Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  If you broadcast our audio commentaries please consider a recurring donation to Black Agenda Report.

Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself?

  • Sharebar
    Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

    health care  againBy BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In less than a year, Democrats have transformed themselves from the party of change to the party of excuses. Republican birthers and teapartyers, blue dog Democrats, rogue donkey and elephant senators, and even progressives favoring single payer or the shadowy “public option” have all been blamed by the White House for holding up health care --- or is it health insurance --- reform. But with the end of the August recess, the ring is closing and the clock is ticking...

     

    Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House  Progressives? Or the White House Itself?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The only obstacle to passage of the president's health care --- or health insurance legislation is the White House itself.

    By the summer of 2008, Democrats had stopped pretending there was much difference between them and Republicans on foreign policy. Their candidates were younger and smarter, but they weren't going to stop the wars or bring more than a few of the troops home anytime soon or lift the Cuban blockade. Forget about that stuff, leading Democrats said. Where the Party of Change would deliver for sure, they told voters, would be health care. Voters listened, and delivered Democrats the White House, a crushing majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate.

    The president's timetable called for passage of a health care bill in the summer of 2009, but it didn't happen. The White House blames almost everybody --- blue dog Democrats, a handful of right wing Democratic senators, Republican birthers and teapartyers, even the large number of Democrats who want single payer health care or its shadowy stand-in, the public option. But the games are wearing thin. Democrats are running out of time, room and excuses.

    Anyone who can add knows Republicans are not blocking universal health care. The performances of Republican teabaggers at a few town halls notwithstanding, there are just not enough Republicans in the House and Senate to block anything. The president and his party can roll over Republican opposition any time they want to.

    Blue dog Democrats aren't to blame for blocking the White House health care bills either. The political careers of many House blue dogs are the creation of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensed them bags of corporate cash to win primary elections against left leaning Democrats. The interests that owned Rahm, and still do, own his successor at DCCC, so the blue dogs are White House puppies it can rein it any time it chooses.

    Senator Baucus and a handful of right wing senators are not to blame either. Some are Republicans, who simply don't matter. They don't have the votes. And the Senate Democrats with their hands on the bill are all choices of the White House, and all dependent on the good will of that same White House for a percentage of their corporate campaign contributions. Senate Democrats are keenly aware that a sitting president of their own party has literally hundreds of ways to exert pressure on any single legislator. None of them is crossing the White House either.

    The only obstacle to passage of the president's health care --- or health insurance legislation is the White House itself. Barack Obama knows better than any of us the difference between what he promised and what is about to be delivered. The undeniable difference is dawning on much of the public too, and is reflected in sagging poll numbers for Democrats and the president. The dozens of Democrats who have declared they will vote against any health care --- or health insurance --- bill that does not contain what they call a “public option,” are only trying to insulate themselves and protect President Obama from the worst consequences of his own treachery in selling out the vision of universal health care to big pharma and the insurance companies. They aren't blocking the president's bill. They're trying to ensure that there is something in the bill they can defend to the outraged public who elected them to pass health care reform.

    From the beginning the president hamstrung his own grassroots supporters. He made much of his vaunted email and phone list of 13 million volunteers useless by coming down hard against Medicare For All and any forms of single payer, which were among the prime motivations for their energy and devotion. So the people whose boundless enthusiasm swept Obama into the White House were not available to pack many of the town meetings or pressure the reluctant. Some Democrats, like Dick Durbin of Illinois canceled their public meetings for fear of left leaning hostile, and likely pro-single payer crowds which even corporate media would find it hard to ignore.

    Running away from single payer and all its eminently rational supporting arguments deprived corporate funded Democrats of most of the best answers to Republican charges that real reform was “socialized medicine” that would result in “rationed care” at enormously increased cost. It robbed President Obama and Democrats of the most potent leadoff arguments against the present untenable system --- that health insurance companies who produce no care at all account for one third of every health care dollar in the US, and that two thirds of all family bankruptcies are from unpayable medical bills. Democrats now can't make that argument because the Obama bill is a taxpayer-funded bailout for those same vampire insurance companies.

