It's Good to Be Wrong Sometimes

by: Mike Lux

Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 22:11


It's the jumpy season for health care reform, this end game with a thousand twists and turns. Rumors fly around, meetings happen where things said get misinterpreted. Senators get nervous, groups get nervous, and your friendly neighborhood blogger and consultant gets called sometimes.

All of this is natural to an intense legislative battle, and (some of the time) it's healthy too, because trial balloons get popped or false rumors get discredited. So here's my story: a worried Senator, and a couple of groups working on the health care battle, called me last night to tell me they were extremely nervous that the White House was on the verge cutting a deal with Olmpia Snowe on her trigger-that's-not-a-trigger amendment. That rumor got combined with a story about the White House discouraging a floor fight over the public option, and suddenly a lot of folks were very upset, especially because things were moving fast in the Finance committee.

I wrote a story about what I was hearing this morning, and by the end of the day, it now looks like my sources and I jumped the gun. The White House has denied, on the record to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, they are pressuring anyone on the trigger proposal, and I have been privately been told by very senior White House staffers that my report was wrong.

I am glad to hear that, because this trigger amendment is awful, written on purpose to avoid ever being triggered. But having things like this happen is a very good thing, because it provides some clarity as to what is happening in this debate. I don't think my sources were wrong to be nervous, there is a whole lot of deal cutting going on, and I am glad that the White House responded so clearly and firmly that they are not interested in pressuring anyone to support this rotten trigger idea. We still have a long way to go in this fight, and we don't know what will happen in the end game.

But for the moment, I've never been so pleased to have gotten it wrong.  

Mike Lux :: It's Good to Be Wrong Sometimes

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Then reconcile this (4.00 / 6)
via TPM:
"White House Trying to Pave the Way for Triggers"
"Off the record interviews and emails with reform leaders resulted in no denials, and two confirmations that Lux's account is correct."


Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

Exactly! That wasn't a denial. (4.00 / 5)
Really, it's the same as Ron Ziegler saying a story about bob Haldeman was "inaccurate". Yes, ok, the details were wrong. But Ziegler didn't say Haldeman was not guilty! And the crook was sent to jail.

And now, thre WH says "we didn't push it!". And tomorrow, or next week, or sometime we'll read in the paper "it has been confirmed before a grand jury that the WH shoved it" Same difference.


[ Parent ]
Conspiracy (4.00 / 1)
To discredit certain members of the left blogosphere?

To spread disinformation?

To deflect attention to some other matter?

How does it feel to be used?


[ Parent ]
I have some conspicions about what has been going on... (4.00 / 1)
..behind the scenes, but I have no evidence to back them up, and so it's all based on deuctions, and reasoning about the different motives behind the public actions. Nothing concrete, and I don't want to expose myself as a total fool by discussing them.

But I guess I can say at least this without acting too naive: We're bad adviced if we take any public statements from those involved in the reform at face value!


[ Parent ]
TPM has been wrong before. (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
You aren't wrong (0.00 / 0)
when you perceive that the fix is in. You're only wrong when you let these bastards force an act of contrition out of you. Why do you want to hang out with them anyway? That you're a good guy is obvious, but honestly, I never figured you for a masochist.

it's not an act of contrition. (4.00 / 2)
I did nothing wrong, so why would I be contrite. I wrote about what multiple credible sources told me, and I think there was a serious danger there, so I'm glad to have called the alarm. The WH now assures me that what I wrote about was not their intent, so I wrote that, too.

[ Parent ]
The assurances of the White House (4.00 / 2)
Now there's a phrase with a ring to it, to be sure. Neither of us actually know what the White House is up to. Maybe we should leave it at that. We don't, though, do we? We can't.

On the other hand, some sources say this, some sources say that, pretty much leave us in that dark which all sources prefer that we remain in. I suppose it's possible that they're not lying all the time about everything, but one thing is dead certain from their past track record: they don't they think we need to know. Our knowledge is a threat to their freedom of action. It really is that simple, Mike. For better or worse, that's the kind of politics you're mixed up in. I don't doubt that you believe that some good can be made to come of it, but I see no reason why I should.

