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Perfect, meet good. You two play nice now.

If only.

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party has a reputation to uphold. During the darker days of the Bush Administration, it was the Democratic Wing of Howard Dean that stood up to the outrages, the excesses, and the likely crimes, both overt and covert, perpetrated by the previous residents of the White House and Foggy Bottom. In those days, no stance of opposition could have been too strong. The extreme and reckless path of the Bush administration and the Republican Congress that did its bidding was gradually shifting the Overton Window of political acceptability further and further to the right--or more accurately said, to positions that were, and continue to be, anti-democratic and willfully authoritarian.

At that time, damage control was the watchword of the day. In the face of a pliant political media that accepted as fact the talking points of the party in power, it often took the messaging equivalent of screaming in people's ears to even have a chance at being heard or swaying the debate. There was no hope of advancing any sort of progressive policy, at least nationwide--as progressives, we could only hope that we could somehow stop the next reckless thing from happening.

At that time, the strategy for trying to make sure that fewer bad things happened was equally as clear: be loud, be vociferous and be clear about precisely how wrong--morally, historically and factually--the opposition was, whether with votes, with speeches or with any other tool in the progressive arsenal. The progressive movement knew that it could not count on the Democratic leadership to do the right thing, and could not count on the media to provide an opinion that was more truthful than "balanced". And during those times, the renascent progressive movement had a scant few successes sprinkled in with the gigantic failure that was the implementation of the Bush doctrine.

The era of Obama changed many things--but did not change our methodology. We no longer had to worry about the implementation of yet more disastrous conservative policies; instead, we were merely concerned that old policies would not be changed fast enough, or that a new progressive policies would not be implemented soon enough. And in the early going of the Obama presidency, the strategy here for the progressive movement was clear as well: as policy was still being formulated, it was the prerogative of the movement to push for policies that were as progressive as possible in the hopes of shifting the Overton Window for what was under consideration as far to the left as possible. And in this context, the movement's biggest enemies were not the Republicans, whom we knew would be opposed to anything that did not further serve their corporate masters, but rather the "conservative" Democrats who bent right as soon as they could before they could even have known what could be achieved without significant political cost at home.

The debate over health insurance reform provides an excellent example. The progressive movement pushed hard for what was right. A single-payer system was certainly not going to pass the House or Senate, but a public option that would hold insurance companies accountable through the creation of an alternative certainly seemed popular enough to be possible. And every single time it looked like the House Bill would not have a public option, the progressive movement was right there to say otherwise. And whether through lobbying, massive small-dollar fundraising, or citizen-generated whip counts, the movement said, "yes, it will have a public option."

We won that battle. But on the public option itself, we have lost the war--for now. To be sure, this is a massive disappointment. The healthcare reform bill that has come out of the Senate will do good things, but it is not what progressives were hoping for, no matter whether the blame rests on Obama, the Senate, or anyone else. And the progressive response to non-progressive policy has so far been simple: if it's not progressive enough, speak vociferously against it and make sure not to vote for it.

But circumstances are different now, and as painful as it is to say it, case-by-case tactics sometimes require a wholesale shift from movement progressivism to incremental pragmatism. As thereisnospoon explained:

The second thing to understand is that March 2010 is not August 2009.  Back in the heady days of mid-late 2009, members of Congress were still putting their fingers to the wind (and looking hard at the threat of insurance industry money) to determine their stance on healthcare.  More importantly, we didn't yet have actual bills passed in the House and Senate.  Scott Brown was considered a long-shot candidate in Massachusetts.  And there was still time to deal with healthcare, and move to other legislative priorities in advance of the midterm elections.

In short, there was a lot of room to negotiate at the time.  There was some real room to bluff; real methods to play hard to get; and adequate time to persuade.

We no longer have any of those.  The situation now is as follows:

   * Whatever happens, must happen quickly or not at all.
   * Stances on healthcare reform have hardened significantly for nearly all legislators.
   * Whatever deals were going to be made, have basically already been made.

As idealists, progressives feel obligated to push for policy solutions that are ideal--not just "better than what we have right now." And hence, there is a tendency among some in the movement to want to kill the bill we have right now and start over. But each specific situation requires a hard, pragmatic analysis of exactly what will ensure long-term progressive gains.

Continuing with the example of health care reform, the nature of the Senate Rules makes it such that this is the best we are going to get. No other votes are persuadable, and coming away with nothing will be an utter disaster. And ironically, it is by maintaining its allegiance to its purest ideals that the progressive movement will become its own worst enemy, as there is a chance that some progressives such as Kucinich will vote against the Senate Bill from left and end up sinking the entire reform process--and potentially any hopes for a successful midterm cycle for the Democratic Party.

But what's important to note is that health care reform is not a special case. Every single major policy initiative for the next two years will likely follow this pattern, whether it is financial sector regulation, immigration reform, or even LGBT equality--and progressive strategy must adapt case-by-case from the strictly principled to the productively pragmatic.

Progressives will not be able to get everything they want on these, or any, policy issues. But what the movement must absolutely learn is to make that adaptation. On every single issue, there will come a point when there is no more negotiation to be done and when there will bill a final policy position to be either accepted or rejected. And whatever that final position is, it will then be the job of the progressive to evaluate it strictly on the merits of what it is, rather than what it could have been. And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported. That's just pragmatism: maximizing the progressive nature of current policy.

Failure to make this evaluation on a case by case basis will result in the perfect being the enemy of the good. And when that happens, you usually end up with neither.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:02 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bingo Dante and when (32+ / 0-)
    the new Congress comes in 2011 we change the Senate rules and reduce the filibuster threshold and watch out!

    President Obama and the Dems are hitting their strides and I say that passing the health care bill will do one more thing than the obvious that has not been mentioned.

    Passing it will give a rush of emotion and inspiration to our Demcratic Congress. Kind of like earning an A on a hard exam. It stokes you.

    I am stoked and I believe the end of 2010 is going to be good, and 2011 will be historic for Progressive causes.

    I say it now and I mean it. Thanks for a great post.

    It is our money they want, so let's not give it to them. - Mean Mr. Mustard

    by Mean Mr Mustard on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:07:28 PM PDT

  •  the senate is the place reform goes to die (21+ / 0-)

    it was always going to be.

    And as annoying as it is to hear, if it doesn't pass the senate, it doesn't pass.

    The responses so far have on the whole been reasonable. I've only seen accusations of selling out a couple of times per health care post.

    So it goes.

    OTOH, the bill, deficient as it's going to be, nonetheless has some good things including establishing the principle that republicans are against any reform of any kind.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:07:37 PM PDT

    •  rewarding insurers (16+ / 0-)

      It can't possibly be reasonable to force more people to be ripped off by insurers--to have more procedures denied in the name of profits.

    •  Let me ask you this: (38+ / 0-)

      What don't we have -- and what is fair for us to demand -- is a complete list of every Representative and every Senator who is willing to vote for the public option, which at least some polls indicate has substantial popular support.

      I'm for passing the bill and I'm for rudely continuing to press for a public option after we do so, even if it gets in the way of some future proposal for welfare reform or school uniforms.  (Sorry -- Clinton Administration scars still not entirely healed.)  But what I DO NOT UNDERSTAND is the idea that it's OK to put this behind us before we have demanded and obtained accountability as to who stands where.  I'd love for everyone to have to answer the question of whether they'd support a public option simultaneously, in one room, while blindfolded, so that in claiming that they would they would have to face the horrifying possibility that maybe we do have a majority of both houses of Congress claiming to be willing to support it.

      So yeah, the bill has some good things.  But right now the real fight from "some on the left" seems to be against people who still want to hold out for what may be tactical reasons -- fire that is for some reason aimed at Kucinich but not Luis Gutiérrez -- and against a strong and final campaign to make people put themselves on record.

      When we write the history of this effort, our failure to go into next week's probable vote not even knowing whether a majority of both houses would favor a public option via reconciliation if the rest of the Congress would do so will be the single thing that will be the hardest to explain.  How can we let people evade accountability this way?  Why aren't the blogs demanding that at this point?

      Why don't we demand to know who is and who is not on our side, if supporting a public option would not kill a reconciliation bill?  It defies understanding.

      "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:31:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Greenwald's reasoning leads too directly to (8+ / 0-)

          the Land of Then Don't Even Bother for my taste.  I hate living in that place.  He may well be right, but I favor continuing to spin the lock looking for a willing combination.

          "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:26:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i don't think so (6+ / 0-)

            if that was greenwald's message, he wouldn't bother!

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:28:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then what *is* his message? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yella dawg, efraker

              He gets awfully cynical sometimes.  I could support his message so long as he disagrees with the thesis of the diary that I just posted.

              "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:38:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Crony capitalism has lapped my cynicism, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane, output

                several times already.

                OMG. I have been offended. And on the internets of all Places. -A LOLCat.

                by James Kresnik on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:29:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "no matter how cynical you get, (0+ / 0-)

                  it's impossible to keep up."

                  - lily tomlin

                  "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

                  by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:16:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  There's no substitute for fundamental change. (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TJ, blueoasis, girlsanger, output, Rabbithead

                At least that's what I take his message to be.

                Incrementalism is much, much easier. But incrementalism will never get you to, e.g., real HCR because the people in charge of the incrementalism are fundamentally opposed to real HCR.

                At the end of the day we need:

                1. Serious electoral reform.
                1. Fundamental change in the Democratic Party (think of what the right did in the GOP between 1960 and 1980 as a model) or a viable third party.

                Are those things very very difficult?  You bet.

                But the future of this country and (when you consider climate change) the planet lie in the balance.

                Stop Obama's Wars Now! Bring the Troops Home!

                by GreenSooner on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:44:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Unfortunatly fundamental change is.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, girlsanger, ohmyheck

                  ...exactly what we are getting. The problem is its not the change we voted for or want, its a further entrenching of the owner class... and a further degradation of our protections from these enemies within.

                  Now they will lop everyone into the deadly american medical establishment with its "insurance" goons more capable than ever to hold you and yours by the throat & profit from your torment and death.  Thanks democrats for literally assuring more death and destruction at the hands of these cretins.

                  yeah the goons have gone global and the CEOs are shredin files and the democrins and the republicrats are flashing their toothy smiles -Serpintine-Ani Difranco

                  by Macrocosm on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:57:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I guess I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't think this is fundamental change. I think this is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I think the arrangement is marginally better than the status quo (I'm in favor of  passing the bill if the alternative is nothing) but it just doesn't affect the system's fundamental problems.

                    Yet this is, in fact, the change I voted for, insofar as I felt that my choice was between two parties bought-and-paid-for by corporate America, with one slightly less kleptocratic and Evanglelical than the other.  

                    It's not the change I wanted. But it's what I voted for: a lesser evil health bill from a lesser evil party.

                    Stop Obama's Wars Now! Bring the Troops Home!

                    by GreenSooner on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:02:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well said... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...still I must disagree ... I think requiring every single man woman and child to buy into this charade of a health-care system is dangerously undemocratic  and about the most radical change in the bill.

                      I wouldn't trust an insurance company with my dogs shit.  In fact I can more than afford health-care but opt out because I value my life & take care of myself.  I go to a Naturalist doc & for emergencies have the highest respect and trust for the fine folks in the emergency room.  American health-care is factually bad for your health, especially when considering the insurance gestapo.  These weak kneed politicians are selling us all down the river... its sick.

                      yeah the goons have gone global and the CEOs are shredin files and the democrins and the republicrats are flashing their toothy smiles -Serpintine-Ani Difranco

                      by Macrocosm on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:24:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  He sure did... (17+ / 0-)

          <snip>

          If -- as they claimed all year long -- a majority of Congressional Democrats and the White House all support a public option, why would they possibly whip against it, and ensure its rejection, at exactly the moment when it finally became possible to pass it?   If majorities of the House and Senate support it, as does the White House, how could the inclusion of a public option possibly jeopardize passage of the bill?

          I've argued since August that the evidence was clear that the White House had privately negotiated away the public option and didn't want it, even as the President claimed publicly (and repeatedly) that he did.  And while I support the concept of "filibuster reform" in theory, it's long seemed clear that it would actually accomplish little, because the 60-vote rule does not actually impede anything.  Rather, it is the excuse Democrats fraudulently invoke, using what I called the Rotating Villain tactic (it's now Durbin's turn), to refuse to pass what they claim they support but are politically afraid to pass, or which they actually oppose (sorry, we'd so love to do this, but gosh darn it, we just can't get 60 votes).  If only 50 votes were required, they'd just find ways to ensure they lacked 50.  Both of those are merely theories insusceptible to conclusive proof, but if I had the power to create the most compelling evidence for those theories that I could dream up, it would be hard to surpass what Democrats are doing now with regard to the public option.  They're actually whipping against the public option.  Could this sham be any more transparent?

          •  Nope. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, SmedleyButlerUSMC

            Now the question is how to break the cycle of a now two-party kleptocracy and return to advancing reforms that don't serve as a siphon out of the pockets of the working classes while wrecking the ability of this nation to compete.

            Politics as branding must come to an end.

            OMG. I have been offended. And on the internets of all Places. -A LOLCat.

            by James Kresnik on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:32:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Greenwald Nails Another Inconvenient Truth (19+ / 0-)

          The Democrats' Scam Becomes More Transparent

          As I've noted before, the column I've written which has produced the highest level of hate mail over the past year (in terms of volume and intensity) was when I compiled the evidence back in August that the White House was working to ensure there'd be no public option in the final bill at exactly the same time Obama was publicly insisting he favored it. The very idea that the President might be saying one thing in public and doing the opposite in private was outrageous and conspiratorial; a politician (or, at least, Barack Obama) would never do such a thing.  Yet all along, that's exactly what the White House was doing, and it continues to do exactly that even though there is, at least, a significant chance that there are sufficient votes to enact the public option.  That's the reason their explanations and excuses make no sense:  because the real reason there's no public option -- they don't want one -- is the one they can't or won't admit.

          "What they do in Washington, they just take care of number one. And number one ain't you. You ain't even number two." Frank Zappa

          by SmedleyButlerUSMC on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:27:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Every time I read something like that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, SmedleyButlerUSMC, output

            It makes my blood boil.

            I believe that President Obama is a good man, but I can't help feeling like I have been stabbed in the back when I realize that while I was putting my trust in him, and listening to his hollow words about how any bill he signed must include the public option, he was working to kill it behind the scenes.

            Couldn't the White House have just stifled the public option without filling us full of shit about how they favored it? Was it really necessary to lead us on like that?

            Did they think it would never come out?

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by Haningchadus14 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:24:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Kucinich vs. Gutierrez (22+ / 0-)

        As usual, SD, you've written an excellent comment.  I agree with you entirely, and I see no reason why we can't get an honest accounting of who's for the PO and who's against it.

        With respect to why Kucinich is under fire instead of Gutierrez, I think that's a pretty easy one.  As I understand it, Gutierrez is objecting to the anti-immigrant language in the proposed legislation.  He sees it (correctly in my view) as unfairly stigmatizing Latinos.  So he opposes writing xenophobia into the law.  Now, if "pragmatic progressives" were to go after Gutierrez for his opposition, they'd find themselves in the uncomfortable position of telling a Latino politician to just suck it up and swallow the insult.  That might seem just a tad racist.  Kucinich, on the other hand, is just your basic lefty, so he can be attacked with all the usual smears -- he's making common cause with the Republicans! -- but without any fear of being seen as insensitive to a powerful electoral constituency.

        Just my $0.02.

        •  I'm trying to figure out how much money I'd pay (15+ / 0-)

          to see Markos attack Gutierrez for his perfectly reasonable rationale for not yet being on board with the bill the way he has attacked Kucinich for his reasonable rationale.

          "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:27:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sideshow (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, rweba, Egalitare, Onomastic

            which has nothing to do with the issue at hand - a real bill on the table for this week. The only bill there will be this year.

            This is all classic 'perfect is the enemy of the good' stuff.

            I'm for an upperdown vote on the public option. I'm happy to get people, on record. I don't think it passes.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:31:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How are you in a position to deem the treatment (8+ / 0-)

              of progressive opponents to the health care bill a "sideshow"?  Maybe it seems that way from the stage, but most of us are watching from the bleachers.

              By the way: you think it's a foregone conclusion that Grayson's four-page bill won't get a vote this year?  Why?  Are we just "pretending" to support that too, for poker purposes?

              I don't actually want a "vote" on the public option right now.  That's too easy to game.  Tom Harkin would vote "no," for legitimate reasons, if he thinks that it's a poison pill that would cause the bill to fail in the House.  I want an accurate and complete whip count to be taken, about a specific legislative proposal, where Members of Congress don't know ahead of time if they can fake a "yes" vote without being held accountable for it.

              Please don't tell me that that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

              "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:43:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the discussion of immigration reform is a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew, rweba

                sideshow discussion with health reform the issue this week. You brought up Gutierrez and having him duke it out with Markos. That's a sideshow.

                How are you in a position to deem the treatment of progressive opponents to the health care bill a "sideshow"?

                if you want to twist what I say to get yourself mad, go right ahead.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:49:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Don't hold your breath (12+ / 0-)

            It is perfectly acceptable in the so-called "progressive" community to trash someone for being a "purist," but certain things are out of bounds.  Gutierrez's critique is entirely reasonable.  So is Kucinich's.  But Gutierrez is basically pointing out the fact that Obama and the Democratic leadership have (at a minimum) acquiesced in language that is borderline racist just so that they can prove their bona fides to certain, shall we say, less enlightened members of Congress.  Pragmatists are more than willing to attack someone for being too progressive, but they're not willing to risk the kind of opprobrium that would await them were they to direct their fire at Gutierrez.  

