The Establishment Backlash

by: David Sirota

Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 17:35

The response to my last post about the House Democrats who may work to add the public option into the final health care bill is very telling about the true divide in American politics these days - and it's worth showing you exactly what I mean.

I emailed my post to a list I've built up over the years - activists, politicians, staffers, scholars, organizers, etc. I received a number of responses from folks working at a very high level in politics and with many of the politicians in question (that's all I can really say) - and they all said a version of "this is very constructive." Then I received this:

This is an excellent example of the "satisfying purity of indignation." Millions will benefit from a compromise plan. Zero would do so from a more ambitious but unachieveable plan. I've no patience for this kind of impractical and bloodless stance. Please take me off your list.

Sent from my iPhone
Stephen Davis
Executive Director
Millstein Center
Yale School of Management

I don't know Mr. Davis personally (and am not sure how he got on my list, actually - rest assured, I've removed him from the list). But the contrast here is telling.

Progressives have some allies right now, even if it sometimes feels like we don't. There are people in Washington who understand how movement politics actually works. They understand the story Chris relayed about the interaction between President Clinton and then-Rep. Bernie Sanders in 1993 - that continuing to push on health care will get us closer to short-term and long term goals, whether we achieve those goals on this bill or not.

Progressives and Democratic partisans should be able to respectfully disagree on the tactics and process - specifically on whether the Senate bill should have been voted up or down (and you'll note, those saying the Senate bill should have been sent back to the drawing board have been largely respectful, while the other side has been increasingly enraged and vitriolic). But the value of having at least some progressive voices pushing hard and demanding more is absolutely undeniable. As Chris has said, we've managed - for the first time in a very long time - to make the dominant political discussion on health care between the center-left and the progressive left. And longer-term, even bill proponent Nate Silver (whose post I don't fully agree with on every point)* acknowledges we're creating the pressure for Democrats to make this particular bill better - and for them to come back and pass other bills that add to this bill, should it pass.

On the other hand, there is an entire Establishment of people like Mr. Davis - well-paid ivory-tower types who strut around as Serious and Pragmatic - who have no understanding of/appreciation for the basic history of movements or the basic dynamics of politics (much less the substance of this bill - you'll notice he makes no substantive points about the actual health care bill the Senate passed).  

David Sirota :: The Establishment Backlash
These people typically have never worked as political organizers or on political campaigns - and yet see themselves as political "experts." They have internalized the Princess Leia notion that I described in my USA Today editorial yesterday - and attack anyone else as "bloodless" "impractical" "purists" pushing something that's supposedly "unacheiveable." This, even as polls show the goals progressives are pushing are supported by the vast majority of Americans. This, even as a House-Senate conference committee has yet to meet. This, for merely noting that 60 House Democrats have promised to - and still have a chance to - fight hard for a public option.

These people who "have no patience" for movements are, of course, power-worshiping parrots - they simply echo what the White House and cable news pundits say (notice this screed comes the week after the White House lashed out at Howard Dean as "insane" for saying Congress should do something other than hand over almost a trillion dollars to the private insurance industry). They never stop to even momentarily question the artificial assumptions rigged into the health care debate. And, at least in Mr. Davis's case, this isn't surprising - check out his bio and see his extensive and ongoing connections to the financial industry, Corporate America and Dubai sovereign wealth funds (somehow, we're supposed to nonetheless see him as a "credible," caring and disinterested opinion on health care for millions of middle-class Americans). Someone like that is not in the business of questioning assumptions - they are in the business of propagating them.

These Establishment voices in the coming weeks will do whatever they can to make the progressive movement feel marginalized. And it is, indeed, going to be demoralizing. But don't let it get to you (I sure don't - or at least try not to). Their anger and vitriol emanates from their ignorance of history, their naivete of bare-knuckled politics and - in many cases - their personal corruption and their ideological bankruptcy. They are not interested in movements because movements are a threat to the status quo, their personal legitimacy and, quite often, their own hidden agendas.

* Just to totally clarify: I agree with Nate that there has been a healthy debate - and I'm glad to see him acknowledge that. However, I don't agree with him in his criticism of Firedoglake.

