure a dozen Senate Conservadems.

That isn't surprising to me, since historically the Progs have been easier to pressure than the Blue Dogs or the Consservadems. Past Progressive collapses have put them in a tough spot here.


[ Parent ]
A stray thought this morning (4.00 / 2)
on a conference call with no end: we talk about how all the pressure is to the right on this bill.

Getting to 50 votes in the Senate on the PO may be a game changer.  If Obama has the votes to push through a bill on reconciliation, he may not have to use it because the whole dynamic of the negotiations will change.

At that point the train will be leaving the station, and the incentives of the various players will change significantly.

I still think, though, the real fight is about whether HC is a government entitlement.    


[ Parent ]
If Krugman is joining in (4.00 / 2)
it's not controlled by the White House. If anyone doesn't take orders from the White House, it's Krugman.

[ Parent ]
I am not politically astute but it seems that for several weeks now (0.00 / 0)
there seems to have been trial balloons floated for other alternatives to public option such as Wyden-Bennett bill.

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

[ Parent ]
Even Nate Silver (4.00 / 2)
is starting to contemplate what we can still accomplish without a public option.

Forget politics for a moment -- what about from a policy standpoint? The fundamental accomplishments of a public option-less bill would be to (1) ensure that no American could be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or because they became sick; (2) subsidize health insurance coverage for millions of poor and middle-class Americans.

Pretty, but I am Jack's underwhelmed smirk.


[ Parent ]
It's Massachusetts-care... (4.00 / 4)
That's what a public option-less bill would be. And would so many Democratic elites still be urging us to accept this "compromise" if a President Romney were proposing this instead of President Obama? Just look at what's happening there. Costs have ballooned, the subsidies are never enough, the HMOs are gouging the state, and there are still far too many thousands of families with no coverage or inadequate coverage.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

[ Parent ]
Nate is NOT our best freind, 'even' is not apporopriate (4.00 / 3)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
"No public option, no deal" (4.00 / 13)
That's the position I'm urging my local blue dog to take when I go to his town hall this week.

I figure, he probably has his own (blue dog) reasons for opposing reform, but why not give him another? It's not often he gets to make people like me happy.

Montani semper liberi


No Public Option, No Deal (4.00 / 6)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I'll be sending another message to my... (4.00 / 4)
Congresscritter and ask her to vote for HR 3200 ONLY if it has a strong public option and other pro-consumer reforms like prescription drug price negotiation power. HMOs shouldn't be allowed to hold us hostage, and Kent Conrad shouldn't be allowed to make our health care choices for us. For all the conservative talk of "government takeover", why aren't they looking in the mirror and noticing how their allies in government want to control our health care decisions by forcing us to buy overpriced HMOs?

And btw, I'll also be asking Mr. Majority Leader again to stand by his support for the public option.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.


Begala & FUCKING SELL OUT Clinton, Who needs (4.00 / 1)
fascists trying to keep you as a doormat, bootlicker, asswipe, ...

it is obvious that while clinton sold his soul (although, several people I repect feel clinton never had a soul to sell) for his 50 million in speaking fee gigs -

he apparantly doesn't have enough to turn on his paymasters.

If I was stuck in a foxhole and they stuck a sell out in the hole with me ... I might fix things so that the only people in hte hole was people I could trust.

this ain't a foxhole - WHY do we give space, time, energy, money ... ANYTHING to these fucking sell outs?

rmm.  

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way


I don't get it (0.00 / 0)
I sincerely don't understand why the public option is essential.  What's essential is decent universal coverage that's genuinely affordable to everyone.  I agree with the general argument that progressives need to insist on things and refuse to vote for bad bills.  I'm for single-payer, but I agree with Krugman that it's possible to have a reasonable system based on regulated private insurance, with subsidies for lower income people.  If we go in that direction, I'm quite sure we'll have to fight for necessary regulations and sufficient subsidies.  I'm afraid the public option has turned into something magical for some progressives.  I could be convinced that it's essential to a decent bill, but haven't been yet.

You Said It (4.00 / 13)
What's essential is decent universal coverage that's genuinely affordable to everyone.