            So here we sit.  Gutierrez and the Latino caucus certainly control more votes than Kucinich does, and they could probably bring down the legislation if they held their ground.  Yet they're not getting hammered, while Kucinich, who seems to be a majority of one, is.  Curiouser and curiouser.

            •  see comment (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              valadon, rweba, James Kresnik

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Dennis is out there by himself.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:40:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that's all the more reason NOT to slam him (9+ / 0-)

                His vote is therefor only decisive if the Dems fall one vote short without him.  In that case, they should have a contingency plan to make sufficient concessions to bargain for his solitary vote -- which he's all but said he'd be willing to do, e.g. on improving the ERISA waiver.  So why aren't we pushing for Obama, Reid and Pelosi to make sure that his proposal gets an upperdown vote -- now and in 2011 -- in exchange for his vote now?

                "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

                by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:46:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that scenario (5+ / 0-)

                  His vote is therefor only decisive if the Dems fall one vote short without him.

                  is the only scenario I care about Kucinich's vote. if the Dems have 5 extra, he can vote any which way he wants, for any reason that pleases him.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:51:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Fully agreed (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ksingh, blueoasis, Jyrinx, efraker, Eric Nelson

                    In that case, he'd better agree to any reasonable concession to win his vote.

                    However, there had better be a reasonable concession to win his vote, for him to agree to.

                    I hope that someone is working on pushing for that.  We don't seem to be.

                    "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

                    by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:56:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Are you saying that the implicit message in (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, efraker

              Markos's being willing to bash Kucinich but not Gutierrez for continuing to hold out for concessions is that we don't want to alienate the Latino vote but it's OK to bash dirty hippies?  I wonder if he'd ever say so in so many words!

              "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:00:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  now that's some realpolitik (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                Liberals have nowhere to go. What are they going to do, vote for Nader again?

                A "record 44%" of Latino voters supported George Bush in his second term. One can argue that a group may have been fooled to support Bush the first time, but everyone who voted for Bush's second term did so with open eyes.

                "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 11:11:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  here is where i see things right now (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pattym922, Cedwyn, rweba, Onomastic

            Huge Majority Of MoveOn Members Supports Passing Senate Bill

            Here’s a pretty clear indication that the left, whatever its disappointment with the Senate health bill, still overwhelmingly sees passing it as by far the best course of action.

            http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/...

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:39:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  good point both of you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

            by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:41:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          But don't forget, another bad, bad, terrible thing about Kucinich is that he says he saw a UFO! Just proves he doesn't know what he's talking about on HCR, and that he doesn't care about the rest of us. Wouldn't be surprised if he was even from some other planet. Right?...

          "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

          by ratmach on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:38:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't it sometimes seem that most Dems... (6+ / 0-)

        ... in Congress don't WANT a public option included? I mean, even some of those who have previously said they DO want it. Seems to me that some of them ARE afraid it'll actually come to a vote and they'll have to OFFICIALLY make a stand one way or the other.

        "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

        by ratmach on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:34:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We absolutely need that list. (6+ / 0-)

        We can use it as the basis for figuring out who we really need to support, and who is a potential target for a challenge, and you know that's exactly why they are avoiding that.

        The Corporate politicians are way out numbered on this, and everybody knows it.  If the will of the people was a real consideration at all, we would never have spent this amount of time on such a tepid bill.

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:39:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One thing I'll note: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          potatohead

          There are already whip counts out there; dday's and whipcongress.com's, most notably.  I'm talking about something more specific: "here's the legislative language; will you pledge to support it?"  That's what I want to see.

          "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:51:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, me too. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            I know we have plenty of information to size up people, who is who, and get to a lot of why.

            But, seeing specific language would allow us some detail.  We might need that, and frankly, if they were to deny that language, they would take some ownership of that.

            Owning something is a bit different than just being targeted on something, and the difference is they don't have a lot of the easy outs in play they would otherwise, if they avoid ownership.

            Many people would poorly characterize that as merely symbolic, which it is.  They miss the greater implications where ownership does either have it's privilege, or liability, depending on what is owned and why.

            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 12:19:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You nailed a major question why is it okay for (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, blueoasis, Seneca Doane

        both houses of Congress who know the actual head count at this point who is in favor or opposed to a public option via reconciliation, yet we the people who pay their salaries never get the  priviledge of a straight on-the-record answer aye or nay?

        A majority says they are in favor yet unwilling to stand up and prove their own words. fuck that.

        How can we let people evade accountability this way?

         I'm going to continue calling, this can't be right. I don't care if it's useless, I refuse to stop "bothering" our legislators. This is my public nice talk.

    •  Repiglicans are only pretending to oppose (0+ / 0-)

      Have you not caught onto this whole good-cop/bad-cop charade? lol its so painfully transparent and quite deadly to be honest.  If there werent a little Dem banner hanging over this turd of a legislation you would swear the repiglicans wrote it.

      yeah the goons have gone global and the CEOs are shredin files and the democrins and the republicrats are flashing their toothy smiles -Serpintine-Ani Difranco

      by Macrocosm on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:45:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pass it (13+ / 0-)

    and primary the chickenshits that wouldn't fight for what the majority of american people asked for.

    Move Your Money The truth is too big to fail. Justice is too big to fail. Peace is too big to fail.

    by Burned on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:09:04 PM PDT

  •  No war has been lost... (15+ / 0-)

    It's a never-ending series of battles. And we will have made significant positive progress in about a week.

    The magic heel-clickers are of course welcome to continue complaining. This is America, after all.

  •  Uh oh! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, Onomastic, sturunner

    I think I agree with this.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:10:20 PM PDT

    •  I found one assertion I disagree with strongly (21+ / 0-)

      The era of Obama changed many things--but did not change our methodology. We no longer had to worry about the implementation of yet more disastrous conservative policies

      Of course, a mandate without a public option is precisely a "disastrous conservative policy" about which we have had to worry.  It's like NAFTA was in 1993 -- when I also remember being told that we didn't have to worry about conservatism anymore.

      I repeat: on balance, I'm for passing this bill.  But claiming that people who still oppose it are not specifically worried about disastrous conservative policies misses the point so broadly as to be insulting.  What do we think people are upset about?

      "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:48:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I found that (8+ / 0-)

        an odd comment as well, given all that has gone down this past year.

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

        by TracieLynn on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:58:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, and very nicely stated. (6+ / 0-)

        Thanks for that.

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:02:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard (7+ / 0-)

        many of the Bill's supporters saying  "It's just like Romneycare!" as if that is a great fucking thing.  Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch if all that we are planning to do is install Regressive ideas, what in the fuck are we here for.  If people had wanted Republican ideas, thay would have voted for the Republicans, but they voted overwhelmingly in two straight elections for serious change and are not getting it.

        This plan makes the Middle Class pay for the care of the poor.  That is the sickest, most twisted thing I have ever heard.

        And please (to all of those who push it), quit this "If we don't get this Bill meme..." because it is flawed.  We lost in '94 because we got caught napping and the pro-gun and Right Wing nuts went out in full force to vote.  Remember, it was the Dems that helped to kill Healthcare too, not just the Regressives.  I heard very little angst about heathcare that year, but a lot about guns and "freedom."  This was also in the wake of Waco and Ruby Ridge, where some of the Governments actions were very questionable and led to a more anti-governmental feeling in general.

        The Dems will be more energized this time around, unless of course we're dismissed because we don't toss the salad with enough spittle to satiate the Corpocrats.

        The Demographics of the Country have changed and while the Media seems to love fluffing the Tea Partiers they are nobody and nothing.  Even if this Bill were not to pass, I don't think we could lose the House or Senate.  Besides, the vast majority who will lose will be the Blue Dogs and DINO's anyway.  We'll have a smaller, but more ideologically pure caucus that, along with Filibuster reform, will actually make it a more effective caucus.

        IMHO of course.

        Jackson

        Like Punk? Just cut and paste... http://www.myspace.com/deptofmartyrs

        by Jackson Hunter on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:09:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I've said above, I favor passing the bill (9+ / 0-)

          largely because people who are no less smart and no less progressive than I am, and who have better information than I do -- like Grayson and Sanders -- think that it's the right move.  But I don't think that your concerns are absurd or politically immature or whatever the attack du jour is going to be.  Part of my concern is that people who disagree, as you and I do, conduct ourselves now so that we can cooperate later.

          "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:23:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I honestly (6+ / 0-)

            don't mind if it passes, I just think it's horrific policy is all.  I try to keep my cool, but sometimes our side is provoked as well.  I don't think we'll lose the Majorities if we pass it either.  My take is that please, after our 1,000,000 diefeat, that eventually we fight for our principles no matter the cost.  Nobody votes for cowards.

            Jackson

            Like Punk? Just cut and paste... http://www.myspace.com/deptofmartyrs

            by Jackson Hunter on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  . (0+ / 0-)

              Nobody votes for cowards.

              Even the slimiest, most corrupt, crony-capitalist, centrists have have immutable principles they will go to the mat for.

              What principles do internet progressives have that they are not willing to sacrifice to the altar of political expediency?

              OMG. I have been offended. And on the internets of all Places. -A LOLCat.

              by James Kresnik on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:15:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not really in favor (6+ / 0-)

            of it passing, but that matters little because it inevitably will.

            I'd have to say that despite my own reluctance to seeing this travesty become law that it is in no way connected to why the Right doesn't want it.

            I think there are legitimate gripes and concerns about the policy itself and politically I'm not so sure it helps us.

            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

            by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:04:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To be honest, (5+ / 0-)

              I was on the fence a couple days ago. Now, I'm positive that, politically, passing this bill is worse than not passing it. The mandates with continuing rate increases will severely hurt democrats. This is very bad policy. This is the policy that will ensure that health care reform is not possible for the next generation.

              Bob Dylan says times are changin', but I know they never will. Oh me heart is livin' in the sixties still. - The Saw Doctors

              by SpecialKinFlag on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:26:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have a good point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens, SpecialKinFlag

                and we have to look at the timing...it won't take full effect until 2014 (some provisions start earlier but, not all)...how does that square with 2010/2012 elections? People will still be dying at a rate of 45k/yr nothing will change that.

                Then they pushed State single-payer options beyond the reach of this Presidency to 2017..

                Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

                The only exception in my mind and it's not the greatest one is it is exactly what Republicans would want.

                Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:42:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Romneycare (3+ / 0-)

          First off, did you actually live in Massachusetts under Romneycare?  Well, I did.  Because of cancer, I abso-fucking lutely had to have health insurance.  Non-negotiable, not debatable.  By then, I was in remission, but had to get CT scans, X-rays, and blood work every 6 months to a year.  I made less than $25k (in Massachusetts no less!).  COBRA cost me $315 per month and only covered 80%, so that meant another $1000-2000 per year on top for a total of about $4500-5500 per year.  

          Then COBRA ran out.  I was lucky enough that Romney's plan had gone into effect by then.  My premiums went down to about $100 and it covered something like 90-95% of my lab costs.  So yeah, Romneycare worked.  Not for everyone.  Maybe not even for most people.  But there were subsidies and I got to keep my own doctor and I saved enough to fucking live.

          Romney's a kook, and his religion (and all religion, really) is a crock.  But his health care plan was a million times better than nothing.  I wish all you people who never lived in Massachusetts and never had to worry about health care vs. food would do a little fucking research first.

          •  My only point (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, James Kresnik

            was that if people wanted Romneycare, they would have voted for Romney.  You're right, I can't make a substantive point about the efficacy of Romneycare because I don't live there.  We have much better models around the world than Romneycare though.  We spend twice as much as any other country and we don't have the best system.  Hell, we're not even in the Top Ten if I recall correctly.

            To me, this is a fetus step that will be too easily reversible or destroyed.

            I wish you the best of luck with your health in the future and be well.

            Jackson

            Like Punk? Just cut and paste... http://www.myspace.com/deptofmartyrs

            by Jackson Hunter on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:42:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry for jumping all over you (0+ / 0-)

              I am frustrated by this whole process of health care reform.  I'm pissed that it isn't better, and I'm pissed that no one has the guts to stand up and say "Hey, it's called 'Medicare for all.'"  

              I also agree that Romneycare isn't the best step.  And to be honest, I don't know how much the current bill is or will be like Romneycare.  But I do know that Commonwealth Care (the real name) is far better than nothing.  

              I'm lucky enough now to have insurance through my work (though it's still very expensive).  I think a lot of people who currently have insurance have always had insurance and may not really have ever experienced what it is like to not have it or to be forced to buy some crappy extra plan (like COBRA or private).  I think it is very easy to sit on the sidelines and say "Hey, it's all or nothing!  No small improvements!"  For many people, small improvements could mean life or death.

              I don't think you are doing that, though.  And I am actually happy that you and others like you are continuing to push for big changes.  I just think that big changes later and small changes now are not mutually incompatible.  Sorry for my late night ranting.  I was unfairly taking my frustration with other people out on you.  

      •  See, I found it ridiculous. Because unless (11+ / 0-)

        I missed something the bush** era policies are still in effect and Obama has claimed them for his own.

        Oh, and tell me, when did NAFTA get fixed?

        And did I fall asleep and the tax breaks for the uber rich were allowed to die? And no more telecom spying? And I guess that H1-b visas are being cut to the bone so Americans can have those tech jobs. And people are being kept in their homes because the feds are aiding them like they did Goldman Sachs. And the Patriot Act is no more. And investigations are going on to see who did what in the last treasonous administration? And organized labor is getting support from the 'democrats' that they helped into the White House? And the federal government is providing aid to the public school system. And no one is talking about 'overhauling' Medicare and Social Security anymore.

    •  What, this DNCC apologia? nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, cybrestrike, ohmyheck

      www.yesweSTILLcan.org

      by divineorder on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:37:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (17+ / 0-)

    I know it's going to happen again on the next topic. I seriously dread the immigration battle. I think that's going to have even worse rhetorical flambé, if that's possible....

    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

    by mem from somerville on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:13:03 PM PDT

    •  mmmmmmm flammmm-bé (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville, Onomastic

      flamey goodness.....

      Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
      Doc in the Twitterverse

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:15:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't have to be here. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      I alredy have the Cliffs Notes for you. Crony-capitalists will pitch Latinos against anti-immigrant groups, racists, right-wingers and labor.

      The Obama Administration will - with the assistance of an obscuring cloud of media engineered Strum and Drang With Extra OJ Simpson - press through a 'bipartisian compromise' that gives crony-capital exactly what they want: legal, cheap, immigrant labor with fewer rights than native-born workers and naturalized citizens.

      OMG. I have been offended. And on the internets of all Places. -A LOLCat.

      by James Kresnik on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's like "my issue" (6+ / 0-)

    There will be eventual change, but not as fast as it could be and probably not for the right reasons and the status quo will be dragged out as long as possible for various and sundry reasons.

    HCR is a human right but everything in American politics is set up it seems to avoid this, drag out the undesirable reality of the insurance scam and not really do anything to help people until teeth are pulled and fat cats get fatter.

    There's no reason for it but that's what we are told to accept.

    It boils down to the RSA/DHF clash.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:14:27 PM PDT

  •  No We're Implementing New Rightwing Policies (37+ / 0-)

    and trying more. Stupak IF it goes through is a rightwing policy, it will reduce abortion access to a new population of women.

    The cadillac insurance tax is a rightwing policy, it introduces the concept of excessive health coverage and tends to reduce its availability.

    We're also institutionalizing rightwing practices of deregulation and militarism that are not merely going to be repealed slowly, but left where the right set them.

    It's not purely perfect vs. good. There is no end in sight to our having to protect ourselves from our own side.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:15:51 PM PDT

    •  Ehhhh ok. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, BasharH, LeanneB, Onomastic

      What tongueless ghost of sin crept through my curtains? Sailing on a sea of sweat on a stormy night. I think he don't got a name but I can't be certain

      by kev9100 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:17:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's weird, I thought we were... (8+ / 0-)

      Codifying the right of every American to have health insurance in this bill, along with setting a new minimum medical loss ratio, providing insurance to 30 million people who are uninsured, disposing of the pre-existing condition excuse for having people dropped from their coverage, eliminating rescission cases, and reducing the federal deficit.

      I think we can both agree that Congressman Grayson is out in front as one of our progressive heroes.  He's got a link to President Obama's health care proposal from his House site:

      Congressman Grayson's link to Obama's Health Care Proposal

      Would he really link to this proposal if it were such a horrible, dastardly thing?

      You can see the glass half-empty if you'd like.  We're all on the same side here.  Hopefully you'll find something to like in the next pieces of legislation going through the Congress -- financial regulation reform or immigration reform.

      The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

      by BasharH on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:33:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Progressives must begin working to become (11+ / 0-)

      the party.

      That means good quality challengers for Coin Operated Democrats and Weak Republicans, and it means constantly doing this.

      We need to up our game.  What just happened is we found out we have good numbers and can make a difference.  Progressives matter now.

      Everybody doesn't stop when this becomes law.  We begin.