    The fact that Lyndon Johnson fired up Medicare, enrolling and providing care to millions of seniors in only eleven months back in 1965-66 when small computers were the size of cargo vans should be a immeasurably potent pro-reform argument...”

    It made Democrats unable to present a health care reform package as a job creating economic stimulus more real than anything the president has yet proposed. Adopting a single payer system, as the National Nurses Organization pointed out at the beginning of the year, would create 3.3 million new jobs. Subtracting out the 550,000 in the insurance industry who would have to find other livelihoods, a single payer health care plan would create a net surplus of 2.6 million new jobs, as many as the economy lost in all of 2007, and provide tens of billions in taxes that support the budgets of local governments. So with millions unemployed and underemployed Democrats cannot argue that their health care bill will put Americans back to work, or help fund local and state governments.

    Progressives in the House, many of whom supported single payer when Bush was president, have switched to a shadowy something they call the public option. But although many of them know by now that the White House has gutted the public option from an original 120 million strong, large enough to actually force health care prices downward, to a mere 10 million, not nearly enough to compete with private insurance, congressional democrats continue to cling to this scrap of a fig leaf. It's not single payer, it's not even universal health care of any kind, they admit, but it's a big first step. They are contradicted by Obama's own HHS Secretary who declares that absolutely nothing in the public option or in the president's health insurance reform package will ever, under any circumstances lead to single payer.

    Even Maryland's Rep. Donna Edwards could be seen on C-SPAN last weekend before a substantially pro-single payer crowd in her own district, claiming that although she preferred single payer, the public option would be the best they could get through the Congress this year. It was, “a uniquely American solution,” she said, implicitly echoing the right wing canard that HR 676, the Enhanced Medicare For All which she professed to support a few breaths before, was somehow “un-American.”

    If progressives like Donna Edwards can be blamed for blocking health care reform, it's only because they are choosing to follow the White House lead and settle for “health insurance reform” instead. The White House itself, and our First Black President are the biggest political obstacles to achieving health care for every American, along with the corporate media which controls the public debate.

    The fact that Lyndon Johnson fired up Medicare, enrolling and providing care to millions of seniors in only eleven months back in 1965-66 when small computers were the size of cargo vans should be a immeasurably potent pro-reform argument against those who argue against “socialized medicine” or for a go-slow approach to health care reform. In face, the barrier to delivering health care to additional millions has never been technical. It's always been political. But this too is an argument the White House and Congressional Democrats cannot throw against their opponents. The Obama plan's health insurance exchanges won't begin gearing up to cover the uninsured till 2013, three and a half years away. Oh, well.

    It's not Republicans, it's not blocking blue dogs, or die-hard progressives who form the biggest political obstacle to enacting universal health care this year. It's Democrats, following the lead of the chief Democrat in the White House. In less than a year, the Democrats have gone from the party of Change to the party of Excuses.

    Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and based in Atlanta. He can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

     

    Share this

    hi

    Meh, I’m skeptical. Like Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out last night on Rachel Maddow – “speeches don’t drive legislation.” A good speech might scratch the surface but I really hope the Obama Administration has something else up their sleeve in addition to next week’s address. muscle building

    Regardless of who are the

    Regardless of who are the individual blocking the health care reform, I think it the issue should focuses   whether the US can afford for the health care cost. The debate about U.S. health care concerns questions of access, efficiency, and quality purchased by the high sums spent .Millions of Americans aren't insured, partly due to the high cost of premiums, and end up resorting to payday loans to finance emergency and routine medical expenses. With health-care reform issues taking the political center stage, is this not a good time to step back and assess the problem from a more basic point of view? The proponents need to asses if the people can afford for its implementation. Health care costs in the United States exceed those of any other nation.

     

    PROLBEMS

    we hear a lot of unresolved problems everyday, we also wondering when the government would take effective action on all these important problems, like health care.  fatburningfurnace review

    Very informative article.