Without a robust public option, coverage simply won't be affordable. (Not to mention how the private companies are guaranteed to exploit whatever loopholes Congress left for them in any final bill. A robust public option keeps both costs and rules honest.) Thus you end up with extremely angry Americans forced to buy private insurance with costs continuing to spiral out of control, and with increasingly inadequate subsidies. (As costs escalate, perversely there's even more pressure to reduce subsidies.)

The Congressional Budget Office is crystal clear about this: no public option, higher costs.

Think that'll help the Democratic Party stay in power? No, it's a trainwreck. The Progressive Caucus is trying to help save the Democratic Party from suicide.


[ Parent ]
Here is why: (4.00 / 6)
There is a real question whether this sentence is possible without a public option:
"What's essential is decent universal coverage that's genuinely affordable to everyone."

There is a connection between getting to universal coverage and the cost of that coverage.  Without cost containment, uhc will be increadibly expensive.

That does not mean, though, that it will be impossible.


[ Parent ]
No, it isn't. (4.00 / 3)
it's possible to have a reasonable system based on regulated private insurance, with subsidies for lower income people

Again, look at Massachusetts. "Romney-care" isn't working as advertised. They never funded the subsidies as much as needed (just as Congress looks to possibly do), and the HMOs still have free reign to gouge the state and deny coverage to hundreds of thousands of families. A strong public option is necessary to give consumers real choice and prevent HMOs from building monopolies in their respective regions (giving them even more power to charge more, provide less, and suck up even more taxpayer dollars).

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.


[ Parent ]
Yeah but (4.00 / 1)
at lot of the problems with RomneyCare are because of problems on the national level, not with the system itself.

Although I agree a better system would work better.


[ Parent ]
Well, of course... (4.00 / 2)
The national level problems don't help. But nonetheless, the worse problems are with the Romney-care system itself. It was badly underfunded from the start and allowed the HMOs to continue f*cking up the system as they know best. I have friends in MA that know the system well. They've experienced it firsthand and knows that it didn't work for their state and clearly won't work nationally.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

[ Parent ]
an unrelated thing (4.00 / 3)
I agree with your assessment of what's essential.

The problem is that none of the plans on offer provide for such genuinely affordable universal coverage. Not even the public option. It's simply the least worst.

We are making a big mistake to pin our plans on subsidies. People hear "subsidies" and think "welfare" which to them means "money for lazy shiftless people" which really means "money for people who aren't me". They're always the first target of cuts, they'll be what the Clintons and Bayhs of the future campaign against to prove their "toughness" or whateverness. Maybe if they were very, very generous subsidies, covering nearly all of the costs for everyone but the very top top brackets, so that everyone was getting a significant benefit from them, you might have a program that could last more than two administrations. Maybe.

We're just too cheap to save money. It's sad.

not everything worth doing is profitable. not everything profitable is worth doing.


[ Parent ]
If the Progressive Bloc folds on this, how many years until they regain any credibility? (4.00 / 5)
Or decades (or months, for that matter)?

Also, isn't the converse true? I.e., if they sink a public-option-less bill, won't they gain credibility? Also, wouldn't the resulting publicity force future debates to be more honest and inclusive?

If it's true that the Progressive bloc folding will damage their credibility for years, wouldn't this actually be a key reason to sink a sink a public-option-less bill? What good are a bunch of doormats, except to demoralize citizens who are still looking for "change they can believe in", no matter where they may find it?

As far as I, personally, am concerned, Obama has no credibility, at all. I would hate to come to the same conclusion about the Progressive Boc....

==============================

This is an aside, but has anybody noticed any advertising which underscores the difference between what Americans pay in healthcare costs vs. Europeans of the more advanced nations? As far as I can tell, the 'debate' is improperly framed even in terms of advertising. Of course, the natural questions that would arise and get firmly implanted in one's brain, if such a bottom-line advertising were to occur, is "Why is our healthcare so expensive and is the proposed solution going to bring down our costs to European levels?"


435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


Let me frame this another way. (4.00 / 2)
If it's true that "In politics, winning makes you stronger, and losing makes you weaker", aren't we being asked about whose strength is more important to us, Obama's or the Progressive Bloc's?