I've watched President Obama all this time, just as you have, although from somewhat farther away. I can only draw one of two conclusions from what I've seen. Either a) he's trapped in a system which, after sixty years, is both incredibly powerful and incredibly self-destructive, or b) he likes being the king. Either way, if this goes as I expect it to go -- despite our best efforts -- them come the Fall of 2012, if some is still reporting on what the White House has assured them, I'll be reading something else.


[ Parent ]
You may not be wrong so much as premature (4.00 / 2)
As I said in quickhits, it would be odd for the White House to start pressuring progressive groups on the trigger this early. If Obama were ultimately going to support the trigger, it would be better for him to wait until the tail end of the process so as to sell us on the notion that he fought to his last breath for the public option and just couldn't make it happen.

Obviously the above is just speculation. I actually don't think Obama has made a final decision yet, but according to Harkin he has yet to whip up votes for the public option.


Ok, then let's talk about the recent news about the Baucus/phRMA deal. (4.00 / 4)
Quite devastating:
"In a stunning moment during the Senate Finance Committee markup Sen. Tom Carper defended a secret deal that the White House, Baucus, and PhRMA had reached. The White House has long denied the deal. Carper publicly acknowledges that part of the deal was that PhRMA would run millions of dollars worth of campaign ads in support of health care reform.

According to Carper the "golden rule" in Congress is that secret back room deals in exchange for advertising buys must be honored."
http://campaignsilo.firedoglak...

Remember, this comes for a Dem Seantor, not a Republican one. I'm already very excited about the WH denial, which will certainly arrive very soon. I suggest an anonymous administration official should say some thing like "The information that the WH was involved in a deal with PgRMA is not accurate". That should give them enough leeway if they were really only listening to Baucus negotiating, or if it really wasn't a deal at all, just some informal understanding. I'm sure they'll find a nice phrase that will cover their, uh, assets...  


Lux vs. Stein (4.00 / 5)
Not to parse words, but Lux seems more anxious to retract his own story than Stein does. Lux writes:

I wrote a story about what I was hearing this morning, and by the end of the day, it now looks like my sources and I jumped the gun. The White House has denied, on the record to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, they are pressuring anyone on the trigger proposal, and I have been privately been told by very senior White House staffers that my report was wrong.

Sam Stein (qualificaions italicized):

[G]roups and individuals who communicate regularly with the administration on health care matters insist that they have not been pushed recently to get comfortable with the trigger. And so did the White House itself.

"The story about us reaching out to groups is not accurate," an administration official told the Huffington Post. [But not accurate in what respect?]

All of which is not to dismiss Lux's report. Another well-connected reform activist told the Huffington Post that the White House has discussed the trigger as a palatable political compromise in the past. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is rumored to favor the approach as a means of getting legislation passed, having said as much as far back as early July.

Meanwhile, Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America's Future told The Plum Line's Greg Sargent on Wednesday that "it appears to me that the White House is not trying for any other strategy accept [sic] to satisfy Snowe with her version of the trigger."

At this juncture, however, the administration does not appear to be directly pushing its progressive base to get on board with the trigger option.  They might know it's a pill many in the party are unlikely to swallow.


So, who knows? Bottom line is that if Obama's policy position had any clarity to it at all, neither the original story nor the response would have been written.

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

Lux vs. Stein (4.00 / 1)
Not to parse words, but Lux seems more anxious to retract his own story than Stein does. Lux writes:

I wrote a story about what I was hearing this morning, and by the end of the day, it now looks like my sources and I jumped the gun. The White House has denied, on the record to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, they are pressuring anyone on the trigger proposal, and I have been privately been told by very senior White House staffers that my report was wrong.

Sam Stein (qualificaions italicized):

[G]roups and individuals who communicate regularly with the administration on health care matters insist that they have not been pushed recently to get comfortable with the trigger. And so did the White House itself.

"The story about us reaching out to groups is not accurate," an administration official told the Huffington Post. [But not accurate in what respect?]

All of which is not to dismiss Lux's report. Another well-connected reform activist told the Huffington Post that the White House has discussed the trigger as a palatable political compromise in the past. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is rumored to favor the approach as a means of getting legislation passed, having said as much as far back as early July.