    Very informative article. Will be looking for such issues. Thanks for sharing.digital printing

    I think white house is

    I think white house is blocking the . This is very nice article. Thank you very much for sharing this. designer eyeglasses

    Murph: You are soooo right! It's hard to be a pimp

    Big Daddy Pimpologist has spoken and he keeps telling his hoes "we are in this together, it's a bipartisan effort." I just don't know if the hoes are the GOP or the Dem party faithful?  Well, yes I do know.  Obama is playing slow-pitch softball with the Rethugs, using the 16 " softball no less as he rails against the "Left."  (If that isn't a wakeup call, Mr. Liberal chastising the "Left" in Congressional Chambers, I don't know what is.  Call it Obama's "Sista Souljah" moment).  The public is about to be sold out for a "win."  Surprise, surprise, same shit that happened to get BO elected.  Say what the Libs want to hear, triangulate to high heaven, work behind closed doors to appease the ogligarcy and presto, you have "Health Care Reform."  Sort of like the Clean Air Initiatives and varied legislation under GWB that achieved the complete opposite of their nice-sounding, Orwellian titles. 
     
    We are about to get big pimped as the Bipartisan Slave sells us out to Big Pharma and the HMOs all in the name of his god of "bipartisanship." 
     
    Excuse me while I go get a DEPENDS.  The vaseline is starting to ooze out of my a**** as I write this.
     
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/09/10-8
     
    Published on Thursday, September 10, 2009 by Open Left
    Reviewing President Rahm Emanuel's Health Care Speech
    by David Sirota
     
     
     
     
     

    A question for Mike C

    Mike C, do you believe what you are typing here?  
     
    Is it possible you're just a troll, trying to sow discord?
     
    Ralph Nader was not a "spoiler."  In order for Nader to be a "spoiler" one has to assume that everyone who voted for Nader owed their votes to the Democrats.  How do the Democrats gain an entitlement to someone's vote, Mike?  
     
    I don't see how Nader "stole" votes from anyone.  He got the votes of people who preferred Nader to the other choices.  That's how voting works, Mike.  One votes to register a preference.
     
    You're not going to "take back" the Democratic Party, Mike.  You can't.  Why?  Because the Democratic Party does NOT want you.  It does NOT care about you.  It never has.  What it cares about is money.  And even if you were Bill Gates, you could not change the Democratic Party.  Why?  Because even a very rich Bill Gates cannot overcome the money power of all the various corporations who line up to throw money at the Democratic Party.  
     
    What you need to examine, Mike, is the extent to which BOTH parties are owned by big financial interests.  This has arisen over a long period of time, it's similar to stock market investors who "spread their losses" or "hedge their bets" by investing in both sides of a possible transaction.  
     
    It may be very frightening to imagine that you don't have any real input or power, but I strongly urge you to consider this possibility.
     
    Continuing to support Democrats is futile.  Take a cue from Cynthia McKinney and Mike Gravel, and abandon the party that already has abandoned you.

    I've laid out my case as clearly as I can Micah

    Yes, I believe what I am typing here.
     
    I suppose it's possible I am a troll trying to sow discord. Is this a trick question(?) because I'm having a tough time figuring out how to answer an "is it possible" question.
     
    I assume you're speaking figuratively so I take it by "steal votes" you mean Nader's dead in the water candidacy in 2000 did not cost the loser, from among the two candidates who had a chance to win, net votes which would have changed the outcome. Nader says that his candidacy was not a factor in Gore's defeat.
     
    Before the election, Nader had said there wasn't any difference between the Democrats and Republicans. If he believed that, what would be the big deal in saying, "yeah, more people who voted for me would have otherwise voted for Gore than Bush -- so what"? But Nader insists so few of his voters had a preference from among the Dems and the Repubs that his candidacy had no affect on a dead heat election. That being the case, again I ask, what was the purpose of his candidacy in 2000? Nader left the Green Party a few months later if I recall correctly -- he sure wasn't interested in building that party.
     