If that's my choice, I most certainly care more about the strength of the Progressive Bloc.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Both (4.00 / 4)
That's just it. Obama looks very weak right now, trending weaker. Any bowl of Jello can collapse -- it doesn't take much talent. Right now Obama is negotiating with Chuck Grassley, of all people, which makes Obama practically a eunuch.

[ Parent ]
I disagree. (4.00 / 5)
A visit with the progressive c aucus would help us feel better, but real person to pserson contact ensuring support and counting votes, including votes that will be forced out from the soft on Public Option mob, is the way to win.

Start building the 50% + 1 bill right now. Get the prog caucus to start writing the bill, a much better bill and send toward reconciliation.

A little discipline, a lot of spine and

"aye ready aye"

There is one group ready to defend the American people, that is the story that needs being told, the heroes of congress.

Lets develope that story, lets write that story, lets spread that story.

The compromise has already been made, if you back away, we take to first choice. Single Payer.

Its robust public option or single payer, that's the bottom line.

As I am sure lambert and most of us will all agree, the robust public option is a compromise, barely acceptable already.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Hear, hear! (4.00 / 5)
Let the centrists lose this one, and come back and try again.

But the price of progressive support goes up with inflation -- next time it's single payer.

Montani semper liberi


[ Parent ]
"aye ready aye" (4.00 / 1)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Love it - bargain from a position of strength ALWAYS (4.00 / 3)
and it doesn't hurt that evidence shows it would actually work.

[ Parent ]
Aye! (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I don't care if Obama is "trending weaker" (0.00 / 0)
If your argument is that if he trends weak enough, then this would cause Obama to act like an out-and-out Republican, I suppose that's something to think about, but I still don't care about his credibility, at the expense of the credibility of the Progressive Bloc. He should have cared about his own credibility, more, which would have (I believe) easily allowed him to retain a higher job approval rating.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Deja vu all over again (4.00 / 9)
This so reminds me of the FISA debate where progressives won several battles to force Congress to not give in to a free pass for the telecom industry only to see Congressional Dems (including Obama) cave even though they had the power to do differently. Even more galling, they ripped that hole in the Bill of Rights only four days after Independence Day last year.

This must be all about money and perceived weaknesses among various factions. We can't do much about the money, except call out people, but it would help to have a list of the 60 House progressives and their basic contact information (e.g. email and phone numbers). That, at least, would let people push back early and often.


WH is in trouble. They feel they have to salvage something. (4.00 / 4)
They screwed up by allowing the Senate which is owned by any industry with big money to draft something.  They screwed up with the messaging.  They have lost control of the entire process.  They have shied away from every fight in this process in the interest of "bipartisanship".

Now, they are making the mistake of underestimating the support for public option and alienating the one group that is willing to fight for the necessary reforms.


RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.


They they they. Holy crap we have been in the woods for so long there isnt a sinlge one of us that can say we. A single one that can say I? (4.00 / 2)
We are a frakkiing coalition. This is your job. If robust single payer doesn't pass it is RebelCapitalist's fault.

You fault. You have not been working for this one quarter hard enough, you have not been working one 1/4 smart enough, you have not formed even a third of the working groups necessary to public power.

WE.

We are responsible for the Bill. Saying "they are fuckers" is only a dodge of personal responsibility.

When for heaven on earth's sake will we all take responsibility for our lives and planet and the things our principles say we must do.

Bush was elected because we  were stupid, weak and completely self involved.

Knowing what needs to be done, and blaming someone else for not doing it is a moral failure.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
WE should continue to do what needs to be done but (4.00 / 3)
With all due respect, coalition my ass.  In a coalition members stick together.  WE have been moved to sidelines time and time again - one example negotiations w/ Big Pharma.  OUR interests are disregarded time and time again.

WE are treated as the step-child of the Democratic Party. WE are there to fight the tough fight but the fighting gets tough the Party bails on US.  WE are the reliable source for campaign volunteers and campaign contributions.

WE are about to be placed in a game of chicken by the Party leadership: are WE willing to accept health care reform in some weak-ass form or nothing.  

WE don't control the process and have very little say. Obama Administration tells us "trust us."  What have done to indicate that WE should "trust" them?

WE should not accept weak-ass health care reform. Yes, we should fight for public insurance option and not accept anything less (WE have sacrificed enough).  If we lose then so be it.  

