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Why has it historically been so tough to keep House progressives standing strong and using the leverage of their voting bloc to extract concessions on important legislation the way Blue Dogs have been able to?

Part of the reason is that progressive elected officials occupy a portion of the political spectrum that generally leaves them insulated from most accountability to progressive voters. In other words, they're protected to some degree by the "where else are they gonna go?" factor.

That's why progressive grassroots activists have come to expect their elected officials to eventually and in most every case, end up making the "best deal we could get" argument in support of their ultimate abandonment of principles clearly stated in the earlier stages of the process. Like so:

“This is the best, most historic healthcare bill we’re going to get,” said Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), one of 60 liberals who’d signed a bill pledging to vote against a letter without a “robust,” Medicare-based public option. “At the end of the day, we have to pass something.”

The article quoted above has accidentally reversed "bill" and "letter," obviously. McGovern was one of 60 liberals who signed a letter pledging to vote against a bill without a "robust" public option. But the whole point of the letter was to foreclose, to the extent possible, against eventually adopting the position that, "At the end of the day, we have to pass something." I mean, that was literally the entire point of the letter. And as expected, a week in advance of the vote, the signatories are dismissing the weight of their own signatures in off-the-cuff remarks.

Genius.

Now, ought it to be the position of House progressives next week that this bill and this rule are worth getting behind? For the sake of argument, let's say it is. The key part of the question, then is "next week." How do you guarantee that you'll lose any negotiation? Announce a week in advance of sitting down that you're willing to cave. McGovern obviously doesn't speak for the entire Progressive Caucus. But I'd feel an awful lot better if I could have ended that sentence after "McGovern doesn't speak." That would have been great, and we'd all have a lot less problems this week.

This is almost exactly the situation I had in mind in August at Netroots Nation when I asked progressive strategists and activists to think ahead to the end game, and about what our reaction ought to be when Members who'd apparently pledged to oppose any bill without a "robust" public option claimed they needed the latitude to do some other thing, ranging all the way up to... doing the exact opposite of that.

To some extent, this is a function of there being no universally accepted definition of either the public option or what it means for one to be "robust," at least not at the time that the pledges were solicited and the letter was signed. But there can be no doubt about the intent of those efforts. It was quite obviously an early effort to guard against public declarations like McGovern's, and to at least preserve the plausibility of the claim that the Progressive Caucus was in a position to demand concessions the way Blue Dogs always have been.

That's obviously going to require still more work on a cultural change in perceptions of the Progressive Caucus, including the perceptions held by actual members of that caucus.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 05:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is it just me but wouldn't Medicare E (9+ / 0-)

    just be easier to read, understand and rally.  And to implement as infrastructure already in place.  Wouldn't only yht funding be the big issue?

    I do think it benefits Congress to have these long ass piecemeal bills.  So many parts you can use something to your benefit in a campaign ad.

    •  Simple is better -got my vote 10-fold at least. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, CWalter, renzo capetti

      " It's shocking what Republicans will do to avoid being the 2012 presidential nominee."

      by jwinIL14 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That would've been very dangerous. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, CWalter, renzo capetti

      It would've been too popular not to pass.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

      by Jyrinx on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:02:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we should have said Medicare E from the start (5+ / 0-)

      we suck at branding too...

      The Seminole Democrat
      A blue voice calling from the deep red

      by SemDem on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. The team currently in the White House (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CWalter, playanaut

        most definitely does NOT suck at branding. Hell, the campaign was awarded a PR prize. The only reason why this bill is crap is because the White House WANTED it to be. It is that simple. And more people will die because of them. More will go bankrupt because of them. While insurance CEOs buy more fucking yachts and have their investments backed by the same taxpayers they are slowing sending to their deaths.  

        I am done supporting these sell-outs, criminals, and sadists. They give Trillions to their class. Nothing but contempt from the village. Massive lawbreaking. War criminals running free to come back into power. Every Constitutional violation stands without any justice or even national acknowledgment of it happening. It could not possibly be any clearer that our government no longer functions. Criminals control just about every single institution in this country. And the ones they do not control, they are defunding or positioning as threats or objects of national scorn. While those supposedly on our side either join in or look the other way. Fuck the democrats. Fuck Pelosi. Fuck Reid. And fuck Obama. Worse than goddamn useless. If people actually know that HOPE is a fucking lie than real CHANGE would happen. I'm done with these goddamn vicious warmongering whores and the idiotic terrified peasants giving thanks for crumbs and waging war on the rest of the world.