    Did you vote for him? What were you trying to accomplish by that? Sure, it's your right to vote for whomever you want to vote for. Sure, it's your right to eat three quarts of ice cream in one sitting. I'm just asking why would you? You say one votes to register a preference. Most people vote strategically. Instead of writing in the name of the one person they think is most suited for an office, most folks vote for someone on the ballot. I've decided to vote in the way I think maximizes my influence on the positions Democratic Party office seekers take.
     
    I think acting as a spoiler in an election can serve a useful purpose. I'm trying to organize a voting bloc that will vote as spoilers if the Democrat on the ballot does not toe a satisfactory line. Voting election after election for candidates who can not win 5% of the vote seems pointless to me. Voting for candidates from a party that can't win a single seat in the House seems pointless to me. You have, what, a "that'll show'em attitude" or an any decade now "we're going to win one" expectation?
     
    Look, the strategy I propose may be doomed. But I know your strategy is a complete waste of time if your objective is to change public policy. Hey, like you say, it's your vote to cast or not cast as you will. Have at it. 
     
    That report of yours that "BOTH parties are owned by big financial interests" does not come as news to me. I recognize that is the case and given my options I've come up with a strategy for dealing with that reality. Taking your advice to follow the lead of Cynthia McKinney and Mike Gravel does not seem like a better idea to me than the one I'm selling. 
     
     

    I'm afraid that yours is not a recipe for success.

    Ignoring reality = counter-productive.
     
    You're not going to reform the Democratic Party because you don't have the leverage, Mike.  You won't ever have the leverage.  You might as well try to reform the Republicans.  I don't see you suggesting that.  Why not?  
     
    What you're doing is basing your whole theme on your identification as a "lifelong Democrat."  You need to get past that identification, because it's limiting your thinking.
     
    You can't persuade me by calling me childish and wrong, nor by taking Nader's statements out of context, nor by pretending you have a type of political savvy which doesn't even show up in your posts.
     
    What you show here is a rather futile need to be a Democrat, come hell or high water.  I suppose that means you value loyalty.  Now, I will agree that generally loyalty is a good thing -- as long as the thing, the person, the idea to which you are loyal is deserving of that loyalty.
     
    You should try imagining that YOU are wrong, Mike.  I've already had that conversation with myself numerous times since I gained the right to vote some 30 years ago.  
     
    Your posts show no understanding of how politics work in America.  Whether you actually have that understanding and are failing to communicate it, I do not know.  Perhaps your communication skills lag behind your political knowledge.  I really do not know.  You seem mighty convinced that you have assessed things accurately, but your posts don't show that type of assessment.
     
    Let me use a common example by way of analogy.  The Democratic Party is a husband.  You are that husband's wife.  DP is beating the stuffing out of you every Friday night.  Every single Friday night.
     
    You keep waking up Saturday morning in the hospital, and the doctors & your friends tell you that you need to get out of the relationship before you are murdered by your husband.
     
    You are telling the doctors and your friends that you're going to reform that bad husband.  You have created rationalizations and a "plan" which sounds convincing to you.  But the doctors and your friends are not convinced.  They see what DP is doing to you.  They see that DP will not change.
     
    What will you do, Mike?  

    What to expect of the "Healthcare Speech?"

    Is there anyone with critical thinking faculties who believes Obama's forthcoming address to Congress with be anything other than a mish mash of sophistry, wordsmithing, Clintonesque triangulation, and outright lies and bullshit?
     
    Ron Daniels asks below, "Has Obama Lost his Mojo?"  You can read the essay and responses yourself, but they can be summarized (IMO) as "don't make me f******king laugh."  Ron, you will find out, as if you didn't know already, that Obama DOESN'T HAVE MOJO.  NADA. He's a hand-picked sock puppet with a blank mental state.  Obama is a spokesperson plain and simple, and his "soaring rhetoric" has been outstripped by the monumental lies and betrayals, and, if anything, the average American is f****king sick and tired of Obama's prettified "Speeches."  They are starting to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard.
     
    It should be a growing concern to the average person in this country, how he or she will fare in the next 3.5 years as it becomes manifest that the emperor has no clothes, no original thoughts, no truly formed and developed principles, no coherent belief system, no political moxie, no toughness or leadership despite the "Chicago Politics" moniker friend and foe alike ascribe to him? Bush was a spokesperson too, but at least he believed in the bullshit he spewed and if you go back and review him you WILL see passion, anger, indignation, cockiness regardless of how ill-placed.
     
