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In stark contrast to Paul Wellstone, Third Way touts itself as a think tank representing "the moderate wing of the progressive movement."

McJoan broke news today of a draft plan Third Way has in the works to undermine the public option. Third Way:

Whether health care reform should include a "public plan" is an issue that now threatens to fracture the emerging consensus on health reform....

The proponents of a public plan seek the right goals—to broaden access and lower costs. But there is a very real danger that an overly intrusive public plan can ultimately undermine these very goals and destabilize the private-sector coverage that middle-class Americans—i.e., Harry and Louise—depend on and are largely satisfied with.


They actually invoke Harry and Louise again, which is fitting, since Harry and Louise were a creation of the insurance industry, much like this plan seems to be.

Enough! Please email Third Way's top leaders directly.

(UPDATE...we have amazing momentum so far, rec's appreciated!)

Tell Third Way not to undermine a public option which has 73% support:

David Kendall, Senior Fellow for Health Policy:
Jonathan Cowan, President,
Matt Bennett, Vice President for Public Affairs,

You can also call Third Way: 202-775-3768. In the staff directory, pick David Kendall, Senior Fellow for Health Policy.

Feel free to tell Third Way about this sneak preview: I'm announcing right now a potential DEFUND THIRD WAY movement.

If Third Way comes out with a health plan that undermines the public option (defined as a strong government-run insurance plan that competes head to head in the marketplace against private insurance) and/or that holds up Harry & Louise as credible actors in the health care fight, there will be a DEFUND THIRD WAY effort that I will help lead until it's won.

I'll start it alone if I have to. But I don't think I'd be alone. If fact, if you'd be up for joining me, let me know here

We'd quickly make clear to anyone -- anyone -- who considers themselves part of progressive world that if you contribute to Third Way, you are persona non grata. Don't come to our conferences. Don't come on our conference calls. Don't email us about collaborating on anything. If you are a candidate, and you in any way affiliate yourself with Third Way, don't ask us for help.

Third Way would become the most radioactive thing since the latest North Korean nuclear reactor.

That said, I'd rather Third Way smartened up and saved us all the fight.

Third Way actually could have a constructive role in the movement if they stuck to their strength: designing policy ideas and talking points on wedge cultural-divide issues like abortion and guns that Democrats sometimes find themselves playing defense on because Republicans engage in misinformation and fear-mongering.

Third Way's role should not be to push these wedge issues, as they often do in a quest for relevance. Instead Third Way should recognize that their relevance comes from getting the ideas ready and sitting back and waiting...being ready to go IF Democrats are put on defense.

And Third Way's role is most certainly not to take an issue like the public option where 73% of voters and 71% of rural voters AGREE WITH PROGRESSIVES and try to water it down. That is not being a progressive movement player. That's being a combination of stupid and destructive.

The public option is about marketplace competition. In that same spirit, what happens with business enterprises that are stupid and destructive? They lose in the market -- they get defunded. That's what will happen with the Third Way if they continue down this road.

What happens with enterprises that know their niche and do it well? They get a market share. If Third Way gets back to quietly formulating ideas and talking points on cultural wedge issues and waiting, they have a role in the movement.

Tell them that. Seriously:  202-775-3768

UPDATE: infix has a sample letter in the comments here.

Originally posted to AdamGreen on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:24 PM PDT.

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