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Seems to me HE's the bloodless one... (4.00 / 4)
A more ambitious plan could have passed if only they had tried to do it with 51 votes via reconciliation. To say this is the best we could have gotten is nonsense.

I've been getting very arch putdowns from all kinds of people on Twitter and elsewhere to the effect of "You DO know this is going to help zillions of poor folks, don't you?" Bah. It occurs to me that the Medicaid expansion, for instance, could be taken up at any time and didn't need to be included. But what do I know.

I also think that the Medicaid expansion, the subsidies, etc. etc. were included to activate "liberal guilt" and get us behind a bill that's really an insurance industry bailout. The entire project is a sham.

On the mandate, there will be blood. I'm 64 and have been uninsured for several years because we couldn't afford it and it didn't pay for preventive care. A great many of the uninsured won't be able to afford the lovely junk insurance they'll be selling us, even with the subsidies. This is just wrong.

reconciliation (4.00 / 1)
Reconciliation wouldn't have given us any insurance regulation; not that I think we got much as it is.

The problem seems that no one is willing to take risks - politically. Just like Clinton, Obama wasted too much political capital trying to push health care reform too soon in his administration. I believe he and the country would have been better served had he dealt first with the economy and created a job-filled recovery. With that success behind him, he would have been golden and able to stand up to Lieberman, the blue dogs and the grumpy GOP. We would have achieved more of the real reform we need.

He and his staff were too green to see this coming and that's a shame they will find hard to shake.

[ Parent ]
That's not true ... (4.00 / 1)
He and his staff were too green to see this coming and that's a shame they will find hard to shake.

Why do you think he hired people like Rahm? ... Because they weren't green .. that's why ... He was trying to avoid Clinton's mistake .. at least that's what we have been told

[ Parent ]
Sticks and stones (4.00 / 1)
People like this frustrate me, if not for their deft ignorance then for their daft arrogance.  Does he think anyone will miss him or care that he doesn't add to the subject, if he ever did.  What really amuses me is that he needs to include his employment stature as though we should cower before his academic superiority.  By the way, didn't W go to Yale?

I think that time will tell the value of this health care bill.  I hope that those of us who have what I believe are valid concerns about it are wrong.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

Yale (0.00 / 0)
W went to Yale.  And Harvard.  Yale also produced William Howard Taft, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, and Bill Clinton.  The Yale Management School is a Johnny come lately.  Right off hand I don't know of anybody they produced.  Not much surprise considering the smug self satisfaction that seems to be taught there.

FWIW, FDR went to Harvard.  LBJ went to Southwest Texas State.  Truman did not attend college.  Neither did Lincoln.  Otoh, Hoover went to Stanford.

[ Parent ]
Dude! (0.00 / 0)
Yale School of Management is regularly rated one of the 2 or 3 best business schools in the country, and is known as maybe the most progressive. They were teaching business ethics and green economic policies long before anyone else.

And yes, I'm a graduate.

[ Parent ]
By whom (0.00 / 0)
Harvard Business School, class of 1978

Well there's Harvard, Penn, Stanford, Chicago, UCLA, NYU.

[ Parent ]
And (0.00 / 0)
UCLA and Northwestern.

[ Parent ]
Not a reflection (0.00 / 0)
This is not a reflection on you, BoulderDem.  Even years ago, Yale got a very good student body.  It is a reflection on the pompous jerk that taught the one required course in business ethics at Harvard while I was there.  He had no connection to the real world needs of his students but was entirely rule driven.  One of my classmates had a job that required him to start before the final for this course.  This jerk's real world reaction was to either deprive the man of his degree or deprive him of the job.

The options were: flunk him for the exam.  He still had the credits to graduate.  Arrange to give him an exam at an earlier time.  Give him an oral exam.  Grade him on the course so far.  I don't know what finally happened but it was typical of the way the course was taught.

Stephen Davis' response was pretty much in line with the way the "ethics" guy operated years ago.  And that was pretty much the way he operated everything in his course.  No allowances.No connection with personal needs.  Just the rules hidden behind a smug new england brahmin demeanor.

