The elites in the Washington establishment are used to ignoring what poor and working class Americans want from their government. What people want is pretty simple:
- In health care, it’s protection from insurance company price gauging, mistreatment, and abuse, some real choices in the kinds of plans they can sign up, and the security of knowing they will always be covered.
- In terms of the economy, they want more jobs, better jobs, and the knowledge that a few humongus banks placing bets on everything won’t destroy the entire economic system again.
- Those of us who believe what 95% plus of scientists say want the government to do something to keep climate change from being massively destructive to the earth.
- Those of us who think immigrants out to be treated like human beings would like an immigration reform bill that makes the system we have more fair and rational.
This is some pretty basic stuff, and people are getting pretty angry that none of it is getting done. 5,000 people showed up at an insurance executives meeting on Tuesday to tell insurers what they think. On March 21, tens of thousands more are going to be here in DC marching in the streets to tell Obama and Congress that we need immigration reform. Thousands of protesters will be marching on Wall Street in April and DC (K street) in May to protest the big bankers control over our economy and our political system.
People are tired of excuses, and are no longer patient with the lack of progress. When I talk to regular people around the country, they are all beginning to say the same things: If the filibuster is the problem, then change the Senate rules. If the conservative Democrats are the problem, twist their arms or we’ll run primaries against them. If the banks are the problem, break them apart. If the lobbyists are the problem, we’ll take to the streets and sit in at their offices.
The American people are not peasants. But they are getting treated like peasants, and their anger is growing. The Republicans don’t care: they don’t believe poor people and working class people deserve any help. A lot of Democrats do care, but they need to deliver the goods, one way or another. It’s good to see them take that attitude on health care and now, apparently, on student loans. Now we need to seem them to do the same thing on the other big issues in front of them.