Meanwhile, Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America's Future told The Plum Line's Greg Sargent on Wednesday that "it appears to me that the White House is not trying for any other strategy accept [sic] to satisfy Snowe with her version of the trigger."

At this juncture, however, the administration does not appear to be directly pushing its progressive base to get on board with the trigger option.  They might know it's a pill many in the party are unlikely to swallow.


So, who knows? Bottom line is that if Obama's policy position had any clarity to it at all, neither the original story nor the response would have been written.

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

Mike, what about this (4.00 / 5)
The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America campaign is putting pressure on some of its own members to accept the health care reform measure being debated in the Senate Finance Committee, even if it's not all they had hoped for - and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is among them.

The group was sending an e-mail to its Michigan mailing list today urging people to call Stabenow's office in Washington, D.C. They were being asked to "thank her for her work thus far and ask her to fight hard to pass health reform in the Senate Finance Committee."
....
In the e-mail, Organizing for America praised Stabenow for working toward health care reform. But it warned her against letting her desire for a public option get in the way of passage, saying, "The bill currently under consideration isn't perfect. But two weeks ago, in his address to Congress, President Obama reminded us all that while there are many details still unresolved, for the millions of Americans without insurance and the millions more who could lose their coverage at any time, failure is not an option."
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs...



But that's not pushing! (4.00 / 2)
Just a friendly reminder!
:D
Ah, damn, off to bed now...

[ Parent ]
Wow, that's the Detroit Free Press reporting on OFA (4.00 / 1)
Talk about a divided Democratic Party!! We've got Blue Dogs (almost Republican), ConservaDems (those who would respond to this message) and Progressives.

[ Parent ]
same message to WA (4.00 / 1)
Saw on Kos earlier that people of Washington got the same message with Maria Cantwell's name in the place of Stabenow's name.

Disturbing.


[ Parent ]
lots of levels to the game (0.00 / 0)
The WH is trying to do a bunch of things at once- get a bill out of Finance, court Snowe and conservative Dems for a floor fight, not piss off us lefties, etc. They are walking a tightrope. I think yesterday's events clarified some things and, frankly, pushed them back a bit on the Snowe deal. But there are still lots of things they are doing we won't like.  

[ Parent ]
For a lot of us this is not just a political exercise (4.00 / 1)
It is imperative that Congress pass legislation that provides good quality, affordable health care for real people who need it.

Any legislation that does not control costs is a fail IMO. Triggers that will never trigger or co-ops will not accomplish that task. Forcing people to purchase junk insurance that they can neither afford to purchase or use would be worse than doing nothing.

"We are about to force at least 30 million people into an insurance market where the sharks are circling," said California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a Democrat who served as the state's insurance commissioner for eight years. "Without effective protections, they will be eaten alive."

Soaring premiums coupled with millions of new customers forced to buy policies would likely mean higher costs for taxpayers to cover government subsidies for lower-income families and individuals.

They could also mean bigger bills for people who get benefits through work, as well as for their employers.
http://www.latimes.com/news/na...

I worked hard and contributed more than I should have to get the Dems a majority. If the Dems pass legislation without price controls, I will believe that they sold me out to the insurance industry. They can forget about any support from me in the future. I will go into "Throw the Bums Out" mode and work to unseat the Democratic incumbents that voted for it by supporting nothing but primary challenges. I will stay home in 2010 and will vote against Claire McCaskill, my Senator, in 2012, even if I have to vote Republican for the first time in my life.


[ Parent ]
Btw, Mike, I think you did a good job today! Kudos. (4.00 / 3)
You unselfishly exposed yourself to harsh criticism, for a higher goal. Imho that was in the best tradition of your family.

Somehow this reminds me of another Hornblower novel, an episode in the Caribbean...

But maybe I'm just interpreting too much into this. And I guess Chris' distraction about conspiracy theories fired my fantasy up. Also, it's early in the morning here, and I'm tired. GN, everybody! Stay careful.


Then Please Explain (4.00 / 5)
OFA pressuring Cantwell and Stabenow to back off the public option.  Unless now OFA isn't following Obama's orders because, you know, he's so powerless to do anything on healthcare.