        Moon not made of green cheese, say critics. You decide.

        by 1000 Points of Fright on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 09:50:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The "where else are they gonna go?" factor (10+ / 0-)

    doesn't seem to stop Republicans from catering to the far right.

    "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Nespolo on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:00:19 PM PDT

    •  Dems fall in love, Republicans fall in line... (6+ / 0-)

      Paraphrase from Clinton.

      I think he was right.

      •  Exactly right, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tuffie, CWalter, Nespolo

        and on top of that, do you know why the progressives always cave? They really care, and so something that will help in big way is a whole lot better than nothing. When people falling over dead in the street leaves you unmoved, it's easy to "stick to your principles".

        Besides, if I understand it right, the real way the Senate bill covers more people isn't the vaunted "public option" at all, it's by expanding an existing program. Medicaid. If I am not mistaken, the bill included a provision to extend coverage to more folks by raising the income caps. That's why the Repugs have bleated about "States going bankrupt", ordinarily, the State has to pick up a hefty part of any Medicaid tab. So, if the Fed raises income electability levels it would effect States, except I think the bill specifies that the Feds will pick up the whole tab for this expansion.

        I think that is why Howard Dean was so pleased with where we are at, he even brought up the fact that eventually he was able to get almost all of the kids in Vermont covered by expanding existing programs.His only quibble is the timetable, he wants the implementation moved up of course.

        See, this really is how the Dems get stuff done. Get something through in the first place, SS, Medicare, Medicaid, S-chip, and now maybe a public option. And then build on it, layer by layer.

        •  "something" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CWalter, Predictor

          “At the end of the day, we have to pass something.”

          What an inspiration. Should really set voters on fire next year, especially if we have to wait four, five, six years to see any benefits. I can hardly wait. Seriously, I can hardly wait. I haven't had insurance for seven years. By the time anything kicks in I'll be on Medicare. Way to come through, Dems.

          American democracy: One dollar, one vote. See? Equality!

          by psnyder on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 08:57:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Meanwhile Blue Dogs have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nate Roberts, CWalter, Predictor

        proven once again that they can bully progressives. How are they gonna judge a progressive stand next time? By their continual cave-ins. And Pelosi knew this and counted on it to get a bill out. She knew who would cave.

      •  Heard Grayson on the radio yesterday (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CWalter

        backing away from the public option.

        •  What?! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nespolo

          Do you have a link or a quote?

          •  He was on the Ed Schultz show (0+ / 0-)

            It was Thursday. If you are an Air America subscrier you could listen to it.

            It was very disheartening. I really thought he would stand strong. But I think the White House is putting pressure and he won't go up against them. (this is a guess)

            He said it's not the most important thing in getting the bill passed. we can't let it stop us from getting reform if it isn't as strong as we want.

            I would love to hear it again myself. But talking all around the public option. So sad.

    •  And how far have Republicans gotten ... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuffie, askew, missLotus, Urizen, jj32

      ... on their core goals -- privatizing Social Security, repealing minimum wage laws, banning all abortions, etc.?

      Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

      by jim bow on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:03:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And how has that worked out so far? (0+ / 0-)
    •  Where else are THEY gonna go? (0+ / 0-)

      Who else is there for the Republicans to cater TO at this point?

    •  Two-Corporate Owned Parties (5+ / 0-)

      Even Howard Dean, the one who spent months on screen telling us the final bill would have a robust public option because it wouldn't be reform without it, now comes on screen and says this crap ain't bad. Let the crap bill  start in 2010 so we can get more Democrats elected. Obama sits in the White House wanting a trigger on the PO so he can get Queen Snowe on board. Thank goodness a Dennis Kucinich called this hoax out for what it is: Continued sell outs to Corporate America. Neither of these two-major parties can give the American people a level playing field with the big money boys who continue to own their sorry asses. I'm about done with both of these corrupted parties. I don't think they can be saved from their own greed...Epic failure by a Democratically controlled government.