[ Parent ]
how is davis' comment that different from... (4.00 / 7)
what pragmatic dems have been saying about single payer advocates?

movement politics actually takes into account the movement rather than attempting to enforce top down directives from dem party elites (who had decided that progressives were supposed to support neoliberal policies instead of progressive policies).

Exactly (4.00 / 8)
As you follow David's posts over the last six months you will see that theme throughout his discussions of health care.  

The point being, the Democratic leadership trying to dismiss progressive ideology as "irrational and insane" while dictating to progressive legislators to fall in line behind the neoliberal leadership and administration.  In plain English, "Don't screw up our corporate donations!"

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
Exact;y - well said (4.00 / 3)
Certainly this aloof goof has a vested interest in beating progressives down.

[ Parent ]
Seems to me the Senate ignored the public anyway (0.00 / 0)
All the polling showed that people wanted a public option or expansion of Medicare yet the Senate IGNORED them. I can understand if the public view was split but it wasn't.

The Democratic leadership pulled out the Clinton playbook that didn't even apply this time and used it so they could declare victory no matter what was actually passed.

I hope it does get better when the final bill is presented by with this Congress and what happened in the Senate I am not holding my breath.

Perhaps Mr.Davis feels that he, too, is "doing God's work. " (4.00 / 1)
Indeed, the enormity of the errors that led to the "credit crisis" can only be counterbalanced by an enormous amount of personal hubris. But then the malefactors decry their singularity and seek the protection of the herd, saying, "Everyone was doing it," or other such drivel.

In a just world, AIG, Goldman and the banksters, fraudsters and theoreticians would all be in the oubliette. Perhaps Greenspan would have been reserved a place at court, to be gagged & restrained, & forced to listen to the jester for the remainder of his days.  

They only call it class war when we fight back.

Wow - your really railing on this dude, not saying its wrong (0.00 / 0)
just saying.  This bill cannot be considered the "final word" and I don't even think it should pass in this form.

But to proclaim a better bill in "unachievable" when there are elections this year, public does want a PO, and we can make this the salient issue in 2010 and 2012 is just BS.

Remember - this bill does virtually nothing until 2014 anyhow.

I'm glad you have outed this wanker - the "experts" and pundits are what holds progressives back.  For too long, many have listened to those that don't actually report on what is happening, just feed us more and more of their own personal opinions and agendas.

This is it (4.00 / 5)
Medicare and Medicaid were passed more than 40 years ago.  The only major additions were SCHIP and the screwed up prescription drug benefit.  I'm 58.  I don't expect to see any major change for the good in the rest of my lifetime.  If it flat out failed to pass, the odds are good that we would get a good program not very far down the road.  Want to wait another 40 or 50 years?  That's what Lieberman, Obama, Stephen Davis, and Max Baucus gave us.

One more thing with the Senate POS.  Baucus made the deal depend on revenue from taxing cadillac plans.  I would expect many of these will be dropped by insurance companies, employers or employees.  Then what new taxes will Baucus and friends place on working class and middle class Americans?  He already came up with this to avoid taxing the rich so you know they won't be hit.

Stephen Davis?  As Earl Weaver said, it's what you learn after you know it all that counts.  Start learning and STFU.

[ Parent ]
Benefit Cuts (4.00 / 2)
The WSJ already has an article up citing large firms which will cut benefits as a result of the Senate Bill:

Firms Warn Of Cuts To Benefits

[ Parent ]
And a new tax of the working/middle class. n.t (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
here's what I don't get (4.00 / 6)
about this whole "Democrats can improve this bill later" argument. I saw Harkin say something like that a few days ago--Democrats will revisit the idea of the public option later, using reconciliation.

How on earth will we get the political momentum to improve this bill later? Won't Obama and the majority of the establishment say, "Hang on, a lot of the bill hasn't even been implemented yet! Give it a chance! Let's see how things work in 2014 and 2015. If it's not good, we can improve it then."

