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During most of the long march to the health care reform bill, I thought that the pressure that many in the Kos community put on our friends, our false friends, and our enemies was tremendously helpful.  I think that the health "care" industry game plan was to have the August recess meetings appear to be a spontaneous uprising to scare Democratic Congress folks who might have been wanting to put their fingers to the wind and vote that way.

We know how that went.  Unrelenting pressure from our side didn't allow a total and quick fold (in my opinion).  The "spontaneous" demonstrations were seen to be the fraud they were.

And time and time again, we saw the pressure we applied doing a lot.

Myself, I started my own little efforts (helped by Slinkerwink's coordinating and others).  I spoke at a MoveOn rally for the public option in front of my Senator's office building long before August, 2009.  I called, etc.  I was a true believer in the public option and frankly would prefer single payer.

However, at a certain point, our side had to compromise, I believe (not because I wanted this at all but because of the bullshit we were facing -- totally obstructionist Republicans, our own Conservadems, etc.).  And I didn't see that sometimes. (Worse, I saw the likes of Jane Hamsher circling wagons with the Tea Baggers.)  To use the cliche: this was letting the unattainable best defeat the attainable good.  And a defeat for Obama would have completely derailed a lot of the things I still hope and expect him to do.

What turned the tide?  A few days ago I realized it was exactly what Axelrod says below. Scott Brown.

This is a quote from Axelrod:

"And actually, with Massachusetts, I think people wanted to see this debate go on for a while and they wanted to see our suppositions tested and retested. But what Massachusetts did at the end of the day was that it persuaded people on our side of the fight not to make the perfect the enemy of the good. And it really rallied our base behind the president's proposal."

Full story from Sam Stein: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Another observation I'll make:  among the many people I queried, among my liberal friends, to a "t," the people more willing, after a long fight, to throw in behind the attainable good, far from perfect, bill were my friends who have real Washington or other lobbying and advocacy experience.  It is my friends who are political naifs that wanted the complete ideal.

LESSON 1: FIGHT HARD. GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT. IT TURNS OUT THAT OBAMA DID. HE SPENT SOME REAL POLITICAL CAPITAL.

LESSON 2: KNOW WHO ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND WHEN THEY NEED YOU TO HAVE THEIR BACK. LEARN TO ACCEPT AN ATTAINABLE GOOD.  DON'T FOLD TO EARLY, BUT DON'T WAIT TOO LONG. IN WHAT AXELROD SAID, THANK GOD, WE CAN SEE THAT THEY KEPT THE FIGHT GOING WHEN SEVERAL DEM. LEGISLATORS WERE WILLING TO MOVE ON AND FORGET HEALTH CARE. WE'D HAVE LOST THIS FOR A GENERATION AT LEAST.

LESSON 3:  ANYBODY WHO FOUGHT ON THE LONG ROAD TO THIS BILL IN ANY WAY WAS TESTED AND FURTHERED THEIR ENDURANCE.  THERE WERE TIMES WHEN PEOPLE WANTED TO GIVE UP BUT THEY DIDN'T, MANY OF THEM.  TAKE THIS ATTITUDE INTO THE FUTURE, TO FURTHER THE CAUSE OF GOOD HEALTH CARE REFORM, AND FOR THE OTHER CAUSES.  FIGHT ON!

Originally posted to Goingallout on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM PDT.

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| 88 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Scott will be like a souvenir. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rweba

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 12:27:41 PM PDT

  •  Scott Brown is probably the best thing (8+ / 0-)

    that has happened to Mass Dems in a long while.  At this month's Dem Town committee in Brown's hometown, there were 4 new members (I was one).   His election lit a fire under the rear ends and in the hearts of Mass Dems.

    He won't be elected again.  

  •  Before this story on Axelrod even came out (7+ / 0-)

    I thought that Brown's win was the reason HCR passed.

    Think about it.  Would the House of Reps caved and voted for the Senate bill, if the Dems still had 60 Senators to overcome a filibuster? I don't think there is any chance they would have.  

    They would have quibbled and argued and debated and negotiated, finally passing something that would have then had to go back to the Senate.  No one would have agreed to do reconciliation with 60 Senators.  I think the thing would have just died a slow death under it's own weight.

    Losing the filibuster proof majority, AFTER the Senate had overcome the filibuster by passing the main bill with 60 Dems, was the BEST POSSIBLE SCENARIO for HCR.  Republicans dropped their guard after the Brown win, thinking the fight was basically over.  Meanwhile, Dems regrouped and converged on the fact that the only way this was going to happen would be to pass the Senate bill in the house and fix it with reconciliation.  It was the only viable solution and therefore brought everyone together on the same page.  It gave Obama a chance to appear to be the diplomatic party, with the summit, and when Republicans did the predictable, the door was open to run right over them.

    It is the irony of ironies that the LOSS of Ted Kennedy's seat was the final push HCR needed to get over the goal line.  LOL, ya just can't make this stuff up!

    •  Totally agree, plus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemInSCar

      I think it got the Dems' attention that they damn well better stop futsing around and do something besides bicker, and do it quick.
      If I had foreseen that outcome, I might have actually voted for Scotty. ;-)

  •  Time to find a challenger to Brownie (0+ / 0-)

    Not Martha Coakley!

    Joe Kennedy?

    Mark Sanford vacations in Argentina but John Ensign prefers the Hamptons.

    by mojave mike on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 01:03:42 PM PDT

  •  The ultimate pathetic irony... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Goingallout

    So Ted Kennedy had to die (literally) so that Scott Brown could live (politically) and finally energize the Democratic Party to pass a health insurance bill. But the bill that is passed is so weak that Teddy himself rejected it as inadequate almost 30 years ago!

    Ted must be lying very uneasy in his grave.

  •  Yes, that's about what Kucinich said... (0+ / 0-)

    What President Obama Didn't Say (posted on Common Dreams).

    He was strongly for single-payer, but came to the conclusion that getting the less-than-perfect bill passed offered an opportunity to improve it down the road, where defeating that bill would kill any chance of any reform at all for years to come.

    And yep, I think Scott Brown's election changed the path of reform, which ultimately worked out for the best. (though I'm still keeping my fingers crossed on the reconciliation part...)

  •  Roses for Scott Brown... (0+ / 0-)

    for scaring the shit out of old lady Nancy Pelosi, thereby convincing her to swallow the crappy Senate bill.

    Where exactly am I supposed to send roses?

  •  I'm SO sick of "the perfect being the enemy..." (0+ / 0-)

    As if what any of the Democrats with the exception of the tiniest of handfuls were EVER proposing anything that REMOTELY resembled "perfect."

    More like "the crappy being the enemy of the slightly crappier."

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "March 20: Get off the computer and into the streets!"

    by elishastephens on Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 02:12:46 PM PDT

    •  Okay, okay... (0+ / 0-)

      I admit to being a bit frazzled by events of the last few days.

      So much of this story went on behind the scenes, that it will probably be months before outsiders like me can make a reasoned judgement on who behaved well -- and who did not.

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