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.


[ Parent ]
You deserve a response, and your points are clear (0.00 / 0)
I will post later, or in a diary and I will make sure you see it. I am very hot, its over ninety in my house, near 34 centigrade, I must eat  etc.

But before I go, I mean you as an example, and I included my errors in my criticism.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Moving from protest, taking responsibility. (4.00 / 2)

With all due respect, coalition my ass.  In a coalition members stick together.  WE have been moved to sidelines time and time again - one example negotiations w/ Big Pharma.  OUR interests are disregarded time and time again.

Our interests aren't disregarded by our allies, a clear distinction has to be made in every case of support for the ones that have continued to exhibit spine, show steel and declare that they have compromised too much already. Here are a few examples from the last few days in response to the smoke of failure the MSM has been spreading, aided by the "soft on public option" crowd.

   "A bill without a public option won't pass the House," said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of Energy & Commerce Health subcommittee.

   Privately, the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus sent the same message to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius,

   "To take the public option off the table would be a grave error; passage in the House of Representatives depends upon inclusion of it," wrote Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

"60 Members of Congress who are firm in their position that any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the president's signature, MUST contain a public option."

   Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a member of the Health subcommittee and a close friend of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said a healthcare bill without a government-run insurance plan would be difficult to move out of the House in part because liberals are right now accepting less than what they want.
   
"I think it would be very tough," said Eshoo. "There are those who view themselves as having already compromised on single-payer."

And maybe this is the most telling, the most powerful, the strongest message in the article

   "It's a reminder to all of us that we have to stick with this and approach it like a campaign," said Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America and Howard Dean's brother. "I wasn't necessarily unhappy with the statements. It just told me we've got to get to work."

   Doing just that, Jim Dean sent an email to Democracy for America's email list Monday that stated in bold: "A Healthcare bill without a public option is D.O.A. in the House. Period."

This is allies working, without mincing words, to make sure    we know where the barricade is built, and our determination to defend it.

And this is why the following is wrong, it isn't descriptive, it doesn't reward friends, it doesn't punish the backsliders, its doesn't help with the oft stated goal of openleft and progressives in general of "electing more better democrats." I want Darcy Burner in congress.

WE are treated as the step-child of the Democratic Party. WE are there to fight the tough fight but the fighting gets tough the Party bails on US.  WE are the reliable source for campaign volunteers and campaign contributions.
And next.
WE are about to be placed in a game of chicken by the Party leadership: are WE willing to accept health care reform in some weak-ass form or nothing.  
There is a "game" being played. Its got very real consequences, and very real rules. A game of chicken is one way to describe it. Chris Bowers laid out one game board for us all to see:
Here is a series of propositions outlining this pattern:

  1. Group A has no demands, and will support Legislation X no matter what;
  2. Group B has demands, and will support Legislation X only when those demands are met;
  3. Group A considers Legislation X essential to pass;
  4. In order to pass Legislation X at all costs, Group A gives Group B everything it wants.

You can say, I want a different game, the rules are odd, unfair and hard to follow. No argument, but to get it done, just as if this was the video game Halo, or Civilization II or baseball, except in this game if you don't do it right, the children die. They really die. Anmd we can hate the damn game, we can regret that the game is stacked, or we can do as one poster has declared he is going to do, work to change the rules and constitution instead. 14,000 die each year because they dont have coverage or have a shameful thing called 'inadequate coverage' - and the music has started, the national anthem has been sung, the pitcher is on the mound, and we have to try and win. OK I know its hateful, but thats where we are.

Do we take responsibility.

WE don't control the process and have very little say. Obama Administration tells us "trust us."  What have done to indicate that WE should "trust" them?

WE should not accept weak-ass health care reform. Yes, we should fight for public insurance option and not accept anything less (WE have sacrificed enough).  If we lose then so be it.  

Yes, we don't control the process, and yes we demand just as you say, the compromise our allies are willing to stake their, our, whole Democratic Party on.

White House Press Secretary Gibbs said, "Sebelius misspoke," "nothing has changed," the President has and still does support and "expects a public option" to be part of the final Bill.

Krugman says that President Obama's constant support of the public option is a strong signal.