I just can't see Obama declaring victory on this historic measure and then pushing Congress to pass more health reform legislation in the next year or two.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

People liberate themselves (0.00 / 0)
"Serious and Pragmatic people who want to help those less fortunate than they."

People liberate themselves

Its really easy to deal with Mr. Davis (4.00 / 3)
It really is very easy to deal with folks like Mr. Davis - all we have to do is withhold our vote.  

Just don't vote for bad Democrats like Obama, Reed, Rahm, & etc!  You don't have to play the game of voting for the least worst candidate - just don't vote for them.  Go and vote for the people you like but don't vote for the Dems that stab us in the back.  Its actually quite easy.  It won't be long before the Mr. Davis and his sidekicks will all be out of jobs and wondering how to get us back.

That's what I plan to do -

even better work against them. (0.00 / 0)
if we are so called activists act like it. believe me this is not a popular concept with progressives. vote against them. bo won indiana by a little over 5 votes a precinct. i personally have changed that with my family alone in my precinct. i worked the whole 4 day get out the vote for bo. not this time. if they don't support us work against them. the concept that we must vote for the democrat in the general no matter what. well how is that working? breid

[ Parent ]
but that's the game isn't it - (0.00 / 0)
Without doubt the best thing to do is primary a bad Dem but if that fails we need to stop voting for them.  To me the problem with this besides seeing more Repubs elected is that the power structure doesn't see it - our votes just disappear.

We need a mechanism to show how many votes the Dems could have gotten if they had a decent candidate.

If we had that we would scare the bejesus out of them.

[ Parent ]
That is what a third party does (0.00 / 0)
And let's not kid ourselves - from a progressive/liberal perspective, there are VERY FEW "good dems".

Anyone that did not actively take a public stand against LIE-berman and blue dogs is bad (virtually all senators and most in house).  Even the progressive caucus has yet to show they will stand up for their signed public proclaimations.

And obama/rahm are BAD dems too - will not have the support they had in 2008.  Everyone will know why too, but the media will not acknowledge it because he is actually just another corporate con too.

[ Parent ]
Largely Agree (0.00 / 0)
Despite disagreeing with the "start over", aka "kill the bill" strategy, this post was pretty good. especially for taking on a wanker like this dude, but I really have to single something out that made me scratch my head:

Progressives and Democratic partisans should be able to respectfully disagree on the tactics and process - specifically on whether the Senate bill should have been voted up or down (and you'll note, those saying the Senate bill should have been sent back to the drawing board have been largely respectful, while the other side has been increasingly enraged and vitriolic).

Frankly, this is bullshit, and it makes me wonder if you really haven't heard or seen the accusations of "sell-out", "shill", "obamabot", "right-winger", and the like that have been tossed at people who think we should support passage of the bill.  It really does remind me of the primaries all over again, where reading comment sections on political blogs just becomes unreadable.

Have heard that (4.00 / 1)
mostly directed at the players, not the general public (except for "obamabot").  

HOWEVER - I have only seen any of this after torrent streams of abuse from those that disagree with anything but what the senate has passed - and remember, that is essentially being driven by LIE-berman.

So have to point out that once the dialog has already been poisoned, you can't really blame those that had the majority of the abuse heaped on them first.

You obviously haven't read the threads at kos lately if you think the shrillness is coming from the "kill the bill" crowd.

For that matter, I believe the same pattern is clearly evident here too.

[ Parent ]
No no (0.00 / 0)
I'm well aware of the "naderite" accusations by the "pass-the-bill" people.  I'm just saying, it's most definitely not one-sided, and the "but he started it!" canard carries as much weight as it does coming from my 3 year old cousin.

[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't know. (0.00 / 0)
I think self-defense is a good idea.  I'd like to know who the hell all of these partisans are?   I really find it hard to believe that people who read Taibbi, Scahill and supported Dean can be those same partisans that are pledging love and devotion to centrist dlc democrats like Obama.  So, who are they?    

[ Parent ]
Was There A Christmas Special On Straw (0.00 / 1)
Or do you have a large supply in your basement?

[ Parent ]
Don't get cute. (0.00 / 0)
You are entitled to your opinion but not your attitude.  