  •  "It's better than nothing!" (7+ / 0-)

    That seems to be the Progressive Dems' slogan in Congress.  Ugh.

  •  Who Says That We Can't Get Better Progressives? (5+ / 0-)

    I think that we should hold progressives to the fire, and if they don't deliver what they promise then maybe they should be primaried too.

  •  Dear God I hope someone is ..... (0+ / 0-)

    Genius

    " It's shocking what Republicans will do to avoid being the 2012 presidential nominee."

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

  •  why? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sbwoodside, Losty, Jyrinx

    Why do you have to pass something?

    People always say the same thing "you liberals have to accept what the dems do because who else you going to vote for?"

    well the answer is NOBODY!

    We will always be taken advantage of until  we refuse to withhold our votes.

    Let some dems lose until they realize they need to pay attention to us.

    Because what's the difference anyway between a weak(moderate?) dem and a republican ?

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:03:25 PM PDT

  •  It's one thing when Lucy pulls the ball (0+ / 0-)

    It's another to miss the goal post.  Why give up the charade so soon?

    "We have to make them do it"

    by bagman on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:03:36 PM PDT

  •  God we are fucking lame... (9+ / 0-)

    a super majority in both houses, a dem prez, and we say the best we can get is good enough???

    Rethugs have one thing on us...they can have a handful of people with no power, godawful ideas,  and they will act like everyone should COWER to them...and many do...

    I wish we weren't so lame...

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:04:09 PM PDT

    •  We're the Washington Generals (0+ / 0-)

      playing against the Harlem Globetrotters.

      Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. H. L. Mencken

      by Keith930 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:12:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But our majority includes the whole party (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      which includes blue dogs too, without them we don't have a majority at all.  Which is what the repugs have now after deciding to run their party purely from the right.

      I can't think of anybody who's ever changed my mind about anything by yelling at me and telling me how morally superior they are.

      by Urizen on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:21:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Dems will OWN this HCR, and it's fallout (5+ / 0-)

    This Bill, 2 years from now, will have "Property of the Democratic Party" stamped all over it, and if it ends up pleasing nobody, saving no money, or even costing some people more due to a mandate and leaving them with the perception that they aren't getting their money's worth...look out.

    The fact that it won't kick in until 2013, if true, is proof that the 111th Congress wants to do nothing more than wash their hands of the whole affair once the final vote is counted.  After that vote, HCR will be yesterday's news, and the insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers and every other vested interest will have 3 years to whittle away at this provision or that under the radar.

    Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. H. L. Mencken

    by Keith930 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:08:43 PM PDT

  •  Oh pullEASE! (0+ / 0-)

    The Blue Cross Dogs haven't been "standing strong".  You can't be serious!

    There's not a glimmer of difference between what they are doing and what the republicans did the last 8 years.

    You say no, I say yes until you say yes and then I say no.

    It's a fucking game.  That doesn't take strength.  It takes contempt.

    "Settle down there, Kossacks. If you're not careful you could break AHIP"

    by Detroit Mark on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:10:17 PM PDT

  •  I think they deserve a lot of credit (0+ / 0-)

    They kept the public option alive. We'd be dealing with President Snowe's trigger if not for them.

  •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

    That one doesn't have much leverage from either "end" of any debate.  The power will always be in the middle.  Go pick up a log or something, it's much heavier if you try to lift it from an end than if you lift it from the middle.  The middle can adjust itself to either side, the end can only move toward the center.  Because it can only do that, it doesn't have any bargaining power to speak of.

    IMO the "pledge" was a pointless exercise and a waste of time.  The battle on this was always about flipping the centrists.

    I can't think of anybody who's ever changed my mind about anything by yelling at me and telling me how morally superior they are.

    by Urizen on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:18:02 PM PDT

  •  We have to pass something. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, shortgirl, Losty
    Ugh, FISAAA redux.

    "Everybody lies... except POLITICIANS? House, I do believe you are a romantic."

    by indiemcemopants on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:19:31 PM PDT

  •  Gotta drag that Overton window some more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10

    Might take awhile.

