A lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth is going on right now amongst liberals and progressives.  Senator Lieberman and the obvious loss of a public option in some form or other are, no doubt, cause for outrage.  However, there seems to be an unfortunate abundance of threats to “sit out the next election” and other such expressions of intended self destructive behaviors.  I like Ed Shultz (the Ed Show), Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow, and even Ariana Huffington now that she is a liberal.  However, these talk show hosts and progressive pundits have been engaging in a bit of an over blown, heated rhetoric of late.  Furthermore, they are coming down way too hard on President Obama.  That is a huge mistake.

The bill that is likely to come out of this congress is not all that different and probably every bit as good as the health care reform bill that President Clinton attempted to push through congress in 1993.  Certainly, the health insurance exchange or something like it is very similar to the alliances in the Clinton plan, which included no public option.  I think the MSNBC progressive talk show hosts are overreacting and failing to look at reality.  They are also failing to read the history of health care reform – especially the Nixon and Clinton attempts (see Tom Daschle’s book as well as The Heart of Power on the book page of this blog).  If President Obama and the Democrats can pass health care reform in its current, survivable state, they will have accomplished a long-time-coming basis for a complete overhaul of the health care system.  Let’s hope we can make this first step.

  The president can count to 60.  He is being attacked by our fellow progressives for attempting to finesse the best plan possible through congress.  That attack on our (the progressives’) president makes no sense to me. 

If liberals and progressives can stop wringing their hands over political polls and start showing up at organizing events and working as hard as the other side to organize events and political activities, we can take the basis for reform that will surely be passed and work to make it what we would like it to be.  However, we must get off our duffs – including me. 

It will be a big mistake to take our frustration out on President Obama and the Democrats by staying away from the polls in 2012 or by other such passive aggressive behavior such as withholding financial support for Democratic candidates or by not volunteering in their campaigns.   I say that after we throw ourselves on the ground and cry, kick, and scream, hold our breath until we turn blue, and, after having had our hissy fit, we need to remember that we are mature adults that can make a difference if we jump in and help organize a movement to take on the insurance industry and other lobbies that are buying our congress.

We are not going to get all that we what we want in the health care reform bill that passes but it will be a beginning.  Let’s get going and go after Lieberman and the insurance industry.  Believe it or not we have the power to do that.  What I can’t stand is defeatism, cynicism, and pessimism.  These are the signs of “copping out.”


  1. Vote in more NEW democrats into the party vote out the unreliable incumbents.

    NOT voting changes nothing. Bringing back incumbents says we are okay with what they do….. WE are NOT okay with what they do.

    Refresh the party with new faces and better thinking.

  2. I have to agree with you, David. It’s important not to be naive about what is possible. And the perspective history provides is imperative. It’s so easy to forget how hopeless we were about any reform after the failure of the Clinton proposal. Now we have to work within our flawed system to move forward. As you say, we should take this as a challenge to get more involved and active in working toward our goals.

  3. Not voting provides the other party of NO with false impressions that WE accept their behavior over democrats making mistakes.


    Wednesday, for the first time in American history, the US Senate was to debate and vote on single-payer healthcare. Sen. Bernie Sanders submitted an amendment to the Senate health bill that would have expanded Medicare to everyone.

    But after a stall-tactic by Senate Republicans, requiring that the full 700-page amendment to be read, and, presumably, pressure from Senate Democrats, Sen. Sanders withdrew his single-payer amendment. History would have to wait.
    Take Action

    The moment Sen. Sanders withdrew his amendment, writers were quick to declare that single-payer healthcare is dead. But let’s be clear: While single-payer’s time is up in this session of Congress, the movement for single-payer not only lives on, but is growing stronger.

    Mainstream liberals and Democrats are even starting to revolt against a health bill that’s looking more like a bailout of the private health insurance industry, than expanding and improving coverage to everyone. Soon, they’ll realize we need a movement for real reform, not incremental reform.

    After all, Medicare for all is inevitable. A healthcare system, with private, for-profit insurance in the mix, is fundamentally unsustainable and will collapse. Sen. Sanders said this in his speech to the Senate after he withdrew his amendment:

    “At the end of the day — not this year, not next year, but sometime in the future — this country will come to understand that if we are going to provide comprehensive quality care to all of our people, the only way we will do that is through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.”

    We (single-payer advocates) will keep the movement alive. We will continue to educate everyone about American’s healthcare crisis. We will continue to advocate for the single-payer solution to this crisis. Many of those disenchanted by the Congressional process to reform healthcare will join us.
    Take Action

    If we learned anything about healthcare reform this time around, it’s that our movement needs to grow so that Congress has no choice but to pass Medicare for all. Why is it that conservatives in Canada, and other countries with national health insurance, wouldn’t dare mess with their national health systems? Because the vast majority of the people would rise up and stop them.

    We saw this in our own country as we watched, throughout the whole debate, people over 65 fiercely defend Medicare – whether or not they knew it was “government run.” We need that intense support from everyone, not just people over 65, before we can win. We know that everyone else would rise to its defense just as fervently if they were enrolled in Medicare. That’s why providing Medicare to everyone 55 and over was so abruptly cut out of the Senate discussion.

    Single-payer healthcare is not dead in America. Healthcare-NOW!, along with all of our single-payer allies, will continue to organize, educate, fight for single-payer candidates, and stand up until one of the most basic of human rights is available to all. After the farce we’re all witnessing in Congress is over, we are only going to get stronger.

  4. Pres Obama is only the president. It’s the party that makes decisions on legislation. If the legislature would have presented National Health Insurance Obama would have signed on.

    There are too many conservative republicans in the democratic party.

    Like I said when new democrats step up to run vote them in no matter if they spend less money on the campaigns. High spending incumbents are more closely tied to special interest money than with tax paying voters.

    Have no fear the Single Payer National Health Insurance campaign is not going away.