Or this:

Congress will likely complete a health-care bill within six weeks, and a measure being drafted by the Senate Finance Committee may provide the basis for final legislation, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said. . . . Orszag signaled the administration doesn't consider a government-run insurance program essential to the legislation. He suggested it would be sufficient to either create nonprofit insurance-purchasing cooperatives or set "triggers" to activate a public option if needed to cut costs.

Unless, of course, Orzag is so stupid as to go off on his own on the Administration's alleged number one priority.   Again, I doubt it.  (As BTD points out, six weeks is after the deadline for reconciliation, so Snowe will become more powerful, not less thanks to Obama's brilliant 11 dimensional chess.)

Too many alleged activists have simply taken orders from the White House, which houses the guy who had Jim Cooper as one of his healthcare advisors and ran Harry & Louise ads during his election campaign.  Instead of "making him do it", too many people took the "sir, just tell me what to do, sir" approach and now any chance for any decent healthcare reform is collapsing because Obama has no interest in doing anything more than claiming a political victory (albeit only one that lasts until people realize how screwed they are) and keeping the insurance money flowing into his campaign coffers.   If people who care about this issue continue to look to him to lead and/or provide real reform, they are kidding themselves.  Obama hasn't provided real reform on any meaningful issue since he took office.  

"Progressives" need to either suck it up and do the work of building a social movement - separate from the Democratic Party - or they need to get out of the way of people - like PNHP - who are building such movements.  

Finally, I would like to echo something vastleft said recently - I would like to thank President Obama for throwing me under the bus so many times that I finally woke the fuck up.  Otherwise, I'd still be hoping he would change.  Screw that.  We need to make our own change.  Ain't nobody in Washington - at least in the leadership - going to do it for us.  Not in their interest.  


Pattern (4.00 / 4)
It seems like every day, excepting weekends, there is a version of this story.  One White House source says this, confirmed by somebody else...followed by an anonymous denial in the afternoon, followed by an ambigious summary in the evening.  It's a lot more like the Clinton campaign of January 2008 than the Obama campaign of, say, December 2007.  It's getting tiresome and even a little boring, bye to the campaign, hello governing -- I think we are in for a lot more of this before the wakeup call I expect after the 2009 off-year election in VA & NJ and 2010 -- not that anyone is sleeping.  If anything they probably need more sleep and less speeches in the White House.  I just hope it isn't as bad as 1994.  If the economy doesn't get better it could be worse.

In any case, if I was in the White House and I'm not -- I'd be a little more concerned about the Sherrod Brown's and Barbara Boxer's and just a little less about Olympia Snowe and anyone clse east of New Hampshire.  Just a little.  To quote the 43rd President "This is hard work."    


they must be divided (4.00 / 3)
The only explanation I can come up with for this situation where we hear first one thing, then the opposite, repeatedly is that the administration is divided, the staff is fighting each other, and Obama hasn't put his foot down or firmly chosen one way or the other.  So that would mean that there are White House staffers pushing Snowe's trigger, and other staffers against the idea, and Obama's taking a hands-off approach like the cautious middle-of-the-road consensus builder he is.

Problem is, that isn't going to work very well.


[ Parent ]
Yup, they really are sending mixed signals (4.00 / 1)
I think it would be great to have Snowe's support, even better McCain, and Collins, and a solid Democratic south and some of the GOP westerners and everybody else but the time is coming that to see the light they need to feel the heat and that goes for Dems too.  I don't think it is the end game yet, but at least the end is in sight.  Before the Senate is whipped into shape the White House needs to get with the program, whatever it is.

[ Parent ]
why can't it be by design? (4.00 / 1)
Busy the little people with various distractions and do the dirty work behind closed doors... taking advantage of misplaced loyalties in the name of "pragmatic progressivism", whatever that is.

[ Parent ]
It's simple math (4.00 / 1)
As much as they may want Snowe they face the very real problem that their 'compromises' can't get 50 votes, let alone 60. Anything that can't get 50 votes is an absolute non-starter. That's where coops and triggers are right now -- short of 50 -- and shorter in votes than a full PO bill.

