How challenges from the activist base has made the difference in this historic debate on health care
I know the blogosphere is all abuzz with chatter about who is going to vote yes, or no, or swap from one to the other in relation to their original vote on the House bill. But as we all wait and see what the final count will be, I think there are a lot of unsung heroes who need to get a shout-out for getting this done.- Grassroots volunteers, who called their Congresspeople. - Bloggers and those who wrote letters to editors to keep the debate moving forward - And most of all Democratic Challengers, who threatened moderate and conservative "blue dogs" in local primaries. People like Connie Saltonstall, who challenged Bart Stupak, or Al Lawson who challenged Allen Boyd -- both of whom switched their vote from no to yes.
For example this blog entry from the St Pete Times asks the rhetorical question with the headline "Does Al Lawson deserve credit for Allen Boyd's vote on Health Care Reform?" I don't wanna be accused of adding spoilers so you'll have to read the article to get the answer, or in the least the author's opinion.
I would like to believe that both Stupak and Boyd had a change of heart. That after looking back to the needs of their districts, they decided that doing the right things was more important than holding on to a rigid and inflexible ideology. I'd also like to believe in Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, but along with the cute but male-friendly lesbian (as the famous line from Chasing Amy goes), they're all figments of my f**king imagination (thank you Jason Lee!).
In either case, these two courageous Democratic challengers, and many many nameless others deserve the sincere thanks of the activist base for making history happen tonight. So when we're all done patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, don't forget those Candidates who put their names, and their political futures on the line to challenge the status quo. Let's pass this post along, and please give a "High-Five" to Lawson, or Saltonstall -- a modest $5 contribution to say you were paying attention, and "thanks".