    I wonder if all this isn't a lot harder for our side because we don't have the coordinated forces of business working for our solution the way that the Republicans always have the coordinated forces of corporate America and its media lined up behind them (when it suits them of course).

    Money is power, and our team doesn't have the big money. We're going to have to primary some blue dogs, and plague any caving progressives with carrots and sticks. But mostly I think we need to drag the fucking Overton Window WAY to the left, and that will take a lot of work. We need more Maddows and Olbermans to hammer the Limbaughs and Becks. We need to focus our power onto the cracks in the matrix until we finally get what America needs.

    We also need to think long term. Think about how the men and women who bled for civil rights must have felt. THAT must have been discouraging. Seeing the system crush and kill those with the audacity to hope that a black man or woman might one day be able to vote, year after year, decade after decade.

    And now we have a black president.

    Long term...

    We always win.

    But damn it's hard to watch the Democrats blow obvious chances at greatness.

    "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" - Al Gore

    by racerx on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:23:34 PM PDT

    •  No. It's hard for your side because you have not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog, Nate Roberts, Losty

      put forth a product that people will clamor for.  What's on the table looks more like welfare for the health care industry than anything that deserves to be called refrom.

      And...there is a number that's been tossed out that I'll bet makes a lot of people shudder -- not to mention distrust Democratic leadership.

      That number is $400 billion of raised revenue to offset costs and even reduce the deficit.

      The problem is this:

      Somebody has claimed that extra taxes will only touch 99.7 percent of the population, yet $400 billion works out to $289,000 per person if it affects 1% of the workforce.  That's a buncha bucks and hard to believe.  More believable is $29,000 per person and 10% of the workforce.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 06:52:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Liberal Activists who thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newsie8200, a night owl

    that liberal congresspeople will kill healthcare reform because it isn't perfect are morons. No offense. The different between liberals and bluedogs is that liberals believe that status-quo is untenable and reform is necessary while bluedogs couldn't give a flying fuck about reform. If you see it the way the liberals in congress see it, then the next question becomes how to get the best deal possible and what is the best compromise? This is exactly what Obama, pelosi and liberals in congress have been working for past 4 months or so.

  •  We need to get rid of weakling progressives who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, sbwoodside, jumpjet

    can't fight.

    •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor

      We need people who would rather go down fighting for their principles then just pass shit to pass shit to pass shit to pass shit. Cause shit is shit and it's not worth passing except out your butt and into the toilet.

      "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

      by Blutodog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heard Ed Scultz saying today Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts, Predictor, Losty

    sold out. Obama is telling the progressives take it, this is all you are going to get and call it a victory.

    •  Ed Schultz has lost it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, JC from IA

      Obama wants reform. Progressives in congress want reform but there are some Democrats who either don't want reform or aren't willing to go all the way. Basically, Obama is telling progressives that people who want reform should be ready to make compromises since people who don't want reform have no qualms in killing it.

      •   It's not reform to me if I have a mandate (4+ / 0-)

        to buy private insurance but don't have a public option to buy from.

        •  Seriously, how likely do you think it is that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg, askew, Nate Roberts, Losty

          Congress will pass something sure to piss off voters all across the spectrum?

          I think not very.

        •  Of course, it is (0+ / 0-)

          reform. Just because it doesn't go as far as you don't want it to doesn't mean it isn't reform. Bringing millions of people who have been excluded for various reasons IS reform.

          •  Go as far as I want? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nate Roberts, Predictor

            Are you kidding? How much more can we pay for insurance that leaves you bankrupt when you have to use it?

            Where are the caps? I can't find them.
            But I can find the fines if you don't buy it.

            •  Why not actually read (0+ / 0-)

              the bills that are on table? There will be fines if you can afford the insurance and don't buy it which is important if you want to bring the overall costs down.

              •  It won't bring down the costs. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Blutodog, Predictor

                The insurance companies will keep moving the costs higher and higher. And I tell you why. Because they are going to lose money covering people with preexisting conditions which they have successfully been denying claims on (though I think they will find ways not to pay).