When the Snowe gambit fails, the real civil war will begin if/when a 60 member Democratic caucus cannot invoke cloture on a bill supported by 50+ members of the caucus. That's the real nuclear scenario...

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans


[ Parent ]
Bye bye filibuster.... (0.00 / 0)
....and good riddance to bad rubbish.

[ Parent ]
Yup. (0.00 / 0)
Lots of players in the WH, lots of trial balloons and different strategies, lots of back-pedaling when things get messed up. health care is a complicated motherfucker.

[ Parent ]
It's better to err on the side of vigilance than to be dormant in this situation ... (4.00 / 9)
... lots of lives are at stake,

Z


It's All Good (4.00 / 4)
Regardless of the exact truth, it is good to force the administration to publicly back away from this.  My guess is the heart of your story is true but their denial isn't exactly false, either.  There are lots of moving parts and lots of actors.  When one member of the administration {cough}rahm{cough} tries to see how well he can push the trigger, another tries to come up with strategies that don't require Snowe.

Also, I believe the administration really wants this bill out of Baucus' committee.  Since it has to be reconciled with the HELP bill and, once it passes, the House bill anyway, Obama doesn't much care what is in the Baucus bill.  But even with all that, the details of the Baucus bill still matter and everyone knows it.

Lots of moving parts; lots of players.


You stepped in it, Mike (4.00 / 1)
Now, even your commenters here will not believe your retraction.  Because here at the Sirota Club of America, they KNOW Obama and the entire Democratic Party are worthless corporate towel boys.  Obama failed to turn us into Sweden by Jan. 21, 2009.  What more proof do you need?  As Ralph so presciently told us in 2000, as he ushered in eight wonderful years of George W. Bush, the parties are the same.

"here at the Sirota Club of America" Uh, pls, not all are members! (4.00 / 1)
Going there as a guest every now and then is good enough for me. I don't like to join such fanclubs. And I'm not the only one here who thinks so.

[ Parent ]
Utter garbage, and you know it. (0.00 / 0)
For one thing, it's generally the likes of Messrs. Bowers and Rosenberg who generally get the bulk of the front-page writing, and they have made it perfectly clear that they are quite content to push for something far less than 100% from Obama and the Democrats.

For another, you know for a fact that Nader was not responsible for eight years of Bush-Cheney.  There is absolutely NO credible evidence to suggest that Nader's measly single-digit showing was enough to allow the electoral fraud perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney campaign and its supporters over the top, nor is there any legitimate reason to ignore Gore's own monumental mistakes in campaigning and legal arguing.



[ Parent ]
The reason they "retracted" the story was that you made a stink (4.00 / 5)
It's not like you to make a big stink and be apocalyptic.

To them that means, someone like you does it, it must be really serious...enough to worry about.

Good...so make nice now

So when they float these awful trial balloons again...and they will keep doing it...and it must be pushed back.

So when you get angry again, and I fervently hope you do...Then they will once again know it's serious....

Eventually they might get it....it just might seep in..

And they'll realize the Progressive Caucus means it

The base will stay home

Independents will think they are nothing but a bunch of pass any bill grovelling wusses....

Because if they don't hear and act on what they hear.,they'll pass a bill that is morally bankrupt, economically bankrupting and a politcal whirlwind for the Democratic party.

Yelling is good for the soul...and the body politic.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"
Stoller


PS Yelling exercises the voice (0.00 / 0)
We need a voice...we need to exercise our voice more.

We shouldn't muffle ourselves....nor should you

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"
Stoller


[ Parent ]
It's not as though they're lying, right? (0.00 / 0)
The White House has denied, on the record to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, they are pressuring anyone on the trigger proposal, and I have been privately been told by very senior White House staffers that my report was wrong.

HuffPo broke the story about the White House making back room deals with Big Insurance and Big Pharma to gut health care reform.  Why should we believe the denials about the trigger?  Until we see actual legislative action, don't believe a word that comes from Obama or his goons.