      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:04:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hee hee. (9+ / 0-)

        Coin Operated Democrats

        www.yesweSTILLcan.org

        by divineorder on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:40:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I read your diary, it was good, I rec'd it (6+ / 0-)

        (link to potatohead's diary where he explicates the above)

        I don't see how this represents any such thing.

        Progressives matter now.

        How have we demonstrated we matter? What policy changes did our vociferous opposition gain us?

        This bill is substantially similar to Bob Dole's in 1993, or Richard Nixon's in 1974.

        I don't see how adopting a plan Republicans suggested decades ago shows that progressives matter.

        "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

        by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:10:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a damn good question. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Eric Nelson
          Worth a LOT more discussion.

          Why is it worth it?

          Because we will need answers for those angry people, who ask, "What good are Democrats?", and trust me, that's already happening, and escalating.

          If there is no PO, no Medicare buy in, then it will escalate quite rapidly too.

          So, why do Progressives matter?

          Because, if it were not for us, the product of this exercise would be a total corporate giveaway.  Now, realistically, it stands a chance of being that, even with our efforts, does it not?  Sure it does, but here's the key thing:

          This issue highlights the real politics!  It's corporate vs people, not D vs R, and in that context, Progressives are the ONLY GAME IN TOWN, if we want to see the WORK OF THE PEOPLE DONE.

          Nobody else can say that, and until this issue, highlighting the importance of that was difficult.

          Now it's easy.  It's easy, because most of Washington is perfectly happy to fuck us over, play the blame game, and just keep their seats!

          We Progressives are not about that, and when the people point to these tepid bills, HCR, Financial Reform, Stimulus, Bank bill, and ask that really ugly question, we have the answer for them.

          We can run on that, and we need to run on that, and doing that is going to piss the party establishment off, and truth is, the people will buy into that because they are pissed, and rightfully so.

          None of that will be easy, but I'm hoping to god enough Progressives see it to set it in motion, and I'm just not gonna shut up about it, because without that play being made, I don't see any real measure of progress happening for a long time.

          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:24:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  to put that in my own words (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson

            Would you agree that:

            this bill and the process that created it will lead to victory for Progressives because it clearly shows that the system, including substantial portions of our party, is unable to provide necessary change - we will be able to use this to our advantage, because the preferences we have expressed repeatedly and loudly are the people's preferences!

            ...is an accurate way of paraphrasing what you mean?

            If that is accurate, then I would say that I think the public in general could read it that way - or they could read it more cynically, and write our party off.

            If I hire a tradesman to do a job, and they leave me disappointed, I am unlikely to hire them to fix it - even if they promise they'll do a better job next time.

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:55:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How about a group of tradesmen? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              efraker

              That's really the correct metaphor.

              So you hire these people, and the job ends up either not done, or the results tepid, like we are seeing right now.

              There is another group in town that you know to be a poor choice, and a few stragglers, who might eventually get the job done, but going with them will be a very long time.

              In your conversations with these tradespeople, you find the mob has nearly everybody bought off, but there are a few, who stand above that, wanting to fight...

              ----------------

              Some of the public is going to see that, and go talk to the mob, thinking they might just score something for themselves, and call it good.

              Some of the public will just go home, fearing revolution, or a long run of bad times, jaded, tired, burned out.

              Some of the public will say, "Yeah?  Tell me about your plan.  What have you guys got?"

              IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

              by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:26:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And the ugly part is... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, efraker

              If the majority of people choose to not fight, and either shut down in acceptance, or become jaded, or choose to align with the mob for self-interest, those of us wanting to fight won't have what it takes to prevail, or even make progress.

              That could happen!!

              You won't hear me deny that.  I can't, because it really could happen.  In that scenario, what does one do?

              I know what I will do, and that's dig in, perform an analysis of the way things are going to go, because that will be fairly known, and do those things that I can do to make my place in in solid, and just live small.

              And that means progress is on hold, barring some very significant and likely ugly event.

              For most people, me included, there has got to be some element of worth there, or perhaps it's just not worth doing, period.

              One way I will determine that is to watch what the Progressives themselves do.  Another way will be to watch what really happens with Citizens United.  Finally, there are ordinary people and what they do.

              What I can't accept is that we know the state of that without putting it out there.  That means actually saying and doing those things to go down that road, which is what I am advocating.

              If I see Progressives do that, I'll jump in, if anything because I was one of the ones saying it should be done.  Can't be an ass and just step back after something like that.

              Maybe corporate domination isn't as bad as we think it is.  Faced with such a challenge, you know everybody is going to take a drive home and think that over.  I did, I am.

              It's awfully easy to just turn this stuff off, live small, get out of the way, and do those few things that really pay off, and just keep the worries to a minimum.  You know people are gonna be thinking that to, just as I am.

              The key to this whole thing is having the balls to step up and actually differentiate Progressives from ordinary Democrats.  Doing that will be fucking ugly.  It will be as ugly as it gets.

              Why?

              Because, if it were me on the corporate side of things, I would spend what it takes to just shut that shit down.  Wouldn't you?  

              So, what I don't know is whether or not Progressives are really serious.  Can they organize nationally, make alliances with unions and other special interest groups and build a machine that can do more than yell at an issue?  

              I'm hoping they can, but I am also under no illusions that they WILL.

              IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

              by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:38:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  kickin' ass for the working class! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                potatohead

                Because, if it were me on the corporate side of things, I would spend what it takes to just shut that shit down.  Wouldn't you?

                Yes - and that's exactly why I argue against the efficacy of incremental progress against wealth inequality and corporatism.

                You can't convince someone to compromise away their career, their way of life. I know I wouldn't.

                I think you size it up just right when you say we need to make common cause with labor and special interest groups. We can co-opt special interest groups through fund-raising - but I think to win labor we need to make the excise tax a target.

                The idea that policy should be dictated against the interests of our polity because of the opinions of a venal cadre of experts is a living caricature of the worst stereotypes the union members I know hold of the Democratic Party - that it condescends to labor, but serves the wealthy elite - the bosses - every bit as much as the Republican Party does.

                "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:05:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes!! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  efraker

                  Yes - and that's exactly why I argue against the efficacy of incremental progress against wealth inequality and corporatism.

                  Absolutely.  I do not see how we can reach equity doing that.  At the best, we move the problems around, at the worst, just get hosed.

                  The reality on this is they get to over-exploit the people, until the people put a stop to it, and that's not done incrementally.

                  I actually think it's done in a sort of stealth mode, where the alliances are made, agendas set, and machine put into motion, with many dry ones on local politics, minor issues, etc.. until it's got numbers.

                  Then, we step up to the plate and try to establish that machine as dominant, or at the least significant.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 11:54:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Excuse me... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    efraker

                    "with many dry runs being done on local politics and minor issues"

                    ...and some stuff I wanted to say, but just didn't because the dog was running wild, and I hit "post".

                    Really what happens with the "incremental" approach is a kind of dance where everybody tries to figure out how to make the masses happy about continuing to feed the greed, and ultimately we run out of things we can give up to placate the needy greedy, and stuff just starts to hurt.

                    We are there now, and the hurt isn't going away, and will only escalate, until it becomes painful enough to no longer be tolerable.  If Progressives are there with a solution, and relevancy, that "hurts too much" point may come sooner rather than later, as momentum builds from those that see it early convincing others to act before forced to.

                    This issue is a case in point.  Sure, we are going to add cost and risk to the middle class, like they always want to do.  The numbers will be well distributed, like they always are, meaning the actual pain increase on most people, capable of being politically active, isn't something that will cause a great shift, more like a solidification of an annoyance.

                    That's the frog boiling bit.

                    What we gave up, or will likely give up, is the idea that we have an obligation to take care of our own, and the affirmation that private companies are, in fact, necessary to facilitate social justice.

                    That's a crock, but that's essentially what we will be legislating, and it sucks total ass, because it's two steps sideways, two steps back, with only one step forward we can feel good about.

                    Enter the noise machine to reinforce how "important" that forward step is toward progress, mix in some new events, a lot of complexity, and the fact that everybody is dog tired, working their ass off just to eat, and wash, rinse, repeat with the next issue.

                    A look back over, say, 10 years of this crap reveals the damage, where at any one time, for all appearances, "progress" was made.  I see that game now for what it is, and once again, this particular issue, with the Republicans holding firm as a party, clarifies is like no other scenario has, or I suspect, will.

                    This is a shot at differentiating Progressives that won't come again.  It will hurt to do so, but I honestly believe it will seriously pay off to do so, and that's behind all the STFU messages we get now, and will totally get after this thing is signed, up to and including our own Progressive media helping in that.

                    They are, after all, corporate, and I just don't know what to do with that element of it, if anything is to be done.

                    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                    by potatohead on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 01:00:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  When the Republicans decided to lock in and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Eric Nelson

          pursue their opposition at all costs strategy, they knew Dems would be fighting among themselves.

          They were right about that.

          What they didn't consider was that action highlighting the real politics, and doing so to a lot of people.

          It's completely obvious now that it's corporate Washington, and Progressives.  That case is easy.

          The implication there is that Republicans fucked Coin Operated Democrats, and empowered Progressives.  That's not what they wanted to happen, but that is exactly what happened.

          It's not hard to look at the House, having passed a nice set of legislation, and to see the Progressive influence on it.  That's good stuff!!  Had we gotten those things, we would be rocking proper right now, keeping a majority, and happy for the progress as a Party.

          Why didn't it happen?

          There are almost NO Progressive Senators, that's why.

          And that's where our Progressive challengers need to be, starting with the next election.

          Here in Oregon, we had Wyden and Smith.  Wyden was the progressive sounding Senator, always checked by the corporate Smith.  Rope a dope.

          When Merkley was elected, we got to see a Real Progressive Senator, and it kind of put the screws to Wyden.  What did he say?

          "Bi-partisan legislation is my top priority"

          And that meant he was looking for that rope a dope game, not to actually DO anything Progressive, only LOOK like it, so he gets ELECTED.

          That has gone on all over the place, and if we are smart, we can play that up, and get people tuned in to that and change the dynamics considerably, and if we do, that's our game, not theirs.

          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:30:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No frikkin' kidding, Gooserock. (5+ / 0-)

      It's not purely perfect vs. good. There is no end in sight to our having to protect ourselves from our own side.

      Yup, exactly.

      Paradigm Shift. Think "Berlin Wall".

      by ohmyheck on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:09:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are not men. We are Evo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978
  •  Progressives gave up on perfect a long time ago (34+ / 0-)

    I have read this thing upside down and sideways-- and a mandate to buy insurance with no public option and an excise tax on the kind of coverage we wish everyone had, with no cost controls built in, just looks like a corporate give away to me.  Sorry.

    I mean, they have been debating this for a year, and just a month ago they decided to have health insurance premium hikes reviewed by HHS?  I mean come on.

    And the excise tax is punative.  40%!!??? thats more than income tax on the benefits would be.  Why is no one talking about taxing health industry profits?

    Also, great!! it covers more people under Medicaid.  Guess what?  the states can't pay for the people in Medicaid programs now.  So, how is it going to actually work without bankrupting already bankrupt states?

    I know, I know.  Supposedly we can fix all of this later.  Just forgive me if I question your definition of "good" and "perfect" and take a little umbrage that progressives are the bad guys here.

    •  It is. See my comment below, and my diary here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, divineorder, output

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      It sucks.  You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

      The answer is to purge the Democratic party, starting with this next election, and not stop until we get to call the shots.

      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:50:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's not enough progressives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ravenwind, divineorder

        to purge the Democratic party. Down that road lies the 20% approval the Republicans have today.

        •  Not true. (4+ / 0-)

          One challenger at a time, well funded, positioned to win the race, can and should be done.

          We can do it with weak Republicans, and we can do it with CODS too.  (coin operated Democrats)

          And every last time somebody points out how tepid the result of this majority currently is, we give them the Progressive path as an answer, instead of staying home, or voting Republican, or third party.

          The only reason the Republicans have a 20 percent approval is because the religious right are a bunch of bigots, asses, corporatists, fascists, and theocrats.

          If Progressives start to take over the party, we won't have that same result.  Why?

          Because we are very well aligned with the needs of ordinary people and small business, precisely who is getting fucked right now.

          We don't need to save the bigots, but we do need to save the ordinary people and get them a fair shake in this, and the only body of politicians out there right now, willing to do this are the Progressives, and Bernie Sanders.

          The rest of them are corporate first, and that's just not ok.

          If I was wrong about this, we would have solid HCR right now.  Sad, but true.  No time like the present to point to this mess, tell the folks who is who, why that's true (corporate vs people politics), and motivate them to help us build the numbers.

          Let the purge begin.

          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:31:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  let's be clear: the WH and the bluedogs are waaay (11+ / 0-)

        outnumbered on this issue; not just within the party, but in relation to the general public. along with the effort to silence criticism of this bill, there's an obnoxious and ham-handed effort to marginalize progressives. don't buy into it: not only are we correct here, doing things our way is good politics, too.

        "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

        by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:22:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How do you prevent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        potatohead

        them from succumbing to the siren call of the lobbyists as have the Dems they are replacing?

        Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

        by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:21:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This comes down to what kind of people we support (0+ / 0-)

          There is no prevention.

          If somebody wants to sell out, they can and will sell out, and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it.

          The only response I have is look at the body of Progressives we do have, who appear to want to be Statesmen.

          Perhaps somebody should take the time and ask them why.  Is it a personal issue, ethics, a bad experience, vendetta, naivete?

          You should post this up, from time to time.  Maybe that's worth some discussion.

          The way I see it is clearly some people want to run things just and true.  I don't always know what their reasons are.

          So then, it's got to be possible to find more of those kinds of people.

          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:34:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's easier to demonize progressives as purity (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, blueoasis, Rabbithead, ohmyheck

      trolls if they keep repeating the lie that progressives are seeking the perfect and refuse to bend for anything less.

      It's what fits the narrative they perceive is required to be advanced to get another check in the victory column for the Democratic Party. They don't actually care about facts or the people this bill will end up not really helping or, worse, hurting.

      •  The White House attack dogs would rather (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, ohmyheck, Jyrinx

        the debate be framed so the progressives are the 'purity trolls', rather than that the 'pragmatists' are unprincipled.

        Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

        by virtual0 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:35:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that's our burden. (0+ / 0-)

          Really, we gave up perfect a long time ago.

          The current position of the House Progressives is a perfectly equitable one, and as such deserves a lot more standing than it is being given.

          Truth is, the Senate bill is a sell out, and the House bill was equitable, but the Coin Operated Democrats don't want to be seen as such, so they frame it as "purity".  

          All up to us to start checking that.  Nobody else is going to do it.

          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

          by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:48:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "ideal" my ass. "perfect" my ass. (28+ / 0-)

    progressives feel obliged to push for something that isn't a con job. in the minds of "pragmatists" -- the real fantasists in this relationship -- the con job is "the good", and anything better than the con job is "the perfect". "We'll start with the con job ... and then we'll advance from there."

    good luck with that advance, as the party continues to abandon the "left" and cozy up to "centrists" -- i.e., right-wing losers who abandoned the republican party because it went totally fucking nuts on them.

    the conservative victory is nearly complete: the Democratic Party is controlled by conservatives, the Republican Party is controlled by lunatics, and liberalism is dead.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:16:48 PM PDT

  •  "You two play nicely," indeed (26+ / 0-)

    Does "playing nicely" include calling those who do not yet think that the bill is worth passing -- a proposition with which I personally disagree -- people who might as well be Republicans?  Or does "playing nicely" mean suppressing the inclination to flame people with whom we disagree?

    There are valid reasons to be on either side of the debate, even now.  I find that the reasons to pass the bill -- trusting in most of the progressive insiders who can figure out what we can accomplish -- are persuasive.  But I do not degrade or denigrate those who think that we still should hold back, although I think that we should be lobbying for them to accept a deal when push comes to shove and for those in a position to "buy them off" with good policies to offer such a deal.

    The issue this past week has been whether to bludgeon those who are not yet on board or to continue to respect them.  Those who, whether viciously or arrogantly, denigrate those who aren't yet on board, rather than trying to convince them, have done a disservice to our collective cause.  I consider stories like this to be changing the subject.

    By the way -- you don't know what gains Kucinich might yet gain if he does happen to be the necessary 216th vote for passage.  I don't think even Obama himself quite yet knows.  Why not pressure him a bit?

    "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:18:42 PM PDT

  •  Very good v. The Good (6+ / 0-)

    is how I would describe it.

    But you are correct. The only one that can stop us at this point is us.

    What is at stake is health care for millions of people and possibly the control of Congress.

    Lets not be stupid.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:20:12 PM PDT

  •  this is just a battle in a centuries old (7+ / 0-)

    class war.  Obama will never even come close to being an FDR, sadly.  And settling for the 'lesser of two evils' is no longer a consideration.  The dichotomy is grasping that pragmatism can be a powerful wind slowly eroding stone.  But it must never stop!
    This will not be won by us, nor even by our children.  In fact, this will never be 'won!'  It will always be a fight, and the Psychotic Thinking of those who deny progress for humanity will never ever stop.  Their PT demands no surrender, no easing up, nothing but total annihilation of the 'other.'  For those suckups who will be a part of that tight circle who drives this madness, consider them courtiers at the outer edges of the royal palace, trying to gain favor from "The Divine Right of Kings."