            •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)

              Nothing in this bill caps costs NOTHING! In fact the Health Ins. Vampires are already raising them as we speak! This bill is nothing more for them than an excuse to whack us even harder. Obama and the Dems. don't seem to understand that we aren't dealing with a bunch of people that give a flying fuck about the Health of anything more then their own bottom lines! Either you play  hardball to win against these pricks or you get rolled and that's exactly what has happened with this phony ass bill! It's just another fucking bail out for another group that has caused the problem in the 1st place. It's insanity to believe that just giving these bastards even more power and $$ from each of us as customers and as tax payers is rational. It's just doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, the very definition of insanity! Obama and his advisors have already done this with the Bankster and look at the result! They've kept the $$ and stuck a BIG fat middle finger in all of our faces! No JOBS, but their profits are fatter then ever thanks to US! This is just more of the same BS. The dickless spineless corrupt Motherfucking DINOcrats are handing us all over to another bunch of heartless greedy bloodsucking Vampires and they think or want us to think this is REAL CHANGE no less! What gall these assholes have! I hope they get their heads handed to them next yr. and as for Obama he needs to read his own friggin speeches. He's full of it to.

              "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

              by Blutodog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:21:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Public Option was the friggin Compromise! (4+ / 0-)

        The problem here from the start is that Obama took the REAL solution off the table with his illogical claim  that we have to live with the hand were already been dealth , meaning a Private health Ins. system no matter how fucked up it is. That was utter BS! We didn't elect this man on the promise to maintain the obscene profits of the DEATH CARE Ins. companies! Once Single Payer / MEDICARE for all was removed it was over before it started! The PO was then going to be bargained away and what we've ended up with is a very weak Death Caare Ins. reform that ultimately will make things even worse because NO effective mechinism is in these bills to stop the rising cost and the increasing shrinkage of these products. No real competition is being fostered with this phony watered down PO. It's nothing more then a facade. What will however happen is the Ins. Vampires will insist the Mandate is strictly enforced and the sheep are herded into their policies or else! They will also suck the treasury dry for their Wall st. masters to pay for the millions that will NOT beable to afford the ever rising costs of their products. They will complain that all of this is because they can no longer keep the sick and the near elderly out of their plans and they can no longer easily dump people when they get sick! This will be true somewhat but not totally since I'll bet the loopholes in these bills regarding those matters are big enough to drive a Mac truck through.
          In summary this bill that Nancy P. is saying is the best we can get is a huge SHIT TACO that will only get even worse after being merged with the crap the Seante has vomited up. In the end even this piece of grabage will be Filibusterred by the GOPERS as to radical!  If the Progressives had any BALLS which they obviously don't they'd toss this joke in the trash can and let the system wind down to it's inevitable collapse! This bill will fail spectacularly as a non-solution . It's nothing more then a HUGE give away to the SAME VAMPIRES already soaked in our blood. It's WALL ST bail out 2. IT SUCKS!

        "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

        by Blutodog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:02:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Single payer was never (0+ / 0-)

          on the table. You just imagined that public option was the compromise. Nobody in the position of actually making compromises ever considered single payer. Secondly, stop with the "We didn't elect this man on the promise to maintain the obscene profits of the DEATH CARE Ins. companies!". Obama never ran on single payer. Obama never ran against health insurance companies or he ever promised to shut them down. He ran for healthcare reform in order to bring millions into the system who have been excluded for various reasons and to reduce costs.

          •  NEVER on the TABLE (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beowulf, Nate Roberts, Predictor

            Exactly my pt. You never start a negotiation by asking for what u want. You ask for 150% more any neophyte trader knows that. By NEVER even asking for what he even admits in public is the real reform he basically signaled the other side he wasn't really serious about reforming anything.

            "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

            by Blutodog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:26:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's absurd logic. (0+ / 0-)

              The question isn't whether you ask 10% more for a used honda? You do but the question is whether you can ask an asking price of a million dollar for a 2002 Nissan. You can't. US existing healthcare system and single payer don't lie on the same axis. There is no demand for single payer among the people or in the congress or at The Presidential level. The demand doesn't exist so it was never on the table.