    America is a rudderless ship, adrift in the seas, with storms and troubled water looming ahead, and now we discover that instead of Rickover and Nimitz we have  Mickey Mouse and Pluto at the helm.
     
    Also, Murph and others make great points about the systematic sabatogue of single payor by Obama, Emanuel, Baccus and the Dems, this horrible theater of tragedies.  For me, it relates back to the neo-con mindset which Obama is part and parcel and their theory of "Creative Destruction."  What we are seeing right now, real time, is the Creative Destruction of single payor, real reform, and the creative destruction of the last vestiges of "liberalism" which were buried with Ted Kennedy.  Glen Ford has presaged this:  That it will be next to impossible after this INTENTIONAL trainwreck to have real health care reform.  Sadly that is so true and explains why emotions and anger have reached the boiling point among true progressives.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction

    Controlled Demolition of Healthcare

    Thanks Bruce for another walk down Truth Street and Fact Avenue.  Running out of time room and excuses you say, hell these blabber mouths can’t run out of words or breath much less anything else.  For every campaign promise that they have ever made they continue to come up with an alibis excuses or Bold face Lies (can’t say they are not thinking creatively if that is what you call it) that out does the last pile of trick a ration that they spit at us.

     
     
    I think what we are witnessing is a controlled demolition of healthcare reform (another social engineering project).  If you wanted to kill the ideal of healthcare reform what would you do???  Lets see now I would have a secret meeting with the health industry tycoons and we would map out a plan.  First we have to take the dreaded Single Payer (Medicare for Everyone) Off the Record Off the Air OFF THE TABLE!!!  We will not have any discussions about a single payer plan in any hearings and will not invite any advocates of single payer to any meetings/discussions.  Any of those clowns that try to sneak into them and bum rush the hearings will be thrown out arrested and sent to Gitmo.  Question, is that not what has happened???
     
    Then we have to present some vague and undefined proposal we will call it the Public Option.  This peace of legislative trash is sooo weak just on its face that Grand Ma Ma could blow this pile of donkey do do away just by waving her hands.  Then we state that we want to engage in bipartisanship to move the healthcare reform package through congress.  Gee if you have a filibuster proof majority in both houses who the hell is thinking about bipartisanship???  Question, did GWB even think about bipartisanship???  HELL NO, He kicked ass and took names!!!  Soooo why haven’t the democrats done the same thing???  The only logical reason is that they don’t want to.
     
    Then we get the loons that have serious brain damage from hypoxia on the right to attack the Public Option (much less the POTUS himself) like rabid maddogs.  We gin up the fear factor with this crowd with statements for the bobble head politicians like Michelle (Yea I’m Craaazy and don’t care who knows it) Bachman or Chuck (stick in the mud slug Elmer Fudd) Grassley or the media “Fools for Fear” like Glenn (my mind is gone and I don’t know how to get home) Beck or Rush (higher than a Georgia Pine) Limbaugh and BAM we got ourselves a boiling hot pot of drama going on right there.  Complete with hate speech and OMG GUNS (hold up wait a minute let me put some BOOM in it)!!!  Now it is on like Donkey Kong!!!  This will make folks so scared they will not want ANY healthcare reform.  They will not want to hear the words healthcare reform.  Question, is that not what we see right now???
     
    Then we get some pin heads form our own party (the Democratic Party) to start crying and bitching about the Public Option.  That will add another level of confusion to the mix and make it seem like we are not united behind the plan or the POTUS.  We will call this crowd the “Blue Dogs”.  Holy Mollie Batman they sound dangerous!!!  Dangerous my Ass these bucket heads were hand picked by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel as Mr. Dixon pointed out.  They picked them they ought to be able to muzzle these blowhards If they wanted to.  My guess is that they are just some more bit players in this controlled destruction of the whole ideal of healthcare reform.  Question, am I lying or what???
     
