The Blue America PAC blogs asked our readers to take a look at the 3 TV spots we made for the Campaign for Heath Care Choice. So far we've raised around $23,000 and this is the ad that the contributors picked for us to run in all of Arkansas' media markets:
Suspend, for a moment your awareness that Inside-the-Beltway creatures only take Inside-the-Beltway organizations seriously and let's ask ourselves if maybe Obama wouldn't really not mind if we did take on one especially bad-- and vulnerable-- putative Democrat for him. After the jump: Blanche Lincoln.
Is it OK with Obama that we go after one of the worst of the conservative Democrats-- and one of only two (the other being quasi-Democrat Arlen Specter) facing re-election next year-- who is opposing his plan to reform the American health care system fundamentally? Well... we think so. According to today's Washington Post Obama urged groups like Blue America to lay off bad Democrats-- but if you notice Blanche Lincoln was specifically left off the list. Obama complained about groups that are going directly to the voters to expose corrupt Democrats Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Arlen Specter, Ron Wyden (I don't understand why he stuck himself in this detestable camp) and Dianne Feinstein. But the silence over Blanche Lincoln was deafening. Obama must really hate her-- as he should, since she has opposed everything he's tried to accomplish, even after Joe Biden helped her raise a fortune from loyal Democrats for her re-election campaign.
She takes immense sums from all the worst special interests and makes a habit of skipping across the aisle and voting with the Republicans in support of CEOs and against her own constituents.
In a pre-holiday call with half a dozen top House and Senate Democrats, Obama expressed his concern over advertisements and online campaigns targeting moderate Democrats, whom they criticize for not being fully devoted to "true" health-care reform.
"We shouldn't be focusing resources on each other," Obama opined in the call, according to three sources who participated in or listened to the conversation. "We ought to be focused on winning this debate."
...For his part, the president vowed to use his strong approval rating with voters to continue making the case for sweeping reform, according to one congressional staffer with knowledge of the conversation. Obama also hinted that efforts are under way to discourage allies from future attacks on Democrats, according to the source, who did not have permission to speak on the record about the discussion.
A fundraising video produced by Democracy for America suggests Landrieu is a "sellout" because she has received $1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health-care industry and has yet to endorse the concept of a government-run health insurance plan to compete against the private companies. The public-option concept, which Obama supports, has become a litmus test for many pro-reform activists who accuse the insurance industry of failing to deliver affordable, accessible care.
"Tell Senator Landrieu to support the people of Louisiana, not insurance companies," the spot concludes.
Founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, Democracy for America argues that inclusion of a Medicare-style public option in health-care legislation is "non-negotiable."
MoveOn, a Web-based political action committee that works to elect "progressive" leaders, intended to run commercials over the Fourth of July holiday criticizing Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for her silence on the public option. But after she endorsed legislation crafted by Democratic colleagues on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that includes that provision, the group dropped its plans.
"This measure is the heart of health-care reform and is supported by MoveOn's 5 million members, as well as the majority of the American people," said MoveOn's executive director, Justin Ruben. "With the support of legislators like Senator Hagan, we can come closer to our goal of making quality health insurance accessible and affordable for everyone."
Health Care for American Now, a labor-based coalition of 1,000 groups, has organized a petition pressuring Feinstein to support legislation that includes a public option.
"We need a senator who is championing, not nay saying, the need for reform," the petition says. "We're hoping Sen. Feinstein becomes a 'champion' for the people of California and stands up for President Obama's health reform."
Over at Firedoglake, Jane Hamsher is wondering if MoveOn will kowtow to Obama on Landrieu a Frankenstein monster twin of Lincoln's, though not one who is going to have to face the voters in 2010. Here at Blue America, we're glad MoveOn and other public interest groups are targeting shitheads like Landrieu, Lieberman, Feinstein, and Nelson but it's at the ballot box where the rubber meets the road and it is Blanche Lincoln who should be made to pay a real political price for her perfidy. A lot of this is theoretical; Lincoln is not. We're not fooling around. If she votes against the wishes and interests of working families, we want to make sure those working families know about it when they vote next year. If you agree with this admittedly harsh strategy, please consider making a contribution. We especially need help for the parts of Arkansas south of Pine Bluff. You can donate here. As Jane pointed out last night:
This is the moment when the liberal interest groups must decide: are they going to represent the interests of their members and keep going, or are they going to play the access game and bow to Obama's wishes?
These groups have acted as firewalls to shield Obama from liberal critique. As the traditional institutional liberal validators and stakeholders, their silence on a variety of issues-- from financial regulation to the escallation of the war in Afghanistan to energy and beyond-- have acted as insullation for the administration as it breaks one campaign promise after the other. We saw it last week with the hastily arranged cocktail party for LGBT leaders last week-- the way Obama mutes liberal criticism is by reaching out to those at the top and rewarding them personally with access.
Blue America doesn't want access. We're not an Inside-the-Beltway bunch of sycophants eating Rahm Emanuel's droppings. We don't care about any cults of personality. We expect real health care reform. That's it and we don't play games. No matter what the other groups do, Blue America won't be bamboozled. When Lincoln raises the white flag of surrender to the people who elected her, we'll stop trying to defeat her. Until then, she's no different from Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Chuck Grassley, Jim DeMint, Richard Burr and other bought-out Republicans who have vowed to their paymasters at Big Insurance and the Medical-Industrial Complex to kill reform. Help us pry Blanche Lincoln loose from that camp. It's the American thing to do!