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:20:35 PM PDT

  •  And, Hekebolos, who killed the public option? (20+ / 0-)

    Are you going to give the talking points about how we just didn't have the votes on that issue too?

    Who killed it?

  •  It's important to differentiate, though, (23+ / 0-)

    between the fact that we're not getting everything we wanted and the fact that it looks like some important battles aren't even going to be fought. If we lost a fair vote on the public option, that would be one thing. But right now I can't shake the feeling that the Dem leadership is pushing against the idea of such a vote not because it might lose but because it might win (and the idea that it would pass the Senate and then not the House is laughable at best).

    I mean, the message seems to be not just that we can't have everything we want, but that we can't even count on our allies to get what they say they want, too. I mean, I've lost track of the number of reasons that the public option Just Can't Happen. Every time one of those reasons was invalidated, the reaction from the top wasn't “Great! Now we can do it, since we don't need 60 votes anymore!” but “Um, well, but, y'see … it's the House that's the real problem!!” How can we avoid the feeling that they're just not that into us or our causes?

    In this case, we probably ended up with a net-positive bill (though I'm not definitively convinced in the long term). But financial reregulation could easily become a step backward. What are we going to do when Pragmatism™ dictates that we settle for worse-than-nothing?  

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

    by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:21:18 PM PDT

    •  Amendment != bill (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, rweba, ahumbleopinion
      I believe that some people think "well, we can always try to amend the bill in the Senate -- worst thing is the amendment fails, but we haven't lost anything by trying."  It's true that if the amendment fails we haven't lost anything objective (but see point 3 below), but it isn't necessarily true that if the amendment succeeds that we've won.  In fact, it's quite possible, if not downright likely, that if that happens that we'll win a minor skirmish and lose the war.

      Unless the leadership is really confident of having the votes in both chambers for a particular provision -- in which case the House will hopefully try to include it -- putting that provision in is dangerous.  And doing it by amendment in the Senate is that much riskier.  Why?

      1) Every vote on this bill is a chance for something to go wrong.  Any change in the Senate requires that the bill go back to the House for another vote.  That's one more vote that may fail.  Whether it's due to the provision added in the Senate, or just because somebody changes their mind, is irrelevant.

      2) The Democrats aren't the only ones with votes.  There's an unstated assumption that the Republicans will vote no on everything.  That assumption is incorrect: the Republicans will vote strategically at every step of the way to maximize the likelihood of the bill failing.  Remember the Stupak amendment?  That's only there because the Republicans helped it along, but they still voted against the final bill.  Suppose someone introduces an amendment that can get 45-49 Democratic votes, but no more (and yes, I'm thinking public option here)?  Suppose the Republicans vote for that amendment?  Now it's on the bill, and there's no going back.  Say it gets 49 Democratic votes -- it fails.

      I could very easily see the Republicans offering a public option amendment -- possibly even the exact wording of Grayson's bill -- as a way of trying to gum up the works.  Assuming that that's ruled in order, it would put a lot of Democratic senators -- specifically, the ones who signed the letter -- on the spot.  Do they fulfill their commitment, and thereby add something that will render the final bill unpassable, or do they withhold their approval to defeat this little jiujitsu move?  Remember that even the person who offers an amendment isn't required to vote for the final bill!

      In other words, the vote on a public option amendment won't be a fair vote.  The Republicans will surely rig it if it comes to a vote.  The leadership almost surely is more concerned about that vote passing, because it would screw up a lot of other things.

      3) The House doesn't trust the Senate.  The House is expecting that the Senate will pass the sidecar, and the Senate leadership has committed to this.  Any amendments at all may poison the atmosphere.  Accordingly, even if there are some amendments that are satisfactory to the House that are added in the Senate, the very fact that Democrats try to offer something big might sow seeds of distrust.  And the Republicans are very, very good at that game.

      I won't even get into the merits or otherwise of "the public option" -- starting with the fact that there are a lot of different public options, and weak ones may do very little good.

      In summary, it's exactly as the diarist states -- the important thing right now is to get the bill passed.  The very fact of fighting the battle could put the war at risk.  Once it's safely passed and signed, there's nothing stopping anyone from trying again.

      •  And this is what the PCCC called (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        a loser mentality.

        Look, if the Dem leadership actually liked the public option as much as they say they did, they'd find a way to make it work. For instance: They're already talking about scheduling the House and Senate votes so they happen simultaneously. If they're going to choreograph it that closely, why not do this: Have the House pass the reconciliation bill, then have the Senate vote on the public option amendment. If it passes, vote on the reconciliation bill right then and send it to the House, which then gets to vote on the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill. If it fails, just proceed as before.

        In the bizarre case that the House decides to be more conservative than the Senate, just re-vote on reconciliation without the amendment and send it back to the House.

        I know things often take forever in Washington. But we need only remember the PATRIOT Act to see that if the leadership is actually determined, things can move damn quickly.

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

        by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:14:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have your opinion, I have mine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic
          Strategy and tactics are not exact sciences.  It's possible that I'm wrong here.

          But let's try another question: precisely what public option do you want to see?  Medicare buy-in?  The one the House passed last fall?  Anything at all that can even remotely call itself a public option?  The term is simply not precise enough, and tying yourself to a poorly defined policy puts you in a weak spot too.  If something were attached that's a public option, but it only covered a few million people, would you demand that your representatives vote for it because it's a "public option"?

          •  Either one. The number of people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            who join it is actually not that important. What matters is that people can join it if they're being forced to buy insurance.

            The difference between being forced to buy insurance from a private cartel and being forced to buy insurance whether private or not is like night and day. Even if not very many people wind up on the public option, the very threat of switching to it would be enough to keep premiums down everywhere else.

            So sure, the House version would've only had a few million customers. It was still enough to make Wall Street orgasmic when Lieberman killed the Senate version.

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

            by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:36:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Besides, if goopers voted for the public option, (0+ / 0-)

        it would instantaneously be a bipartisan provision. How could Blue Dogs justify voting against something that even got GOP Senators on board?

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

        by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:15:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Finally, if the leadership is so afraid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        that it would pass, let them whip up votes against it. Worked beautifully for drug reimportation — they successfully moved about 22 votes that time.

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

        by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:16:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  another parallel to the 2000 election: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, 3goldens, blueoasis, Jyrinx

      But right now I can't shake the feeling that the Dem leadership is pushing against the idea of such a vote not because it might lose but because it might win

      i keep seeing the "argument" that we have to hurry up and pass the bill because "the public is tired of the process dragging on". just like the republicans said that  the public was tired of of the vote count in florida.

      both, of course are lies being used as pressure sales tactics. in 2000, the public wanted a fair election, and for the the candidate with the most votes to win. in 2010, the public is wise enough to understand that this is a corporate giveaway and there is no indication that anyone is eager to have this deeply unpopular bill enacted.

      "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

      by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:35:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WAY oversimplified. (21+ / 0-)

    First: the meta-issue of 60 votes or 51 votes cannot be ignored. By refusing to consider reconciliation until now the supposed moderates guaranteed that HCR will be much more conservative than a majority of the public wants.

    Second: "Good is enemy of the best" should not be an excuse for always settling. If the supposed "good" locks in suboptimal policy for a generation, rejecting it may be preferable.

    •  yes, why conceed already? (15+ / 0-)

      Why do we keep being told to "sit down and shut the fuck up"?

      Why are we getting all these diaries (and now a FPer) saying "the public option is lost--stop asking for it."

      Shit, you people are doing the conservadems job for them!

      Why not wait and see whether it is really lost?  Why not put up a PO amendment (as Bernie Sanders has said he would) and then give it an up-or-down vote??

      If it loses, it loses.  We can accept that.  But, if that's the case, why is McConnell whipping against it?  Why are PFers telling us not to try for it?

      That isn't how democracy works.  This is not a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good (thanks for the cliche though), but of refusing to be a bunch of frikkin' surrender monkeys.  What's so hard about that?  Sheesh.

      •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

        I don't have to vote on it.  There's no reason for me not to keep shouting for what I'd like to see in the bill.

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

        by TracieLynn on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:53:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Up or down vote" isn't what you think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, rweba, divineorder
        Why not wait and see whether it is really lost?  Why not put up a PO amendment (as Bernie Sanders has said he would) and then give it an up-or-down vote??

        Because it gives the Republicans yet another opportunity to throw sand in the works.

        Suppose the whip count that we have 41 votes for the PO is correct (implying there are 18 Democrats who won't vote for a PO).  So that means the public option loses, and we accept it and move on, right?

        But suppose a dozen or so "moderate" Republicans vote for the PO amendment?  I'm not so good at counting Republicans, but we can start with Snowe, Collins, Brown, and Voinovich.  Snowe, Collins, and Brown have nothing electorally to fear from taking a "progressive" stand; Maine and Massachusetts aren't dominated by wingnuts.  Heck, it might even help Brown outright by supporting his story of being independent.  Voinovich has nothing to lose either.  I don't trust McConnell when he claims to be whipping against it.  I could easily see another dozen or so Republicans voting for it.  So it passes, maybe 55-45.

        Now what?  The bill itself still has to be voted on by the Senate.  But the bill certainly won't pass 55-45.  It probably fails 41-59, killing HCR altogether (unless the House can somehow be persuaded to try again, I suppose).  Let's say that through heroic effort Reid and Durbin manage to round up another 9 votes, and it somehow passes 51-50 on Biden's tiebreaker.  Now it has to go back to the House, or there has to be some kind of conference, and I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in there something is subject to cloture, and we know how that will turn out.

        Is it clear why I think it would be a critical strategic mistake to try to force a PO in the Senate?  It simply won't be a fair fight.  If Sanders really does try to introduce a PO on the Senate floor I will be seriously upset with him (unless it's part of a game that has previously been vetted with Reid).

        •  question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          I'm not sure I do understand how amendments work, then.  I don't see how just introducing an amendment such as this would kill the entire bill.  How could the amendment get 50+ votes, and then cause the whole bill to fail?

          Any democrat who votes against the bill containing a successfully passed PO amendment would be blatantly sabotaging the entire game.  Would they really do that?  It's perhaps a bit of a game of chicken, but that's what politics is all about.  It is one thing to oppose a PO amendment, or to say you don't want it in the bill.  It's quite another to ensure the total failure of your own party's agenda, thus consigning yourself to the political doghouse in a crippled party.  At that point they might as well just switch parties and become Republicans.  Do you really think they're going to do that?  I don't.

          •  Scenario (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn
            I'm not sure I do understand how amendments work, then.  I don't see how just introducing an amendment such as this would kill the entire bill.  How could the amendment get 50+ votes, and then cause the whole bill to fail?

            Because the vote on the amendment is independent from the vote on the bill itself.  There's nothing to prevent someone who voted for an amendment from voting against the bill itself.  There's also nothing preventing someone from introducing an unpopular amendment specifically for the purpose of poisoning the entire bill.

            Read my scenario more carefully: a group of Republicans votes for the amendment specifically to force it onto the bill.  That obviously would not be in good faith, but that doesn't matter.  Once it's in the bill, it can't be removed that easily.

            Look what happened the first time around: quite a few Democrats threatened to filibuster the bill as a whole if the PO wasn't removed.

            •  yeah, I get it. But,,, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, blueoasis, Jyrinx

              There's also nothing preventing someone from introducing an unpopular amendment specifically for the purpose of poisoning the entire bill.

              Read my scenario more carefully: a group of Republicans votes for the amendment specifically to force it onto the bill.  That obviously would not be in good faith, but that doesn't matter.  Once it's in the bill, it can't be removed that easily.

              I get it.  But my point is that the P.O. is not an unpopular amendment.  And that the idea that even having it in the bill would cause Democratic Senators to vote against it--thus sabotaging their own party and their own political future--is incredibly far fetched, especially given the popularity of the P.O. among the public at large and given that passing a bill with a mandate and no P.O. would be a disaster.  In other words, any Democrat who says they'll vote against a bill just because it has a P.O. in it is lying.

              Bluffing is a fact of life in politics.  We know that.  But why let them get away with such a patently non-credible bluff?  Why churn out diaries (I don't mean you) telling those of us who support the public option to give up without a fight?  It makes no sense to me.

              •  Only senators and reps count (0+ / 0-)
                When I said "unpopular", I meant among Senators and Representatives, not among the general populace.  Our votes don't count there.

                There are two other problems:

                1) "Public option" is not a single well-defined thing.  There are a lot of different public options.  The one passed by the House last fall, for example, wasn't very good; it covered something like 3 million people, which is a drop in the bucket.  "Medicare buy-in", such as what Rep. Grayson has proposed, is specific enough to be considered.  Unqualified "public option" isn't.

                2) Different members of congress have different political considerations.  Given the number of insurance companies located in their states, Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson may well have an electoral problem with voting for a public option, and Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu simply represent conservative states.  Stating that "they're lying" because they may have come to a different conclusion than you is not justified by itself.  They may be perfectly sincere.

                •  ...uh, but we only need 50 votes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis

                  In answer to #2, we don't need Lieberman, Ladrieu and Lincoln.  (But I bet once it becomes apparent that a massively popular bit of legislation was going to pass without their help, they'd quickly line up in the right side of history and support it too).

                  In answer to #1, saying that "the public option" can mean many different things cannot count as a blanket objection to any public option.  Come on!  Obviously there would have to be a specific amendment.

      •  Because we are a growing threat, that's why. (10+ / 0-)

        Progressives are the only body of politicians, plus Bernie Sanders, who are actually working for the people, not the corporations.

        And they just found out there are a lot of us, and that we matter now.  

        You watch, right after HCR there will be incredible pressure to shut this discussion down, and "get back to business", and if we Progressives are smart we won't do that.

        Instead, we know now that this is corporations versus the people.  We target some weak Republicans, and a Coin Operated Democrat or two, and win some races.

        Then we do it again, and again, never rolling back from this effort.

        Seriously, that's got to happen.

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i'd agree, if not for the mandate (12+ / 0-)

    a mandate without a PO is bad policy, and a killer politically.

    secession = treason. Haters are Traitors!

    by catchaz on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:22:26 PM PDT

  •  Bad negotiating strategy (18+ / 0-)

    if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported.

    I pray that there are no Party leaders reading this because if so, they can just say, "don't worry about the progressives, in the end they'll support anything so long as it represents even the slightest improvement over the status quo."

    If you're not willing to "walk away from the table" you can't negotiate anything. If that's the rule, then prepare to get punked over and over for the next few years.

    •  i pray they're not WRITING this kind of thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      I pray that there are no Party leaders reading this because if so, they can just say, "don't worry about the progressives, in the end they'll support anything so long as it represents even the slightest improvement over the status quo"

      just so they can say they read it, so they can just say . . .

      "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

      by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evaluating strictly on the merits (12+ / 0-)

    Isn't that a way to lose the war, in some sense?

    If we ("we"; i.e., those representing us) show that they can get rolled every time during the period before things harden, then come 'round in the end, isn't that what we can expect the next time?

    So, isn't there a case that losing a big battle now, by having a Kucinich blow it up from the left, could assimilate more power for the next round?

    May HCR isn't this battle, given that there might not be a next round if "we" lose the House.  

    But, just sayin.  There are lots of reasons "we" have less power than the popularity of our positions suggests we should -- and one of them is that "we" (our guys) don't fight.

    Or -- where is LBJ when we need him?

    We guarantee 40 million more customers to the insurance companies, then claim it's a good thing because the poor get a cup of coffee and a doughnut. - Jane

    by itswhatson on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:22:52 PM PDT

  •  the way to win in 2010 (24+ / 0-)

    was with the public option.

    We have large majorities in both houses of Congress and the Presidency. This was our shot to bring real change...remember that word? What has happened with HCR is what will happen with Financial "reform" and everything else. The corporations will win because they control both parties. That's the only lesson that should be taken from this fiasco.

    •  I'm not so sure... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SMWalt, divineorder, ahumbleopinion

      On financial reform, Dodd has already extracted himself from negotiations with the Republicans.  Who knows how many of their ideas are still in the bill he'll advance this week but for the health care reform effort it took us a bloody year to get ourselves out of a worthless waste of time (negotiating with Republicans).

      Things may be changing.

      The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

      by BasharH on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:39:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe. I wanna see what happens (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, cybrestrike

        to the CFPA in his version of the bill. And whether it gets watered down on its way out the Senate. The public option, Dawn Johnsen's nomination, FISAAA, and a host of other things have tought me well to be suspicious of early gestures of action.

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

        by Jyrinx on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:26:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And with Real Wall Street Reform (7+ / 0-)

      Even more so than the PO and HCR, IMHO.

      People are raging out there looking at Dems who refuse to put the wood to Wall Street mega-Malfeasance or outright Fraud.

      I fear losing the Indies on this issue much more than I fear losing them on HCR.

      Is very bad to steal jobu's rum...is very bad

      by jobu on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:39:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if they're not already outta here on hcr (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jobu

        they will be by the time the republicans - truthfully, for once - paint a picture of the democratic corruption that led to the creation and passage of this bill.

        "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

        by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:44:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  minority opinion here (14+ / 0-)

    I'd rather see only the Sanders' amendment to fund clinics pass.  A crappy bill which is a gift to insurers and won't be amended in the foreseeable future, with an abortion amendment, isn't hope, change, or palatable.