I agree with you in your final paragraphs that we have all compromised enough, that single payer is the best, simplest, cheapest way forward. I agree we that we must stick together and let the Bill Fail without a public option. More than let it fail, but urge its being voted down: Kill the Bill.

I am sorry if my frustration seemed to take you as its target, that was random. We have to take responsibility as if it the whole damn was our job. If it doesn't happen, its our fault. We have allies, strong principled allies, we have to use them, pressure them and reward them and getr them more power. Get each other more power, more effectiveness.

There is a difference between the voice of powerless protest. We have been in the desert for a long time., where the only thing we could do was shout, and keep true to our principles. Now it is morally and ethically a different situation. We can do much much more. That requires that we "play" more intelligently. We means me. If my post on your comment had been this long or I had tried to be this clear, I would not have to explain it.

But I stand by my point completely. We are responsible for Bush being elected. Hundreds of thousands are dead because we didnt stop it. We are responsible for getting families healthcare reform.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Agreed. (4.00 / 2)
Agreed.  I offer this sports cliche: "WE can't leave anything in the tank."

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

[ Parent ]
Thank you. Thank you very much. (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
If I'm obliged to will something into exisitence (4.00 / 2)
I'm not going to waste my will on something petty like a "public option", I'm going to fight for Constitutional reform.

Get the big things right, and the rest is cake.


[ Parent ]
Okay dokey. I am not sure that many will thank you. (0.00 / 0)
But thats your right.  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
The 'reform elements' as it stands now is all about covering pre-existing conditions (4.00 / 4)
and eliminating recission.

Cost control?

Without a public option?

L.A.U.G.H.A.B.L.E

Talk about making a problem worse...

But does Rahm care - and I'm starting to be convinced - Obama as well?

No, visions of the signing photo op are dancing before their eyes.

Hope?

Try mega dose of cynicism settling in.


As Rahm has stated in prior interviews ... (4.00 / 4)
he only gives a shit about a bill to sign .. he really doesn't care what is in it

[ Parent ]
So we know what his bottom line is. (4.00 / 3)
And we know what our bottom line is.
And we know whop the heros are, the ones who will deny a bill to Rahm. Our heros. It is oyur job to spend as much time as possible getting their back. One extra spoonful of ceral is too much, three posts on some loser is too many. Every ounce of our effort now is shoring up, standing firm and p[sreading the message of our heroes the progresive caucus.

They have drawn the line in the sand. Call them all, send them emails, pay for ads that praise their efforts call for demos to support them.

THIS is the fight of our time. This is where the tires meet the road, this is where the crow bar must be placed.

Any other political action till the reconciled public option state single payer) health reform bill is passed is WASTED effort.

This is the fight of our time. This is defeating Bush, this defeating McCain, this is marching for civil rights, this is stopping the vietnam war.

What we do next, will be completely dependant on what we do here today.

   We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
   For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
   Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
   This day shall gentle his condition:
   And gentlemen in England now a-bed
   Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
   And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
   That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day"

Help the Progressive caucus heroes defend their line in the sand. No Public Option, No Deal.

   We few, we happy few, we band of sisters;
   For she to-day that sheds her blood with me
   Shall be my sister; be she ne'er so vile,
   This day shall gentle her condition:
   And gentlewomen in England now a-bed
   Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
   And hold their womanhoods cheap whiles any speaks
   That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day"

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
To "get their back", isn't it best to take extraordinary measures, such as... (4.00 / 3)
setting up a web site where citizens can commit to supporting members of the Progressive Bloc who don't fold, with X hours of their time as volunteers, during their next campaign? It would only take a few minutes to sign up, so it wouldn't distract citizens from other means of supporting the "line in the sand", right now.

I think if I was a Congress critter, I'd be much more impressed and strengthened by commitments to support my next run, than just the regular email or fax.

The healthcare bill fight is, if not extraordinary, at least pivotal. If progressives see it this way, in general, shouldn't they support Congress critters who are on their side in an extraordinary way?

Note that, with a bloc consisting of 60 or so members, there's probably at least one such member in everybody's state. If it's still a long trip to their district, then they can limit their commitment to, say, 8 hours (i.e., 1 day).