              •  I just watched NOW on PBS (4+ / 0-)

                about Denmark and what they are doing regarding global warming. I am once again amazed as I often am when I turn my eyes to other countries. They are acting reasonably and trying to do what is right for the whole country. Not what is right for a few powerful oil or coal companies.

                I always forget how rational most other countries are in the way they approach policy.

                I am very, very convinced after watching this health care debate unfold this country is doomed. Really doomed. Every last bill that is written is written by special interests to screw the people. And we seem powerless to stop it. Time after time.

                When are we going to face it, our system is broken beyond repair?

                •  Climate change bill will (0+ / 0-)

                  be equally flawed so what are our options? It's either you take the incremental progress and live to fight another day or you kill even the incremental progress. I'm going with option a) because that's just the reality at this time. The system is flawed and no one is interested in revolution ( Hell, you cannot get 5000 people to come out and march for 2 hours for HCR) so it's either small steps or status quo.

                  •  We could save ourselves (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Predictor

                    a generation of pain and suffering if we came to grips with it and demanded a constitutional convention.

                    I will never forget getting off the bus in Washington DC going to protest the Iraq war and thinking I can't believe I am doing this a decade later with a Bush in the White House invading the same country. I never could have predicted in a million years that could come to past but by god it did.

                    I used to save newspapers for long periods of time and when I would periodically go through them to throw them out the headlines from years past could have been written that day. We fight the same battles over and over and over and never win. Never.

                  •  then pick no change over a pittance of change. (0+ / 0-)

                    And let everything stop.  really.  I'm not kidding.
                    Enoughs enough.
                    Lets stop the BS and just end this system.

                    Sure there will be problems, but we need something else.  This isnt working, and its got no hope of working in the future. We all know it.

              •  No demand? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Beowulf

                Nonsense. Single Payer when explained as a Medicare style Option is wildly popular.

                "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

                by Blutodog on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 07:42:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you. This bill is going to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blutodog, Predictor

          just make it a crime for us to not buy their crap insurance at obscene prices.

          It's not going to fix anything, least of all cost.

          As the economy falters in the next several years many many business will first offer their employees only high deductible policies while raising they amount the employees must pay and second will drop health insurance altogether.

        •  "Let the system wind down ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew

          ... to it's inevitable collapse ..."

          And the thousands who die while this happens, on the way to Utopia in 3,5,10,17,29 years?  Collateral damage.  Because we have to stand firm on 'principle.'

          Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

          by Tuffie on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 09:26:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ed's got his panties in a bunch. (0+ / 0-)

      According to him last night, his 'progressives' are the only reason Obama is in office, so he 'owes' them.

      Which begs the question: Did these same 'progressives' elect Bush two cycles in a row, then?  Why?

  •  Blue dogs have GOP backup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor

    what gives them strength is their vote along with all the GOP votes kills legislation. Liberals must stand alone with a sure loser to make good their threat. It used to be the same on the other side when they had a moderate wing which could threaten to vote with the Dems.

    •  Traitors in our ranks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      keikekaze, cacamp

      In other words the GOPER wing of the Demo. party plus the GOPers really have the power? Looks that way doesn't it. Can't get elected so u take over as much of the other party as u can. Good plan seems to be working. The $$ doesn't care who has the power is the game so they buy shares in both. It's called hedging your bets and the Wall st. crowd are experts at it, at least the political end.

      "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

      by Blutodog on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:05:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've offered them money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor

    we've supported them and harried them, and, at the end of the day, they're doing exactly what they shouldn't.

    I don't want to give up.  What can we do?

    Grab a mop or shut up, dammit!

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:17:56 PM PDT

  •  the leafy hood 100K SELL OUTS. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts

    there are appx. 24,000,000 households with over 100k of 2008 money income.

    there are appx. 92,000,000 households with under 100k of money income in 2008.

    there are appx 78,000,000 households with under 75k a year of money income in 2008.

    OF COURSE these chardonnay liberals are selling us f'king peee-ons out!

    how many of the OVER 100k/yr set are the parasites making their living outta the thousands of pages of laws, regulations, rules ... as consultants, lawyers, managers ...??