    •  it's possible that you're in the minority in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi9, scorinaldi, 3goldens, divineorder

      this airless enviroment, but you are most assuredly in the majority with regard to the democratic party and the public at large.

      "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

      by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pragmatism (22+ / 0-)

    Every Democratic vote in favor of the Iraq War, the funding, the resolution, everything, has always been justified in the name of "pragmatism".  In fact I don't think I can recall ever an issue, a cause, more celebrated for its "pragmatism" than the Iraq War.    So my dear pragmatists who pragmatically supported the Iraq War in the name of pragmatism, mind telling me exactly how "pragmatic" that war has been?

    Losing often means that you had the courage to take on a difficult cause with an unlikely outcome. ~ James Perry

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:26:33 PM PDT

  •  maybe the only way we can get political (12+ / 0-)
    action on anything, however urgent, is to write legislation to solve major problems which will give the "big boys" "a piece of the action", i.e. to bribe the big corporations and the Richistani with our own money for the privilege of spending our own money on what's needed to fix any major problem.

    The problems with this approach are:


    • America's ability to borrow big chunks of money to cover the deficit from overseas investors is evaporating as they see what kind of stupid shit their previous investments have funded. Borrowing to get an enterprise that's basically sound but has problems to turn it back into a going concern is a lot easier than to borrow it to cover hookers and blow. In the case of the US economy, the money that went to the banksters and the private jet crowd on its way to funding permanent war would probably have been better spent on hookers and blow. At least that money would have gone back into the US economy

    • The "piece of the action" the "big boys" demand goes up and up and up with each transaction. It's to the point where the chump change that's left simply isn't enough to accomplish things at any more than at a symbolic level, and America has real problems, not symbolic ones
    • .

    As you know, global warming legislation is the next giveaway to the super-wealthy Congress has planned, and that the giveaway mechanism is the cap and trade casino that will be opened by "the big boys" to monetize carbon emissions worldwide.

    So you say we must be "pragmatic" and pass yet another law whose primary intent is to enrich the richest in order to protect the chump change that'll be left over and thrown at the nominal problem.

    I don't think "pragmatism" means quite what you think it means.

    At least if your pragmatism is aimed towards solving America's problems and not what you perceive to be the short-term interests of the Democratic Party in terms of making it easier to raise K Street money.

    If the American people believe with justification that the Democrats are just another bunch of corporatists, Democrats will stay home on election day no matter how much K Street money goes into their "help our friends" ads

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:26:42 PM PDT

  •  After a personal experience, (8+ / 0-)

    I now see the HCR policies in a different light. My wife and I were in an auto accident. She is disabled and on Medicare, and I have private insurance. Our tests and examinations were basically the same, but my medical costs were much higher than hers. Medicare will only cover a certain amount of each procedure so charges to her bill were revised down. We can ride the insurance companies all day long about their high premiums and low coverage, but the Medical Institutions charge too much, doctors fees are too high, and tests too expensive.

  •  Ah, I get it, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bikeman, ahumbleopinion

    just like with people.  Good lesson!

    to evaluate it strictly on the merits of what it is, rather than what it could have been.

    What if the hokeypokey is what it's all about?

    by Julie Gulden on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:28:19 PM PDT

  •  As my High School history teacher, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, SMWalt, ahumbleopinion

    Mr Walizer, said to us daily: "I don't ask for perfection, just improvement".  That seems to be a motto for a constructive life, as well as it should be this week for those 'idealistic' congresspersons......... Very good and timely post.

  •  but we'll be called BOZO's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Cedwyn

    I often wonder who the purists really speak for, they claim to speak for the progressive "base" but do they really? I've spent my life on the progessive side of the aisle but I want to see HR passed asap with or with out a PO that I also wanted. Now I hear such sentiments betray the progressive cause and should be shouted down. Go figure.

    •  No, what is a "betrayal" of anything progressive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, ohmyheck

      is support of the Republican health care plan being ushered through Congress right now. You know, the one that forces 31 million people to make a Hobson's choice regarding their finances, all but ignores the poor, and tosses token, but toothless, regulatory band-aids at the festering wound that is health care in our country.

      But go ahead and conflate passing this bill with passing health care reform.

      The good things in this bill are outweighed by the awful things, but apparently that's a choice some Democrats are willing to make in order to score political victories.

      •  "republican HCR bill"? (0+ / 0-)

        so all those congessmen in the progressive caucus are betraying all you real progressives at dkos? Well at least in your angst you didn't call us all bozos. But seriously I think you're way out in left field, perhaps you should reread the diary several times.

        •  The bill has so much in common with the (0+ / 0-)

          Republican plan of the mid-90s, and from the Republicans' input this time around that it can hardly be called a Democratic initiative, except in the laughable sense that the Democrats pushing it are actually doing something that is in-line with Democratic Party principles.

          I'll remind you that the House progressive caucus is a caucus of politicians first and progressives second. I don't question their progressive credentials, much as I don't question (most) other Democrats' Genuine Democrat (tm?) credentials. I do question whether their priorities are their (genuinely held) progressive ideals or keeping the corporatist leadership appeased for re-election help.

  •  The Enemy of the Good (10+ / 0-)

    Look what "the enemy of the good" approach has gotten us:

    NAFTA
    GATT
    DADT
    Telecom
    Graham Leach Bliley
    Patriot Acts
    AUMF-Iraq
    No Child Left Behind
    Bancruptcy Bill
    TARP

    Pass the bill, already.  I get it.  But I must say that I'm running out of the mustard and ketchup required to make these dogs go down.

    When will you folks start taking a hard look at that DLC proposed or supported pile of policy as ask:  

    Has this helped or hindered the working Midle Class?   Have these policies strengthened or weakened the New Deal?

    Then watch this:

    Is very bad to steal jobu's rum...is very bad

    by jobu on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:33:59 PM PDT

    •  how did that old show go .. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, jobu

      the bizarre thing Nimoy used to narrate [hated it] In Search Of  ..

      oh yeah ..

      "This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine."

      There ya go.

      A technical simulation of inspiration is not inspiration.

      NO, we can't, Mr. President because you don't have the fire in your belly.
      I said to you in 2005, and I'm still saying it today.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      ... ah, faith

      ----------------

      Yes .. on the one hand, I agree wholeheartedly with the Senator, who has a bright future in front of him, no doubt. 'Working across the aisle' is crucial to reaching what is best for all of us. I honestly believe that.  

      Yes, it is nice to be civil.

      However, as some of the others here have posted, we are at war - and I don't mean Iraq or Al-Qaeda.

      We have had at least three elections stolen. 2000, 2002 and 2004 by people who hold the very concept of democracy in contempt. Our democracy has been stolen.

      However, can we insist that Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell and those like them to be civil, when considering the rights of Black and poor Americans to vote, or of GOP NH operatives that jammed phone banks in an attempt to block Democrats in that State from voting in 2002?

      I ask of you {rhetorically, since I am sure this will not be read} Senator, where is your fire? Without it, you will be consumed by your opposition.

      The fire was out before he started.
      He was not consumed; he was assimilated.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:45:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm afraid I must agree with you, Dante (4+ / 0-)

    even though I wish I didn't have to.

    I do believe the arc of the universe tends toward justice.  We are a better country than we were 10 years ago, and we were a better country 10 years ago than we were 30 years ago, etc.

    There are steps backwards - the Bush Administration obviously was a major step back.  Nonetheless, at the end of the Clinton administration, nobody was thinking about eliminating DADT, and gay marriage was an impossibility.

    10 years later, these are seen as inevitabilities, not impossibilities.

    The current health care proposal is far better than the status quo.  Let's take it, and come back in 2011 and make it better.

  •  Nicely played but still revisionist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, cacamp, ohmyheck

    Last August too many Progressives insisted that the Public Option was not enough, that the existence of the Exchange and admission of private insurers to it plus an individual mandate WAS the sell-out position. Instead there was an insistance on putting forward HR676 and demands of 'Single Payer Now!' All of which makes claims that all the Purists wanted was inclusion of a Public Option kind of hollow. Because that wasn't good enough eight months ago.

    The House Tri-Committee Bill with it's robust Public Option was good enough to fight for. But Progressives turned their backs on HR3200 and then HR3962 and then backed Don Qui-Kucinich's pursuit of the Impossible Dream of HR676 and now want to blame PO advocates THEN for not going to the wall to the wall NOW.

    Sorry friends Compromised Purity is a contradiction in terms. Why were you not out in force protecting Kennedy-Dodd and the Tri-Committee Bill when you had the chance?

  •  Just so were clear (9+ / 0-)

    and I'm sadly in agreement at least with regard to health care, we are being asked to go from being the Democratic wing of the Democratic party to becoming the republican party. Not of course the crazed rump republican party of today but the old country club Rockefeller republicans. As the President himself bragged during his meeting with Republican caucus this is largely the bill the republicans offered in response to the Clinton Health Care plan, begging the question why wasn't that good enough then if it is good enough today.

    The sad fact is this the best that the largest democratic senate and house majorities in a generation and a Democratic President with a mandate can achieve. And what it highlights is that nothing can get done without making deals with the same corrupt interests we slammed during the Bush Administration. So perscirption drugs can't be imported and the public option dies because the white house made secret deals with Pharma and the insurance industry. That's a pretty depressing state of affairs.

    I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution. Barbara Jordan

    by Lcohen on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:38:25 PM PDT

  •  Nicely and cogently written. (0+ / 0-)

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:39:28 PM PDT

  •  I like your approach to every piece of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, ahumbleopinion

    legislation. you talk about a time when we need to look at a thing and decide if it's better than now and,

    And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported. That's just pragmatism: maximizing the progressive nature of current policy.

    Wish we could move on more issues, so many major pieces of legislation to work on, so few passed.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:39:58 PM PDT

  •  The Overton window is so far to right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp, ahumbleopinion

    because of 3 decades of political dominance by the GOP, not because of a neocon steam roller.  The neocon steam roller is the result, not the cause.  It would behoove us not to lose sight of that.  It has been short sited from the get go to look at the swinging of momentum toward the democrats that resulted from Boosh's utter failure and think that we could just shift the Overton window all of the way back to were we want it overnight.  It just doesn't move that quickly.  The most progressive change can happen from having our own steamrolling capability by attaining our own electoral dominance for a sustained period during which we shift the window our way.  It is a balancing act.  Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the ideal but unattainable.  There must be enough achievement to maintain electoral success, but it is limited by the possible since the Overton window takes some shifting before our wildest dreams are attainable.  In otherwords, we must do the best that we can within the confines of what is possible while shifting the Overton window so that, over time, what falls within the limits of the possible is more to our liking.  There isn't a shortcut.  Circumstances can help to accelerate the shifting of the Overton window, but it simply isn't a fast moving thing.  The worst thing that we can do; the thing that can keep our most ideal hopes from fruition is to lose the reigns short of the time needed to shift the window.  That is why progressives (yes, progressives) who disagree with devouring our own over the inability to attain that which lies outside of the possible have been so frustrated with the Kucinich, Hamsher side of the argument.  We are not less progressive for recognizing this and not wanting to dash what is possible in the long run on the rocks of what is ideal but not attainable yet... yet (and never if we cannibalize our own).

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:41:49 PM PDT

  •  Public Option battle (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, LostInTexas, cacamp, rlk

    The only thing that really bothers me about the public option battle is that it became a symbolic fight, more than a policy fight.

    The public option that the House passed was shit.  It was Medicare +5.  It had to work like private plans in that it had to survive off of premiums it took in.  It could not get tax payer money apart from the start up money.  And the CBO said that they anticipated that the public option as designed in the House bill would end up costing more than similar private plans within the exchange.

    If you just look at all of that, then an objective person must see that this is a bad policy.  If I support single payer, why would I want the first single payer type of health insurance plan to cost more than private plans?  It would lend legitimacy to naysayers who think the government can't do anything right.  "See, the government run plan is more expensive than the wonderful private plans.  The free market rules!"

    When we get back to this issue, I hope we define our policy better.  The House threw the public option in there to placate those of us who wanted it, and inadvertently set up a public option that was going to fail.

    •  Indeed: *what* public option? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rweba
      There are a lot of things that can be called "public option", and just because that's what it's called doesn't mean that it's any good.

      I genuinely believe that some people here are more concerned with reining in the insurance companies than improving coverage.  Or at best, they believe that curbing the insurance companies per se is necessary to improve matters and that that's where to start.  Emotionally I sympathize -- they've gotten away with a lot.  I personally would like to see insurers who fradulently rescinded coverage be prosecuted for manslaughter if anyone died as a result.  But the key really is ensuring that everyone has access to health care -- cleaning things up on the supplier side is (to me, at any rate) secondary.

  •  Making sure that the (0+ / 0-)

    poor and lower-middle class are too sick to compete with the rich for high-paying jobs: that's the main objective to killing reform of the health care system.

  •  Without a public option (in lieu of single-payer) (5+ / 0-)

    any bill that passes - despite the important reforms of banning recision, eliminating pre-existing condition restrictions, mandates for minimum coverage, etc. - without a public option, health insurance costs are going to soar, healthy people are going to opt-out by paying the small penalty, and this entire experiment will fail;

    Leaving the GOP to say, "We told you so."

  •  this part needs correction . . . (9+ / 0-)

    the movement's biggest enemies were not the Republicans, whom we knew would be opposed to anything that did not further serve their corporate masters

    It is of course a widespread myth that the corporados are solidly on the side of Repugs and that we brave Dems valiantly fight against them with our army of small donors, but alas it is demonstrably not true--the corporados own Dem asses just as much as they own Repug asses.

    Facts and figures here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

    We have to have a healthy mix of idealism and pragmatism.  An idealist without any pragmatism is a fool.

    BTW, you plan to write anything about yesterday's Bruin Dems fundraiser?  Maybe as a model of what other college Dem groups can do.  :-)

  •  this diary full of great GOTV slogans (9+ / 0-)

    on the public option itself, we have lost the war--for now. To be sure, this is a massive disappointment. The healthcare reform bill that has come out of the Senate will do good things, but it is not what progressives were hoping for, no matter whether the blame rests on Obama, the Senate, or anyone else.

    And whatever that final position is, it will then be the job of the progressive to evaluate it strictly on the merits of what it is, rather than what it could have been. And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported. That's just pragmatism: maximizing the progressive nature of current policy.

    When these are the sort of arguments one is reduced to using to argue for the outcome of the greatest progressive opportunity in decades, I think November is going to be a real disappointment for the party.

    We had 60 caucusing Senators, and 257 in the House (majorities of the representation from 33 states), along with a president elected in a landslide based on his resounding declaration that he stood for change - and this is what we were able to do with it.

    It's just sad.

    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

    by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:47:43 PM PDT

  •  No, but yes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion

    "And in this context, the movement's biggest enemies were not the Republicans, whom we knew would be opposed to anything that did not further serve their corporate masters, but rather the "conservative" Democrats who bent right as soon as they could before they could even have known what could be achieved without significant political cost at home."

    Wrong. The biggest enemies were always the Republicans. This was our critical mistake. Centrist Democrats are the fulcrum - it's the right-wing Republicans and the liberal Democrats who determine where the fulcrum is, politically. The Republicans were telling independent voters every day that the HCR we have was a crypto-fascist government takeover of our health care, that we were going to kill their grandmas, and we simply weren't responding or landing fresh attacks against them, calling them out on their lunacy. We were too busy attacking people in the center. And these people were only moving against a public option because Republican messaging was making enough of a dent in their districts to give them an excuse to rest on their cowardice. But...

    "And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported."

    I still wouldn't say that this is just incrementally better . Guaranteed issue? No pre-existing conditions? A mandate? Exchanges? A serious drive towards universal coverage?

    Yes, in terms of what may have been done, it seems incremental. In terms of where we are now, this is a giant step forward. On my personal checklist of the biggest problems of health care 4 out of 5 are seriously addressed by this bill.

  •  I have a few thoughts on this: (7+ / 0-)
    1.  Here is my diary on HCR in general, worth a read for Progressives and non-Progressives alike:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    1.  I don't think there is any strategic advantage to making things easy.  Progressives can, and should continue to push for those things we know will significantly improve the value proposition in the bill.

    That means FIX IT AND PASS IT, ideally with the PO in the FIX IT bill, but if not, putting it out there as an amendment, because it deserves a vote, period.

    Grayson also has a grand idea, that I fully support; namely, just putting a Medicare Buy In out there proper, like it should have been from day one.

    My diary, that I linked here, explains why these things are necessary, but I'll sum it up.

    The mandate to buy, without realistic cost controls sucks ass.  I hate it, nobody I know likes it, the righties are lining up just waiting to beat us over the head with it, and make no mistake!  It's a total corporate bailout for the Private insurers, who are struggling to keep their 30 percent operating costs intact, while their pool of subscribers shrinks from both job losses, and big companies self-insuring.

    They are in trouble, and we have no strategic advantage in helping them.  None.

    Frankly, we don't need them, and I think everybody knows that, which justifies a solid Progressive push right up to the moment when it's law.

    Then, after we get law, Progressives turn right around, point to this ugly mess of an insurance reform, and use it to challenge Coin Operated Democrats and weak Republicans, giving those people, who are going to ask, "what good are Democrats?", a solid answer; namely, Progressive Democrats.