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
OK I re-read this post, and I think its fantastic! (4.00 / 1)
I will work like hell to get you elected if you stand firm.

Iwillworklikehelltogetyouelectedifyoustandfirm.com if you will.

Great planning and good idea metamars! Sorry for my earlier confusion!

Can anyone here help with this? can it be added to my.barrackobama.com or organizing for America, or itys site, or through actblue? Or TPM or dkos....

who can help?

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Thanks. I thought it was such a good idea that I emailed it to Chris Bowers (4.00 / 1)
The only reason I didn't email it to any other front pager is because they don't publish their email addresses. :-)

I'm sure that Thom Hartmann would like the idea (at least if he is convinced that he is supporting a strong public option), and was about to post the idea on his website.

I'm not sure if you were serious about "Iwillworklikehelltogetyouelectedifyoustandfirm.com" or not, but I seriously suggest a shorter name. What that name is, exactly, isn't so important as pushing it around the blogsphere, unions, pnhp (not sure if they'd support it, since they're focussed on single payer), etc.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Not serious about the name. (0.00 / 0)
I like humor too much. I make clever comments too often, I write too fast, and can't type to save my life (to save the country).

This is a great idea.

We ahve to let others know, this should become the frame of the debate going forward. I can see touring caucus members defending their datand, asking for support.

For the Public the Public Option is not Optional.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
:-) (4.00 / 1)
I posted a request to Thom Hartmann, in his forum, here.

My email to Chris Bowers went out at 2:06 EST, still no reply.

BTW, if anybody knows Thom Hartmann, please ask him to update his advertisement for his book "Screwed". It ends with the sentence "Get "Screwed" by Thom Hartmann!", and, I'm sorry, but that just doesn't sound right. :-)

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Hmm (0.00 / 0)
My email client says 2:06 pm, but I sent the email after my post, which is logged at 14:36. Either way, it was a short while, ago.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
lol (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
The Colorado town hall was pro-public option.. (4.00 / 3)
Obama spoke more in favor of a public option than ever before at this townhall meeting in a very Conservative part of Colorado and did not get screamed at.

So how Emanuel and Sebelius can come out the next day and say no, is bizarre. But not really when you realize that as 'centrists' they got where they are by speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

No public option and I will work my ass off to make sure every encumbent/'Dog' is thrown out and Harry Reid is never the Majority Leader again.

And I sure as hell can't trust Obama holding firm against the Right ever again - which sadly is exactly what I think Rahm Emanuel and his 'Dogs' are up to.

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


Dean in '10! (4.00 / 4)


Montani semper liberi

Ditto! Gov. Dean just kicked Dr. Nancy's ass.. (4.00 / 2)
She made a derogitory comment towards the public option and Dean forced her to correct herself.

Another interesting note is that she asked Dean if, instead of the public option, he was for people under 65 buying into Medicare.  Of course, he had already advocated that in is Presidential bid. (Was she trying to trap him?)
The Right-wing Dr. Nancy then asked an insurance lobbyist if she would support that same alternative. "No", she said..."it's still a government run"... "single payer" blah blah.

If Obama loses this war - it's Rahm Emanuel who wins.  

 

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
Oops (0.00 / 0)
I meant '12. Got seduced by the alliteration.

Anyway I already know what my bumpersticker will say, "Another DFH for Dean."

Montani semper liberi


[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
so we can elect another Democrat to disappoint those with delusions of grandeur.  

[ Parent ]
I'm perfectly willing (0.00 / 0)
to cross that bridge when I get to it. We gave Obama a chance, didn't we? If he drops the ball, it's time to put someone else in.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Where can Dean Run in 2010? (4.00 / 1)
Thats a campaign I'd support.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
And look at the stock market today ... (4.00 / 5)
stocks are tanking(kinda) .. yet health care related stocks are going up ... what does that tell you?

Nothing has happened... (4.00 / 8)

 ...that wasn't anticipated by the progressive blogosphere.

 We reminded the Obama administration of the Kristol memo from 1993. We reminded them that the Republicans had no interest in advancing ANY health care reform. We reminded them that having no bill going into August would result in a massive media blitz by the insurance industry to erode public support for reform. We reminded them that their messaging was weak and scattershot, just like it's been for Democrats for over two decades.