[ Parent ]
Me? (0.00 / 0)
Says the person accusing those who disagree with him of "pledging love and devotion to centrist dlc dem[s]".  Physician, heal thyself.

[ Parent ]
Not saying "They started it" (0.00 / 0)
Tactic of scoundrel - reduce someone else's point to the absurd.  In this case, dishonestly.

What I am saying is the faux indignation of some towards the rhetoric of one side is hollow because the other side is even more shrill and abusive.

In the end, it won't matter because the split is real and is going to impact dems in 2009.  If those that want to hold the coalition together think being rude and insulting about it is gonna work - all the more reason to split.

Remember, those that want to split don't care if their response to abuse and scorn alienates the loud voices.  Remember - THEY WANT TO SPLIT (caps intentional for mr. bowers).

[ Parent ]
"Scoundrel" "Faux Indignation" (0.00 / 0)
This is the kind of bullshit I was talking about.  I assume that the "kill the bill" supporters are arguing in good faith.  It'd be nice to get the same.

[ Parent ]
LOL (0.00 / 0)
You misrepresent what someone has said, reducing it to a childish playground argument and the claim moral superiority.  That is the real BS.

But the folks that have had enough of the dem sell-outs and their apologiests in the mainstream media and bloggosphere don't really care because the split is here now anyhow.

And dishonest ridicule and distortions of why we have reached this point are not going to bring progressives/liberals back into the make-believe "big tent".

So keep it up - doesn't work to your favor.

[ Parent ]
Apologies (0.00 / 0)
Being sincere, I didn't mean to grossly misrepresent your position.  I do think that your attempt to blame the "apologists" for the wild rhetoric on the "start over" side because they started it is silly, and not worthy of a serious retort.  I tend to be a bit flippant/snarky online, and sometimes it ends up being nonsensical.

Also too, this is central to my point.

[ Parent ]
And on a lighter note... (4.00 / 2)
Merry Christmas, everyone!

[ Parent ]
amen (0.00 / 0)
Great post.

Wall Street and the mainstream media and "academia": what a team!!

First of all ... (4.00 / 3)
Stephen Davis, though you might not know him personally (neither do I) is very well known in Democratic circles as a major donor (not, near as I can tell, to Lieberman, but a max-out to Obama and a variety of others). I believe he's also British, or grew up British (I have seen him on TV and he seems very progressive).

Not sure why you're going all medieval on him anyway. One of the big weaknesses of passionate partisans is they frequently fail to understand that those opposed to their point of view can be just as passionate. There seems to be natural tendency to regard ideological or (as in this case) just temperamental opponents as lackeys, paid irritants, elitists, or just plain dumb. In fact, what Dr. Davis is expressing is some of the same incredible frustration the majority of liberals are feeling right now: With you and Jane and the other "proud" few who are claiming the Senate bill is a step backwards, or could be improved by voting it down. We're not corporate lackeys and we agree the bill could be much better. But we'll be damned if we'll turn down the chance to insure 30 million Americans and stop discrimination against sick people. And yes, we're friggin' emotional about it. Dr. Davis' response might not be completely rational, but there it is. Neither is yours.

In any case, you're losing this battle, and I suspect you know that. House progressives' claims they they have a certain number who will vote no without a public option is just a wing and a prayer. They have no intention whatsoever of holding firm, nor should they. Pelosi probably had 25 blue dog votes in her pocket if she needed them last time anyway, and so the whole claim is a charade meant to rile people up.

To the extent that some liberal activists' unhappiness with the Senate bill will firm up Lieberman's and Nelson's and Lincoln's commitment to vote YES, then by all means fire away. But be prepared for the possibility that not everyone will understand such subtlety.

I think David makes a valid point here. (4.00 / 2)
The term to watch for is "Movement Progressive".  In my reading of his peice, this term flags the tactic of taking a 'difficult' public position, like "kill the bill" in order to obtain bargaining strength.

Basically, it's stealing a page from the Lieberman and Nelson playbook.  

For example, what if the Leadership was seriously concerned that Sanders and/or Feingold were feeling constituent pressure to walk away from the bill?  What good points might Progs be able to get (back) in conference under those circumstances?