    Progressives need to become the party, and we might as well take what we can get, show everybody that we went to the mat trying to improve it, and by doing so, show everybody what the real politics are.

    This is corporations vs people, and that means Progressives are in the lead seat here, being the only body of politicians actually working for ordinary people.

    The more people that know that, the better it is for us.

    Then come the challengers, just like the religious right did to the Republicans, and we don't stop, until we have the party leadership.

    We then can come back and fix this shitty bill.

    If I had my way, I would make damn sure this issue changes the party politics forever.  No "getting back to business", only the start of a long Progressive push to build the party proper, and get the work of the people done.

    For me personally, I'm so totally there.  There are Democrats, who only have value being non-Republicans, and Progressives, and the Progressives need to become the party majority, and the sooner we get that done, the better for everybody.

    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:49:41 PM PDT

  •  You pragmatists do what you have to (15+ / 0-)

    but don't fool yourselves that this is the perfect being the enemy of the good.  It's the barely adequate being the enemy of the unworkable.  And you should be aware of the fact that you're not going to get much credit for this from the base, so don't count on it for the election.

    •  fuck the base then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rweba

      fuck them for being spoiled fucking babies

      this isn't about the fucking base.  it's about the whole fucking country.  

      the base needs to remember who they are working for

      stop acting like a fucking special interest group

      and anyway... i'm part of the base and i am fucking elated with this progress

      if some of the base wants to cry like fucking babies and go sulk in the corner like brats then oh well

      if they can be so pissed so easily by not getting what they hoped for then they need to fucking grow the fuck up

      stop holding their breath to get their way

      why should anyone take them serious if they are going to be so child like?

      Deal with it. - Anthony Weiner

      by AntonBursch on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:59:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The base isn't working for anybody (4+ / 0-)

        and hissy fits aren't really going to help.

        •  the base of the democratic party (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rweba

          works for the people of this country

          or at least they should be

          anything else is just being a special interest group

          which is fine, but, you know, doesn't come with the moral high ground these people claim to have

          Deal with it. - Anthony Weiner

          by AntonBursch on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:05:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What are you so worked up about (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TJ, SpecialKinFlag, ohmyheck

            if you think you're right?

            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

            by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:10:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This bill will NOT work for the people of this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, smeesq, Rabbithead

            country. This bill is a winner for one group and one group only, health insurance companies. And they're just licking their lips while they're laughing their asses off at people like you. Because you helped them get everything they ever dreamt of but never thought they could possibly obtain. A whole nation of paying customers being told by the U.S. Government that we HAVE to give them our hard-earned money.

            Yeppers, real democracy at work.

      •  THERE IT IS!!! Dimunutive Framing (4+ / 0-)

        The people unhappy with this bill, myself included, have significant and valid concerns about the overall value proposition of it.

        Passing it is a political victory.  No question.  

        What the reward for that might be, is a very serious question, and frankly, the fact that we have Progressives working their asses off to improve the bill is a very viable answer to those pissed off people, who are going to look at this mandate only POS, and ask, "what the hell did we win the election for?".

        We will answer, Progressive Democrats.  Grow the numbers.  Look at what can happen.  Look at the House, and what it passed, and what we could have, if we established a few more Progressives in the party, particularly the Senate.

        In the end, people will be thanking us for that.

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:08:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "why should anyone take them serious" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson, Ezekial 23 20

        if they keep rolling over and giving up the farm before even arriving at the negotiating table?

        Fixed that for you. If you want people to take you more seriously, please work on grammar and readability. Thanks.

      •  Crack that whip! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, SmedleyButlerUSMC

        the base needs to remember who they are working for

        You sound like a scary, threatening guy, the perfect 'enforcer' for the 'new' Democratic Party.

        Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

        by virtual0 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, fuck the unions, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jyrinx

        minorities, the LGBT community .. what the hell.

        Let's take the Democratic Party back to what it was before LBJ.

        "That's the way to do it, get your money for nothing and your chicks for free."

        Brilliant!

        "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

        by shpilk on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:36:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are the base (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patricia Bruner

      The administration and party numbers will moving due north when this passes, an occurence which would not happen if Kossacks like you represented the base. I guess your next response will be along the lines of "you are all ignorant."  Go for it, and threaten to stop donating and working for Dem candidates. OFA, clearly NOT your peeps is expanding membership and collecting decent money. Your misconceptions please you, empower you? By all means, continue with them.

  •  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! (5+ / 0-)

    I think some people... I'm sorry to say this... but they don't actually know what it is like to actually make progress.  They only know what it's like to ask for it.  But they haven't actually done it so they have this idea that it happens like the movies or something.  It doesn't.  Even our 'free' country was founded without freedom for most of the people living here.  Progress is a long term process.  It's not about progress for this country.  It's about progress for the human race.  And little by little we are getting better and better.  This bill is another great step in the right direction.

    Deal with it. - Anthony Weiner

    by AntonBursch on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:54:26 PM PDT

  •  This was not even (17+ / 0-)

    the best they could do, let alone the perfect and one doesn't need to be an idealist to see that.

    We are not getting Progressive reform, because, simply, they don't want it.

    I don't need any lengthy statement trying to make me feel guilty for being either a Liberal or an idealist, though, I did appreciate your skill and your motivation and I took your words into consideration.

    Again, and hopefully for the last time, making the perfect the enemy of the good does not mean that you'll accept almost anything,; it means that after having given your best effort at something, you can accept that it will not be perfect.

    Congress and the President did not produce their best effort!!!

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 04:54:45 PM PDT

  •  The way to win is not to take your (21+ / 0-)

    best bargaining chip off the table before you start negotiation.

    Never allowing single-payer/ Medicare For All to be part of the opening handicapped us from the beginning.

    Every trial lawyer and Union rep knew this was a train wreck in the making when Dems did not start by pushing a single payer payment system.

  •  Further entrenching corporate health ins. (15+ / 0-)

    ,and pretty much bolstering it when it will implode under its own avarice in a few years, isn't going to anyone much good.... except for Wall St.

    Game Over. The corporations win. And they will take us all down with their greed.

    by The Dead Man on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:01:36 PM PDT

  •  Here is how Obama can still pass a PO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Seneca Doane, Jyrinx

      1.  Hold a joint house and senate caucus meeting with Obama present.

      2. Get everyone to agree on a reconciliation measure that includes a strong public option along with other generally agreed upon fixes.

      3. Get the senators to give a written assurance, with Obama in observance, that they'd pass the reconciliation measure once the house passes the current senate bill and Obama signs it.

      4. Proceed with the motions and take care of business.

      5. Close the case.

    Mandates with no Public Option = DISASTER || A 2010/2012 movement platform: 1. Medicare Buy-In for all 2. Public financing of elections 3. Tough lobbying Reform

    by NeuvoLiberal on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:04:44 PM PDT

  •  so not into this lecture nt (6+ / 0-)

    "Fighting for us, good. Winning, better. Talking about fighting, not so good."--Atrios

    by andrewj54 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:08:36 PM PDT

  •  Medicaid expansion for 15 million (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion

    Americans that wouldn't have been eligible before is somehow a conservative bill???

    Subsidies so that all Americans that make less than 400% FPL will be able to afford health care is also conservative i guess.

  •  Good post Dante But Dems are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, ohmyheck

    Terrible negotiators. Instead of dealing away the public option or the Medicare buy in, they should have held it over the heads of Blue dogs and the GOP members...

    I remember Nelson and co were terrified that Reid would use the fillibuster to vote in the PO or medicare buy in..they should have threatened the GOP---filibuster this bill and we'll enact a medicare buy in and a PO. Instead they negotiated it all away..

    They're doing the same thing with finance reform (Corker) even though Dodd saw the light quicker than Baucus, and Graham with energy and immigration. Dems should not deal away major portions of future bills for ONE GOP vote, in exchange we should demand at least ten repub votes. I mean seriously, what is Graham giving up for allowing us to close Gitmo? His cloture vote?

  •  GOP obstruction nothing w/out RW radio getting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, soundchaser

    a free ride from the collective left.

    that is where the obstruction starts, where the heavy lifting on the overton windows is done. it is the limbaughs and hannitys screaming from their 1000 -strong uncontested soapbox who make the difference and when  progressives start picketing those stations to finally make limbaugh the formal head of the GOP the obstruction will end.

    until then dems will not be getting their reps backs, and the lobbyists who launder their talking points from those stations 24/7 will continue to get a free speech free ride and the dittohead teabaggers will continue give a 10% minority the power of 50%.

    until then bipartisanship will continue to be impossible. and so will real democracy.

    US social and political reality is largely determined by 1000 radio stations blasting coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition all day long.

    by certainot on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:16:31 PM PDT

  •  Honest to God (15+ / 0-)

    are we still hearing these tiresome "Be Grateful For What You Have" diatribes?

    By now they kind of feel like Bush's "We're Makin' Progress."

    Old.  Irrelevent.  And, no we're not.

    The final heath bill may be a move forward.  But it will nothing to be monumentally proud of, and that's what's on the bill of sale.

    My mission isn't to save the face of the Democratic Party.  Because I frankly couldn't give two fucks in a row with different sheep whether the Dems come out of this with a face or not.  My mission is to never shut my mouth until the things we're fighting for are won.

    The rest is the consolation prize.

  •  "Not Yeti, Spaghetti", as my kids used to say (5+ / 0-)

    when they were younger .. [made them laugh]

    I'd say Sanders has every right to make Democrats as uncomfortable as possible in the process by making them consider the Public Option to an "upper/down" vote. After all, this is what a democracy is supposed to be about, when you have nearly 50 Senators signing onto a statement saying they support it.

    Sorry, but I see this as framing this conversation in post as a cram down into a black and white world; I prefer seeing all the shades of the rainbow here.

    In the end of the process, I'll support whatever they can get through [if it's not a total travesty], but I'm for giving the Public Option some form a chance to get voted on.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:21:45 PM PDT

  •  it's not about the perfect being the enemy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virtual0

    of the good

    it is about the bad, obamaism, being the ally of the worse

    we'll see what goes through on health care. obamaism is so antidemocratic that people are just spectators. obama is influenced by what republicans want, not what the public wants or needs. he does nothing to positively influence public understanding and wants, he guides public understanding and want toward the republican concept.

    health care legislation will be as republican as he can make it - taking it as far as possible in the wrong direction. after all, as a democrat you can't expect him to take a fully republican position. he moved as much in that direction as a democrat safely could. in fact, he has really been pushing it, with his courting of republicans and flipping off those who supported what he pretended to be in the election campaign.

    if he follows through, true to form as demonstrated in his handling of torture, he will be working overtime before and after the passage of the legislation to steer it towards the republican position.

    i detest obama. i think he is setting back the democratic party decades when we urgently needed a true champion.

    considering what i have to do to get through my days, and considering the strength of the uncritical support he gets within the party, i can just watch in horror. his mischief, i fear, is just starting. and the strength is enough to support him within the party, but not enough to lead the country as a whole, because he has no coherent truth to his presidency, nothing that anyone can campaign on.

    the main thing i can do now is hope that events prove me totally wrong. right now my hope is not strong.

    Politics is not arithmetic. It's chemistry.

    by tamandua on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:22:27 PM PDT

  •  Actually I think you make a very good case (14+ / 0-)

    to realize that progressive values aren't really important, they are not the good. And that means those of us who believe that it is should stop accepting that a D after the name means we should vote for them, much less work for them.

    IOW if the independents and the conservatives and the swing voters are the "Good" and what we are working towards, I think Democratic candidates need to stop depending on the "Perfect" to be there. Because apparently progressives, liberals, hispanics, the GLBT community and the unions are merely Perfect and not important enough to actually mean anything. Let the "Good" get out your vote, campaign, run your phone banks and donate to your campaigns till it hurts.

  •  Evoloution.. (4+ / 0-)

    A Rancid Deal with Big Pharma

    "So now we know why the president wants everyone to make nice in the healthcare debate. His White House has cut a deal with Big Pharma that smells like the same old rotten politics that candidate Obama regularly denounced and promised to end. The drug industry agrees to deliver $80 billion in future savings and the president promises the government will not use its awesome purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices.

    Share this article
       
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    Wow. This is roughly the same deal that George W. Bush cut with the drug makers when he was legislating Medicare's new coverage of drug purchases. It is the same bargain that Democrats in Congress universally condemned as wasteful and corrupt. The deal does not smell any better now that a Democratic president is embracing it.

    In effect, Obama wants to give away one of the principal objectives of strong reform. The details were spelled out in today's New York Times and revealed by Big Pharma's top-dog lobbyist, Billy Tauzin, a former Republican congressman who leads the industry association. Tauzin called it a "rock-solid deal," and the White House did not dispute as much. But that is not the last word.

    People who believe in real healthcare reform should not be nice about this. They must rise up and rebel against our popular new president's outrageous concession. They must demand that Congress declare the private deal-making null and void. If Congress lacks the nerve to do this, then this exercise in reform begins to look more and more like previous attempts that were eviscerated by the clout of the corporate interests.

    The fate of healthcare reform may depend not on the Senate or the White House but on Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. What prompted Billy Tauzin to spill the beans on his deal-making with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was the House measure that specifies government's right to bargain for lower prices. No, no, no! Tauzin said. We've got a deal with the president, who says that won't be allowed.

    But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi simply responds that the House is not bound by any deals made with the Senate or the White House. Her caucus must back up her words. They should pass the House bill, which will allow the government to do what any major customer would do in the same circumstances--use its leverage to demand lower prices.

    If House Democrats stand their ground, then they will force a debate they can win with the American public. President Obama will have to choose between standing with the drug manufacturers or defending the original purpose of healthcare reform.

    "

  •  what a joke-kos writer claiming to be progressive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fernan47

    the gig is up we know you are are bullshit

    I don't care how deep or wide If you got another side Roll muddy river-Hunter/ Garcia

    by mookieblaylock on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:32:19 PM PDT

  •  The "Community Health Insurance Option" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rweba

    This is in the Senate Bill.  Its a weaker public option, and state's can opt out, but its a start.  This CHIO could easily be improved with additonal legislation once enacted.

    Sec. 1323. Community health insurance option. Requires the Secretary to offer a Community Health Insurance Option as a qualified health plan through Exchanges. Allows States to enact a law to opt out of offering the option. Requires the option to cover only essential health benefits; States may require additional benefits, but must defray their cost. Requires the Secretary to set geographically adjusted premium rates that cover expected costs. Requires the Secretary to negotiate provider reimbursement rates, but they must not be higher than average rates paid by private qualified health plans. Subjects the option to State and Federal solvency standards and to State consumer protection laws. Establishes a Start-Up Fund to provide loans for initial operations, to be repaid with interest within 10 years. Authorizes the Secretary to contract with nonprofits for the administration of the option.

    •  CHIO is non-profit but not public, its private (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, cybrestrike, ohmyheck

      (2) QUALIFIED ENTITY.—To be qualified to be
      15 selected by the Secretary to offer a community
      16 health insurance option, an entity shall—
      17 (A) meet the criteria established under sec18
      tion 1874A(a)(2) of the Social Security Act;
      19 (B) be a nonprofit entity for purposes of
      20 offering such option;
      21 (C) meet the solvency standards applicable
      22 under subsection (b)(7);
      23 (D) be eligible to offer health insurance or
      24 health benefits coverage;
      1 (E) meet quality standards specified by the
      2 Secretary;
      3 (F) have in place effective procedures to
      4 control fraud, abuse, and waste; and
      5 (G) meet such other requirements as the
      6 Secretary may impose.

      (pg 194 and 195 of the bill)

      There is no public option in the Senate bill.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:11:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  p.s., if you non-profit health ins. is enough... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, ohmyheck

        In case anyone doesn't know, there are already non-profit health insurance companies. The CHIO just provides for them in the exchange.

        If you think non-profit is enough to fix health insurance, then ask a customer of Kaiser-Permanente or Asuris. They're both non-profit.

        Their rates are strongly correlated with the rates of for-profit health insurance companies in the same areas. Even non-profit health insurance co-ops already exist, and treat their customers pretty much the same way as the for-profit ones.

        "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

        by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:18:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is essentially a very watered down public (0+ / 0-)

      option.

      I think it is a good start and if you don't want to pay a for profit insurance company this is a good option.

      Also as you point out, it could easily be strengthened over time to become something stronger.

  •  No one is talking about the "perfect". (13+ / 0-)

    That's a strawman smear that ought to be retired.

    I'm expecting the "possible" out of the Obama Administration, and finding it coming up short on issue after issue.  From war, to the economy in general, to what currently passes for HC'r' after months of dedicated, pre-emptive, mostly unilateral evisceration.

    All for want of leadership and vision.  

    Not only that.  Not only do these Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dem clowns not lead, they accept/promote the most retrograde fascist memes every step of the way.  We're talking about absolute political steps (programatic and ideational) in the absolute wrong direction, time after time.

    In the context of the failing Reagan Revolution, culminating in the disaster to two George W. Bush administrations, the failure of the Democratic party to grasp, not the perfect but the possible, is nothing short of sabotage.

    On issue after issue with Obama, we're not looking at the pragmatic, or the incremental, but at a full-scale, dedicated, corporate rear-guard action, with all the ideological trimmings and trashed possibilities.

    Sabotage.  

    Sometimes corporatist, politically retrograde policy (and apologetics) is the enemy of the good.

    Please don't feed the security state.