 The White House did nothing about these problems.

 Obama owns this failure. It was completely voluntary and avoidable. All he had to do was ditch this "bipartisanship" talisman and he would have retained control of the narrative.

 But I'm sure he caved on the public option because it will inevitably result in glowing media coverage for his administration's precious "bipartisanship". It always works that way, right?

 

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


Ditch macro, too (4.00 / 1)
He may need to decide policy on a macro level but he needs to sell it on an individual level.  Why is the plan better for people with insurance?  Easy, no obe gets eliminated for pre-exisating illnesses.  The big rate benefits for corpations are gone and snall businesses and individuals benefit by lower rates.  The insurance companies and their profits, overhead, scams and paperwork get real competition on a level playing fiels and have to serve you or get booted out.

So ... lower cost, no pre-existing illnes, no lost medical care if you lose your job, real competitition, lower costs,

That's the story.  Not macro stuff or how we really will be supporting the insurance companies.  The government health care programs, particularly Medicare, work.  They would have worked better if the Republicans and Blue Dogs had not gotten their hands on them.


[ Parent ]
Obama hasnt caved on Public Option (0.00 / 0)
Your constant repetition of the lie calls your commitment or goals into question.

The true battle now is the progressive caucus and public speaking in favour of their line in the sand.

We have compromised enough, we stand with the progressive caucus, and because of this:

Obama spoke more in favor of a public option than ever before at this townhall meeting in a very Conservative part of Colorado and did not get screamed at.

we stand with Obama.

I stand with Obama and the progressive caucus. Reconcile the best bill. No Public Option, No Deal.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
It's time to focus on those Dogs in the Senate.. (4.00 / 2)

100 Progressives can hold down the House, but since we all promised we wouldn't be killing any old people what do we do about the Senate??

We publicly rub the old Dog's noses in the mess they've created.  Start publishing their names and phone numbers!

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
I agree with your efforts. (0.00 / 0)
I want to praise and demand and draw the line.  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Rahm (0.00 / 0)
So Rahm, respecting the power of the Block, promotes the liberal side instead of the Blue Dogs.  Perhaps I'm not as naive as some would think.  Just say'n.

Reality (1.00 / 4)
Does anyone really know how much money we have left?  Hello?!?! Except for George Soros and Bill Gates, we're broke folks.  Wait until this next foreclosure wave hits.  Over-half of Americans want the unspent TARP money returned.  Want health care? Buy it.  Dont have it...wait in lines at the Free Clinic, unless your'e STAT rolling into the ER.  Babies?  Plan for them...AHEAD OF TIME.  No more freebies.  Check-ups,follow ups,flu visits,etc, pay for them out of your pocket.  These visits wont cost as much as they do know, cuz we're paying for people who dont, but get the same care.  NO MORE FREEBIES.  Get the Government out of health insurance micro-management.  Many Federal and State laws hinder affordable health care insurance.  There now.  Those changes didn't hurt anyone except for those riding the system, or the Government looking for more tax dollars to spend.

Please define (4.00 / 1)
"freebies"


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Freebies (1.00 / 4)
I know someone who had her teeth cleaned,filled and a partial made while she was pregnant under Medicaid; of course, her prenatal visits, delivery, well-baby, all free.  No Daddy. She chose it that way. Also, anchor babies, i.e. freebie. I.E. The state of California-broke!  Most hospitals "give-away" medical care costs, as a way to reduce their taxes.  They weren't going to get paid for it anyway.

[ Parent ]
So, your plan is to stop (4.00 / 1)
providing prenatal care and childbirth services to those on Medicaid?  To what end?

If hospitals "gave away" medical care on a regular basis, who would need insurance?


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
freebies (1.00 / 4)
Exactly.  When my HUSBAND and I had our kids, we had JOBS and health insurance.  We planned it that way.  We've taken the word responsibility away from parenthood.  It'll take a few years to settle into the brains of those expecting freebies...but they'll get the message.  Hospitals carry unpaid balances--they write-off some of these as tax deductions.