Really, the alternative is to sit down and shut up and watch the conservatives further dilute the legislation.

The sane thing to do as we head into conference is to act a little crazy.  (Which is really not crazy at all, compared to forcing people to buy insurance with a 70% actuarial rating.)

These calls to be docile and let the grown-ups take care of these "complex negotiations" .  . .   that's just nuts.

USA: 1950 to 2010

[ Parent ]
Excellent counterpoint (4.00 / 1)
And while I think that David, Jane, and many others feel that there will be division within the Democratic party going forward, especially in the area corporate funding versus voter power, your point is exactly the philosophical cement within the anti-establishment left.  

That said, BoulderDem is one of the good guys.  I'm sure that if I sat down and spoke with him for an hour, I would find more to agree upon than not.  But the following statement in his post:

'the other "proud" few'

is somehow antagonistic and arrogantly elitist.  I would suggest that if he truly wants soothe the divisiveness in our party, that he tolerate the activists and wait until next November.   Then we shall all find out who the "few" are.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
It Is Time To Kill The Talking Points (4.00 / 2)
This bill does not "insure 30 million Americans." This bill forces those 30 million to insure themselves (except for new Medicaid enrollees). Even in the face of criminalization- there's another 20 million who won't even try to insure themselves, because this bill does not solve the root cause of this healthcare crisis.

I am totally in favor of health care reform.
I am diametrically opposed to health insurance reform.

[ Parent ]
Repellent. (2.40 / 5)
A bizarre, flailing, vindictive, and bitter post. This is ugly stuff. You're the one who spammed Mr. Davis in the first place, and you interpret a fairly reasonable reaction from him as a personal attack on you and everything you stand for, unleashing a torrent of vicious accusations based on not much more than assumptions. You're chasing ghosts, dude--it's apparent in your pivot from Mr. Davis to "these Establishment voices" (quite the convenient straw man, I might add). I don't know Mr. Davis either, but it sure seems like he is most definitely NOT the droid you are looking for.

There are those of us out here who HAVE worked on political campaigns, who DO believe in the power of the movement (and in fact consider ourselves members), who still think that abandoning this effort WOULD be impractical and that this right now IS our "only hope" at reform. If you're going to tar people, at least don't tar us with the same goddamn brush.

Then why would you respond? (4.00 / 1)
Other than you want to spout off your pro-stablishment, victory at any cost dogma, fine, but don't look here for anyone who cares.  If you support backroom dealing, phony bipartisonship, senators on the take from the insurance industry, bills that clearly ignore what the public wants, and a chief of staff who seems to be little more than a Chicago mobster, then you aren't part of the movement that David is talking about.  

I will give you credit for one thing.  You are as sanctimonious as Mr. Davis.  I think most of us who do not support this bill are aware that it will most likely pass.  And we agree that there are some elements to the Senate bill that will improve the system.  Unfortunately, I think time will prove this bill, if it should succeed, to be very unpopular with the people and an economical disaster.  

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
Disappointing (4.00 / 1)
Folks, what we have here is a case study in why many people don't take progressives seriously.

Conspiracy theories: check
Willful ignorance about the legislative process: check
Wild, baseless accusations: check

I am a long-time member of the progressive movement, an activist and organizer, decidedly NOT pro-establishment, but it's people like you who see shadows around every corner, firing at anything that moves, that (1) drives others away from the movement and (2) makes it all too easy for critics to dismiss you as Unserious, legitimately or not. When you argue from emotion, and not evidence, who do you think you're actually convincing? I get that you're pissed off, but if you're not attempting persuasion, then what you're doing is nothing more than masturbatory.

Lastly, I don't want any part of your Manichean, you're either with me or you're part of the establishment bullshit. That attitude doesn't do anything but repel people away from our movement.

[ Parent ]
The legislation isn't written yet. (0.00 / 0)
Davis's equation of "more ambitious" with "unachievable" is premature, at best.

And what's with "more ambitious" as a criteria anyway?  How about, "better'?