  •  i'm waffling (0+ / 0-)

    is basically what your saying?

  •  you know those movies where the guy (9+ / 0-)
    viciously beats up his wife, and in the very next scene, he's holding her and kissing her and making up to her?  this diary gives me the icky feeling of being the wife. and even as my abusive husband is sweet-talking me, he is essentially promising me he's going to beat me up again.

    "Absent hard regulation of the sort of the US has proven very bad at enforcing (see Crisis, Financial) a mandate is just a looting license" - Ian Welsh

    by output on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 05:59:39 PM PDT

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      output

      This diary would say the 'pragmatic wife' should accept his making up to her.  For if she were to stand up to him, well, her life would be MUCH worse.  Battered wives stay because, at some level, they feel they deserve his anger and abuse (oversimplification noted).  Just because we have spent the previous eight years being battered, does not mean WE are willing to continue to be battered.  Granted we are not being battered as brutally as before, but we most assuredly are still being abused!  

      We voted for a new sheriff in town (to mix metaphors).  If it seems this new sheriff still wants to keep too close of ties with the corrupt saloon owner town boss, we need to reassess our choice of sheriff.  

      I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

      by davekro on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:27:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good point on adaptability, however 2 big issues: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, ohmyheck
    1. Some issues, by their nature, cannot be solved incrementally. Most notably climate change. There is a tipping point. Either you make the necessary changes in time, or you don't.

    The perfect may not be the enemy of the good, but in this type of case, the insufficient IS the enemy of the sufficient.

    And sadly, Obama's starting point is pathetically short of being able to achieve the cuts we need.

    First, cap and trade has NOT reduced emissions in Europe. And we've already moved the goalposts from cuts to 1990 levels, to 2000 levels (which are 30% higher). Thus a 30% cut is essentially the same as 1990 levels.

    Second, it does virtually nothing to address the other end of the candle, the cumulative effect on man's activities decreasing the ability of the earth to convert CO2 into oxygen. Mainly, through deforestation on land, and loss of organisms that perform the same functions in the ocean through ocean acidification.

    Lastly, none of the current climate models (which already are lowballing the projected temperature increase via the nature of consensus building and built in assumptions that low-ball important factors in the projected increase, namely: estimated population increase (9 billion instead of 12), the speed of implementation of energy efficient technology (fast), the breadth of implementation (widespread), and the cost (it will virtually pay for itself).

    Remember, these are the same models that said we'd not have significant loss of the arctic ice sheet until 2010, now we think they may be gone by 2025.

    Of course, this leads us to the main pitfall of incrementalism:

    1. Incrementalism only is a viable option when the solution lies inside the bounds of the present system.

    When the necessary changes require an adoption of a new paradigm, a new system. When the system itself is part of the problem, and incremental approach always fails.

    In many areas (though certainly not all), this is where we are now.

    I. Consumerism/Capitalism is a threat. Our economic growth depends on increasing consumption (GDP = C + I + G). You can't continue to increase consumption (doubling roughly every 15-20 years) when natural resources are diminishing. Even though increases in efficiency make it true that consumption doesn't increase as fast as GDP, there are no known areas where it halts or stops increasing significantly over time. The circle cannot be squared.

    And these points are valid at 0% population growth, much less a doubling in 100 years.

    This is, obviously, the most seismic truth we are facing. And the one the democratic party fails to realize (or acknowledge).

    II. Get the money out of politics/Reduce Corporate rights to their appropriate level (statutory, not Constitutional).

    This is the blockage blocking nearly every significant reform we need to make. A constitutional amendment seems necessary now, simply stating the Corporate rights are not Constitutional in nature, and can be given (or taken away) by statute.

    III. Widen the scope of the adaptability. In fact, realize the truth of evolution.

    Adaptability should indeed be the by-word of the day, but apply it to more than our tactics. We should use whatever works best. Whatever system, tactic, or process that gets the job done in the best way. Including:

    Changes to our democracy (getting rid of the filibuster and anonymous holds in the senate), perhaps revamping how the Senate and House are elected (I'd love to see getting rid of the 2/state rule and making the House the Senate and the House proportional representation). Or giving most of the higher functions to the House, and not the Senate.

    The simple reality is our democracy is one of the least representative, most co-opted, least responsive, and most corrupt in all the land.

    Second would be the realization that the capitalism/free-marked/profit-motive paradigm doesn't work particularly well in some situations/areas. Built in to the system itself is the term market failure, which acknowledges this fact.

    Add in certain areas where we know this to be true already, particularly where the profits work at cross purposes to the venture, where the venture is more important than the profits, where there is a moral problem, where time has proven otherwise, or where there is not a real choice.

    You can put the following into at least one of those categories: war profiteering, prostitution, health care, agriculture, public education, labor, utilities, media, health care, food production, energy production. I'm sure there are more.

    We should also realize that significant changes are needed in our judicial system, educational system, food production, and possibly international relations.

    Yes, adaptability is a must. But the very concept must include the idea that some adaptions are also evolutionary in nature. Some aren't. But I'd say it is pretty apparent than in numerous areas, we need not just adaptation, but evolution.

    •  Jeez, where have YOU been? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      This is a long comment, and I kept reading and asking, "Who wrote this?!"

      Have you ever heard of like, a "diary"???

      Mebbe ya oughta try it sometime.

      Thank you for this.  You give me hope, after reading such pragmatic dreck for so long.

      I would add that your last sentence "we need not just adaptation, but evolution.", I agree, but NOT the kind of evolution this diary is talking about.

      Paradigm Shift. Think "Berlin Wall".

      by ohmyheck on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:47:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  frack pragmatism (7+ / 0-)

    for one thing: it don't work, so it ain't pragmatic.

    also, the senate bill is going to leave us worse off even with the 'improvements' because what they have set up is a net loss.

    you know if i hadn't been basically pragmatic i would never have survived.  

    but the pragmatism pushed on this site about this issue is sheer insanity.

    see ya later...  it would be wonderful if i am wrong, but i am rarely wrong.  too bad for everyone.

    Just say "No" to extreme capitalism.

    by fernan47 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:03:17 PM PDT

    •  When you hear 'pragmatism' used (5+ / 0-)

      on this site, think 'lack of principles'.

      There's a difference -- a fundamental one -- between (a) being pragmatic in trying to implement one's principles and (b) having no principles at all and and glorifying that unanchored emptiness as "pragmatism."  Once you enter the realm of (b), you are not only guilty of having no principles (a sin in its own right), but you're incapable of finding a way to effectively justify what you're doing, because you have no coherent principles to which you can credibly appeal.   In virtually every realm (health care, financial reform, national security), and especially in Terrorism/civil liberties, that has been the great political failure of the Obama administration.

      Obama sabotages himself with fake "pragmatism"

      Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

      by virtual0 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:59:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  mmm.... here's one problem I have w/your analysis (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, when the moment of truth comes and the progressive congressperson and his/her constituents look at this bill, they have to dispassionately decide whether the glass is half-empty or half-full, and act accordingly.

    However, during the process itself, the progressive base and its priorities have been shut out and received even less attention from DC than the teabaggers got.

    This, from a President who was carried to office as a progressive, on the backs of the progressive movement.

    Similarly, our values and priorities are being shut out from the Afghanistan and Iraq debates, from the financial policy, and to a large degree from energy as well.

    Looking forward, I wonder what you have to say about this? Yes, we can all pledge to act like grownups when deciding whether to vote on the final bill. But how do we make the system stop acting like an ear-plugging spoiled toddler, and agree to hear us when it counts?

    •  primaries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, tari

      see Blanche Lincoln.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:15:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I asked Obama in 2005 if he had the (4+ / 0-)

      'fire', after his posting here.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "This, from a President who was carried to office as a progressive, on the backs of the progressive movement."

      LOL.

      Come on .. people were convinced by a slick advertising campaign, on the back of a horrible 8 years with Bush. Without that 'fire', there can be no leadership for change.

      Barack is competent as hell, massively intelligent, and I believe he thinks he has the best interests of all in his heart.

      But he's got no fire in the belly to make change happen. I called it in 2005, click the link.

      I told folks here over and over again in 2008 what we had in front of us. So many disappointed people. Such a shame. But I'm not disappointed, at all. I never had the expectations, to begin with. I like Obama.

      If you want change, you need someone else leading the charge.

      Al Gore and Howard Dean were my two best choices for meaningful and sustainable change. They have both been frozen out of the process.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:17:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arghhh! Just pass the goddam bill already. nt (0+ / 0-)

    FDR: "Yes, I'm for it. Now make me do it."

    by arubyan on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:07:13 PM PDT

  •  The perfectionists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rweba

    ...share with the general Republican Party one fear--that the bill passes and it turns out that none of their histrionic scare stories comes true, and they will be rendered irrelevant as the public embraces the reforms.

    •   Sorry wrong answer. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ozzie, blueoasis, cybrestrike, ohmyheck

      please try again.

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:29:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a progressive "fears" (8+ / 0-)

      is an unnecessary, politically retrograde retrenchment of an unpopular, failing industry, that will likely guarantee shoddy healthcare and skyrocketing medical costs for the forseeable future.

      A progressive recognizes that funneling massive government subsidies through millions of poor/middle class conduits into AHIP coffers will result in good healthcare at a reasonable cost to society with about the chance of a snowball in hell.

      A progressive sees that healthcare under Obama's sham HC'r' will remain rationed, will remain a drain on the economy, and will remain unaffordable and therefore unavailable to millions of Americans.

      A progressive recognizes that denial of healthcare is an absolutely retrograde, absolutely rightwing value, which degrades us all for political as well as economical issues.  

      If we have decided that healthcare should be universal and economically efficient, than AHIP serves no purpose.  To a progressive, their healthcare denial funciton is not only unecessary, but absolutely political retrograde, with no redeeming value.

      If you're a fascist, you go out of your way to save AHIP, because, as a fascist, you like to see people suffer, because 1) it keeps them in line and 2) you're essentially a sadist at heart.

      A progressive understands that the Democratic Party is squandering a real opportunity for positive change, which is unforgiveable.

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  Evolution requires that the significant (7+ / 0-)

    characteristic sequence which is deleterious to the survival of the next generation is left in the dustbins of history, rather that continuing to massage it into the narrative.

    I don't see where appeasement, failure to put to put the heat to the blade and 'going along to get along' are functional evolutionary attributes. I see them all as detriments to change.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:32:14 PM PDT

  •  Perfectly articulated, thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mem from somerville, rweba

    Short on time but this piece really encapsulates every single thing I feel as a long-time far Left member of the political scene, filled with idealism yet too analytical and too oriented in efficacy to become bogged down by my own personal frustrations. We always need to ask, "Where are we now? What can we do to move forward from HERE and NOW?" That position requires great flexibility. But it does not mean one must abandon ones principles.

    As always, I view myself as a politically radical person.

    And yet I want as many of my ideals to come to fruition as possible.

    Not one. Not two. I will not cut off my nose to spite my own face. I will not disown myself because the terrain has shifted, or I've lost one round.

    This is a courageous and needed piece, Dante, and a remarkable reminder that all Progressives who wish to continue to remain political grounded enough to even press FOR reform should strongly consider.

    Thank you for articulating what is in the hearts and minds of so many, yet so many feel too timid to express, dismissed as "hope-mongers" by others who claim they are, in fact, the "idealists." But what can be more ideal than trying to thread difficult political needles against the face of all the odds?

    We are moving forward. It's clear. And I've never seen it happen in this way before.

    Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:33:12 PM PDT

    •  Um..... (6+ / 0-)

      And I've never seen it happen in this way before.

      Really? That's curious, because I've seen it happen this way in every Administration since I can remember going back to Carter.

      This is nothing new - just a new face that talks a really good game.

      Please.......

      "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

      by DJamesGoodwin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:09:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is really interesting to hear some people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      go on and on and on.

      They talk about betrayals and cowardice and can write a 10,000 page essay on what is wrong with this bill or that bill.

      But can they point out a very REALISTIC way of getting a better solution given the reality of our political system?

      No.

      It is almost never a contest between the "perfect" and the "good."

      More often it is a question of doing NOTHING or doing SOMETHING because the "ideal" solution generally does not get much political support.

      As Dante points out, people are going to be in for a lot of dissapointments: on immigration reform, financial regulation, urban policy, education, climate change and so on.

      Their preferred policies will not be enacted, they will claim they have been betrayed, threaten to vote for Nader and generally kick up a big fuss.

      And at some point the Republicans will regain power  and we'll WISH we still had the chance to pass those "incremental" bills.

      •  Absolutely and as an immigration reform advocate (0+ / 0-)

        I already know we're not going to get what we'd hoped for there. I would hate to see the netroots get upset. It's been the writing on the wall for a long time that immigration is a hotbutton issue that we will be lucky to have even modest reforms pass federally. Thus said, I still think there's a great deal that local measures can remedy for this one (a simple one is for local law enforcement to disavow collaboration with I.C.E. under 287(g), which is an optional collaboration -- and part of why immigrant harassment looks different in different parts of the country).

        Well stated, rweba.

        Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

        by mahakali overdrive on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 08:39:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The other problem is that progressives don't know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lalo456987

    how to frame the debate on their terms. Well before August 2009 the battle for the public option was already over. As early as last May I was sounding alarm bells because the right was getting out their message on this issue, while the pro-reform side was very quiet. The pro-reform side never had a clear message, allowed the opposition to frame the debate on their terms, and allowed themselves to be out-organized. By the early summer the right wing had been running for months on end and their lies had gone unchallenged.

    At this point what is likely to pass Congress is the only option. A lot of the people here who have been hysterically screaming for single-payer and the public option have yet to answer these key questions that I've asked them:

    Where are you going to find the votes? At this late date, what Congressmen and Senators do you magically expect to change their mind? In a political environment like this, how do you get a better bill? And give that the next few Congresses are likely to be more conservative and Republican, do you honestly expect a better bill to appear?

    And I have gotten no real answers to that question. All I have gotten is vague generalities but no key strategy as to how the PO and single-payer pass.

    So the bottom line is that, for now, this is the best bill possible. It's hardly what I want either, but there's not going to be another opportunity for a very long to pass anything. And "killing the bill" is just a destructive choice.

  •  I have yet to spot perfect OR good. (4+ / 0-)

    But I suppose the halfway decent is the enemy of the awful with a few dabs of shiny paint.

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:50:18 PM PDT

    •  I think HC'r' (4+ / 0-)

      is more like the silk purse being the enemy of the sows ear.

      Or vice versa.  Or something.

      Dems are spending all their political effort (and most of their capital) to 1) maintain Bushco's wars (and worldview) abroad, 2) supervise the culmination of Reaganomics in massive, corporate bailouts, 3) retrench a hated, wasteful, failing Healthcare Denial Industry.

      Only a fulltime, dedicated, politicking koolaide careerist could call any of the above 'good' from a progressive perspective and maintain a straight face.

      A silk purse in every pot!

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  Battered spouse/Daily Kos syndrome (10+ / 0-)

    In lay terms, this is a reference to any person who, because of constant and severe domestic violence usually involving physical abuse by a partner, becomes depressed and unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people often do not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault. Such persons usually refuse to press criminal charges against their abuser, and refuse all offers of help, often becoming aggressive or abusive to others who attempt to offer assistance. Often sufferers will even seek out their very abuser for comfort shortly after an incident of abuse.

    Markos -

    People hear Democrat and they think – junk, sell-out, empty, corporate, Wall Street.

    And eventually, you will be forced to carry their water.

    Take the case of Markos Moulitsas, the founder of The Daily Kos.

    In September, Markos opposed any health care plan without a public option.

    "We’re not talking what we really wanted – we really wanted single payer – so we already compromised from our position," Markos said at the time. "I think the public option at this point is sort of our Waterloo. This is where we stand and fight."

    Yesterday, Markos buckled.

    He fell into line with the corporate Democrats, arguing that it was Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) who is to blame.

    That would be Dennis Kucinich – the only member of Congress who supports single payer and is willing to stand up to his party and say no to the insurance industry bailout that is Obamacare.

    "And I`m going to hold people, like Dennis Kucinich, responsible for the 40,000 Americans that die each year from a lack of health care," Markos said on MSNBC last night. "And I don`t care if you`re a Republican or you`re a conservative Democrat or you`re somebody like Dennis Kucinich. The fact is, this does a heck of a lot for a lot of people."

    http://www.counterpunch.com/...

    Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

    by virtual0 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:50:52 PM PDT

  •  The no-brainer... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, blueoasis, Tommymac, Jyrinx

    February 27, 2010:

    President Obama signed a one-year extension of three sections of the USA Patriot Act on Saturday without any new limits on the measures that many liberal groups and Democrats said were necessary to safeguard American civil liberties.

    This ought to have been a no-brainer, even the watered down extra limitations were not incorporated.

    Where are the "better" Democrats?

    by lalo456987 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:55:34 PM PDT

  •  That is the problem (6+ / 0-)
    And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported

    This is NOT better than what we have now.
    This amounts to going backward. This will end up being much worse.

    What we are about to be shafted with will do nothing to control costs. It WILL mandate the young and healthy to buy unregulated, expensive, high-profit plans deliberately designed to funnel cash into the pockets of the insurance industry, and which do not even guarantee care. It WILL underwrite subsidies for the poor by slashing benefits for the elderly and disabled on Medicare. It WILL reduce access to care for the middle class by taxing benefits and promoting higher deductibles. Anyone have elderly parents with chronic conditions? If this bill gets passed, you're gonna hate what happens to them. Unless you hate them already.