I prefer… (4.00 / 1)
...to think of this turn of events as a tiny triumph, even if it's at Mike's expense. The Administration publicly backed away for now. Personally, I don't believe the President wants just any bill at this point--surely I'm in the minority around here--but unfortunately, the kind of legislative caution he practices generally plays to the right rather than the left. Yes, it's tiring, but the left always has to exert more force to get the desired result, even when the public's on our side. Question: When was the last time the left's fury was truly problematic for an Administration?

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

Or They're Playing You (4.00 / 2)
There has been no more helpful allies on telling the left to sit down and STFU than many of the allegedly progessive blogs.  In addition to the Administration and the ever-weak Congresscritters, they too have taken single payer off the table.  They are not agitating for better policy or even decent policy.  They are agitating for the "public option" and letting Obama and the Dem leadership define it essentially however they want (which - with no real policy-based pressure from the left - gets weaker by the day, surprise!).  

The Dems had a numbers problem going into this debate but it wasn't in the Senate.  The problem they have is that most Americans love Medicare and support Medicare for All.*  Most Americans voted for Obama and gave the Democrats large majorities thinking they would actually reform healthcare, which inevitably involves either Medicare for All or serious regulation of the insurance industry.  Yet, the Democrats can't support either of these things because their corporate overlords won't let them.  So how do you shut down even discussing what most Americans want?  You get all the alleged smart and serious people to tell the base (once again) that what they want isn't "politically feasible" (amazing that something most Americans want isn't politically feasible in a democracy) and you push a vague, undefined alternative like "public option" that sounds a little bit like what Americans want and then you water it down while talking about it as if it hasn't been watered down.  And you get the voices that a lot of people listen to - people who otherwise might write, march, fax, call, etc. - to sell your bullshit to the masses.  You get that by making nice noises to them - because while some of these voices are total sellouts, some are not and actually want to do something - while secretly (see, Tauzin, Billy) doing what you were always going to do, which is once again sacrifice the American public to corporate America (see, TARP).  Of course, when the sellout is done, Obama will claim the Blue Dogs and GOP made him do it (even though he knows he won't get a single GOP vote).  And people will believe it again and rail against the evil GOP (who are evil, but are also largely irrelevant).  Because nothing - not FISA, not Gitmo remaining open, not TARP - is ever frakking Obama's doing.  It's Rahm's or Snowe's or some other poor sucker's.

I get so exasperated when I come here because unlike a lot of other "progressive" blogs, I believe most of the writers here want the right thing.  They just seem to have no idea how to get it beyond following Obama and the Democratic leadership.  Even after that leadership repeatedly signals its going to screw them (and has, in fact, screwed them repeatedly on other issues, see war funding, FISA, TARP).

* This by the way is why Medicare for All had to be taken off the table.  If it weren't incredibly popular - and hard to scare people about since they already know about Medicare - they would've simply invited the single payer advocates to participate and then ignored them.  They wouldn't be arresting them at the Baucus hearings.  But the Dems couldn't do that because expanding Medicare would be wildly popular.  People like Medicare.  It's this ind of corporate handout passing as "reform" that they hate and, thanks in part to TARP and the bailouts, they don't trust government to do anything other than hand over their cash to the corporations.  Which, given how the current healthcare debacle appears to be ending, is very smart of them.  Because that's exactly what the Dems are going to do.  


[ Parent ]
Exactly. (0.00 / 0)
One of the biggest obstacles to left-wing control of the Democratic Party is the work of gatekeepers within the movement itself, who do a very good job of using what power they've managed to obtain to bully the left into submission.  Every time you read or hear a threat of electoral victory for Republicans if we don't surrender our principles for the sake of Democrats' power, you are being subjected to the same sort of political terrorism the RNC engages in with its ads threatening death and destruction if Democrats are elected to power.

So what we end up with is a progressive movement usurped and stifled by the very institution it seeks to somehow dominate from within, and as a result, little hope of actually getting anything substantive accomplished.  This is why, as Mr. Sirota wrote a few weeks back, we must be wary of political parties that seek to co-opt movements.



[ Parent ]
Dress rehearsal..... (4.00 / 3)
.....for the big fight that's coming.

Not much at stake, except the identity and future of the Democratic Party and any hope of having progressive legislation passed in this country in the next few decades.

And oh yeah, affordable healthcare for millions of people.

Exciting times.


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