[ Parent ]
I'm with you on the responsibilty issue (0.00 / 0)
But, I don't think that taking support away from the lower end of the economic scale is the way to make the system work. Do you expect that all the poor, sick people who get cut-off from Medicare will go out and get jobs the next day? Doubtful. They'll either die in the streets, or get their primary medical care at the Emergency room and we'll end up paying even more. Unless you also advocate turning poor people away from the Emergency Rooms.



"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I'm with you... (1.33 / 3)
If State/local/Fed government, went out of business tomorrow, what would people do?  We would have to improvise, share, help, struggle, for ourselves and our neighbors.  Big gov. is not the answer.  Bill Clinton's revamping of welfare is a great example.  Until Obama came into office, new and existing welfare numbers went down and stayed there.  Americans are beginning to live on one big plantation.  Yes, taking away some of this free stuff "For the collective good", would be a smart move.

[ Parent ]
Bulllshit. (4.00 / 1)
We tried it your way and it was hell. Read Charles Dickens if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
As much as it pains my anarchal heart to admit it (0.00 / 0)
I think that if the governments went out business tomorrow the US would disintegrate into armed camps. Not "Mad Max", more like the Balkans, or the middle ages with vastly improved firepower.

I don't think you deserve that TR.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Bullshit. (4.00 / 1)
Big democracy is the answer. Government of the people (we understand that right?) by the people (whoa that's us! making choices) for the people (oh! Oh my god! the government of the democracy is for the people)

Say it again democracy is FOR the people. Lincoln said that. Greatest President Ever.

Democracy is always the answer, only the crazy right doesnt see that. We can organize ourselves to win. We organize ourselves to  

to improvise, share, help, struggle, for ourselves and our neighbours.
Why wait till the system crashes under the weight of greed and irresponsibility.  Why not require a little responsibility, why hand over the economy to someone just because he figured a way to cheat the system with "derivative' bullshit.


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
You really want to punish (0.00 / 0)
children for the sins of their parents?

I hope you don't believe in God. He has a strong opinion about stuff like that.

Montani semper liberi


[ Parent ]
What? (0.00 / 0)
Didn't God punish HIS kid for OUR sins? Where's the justice in that?


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
God did not, under most christian teaching, punish his son... (0.00 / 0)
The twin god heads, god and christ, knew humans were just plain selfish and stupid enough that that would happen, despite the ghost of god in all of us, and let it happen, so that humans could be given redemption in the sacrifice.

And it really did hurt, in this story, or it would not have been a sacrifice. "Why hast thou forsaken me."

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
It was a joke (4.00 / 1)
I stretched the bible story to fit the parameters of the on-going discussion.

Christ also went willingly.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
That's another story! (0.00 / 0)
But God's liberal Jewish son said anyone who touches a hair on the heads of his little ones will have hell to pay. I just wonder how many of these social conservatives ever take those words to heart.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Come on, folks, you may not like this opinion, but that's not a TR case! (0.00 / 0)
Remember, we don't use trollrating as a weapon in discussions here! We're not DKos, right?

[ Parent ]
This is nonsense, but not a TR case either! (0.00 / 0)
It's a rant based on bad personal experiences, which is understandable, and the conclusions are ridiculously wrong, but this is not verboten here. Don't hide this, let it stand here as an embarrassment for rainboskies!

[ Parent ]
Amazing (4.00 / 1)
how quickly the Democratic leadership is able to find its spine when it comes time to shut the Progressives up.  So be it - I could use the reminder that I'm independent for a reason.

Isn't it time? (0.00 / 0)
Isn't it time to leave the Democratic Party?

No. (4.00 / 1)
Now that they're starting to fight? Now that we have a bloc of 100 who are starting to act like Democrats?

Sideline yourself if you must but I wouldn't miss this for the world.

Montani semper liberi


[ Parent ]
No money = libertarian strategy (0.00 / 0)
This issue was decided a long time ago. Reagan's budget director boasted that they had deliberately created huge budget deficits so no spending on social programs could ever happen. Meanwhile health care non-profits, partly government funded, were privatized at ridiculously low sale prices (then sold in IPOS at multiples of the purchase price).  

USER MENU

Open Left Campaigns

SEARCH

   

Advanced Search

QUICK HITS
STATE BLOGS
Powered by: SoapBlox