    THEY CAN AFFORD waiting 3 years piece of crap #23232 to kick in, and 4 years of piece of arcane crap #2337 to kick in ??

    The IRONY is these over 75 and over 100k professional / managerial households are the 'backbone' of the Dem party! They read "nickeled and dimed" in the college poverty class, they tip their paperperson well, and they pay the nanny's FICA ... BUT

    they don't know what a bunch of bullshit all these idiotic fucking rules are for the 60 and 70 million of living month to month

    so the elect these dud-crap-kis kerry gore clintonian ivy sell outs who compromise to the fascists

    OVER AND OVER AND OVER ...

    ugh.

    let me write their 2010 election strategy ...

    vote for us, the politically incompetent, cuz we is noblerer, smarterer, nicerer, gooderer

    and the blue dogs are sell outs

    and the other guys are christo-fascists!

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 07:36:27 PM PDT

  •  Boy, Are They in the Ozone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts

    In other words, they're protected to some degree by the "where else are they gonna go?" factor.

    I've got some bad news for them. I feel no loyalty to them whatsoever. If they don't do exactly as I demand, I simply will take my time, money and votes elsewhere.

    I can do that because I know that in any primary election every last one of them has challengers. In some cases they have four or five. These people are out there waiting to take away their jobs. I'm perfectly happy to send money to their challengers and even work for them. It may not unseat them, but it will do the one thing they must fear the most: make them work harder. Every dollar I give to their challenger is another dollar they have to counter (usually by begging from people they don't want to see) by dialing for dollars.

    And, if they aren't suitable after that, I'll simply ignore them and either vote for someone from another party (think Green, Libertarian or Peace and Freedom) or abstain from voting for anyone for that office.

    There are real progressives around; people I can depend on. I'll give money to them instead of the regular flock. If Anna Eshoo doesn't work hard enough for a progressive agenda, I'm perfectly happy to send my hard-earned dollars to Dennis Kucinich or whoever else I think can better use them. There are, in point of fact, plenty of other places to "go".

    Do I care if the Republicans kick them out of office? Not in the least. If I can't tell the difference between what they do and the Republicans would, why should I care? It's not like they have done anything particularly that I wanted. They haven't put Dick Cheney in jail, they haven't ended the war in Iraq, they didn't even fight for a single-payer healthcare system. They aren't instituting an international minimum wage and I haven't heard boo from them about climate change since the last election. They doled out billions of dollars to fat cats on Wall Street while employment has hit new highs and people going into bankruptcy in record numbers. From my point of view, they don't look all that different from the average corporate politicians. The fact that Obama has DLC stalwarts like Rahm Emanuel on his staff makes it clear they aren't headed in a liberal direction.

    At this rate they wouldn't be able to buy my vote if they gave me a zero tax rate for the rest of my life.

    I think I could literally go down the street and pick six people that could write better laws than Congress and that if I went outside and threw a stone I'd probably hit someone that could come up with better policy on many issues than the White House.

    These people had better get their act together, or a lot of them will be unemployed in 2013.

  •  Here's the Deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts

    To some extent, this is a function of there being no universally accepted definition of either the public option or what it means for one to be "robust," at least not at the time that the pledges were solicited and the letter was signed.

    This is why I defined victory in terms of "affordable and universal". We will know whether they got it right by looking at the numbers. It needs to cover 100% and the costs need to go down below 15% of GDP. Anything else, regardless of what name they put on it, simply isn't success.

    These aren't arbitrary numbers. If you still have people suffering and dying because they can't afford healthcare, that's just wrong. And, if we don't get the total costs down below 15% it will continue to be a political issue. (Frankly, success would be to get it down around 10-11%, like it is in France and other countries with successful healthcare systems.)

    The questions to ask your representatives are: "How close to getting costs under 15% of GDP will this plan get us? Will it cover literally everyone?"

    If they can't answer those questions convincingly, then they simply aren't on the right track.

  •  It's Almost Time (0+ / 0-)

    ...to break out the bottles full of "Told Ya So!".

    A full glass of "Told Ya So!" to each and every user who jumped down the throats of those who constantly suggested Progressives would fold (as usual).

    Cheers!

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