    I refuse to support this and I will never vote for any politician who does. This bill is a malignant catastrophe that in any other western democracy would be cause for a national uprising and seen for what it really is: an open declaration of class war by the corporate state against the general population.

    If someone had told me three years ago that this very scheme would be hatched by a Democratic administration, with a Dem majority in Congress, and would be embraced by "progressives" soon after emerging from under an eight-year shadow of flat-out fascism, I'd have told them that sniffing glue and dropping acid don't mix.

    Someone needs to stick a fork into the American body politic. We are way past done.
     

    Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

    by mojada on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 06:58:28 PM PDT

    •  Whoa! This is some comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rabbithead

      I sure hope you are wrong.  I truly fear that you are correct.  Only time will tell.

      It is nice to see alot of people coming out and commenting in this FP article.  It tends to be the same old people beating the drum in the Diaries.

      Things are different over here on the Left Side of the Page......

      Paradigm Shift. Think "Berlin Wall".

      by ohmyheck on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:14:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's Corporate Toadyism, not 'incrementalism', (10+ / 0-)

    per se, that is the problem. The way to eliminate that is to enact full public financing of election, coupled with TOUGH lobbying reforms.

    Mandates with no Public Option = DISASTER || A 2010/2012 movement platform: 1. Medicare Buy-In for all 2. Public financing of elections 3. Tough lobbying Reform

    by NeuvoLiberal on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:13:21 PM PDT

  •  Incredibly longwinded way of saying (10+ / 0-)

    "you dirty hippies and civil libertarians shut up so we can score some points!"

    We oppose this monstrosity because it is an Aetna/BCBS tax on the american worker. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is naked corporatism/fascism and its only the first step down a very dark road.

    And you frontpagers and fanboys are bringing it to us wrapped with a bow.

    The Republicans want to give your Social Security to Wall Street

    by cdreid on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:29:41 PM PDT

  •  Great Diary - Thank You (0+ / 0-)

    fight - and then pass whatever bills are possible. But take notes throughout the process - and challenge and primary who voted against major progress.

  •  Really great stuff Dante (0+ / 0-)

    Don't have time to post my extensive comments right now at least. But this is one of the most important posts for our movement so far this year that I've read.

  •  Obama's 'win' comes at Dem Congress' expense (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster, blueoasis, cybrestrike, efraker

    Just like the French soldiers in the trenches in World War One, the Capitoal Hill Democrats are being ordered to commit electoral suicide simply to please PhRMA, Blue Cross, and the rest of the health industry lobby.

    Obama's popularity ratings are fine -- they're in the mid-50s, as Kos' own polling shows -- and losing this battle won't hurt his numbers any.     But forcing Democrats up for election this year to vote for something that costs more and covers less -- and sics the IRS on you if you don't buy it -- is what's really going to kill his presidency, and take the Capitol Hill Democrats down as well.

    Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:42:05 PM PDT

    •  Baaah! Baaaah!!! (0+ / 0-)

      I definitely see the similarities. Have you ever heard the story that the surrealist art movement of Dadaism began as a reaction to a story about French soldiers bleating like sheep as they went 'over the top' to their inevitable deaths?

      Democrats are about to pass the health care plan that Nixon suggested in 1974, and Bob Dole offered again in 1993. Life is bizarre. title=

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 11:31:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And, btw, hideous approach to legislation... (7+ / 0-)

    And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported. That's just pragmatism: maximizing the progressive nature of current policy.

    Over a year to incrementally get a few incremental improvements, and at the cost of making it even harder to improve in future?  That's some backwards thinking.

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:45:55 PM PDT

  •  Sorry Dante, I disagree with you. (7+ / 0-)

    Circumstances are not different.  The Corporatists are still in power, 'a rose by any other name smells the same'...

    Guantanomo is stil there.
    We still have military tribunals.
    Blackwater is still empoyed.
    We are still in Iraq.
    We are stil in Afganistan.
    We still cannot negotiate Medicare drug prices.
    Wall Street, not Main Street is the center
    The Patriot Act has been extended.
    We still do not have Campaign Finance Reform.
    Employee Free Choice Act - where is it now?
    We still have an extremely arrogant WH-COS.

    What makes 2010 so much different than 2005 or 2006 or 2007 or 2008?

    Just wait until Novemnber...I pray the rethugs will not regain any power - but I fear they will, because th Coprpoatae Dems need their cover.

    "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." -Thomas Paine

    by Tommymac on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:54:14 PM PDT

  •  Wrong (6+ / 0-)

    And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported. That's just pragmatism: maximizing the progressive nature of current policy.

    The pragmatic paradigm was just not going to work in this political climate and neither would incremental change.

    If we had wanted bold reform we should have pushed a bold agenda, sans the faux bipartisan approach. The problem is that while many of us at first excused this President because we wanted to trust him, it was never his intention to fight for bold reform.

    Looking back the signals were there but, some of us refused to see them. I was one who gave him the benefit of the doubt for quite some time.

    We could have passed healthcare last year using reconciliation and having a Robust PO--we had the votes, we had overwhelming public support and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    How can anyone logically explain how the Democrats got us to this ultimate place, if the intent was not to pass the Senate bill, the President's bill all along?

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:07:14 PM PDT

    •  I'm bewildered too... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      I've come to the conclusion that, for some reason, this president does not want the public option.  I think he begrudgingly voices public support for it, but the fact remains, he never ever takes a stand for it politically.

      More than anything else, this has caused me to distrust this president.  What other possible reason could there be for this, other than some sort of dirty, backroom deal with the insurance industry?  The public is clamoring for the public option, so by paying lip service to it he hopes to defuse the issue, while he secretly undermines the attempts to legislate it - largely through non-action.  So much for transparency!

      For the life of me, I just don't get it.  This president cuts a fine figure, but he just doesn't seem to have the hang of negotiation.  Either that, or he is a PINO (progressive-in-name-only).

  •  I voted for CHANGE! (4+ / 0-)

    Not the lessor of two evils.  We called for single payer, we were willing to compromise on a public option.  I will not accept anything less than a robust public option.  Anything less is, "We'll still let the insurance companies screw you, just not quite as bad."  No thank you.  Make that fuck no, if a consumer mandate is left in.

  •  Losers don't know when to walk away. (5+ / 0-)

    The mushy-middle hides behind "pragmatism" and "incrementalism" when they're just too gutless to admit they've been played like a cheap fiddle.

    As long as you take whatever it offered, you will always lose. Winners know when to say no thanks and walk away from the game.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:43:56 PM PDT

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)

      and thats exactly what the republican are doing.  It's no wonder their sitting on their hands, the democrats seemingly grant their every wish and desire without them even having to ask.  

      Progressive ideals in our government are as dead as a doornail, sadly the populace hasn't caught up to the regression.

      yeah the goons have gone global and the CEOs are shredin files and the democrins and the republicrats are flashing their toothy smiles -Serpintine-Ani Difranco

      by Macrocosm on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:10:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not pragmatists? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Macrocosm, ohmyheck

    My impression is just the opposite in a way.  Progressives were asked to accept unacceptable deals. The solution should have been to capitulate so as not to be accused of lacking pragmatism??  Therein lies the defeat for the left.

    The HCR debate has not shown the left the way of capitulation (pragmatism) as demanded by Rahm and company.  No, I think what we have seen is a movement become a real movement by divorcing itself from a capitulating and in many ways corporatist leadership.  

    No instead of obedience, the left through sites like this, personal action, supporting candidates against corporatist Dems has shown the guts and ability to use and wage power.  

    Afer the election, Obama and crew were the defacto leaders of the progressive movement.  Hey, we will support the President and do leg work if required.  Guess what, Obama and the Summers and Geitners and the Reids are no longer the recognized leaders for many liberals and Dems.  The movement has decoupled itself from elected or charismatic leaders like the President.

    Now that power is about pushing for  good ideas, not for entrenched political leaders or interests.  And yes there will be certain compromises, but this has always happened and will happen again.  The pragmatism will be in the service of ideals, not against them.

  •  What's Fundamentally Wrong About This Diary (9+ / 0-)

    We no longer had to worry about the implementation of yet more disastrous conservative policies; instead, we were merely concerned that old policies would not be changed fast enough, or that a new progressive policies would not be implemented soon enough.

    Nonsense, Dante.

    We knew that Obama planned to escalate the War on Afghanistan. Many of us wanted--and want--that war to end.

    We knew that Obama was opposed to single payer. Many of us wanted single payer.

    We knew that the Democratic wing of Wall Street would be put in charge of economic affairs. Most of us didn't want this at all.

    We suspected--based especially on his FISA vote--that Obama had no interest at all in reversing many of the policies of the Bush Administration that need reversing. And he's shown many signs of continuing them.

    This center-right administration is significantly less bad than its far right predecessor. But its shortcomings don't only involve questions of speed, but of fundamental progressive values that it rejects.

    Stop Obama's Wars Now! Bring the Troops Home!

    by GreenSooner on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 08:51:47 PM PDT

    •  You said it well GS. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ohmyheck

      I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

      by davekro on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:38:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My issue is Barack ran on a progressive platform. (4+ / 0-)

      I took him at his word he was for the Public option and against mandates.  It was the major reason I voted Obama in the primary instead of Clinton.

      That is why I am so down on this administration. If  they are center-right, fine, so be it -  but damn it they should have run as center-right; - IMHO Obama took advantage of progressives during his campaign.

      I will not be fooled again.

      "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." -Thomas Paine

      by Tommymac on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 11:19:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arghh. Dysfuncionality... what to do about it? nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Taking the long view (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent article, cogently written.

    I am always reminded, when I succumb to my perennial impatience with the political process, that the greatest progressive achievements of the past 80 or so years have been achieved through the kind of incrementalism to which Mr. Atkins refers.

    The social security act of 1935 was, at the time, not everything progressives wanted either.  Over the course of time, it was amended and expanded to become the cornerstone of public policy it is today.  The same is true of Medicare.

    Now, imagine where we might be today if progressives of the time had not voted for Social Security in 1935 because they wanted "the perfect" instead of "the good."  It is always, always easy to succumb to the sentiment, "I want what I want, and I want it now."  The hard road is to take the long view and recognize that incremental change is part and parcel of the democratic process - always has been, always will be.

    Rampant commercialism has bred a sort of short-sightedness into our collective psyche.  As progressives, we should buck this trend and apply ourselves to the long view.  Future generations will thank us, I think.

    •  But the point is not incrementalism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hector Gonzalez

      I don't think people dispute the incremental aspect of change, nor reject it because of some all-or-nothing approach to their ideals.  No, the point, to use your example, is that "pragmatism" as adopted by many Dems would never have even produced the first base Social Security law in 1935 to begin with.

      •  apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

        The complexity of the current system is the reason for the complexity of the bill to address it.  It would have been much simpler to go with single-payer, but for the shock to the current system implementing it would have meant.  That would NOT have been simple and would have introduced a great deal of chaos.  The political backlash would ensue very quickly.  This is my opinion based on working in the field of medicine.

        There is a difference between introducing legislation into a relative vacuum (Social Security) and legislation introduced into an existing system (HCR).  In the case of HCR, we can either design legislation that supplants the current system or works with the existing system.  This particular bill seeks to work within the existing system.  Distasteful as that is to me personally, it may be the only solution that can be had in a representative democracy - and I prefer to keep my democracy, thank you.

        •  I am all for passing the bill (0+ / 0-)

          Pass the bill and push and punish reps and senators to fix it regardless of course whether Reid, Pelosi or Obama like it.  Right now it looks like punishment is a very good option--vote against it and you will lose the primary.

          One point in favor of the bill is 2012.  Obama may lose the election and no change will be possible.  We would have to wait another 4 years at least for any meaningful reform.  

          •  I like your approach (0+ / 0-)

            It's a bitter pill to have to swallow, but it is preferable to the alternative.  Keep in mind, much can be done through the budget reconciliation process that is filibuster-proof.

            What we have with HCR, as it currently stands, is a framework that can be built upon over time.  This does not exclude tearing down parts and remaking them.  I hope, if it passes, we progressives continue to press our elected officials to amend it to the point that it begins to resemble real reform.

  •  Overton window goin right? Tear the wall out.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Gonzalez

    That'll do it.

     Progessives will make a new way in.

     This HCR will pass. It's shit. There are some very good provisions in it but it's still shit.

     If fact that might be the best part. It's such shit that everything people fear going wrong will, and that will turn the today's corporate Health Care ATM into a broken bashed in "out of order" repairs pending chance at something like real change:

      Single payer/expanded medicare, anything that corporations will "allow" just to get away from us Dirty F---king hippies then recoup their ATM in a more civilized part of town. Where? Teabaggerland.

     This is the only way I can stomach a mandate without a choice not to give my money to a fucking parasite.

     I hope this bill is front loaded so the wall comes down now not tomorrow.

     
     

  •  A point made is misinterpreted... (6+ / 0-)

    But what's important to note is that health care reform is not a special case. Every single major policy initiative for the next two years will likely follow this pattern, whether it is financial sector regulation, immigration reform, or even LGBT equality--and progressive strategy must adapt case-by-case from the strictly principled to the productively pragmatic.

    From a progressive strategy, it would seem a very bad standard to set to let the weakest possible (lowest common denominator) bill be allowed to pass simply because the Dem leadership did not want a better bill to pass, not because they 'could not' pass a better bill.  As you describe Dante, we wold be setting the tone for every single fight to be whittled down to it's weakest possible outcome, than be told to be pragmatic. "I don't THINK so Tim!" We would be throwing in the towel on every  fight, well, as the democrats have been so good at for so long.  If we are not willing to let the WH and the Senate leadership take the heat for letting this weak HC bill fail IF THEY are unable to get the last few votes needed to pass it with a PO, then they take the hit now and in the next election.  Now THAT would make the Dems think long and hard before trying to sell us the weakest possible bills on financial sector regulation, immigration reform, or even LGBT equality!

    It seems, even at the last minute, we progressives are allowing the argument be that we must buckle (YET AGAIN), to get a poor bill.  That we should not hold out for a still weak, but marginally better bill!  The argument must be, is the WH and the Sen. leadership willing to kill HC reform by voting down the bill because it has this PO which is only better for the people (but not their corp. donors).  THEY should be the ones needing to decide if it is better to come away with zip or allow this small concession to their base who are emphatic for it.  THEY can decide which case hurts them less.

    I used to have hope. Now I just see most conservative Dem's audacity in maintaining the corporate status quo.

    by davekro on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:09:31 PM PDT

    •  Very well stated. Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

      What we learn from History: History repeats itself. History never repeats itself. Histories lessons are always ignored.

      by Hector Gonzalez on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 06:53:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am SO stealing this (0+ / 0-)

      The argument must be, is the WH and the Sen. leadership willing to kill HC reform by voting down the bill because it has this PO which is only better for the people (but not their corp. donors).  THEY should be the ones needing to decide if it is better to come away with zip or allow this small concession to their base who are emphatic for it.  THEY can decide which case hurts them less.

      THAT is the real political question no one is shedding light on.

      Paradigm Shift. Think "Berlin Wall".

      by ohmyheck on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 09:45:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the continued push... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohmyheck

    to try and quell the stench eminating from the rankest form of hypocrisy plods forward.

    Failing just as it did when spoon had a go at it.

    Try as many will, there is no erasing the stinking stench fo that hypocrisy.

    You either believe the "unconscionable" should not be hoisted on the American public. Or, you don't.

    But playing both sides of the fence stinks to high heaven.

    Peeeeeeeeeyoooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 07:03:54 AM PDT

  •  Weak (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohmyheck

    The Republicans got everything they wanted. Iraq War Resolution, the Patriot Act... They even got away with torture.  If we don't get the Public Option after all of this, it will be a failure, it will be a sign of a weak Democratic party.

    It seems if we demand what was promised to us, if we demand that the bill actually benefit us, then we are branded "purists".  If the Public Option is off the table, the Dems need to put it back on the table and pass it, damn it. All of this other rationalization is loser talk.

    John www.lallylaw.com

    by johnlal on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 09:23:34 AM PDT

  •  Greenwald Nails it (0+ / 0-)

    "Amazingly, one now finds posts on the front page of Daily Kos (not by Markos) demanding that progressives repeat this behavior on every bill in the future:  "whatever that final position is, it will then be the job of the progressive to evaluate it strictly on the merits of what it is, rather than what it could have been. And if what it is, is even incrementally better than what we have right now, then it should be supported."  That sounds exactly like the rationale of capitulating Democratic officials of the last two decades, not what the blogosphere was ostensibly devoted to promoting.  Why would anyone in Washington -- surrounded by powerful lobbyists and people whose threats are actually credible -- ever take seriously or listen to a person who thinks and behaves this way (I'll support anything you want even if you ignore me, as long as I get a single crumb), and even proudly announces it in advance?  They never would listen to such a person -- and they don't -- because that's the sure path to self-imposed irrelevance."

  •  Welcome to irrelevance (0+ / 0-)

    if you follow the advice of this diary.

    Yes We Can take the path of least resistance.

    by gila on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 02:58:29 PM PDT

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