As the legislation goes into conference, Progs should do everything they can to force leadership into acquiescing on Progressive points (just as the right-to-lifers, and industry lobbies are doing).

Frankly, I'm not sure Davis's failure to grasp the value of this tactic and instead invoke the old saw about purity qualifies him for public ridicule, but  . . . well, I think it was instructive.  

USA: 1950 to 2010

[ Parent ]
Mr Davis' response (4.00 / 2)
Is a vitriolic stab at someone he percieves to threaten the status quo of him and his friends.  As one respondent pointed out, he's a significant benefactor of Democratic leadership.  The people in the leadership, their families, and their friends enjoy many perks, courtesy of the special interests.  I'm sure that is why you see this nastiness of spirit toward those who would dare challenge their authority.  Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and Harry Reid see much less threat from a Liebermann or a Nelson.   At the end of the day they all drink from the same well.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
Let me get this straight (4.00 / 1)
Here's what you're saying: Mr. Davis responded to David in the way he did because David somehow challenged his authority and threatened the power and status of the people who Mr. Davis donates to? Talk about a tenuous connection. The dude wrote a five-sentence email! From that you're somehow able to spin an overarching conspiracy theory that explains not only his comprehensive opinions about the bill, but also his motivations? All of which you deem suspect, of course, and an attack on you and the progressive movement as a whole. If that isn't paranoid behavior, then I don't know what is.

[ Parent ]
His five statements contain enough lies (0.00 / 0)
that all should be glad he didn't dump more BS on us.  The entrenched pundits and "experts" rationalize each and every failure as homehow inherent in the process and something progressives need to passively accept.

It is all about framing and denying reality - say what you will, do what you want, vote for whom you please.

But obama/rahm and the dems are not going to the the money, volunteers, and votes they exploited last time around.  Dumping on those that understand the situation and talk about it is not going to change these facts.

[ Parent ]
Reality (4.00 / 1)
Our present reality, arnie, is that the MAJORITY of the Senate is not progressive! You tell me exactly we're supposed to get honest-to-goodness progressive policies out of a body that by and large OPPOSES them. It's just not going to happen, ok? Certainly, we can get some things we like, and let's absolutely acknowledge when that happens and take some satisfaction from it, but what do we gain from EXPECTING progressive results and then being bitterly disappointed every time and raging against even the people who are on our side and doing everything they can given the constraints and limitations of the institution and its current composition? (Challenging Bernie Sanders? I haven't heard a more goddamn ridiculous thing in my life).

By all means, donate to progressive candidates, support primary challenges, and the like, but there are just some things about our current reality that we can do nothing about at this point in time. Best to accept them and set goals we can actually accomplish, rather than set out on a quixotic quest that's only going to end in bitterness and frustration. It's the difference between desired outcome and expectation. They can and should be different, if nothing else for our own sanity.

[ Parent ]
I'd like to hear one person (4.00 / 5)
who currently lacks good health insurance and needs it, yet who won't be helped by this bill--and isn't a crazy teabagger--come out and sing its praises and throw out a bunch of glib cliches like "you can't get everything in life". I bet that there are none.

I also bet that the vast majority of people engaging in such vitriol currently have good health insurance--or don't need it (or think they need it), and to them it's just an abstract thing, or something that they stand to profit from in some manner. It's easy to do that when there's nothing at stake in it for you personally (aside from profit, career or ego).

I don't have a problem with people making sound policy and politics-based arguments in favor of this bill. But when they start in with the insults and platitudes, you know that you're dealing with a dishonest troll who has no moral skin in the game.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

email list (4.00 / 1)
how do i get on it? can i have davis spot? thank you. breid

Guts... nuts. (0.00 / 0)
"60+ House Democrats Say "Any" Health Bill With No Public Option Is "Unacceptable" (Title of an article by David Sirota.)

Looking at the list, I did not see Alan Grayson's name.

He was telling us how the bill was going to be comprehensive, universal and affordable. It is none of those things.

He advertises himself as the congressman with guts.
But if he refuses to join with the 60 House Democrats standing up for us, he will be revealed as nothing but a democratic party attack dog.


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