jeudi 20 août 2009

Firedoglake congressional accounting

If this pressure was exerted from within the progressive caucus, it would be one thing. But it wasn't. This was created externally, by a true grassroots movement, without the support of MoveOn, HCAN, the unions, the think tanks, or any of the other normal well-funded progressive validators living in the veal pen, who have been AWOL through the whole thing. Rahm told them to sit on the sidelines, and they have.

Does anyone think that intensity of feeling is just going to go away? That people will simply accept Obama's "goody bag" of health care toenail clippings which delivers nothing but a political victory for him, and give up on their dreams of delivery from the current health care system? Taibbi's right -- this will be to Obama what the Iraq War was to Bush.

But instead of repeating the mistakes of the Republicans, who allowed their representatives to line up behind George Bush and walk their party over the cliff, grass roots progressives are the ones who are taking control of the health care debate. They have rejected the discredited progressive leadership of the veal pen, and they are telling their progressive members of Congress that they will not accept a health care bill with a co-op "bait and switch."

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, If Progressive Members of the House Think We’ll Accept Co-Ops As Public Plan, Think Again

Which all brings me back to my Atul Gawande post after yesterday's glow in light of (no pun intended) Howard Dean's remarks on Morning Joe about how the Public Option will make it through in reconciliation with only 50 votes needed. How will this happen? Because progressives will have held enough feet to the fire with their online donations and support (blackmailing, I dare say some of those enjoying their seats in the House are thinking about now as it starts to get really hot for them with their colleagues ready to do business with Rahm and the WH, President Obama, alas) to force them to put it back in and force the Dogs hand.

Well, there are two issues here. One, is whether or not Dean is right and how much influence the netroots nation -- Hello! -- really has. The other is all about our President and of what he turns out really to be made.

For me, that won't be decided by a Middle East peace agreement and good relations with the North Koreans (who might have been begging for them, bizarrely I'll admit, with their nuclear shows over the Pacific in some pretty aggressive, schoolroom acting out strategy).

No, where our President -- a man who made me want to believe that Hope was possible for a just society in America, all while having a slight qualm after reading Audacity of Hope (I wasn't as convinced of his authenticity as I'd fully expected to be, but I figured I'd give him some slack, and I definitely wasn't so enthusiastic about his centrist politics (read legislative success-at-any-price, or what others called "pragmatism") -- will show me of what he's made will be if he throws off the gamesmanship and deal-at-any-price counsel of Rahm Emanuel (some Plan for America, by the way, Rahm) on his shoulder and steps up to the plate of moral and intellectual honesty to call for and defend a Public Option at the very least.

Oh, I can hear the pragmatists saying, "At the price of getting legislation passed? We've seen that before. Live by your ideals, be prepared to die by them."

Well, as the other extremists (ha) say, "Give me Liberty or give me Death." I'll take legislative death over corporate welfare any day. If it comes to that, I'll take a pass -- and my chances -- and wait for the progressives to get madder still.

Am I ready to say I wouldn't vote for him for a second term if he fails to do so? No, not if Sarah Palin and her running mate Newt Gingrich are my only choice, but I would do it without enthusiasm and with only a hope of not seeing things worse still.
Enregistrer un commentaire