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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
We can still lose without you
Here we are, more than halfway through 2009, and still, 48 million Americans have no access to health care. I wrote about this almost five years ago, and at the time, George W. Bush was president, and both houses of Congress were run by Republicans. Remember? Karl Rove's permanent majority?
The point is, there was no way that the people of the United States were going to get health care, because it was more important for these bought-and-paid-for stooges to protect their corporate masters' short-term profits, than to save a few thousand meaningless American lives. Hell, these people wouldn't even pony up to protect the health of children. But that was then.
Now, we have Barack Obama as president, who is, according to the best and brightest in Conservative thought, a Socialist. And as I recall, an Arab.
The main thing is, he wants health care for all Americans, as do 72% of us here in the US. But here in 2009, Obama has a Democratic majority in Congress who can get it done. Hell, as of this week, with the addition of Al Franken, it's an unfilibusterable (just made that up) super majority. Yay! We're getting a public option for health care NOTSOFAST.
I find it interesting that when anything important needs to be voted on, the Republican party can pull the leash on its members, and get them to vote in unison for whatever they're told to do. I don't like party-line politics as a rule. Truthfully, I have no use for political parties, and would never join one. But hey! If the GOP can get their ducks in a row, then there's no reason that the Dems can't do it to pass something important like health care, especially since, and I can't put too fine a point on this, 72% of the people in this country want a government option. Will we get it? Doubtful.
The problem is that the Democrats in the Senate have a preponderance of members suffering from chronic cases of being too old and too self-important. I'd also like to add "useless." Max Baucus, for example, Democrat of Montana, has said on many occasions that a public option is "off the table." Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has echoed these sentiments, as has Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. I'm sure their boss, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada will pull rank and get these guys in line, right? Because, as you may have heard, 72% of Americans want a government health care option.
Well, Reid has flip-flopped all over the place on this issue, as well as most others of importance, and cannot be counted on to get this done. What can we do? Hmm, wait a minute...
Montana. Nebraska. North Dakota. Louisiana. Nevada.
These are mostly large, windy, empty places, represented by people who resemble that description. What else do they have in common? There are sure a lot of white people in those places who think of themselves as rugged individualist Libertarian types. These states are, historically, red ones, and vote Republican. Louisiana too, now that New Orleans has been rid of so many black voters, thanks to Bush's indifference before, during and after Katrina.
You want to pass real health care reform with the necessary public option, President Obama? Easy as pie, just do this:
Call each of these senators, and any other Democrats who are being weaselly about this, into your office. Ask them if you can count on their vote for your health care plan, and please do not fail to mention that 72% of Americans want this, with a majority even willing to pay higher taxes to get it.
If they are unable to pledge their support on this, make a vow to them. Promise to support a Democrat against him or her who will help you in next senatorial primary in their state. Even if they prevail, it will cost them millions of dollars, and leave them in a weakened position when the general election comes up the following November. Remind them that they are in states that have found it very easy to elect Republicans to office. If any of them are actually stupid enough to ask why you would be willing to cede Democratically-held seats to Republicans, explain the obvious:
"We can still lose without you."
Explain that the American people want to have guaranteed access to health care, and that the fact that we are the only major industrialized country without it is a miserable embarrassment at every level. Make them understand that this is not simply a smart move economically in the long term, but the right thing to do morally.
But mostly, make them understand that if you are unable to pass this legislation, it makes no difference to you whether it fails 59-41, 55-45, or 52-48. You can lose it with or without them, they are not special, and if they are unable to see how vitally important this is to the future of the United States, they are not even necessary.
posted at 8:31 AM
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