    I could go no but if you step back from all of what has happened around this issue and look at it objectively I think that it is pretty obvious that this is one great big dog and pony show.  Designed to manage our perceptions twist our thinking and ideas influence our attitudes and opinions and ultimately manipulate our behavior so as to reject any meaningful healthcare reform.  That is the objective and we the people are just pawns in the game being played by the Obama administration and the medical industrial complex.  They want to keep their Big Pimpin on full (to the tune of $800 Billion Yes that is Billion) can you say Ka Ching???  They (the medical Industrial Complex) want to keep working and jerking us like taffy for MO MONEY MO MONEY MO MONEY!!!
     
    If you think that this is a far fetched ideal read this article
    http://blog.buzzflash.com/contributors/2057
     
    Or try this article
    http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/432
     
    Or This article
    http://www.slepton.com/slepton/viewcontent.pl?id=2776
     
     
    Peace
     
     
    S Murph
     

    WHICH ONE FAUX OR DRUGE

    The GOP is the political arm of Wall Street . Everybody knows that . When GWB wanted $750 billion of tax payer bail out money he went to the good old boys club (Congress)  and showed his membership card . This President will never be a member of that club . To get what he wants will take public help . The mighty propaganda machine of the corporations has the ability to sway the minds of millions . During the era of President Wilson the media convinced the public it was patriotic to go off to a place far away and die . When Frank Robbinson became manager of a major league baseball team there were so many complaints even his family found reason to complain . Unless we are standing in the room when it happens we get the news from somewhere else .The writer of this article got his information first hand from the Druge Report or second hand from Faux news because they have been saying the same thing to kill an insurance reform bill that Congress has not  completed and then call the President a failure .

    I think white house is

    I think white house is blocking health care reform. They should act on it immediately. Thank you very much for this post . Tour Bus New York

    What to do indeed

    Well, let's suggest some sane courses of actions against Obama and the rest of these dems.
    First, stop voting for democrats, period. Yes, even the local dems you like. I suggested this at dailykos but was reprimanded because this violates the rules there. Vote for Green, Peace and Freedom, etc, instead.
    Next, and this follows logicaly, do not fund the dems.
    Do not engage in or participate in their farce meetings, web/online petitions, etc. It's nonsense and does nothing. Thousands of us have done this with nothing but excuses coming from dems about why they could follow there voters.
    So what about the repubs gaining traction because of these actions. 2 things, the dems are doing what the republicans will do but they are 2 faced about it. Next, the sooner we allow the repubs to destroy this nation, the sooner we can rebuild this nation

    GOP

    The GOP over the past more than 30 years  has given us flat-lining  wages , war and death over OIL , sky rocketing health care cost's , out-sourcing American jobs , sky rocketing energy cost's , hidden tax increases , selling off of American property , torture , and the subject here , denial of health care to the not so well off . I can not in my mind think that any American would want more of that and an intelligent person as you knows a vote for any party except the Democratic party gives the advantage to the GOP . Please take your emotions out of this and think of the consequences . If you give the GOP access to the controls of America again there will be pain like you have never seen it  before . What the GOP has to offer America does not want or can live with , so their modus-operandi is destruction of the opposition and if we take a bite out of that apple we will surely die .

    Hi. I've been hearing that "maybe things need to hit bottom"

    or, really get worse for people to get upset and make
    change.  I am nearly 70 and I don't think that concept
    has shown  results.  I can't think of an example.

    We have a two party system

    You can vote third party but you might as well stay home. If you, and like minded citizens, can not take over the Democratic Party you can not take over the national government. By declaring that you will not vote for any Democrat, you give up any influence you might have over the positions Democratic Party candidates and their leadership take. In 2000, after the results were in, Nader voters reduced themselves to claiming that no, they had not played a crucial role in determining the outcome of that election. Instead, they declared themselves to have been irrelevant actors in a dead heat election. Some movement.  
     
    Here's what I've pledged to do with my vote. In any federal election, I will vote for any Democrat on my ballot who explicitly and unequivocally commits to supporting single-payer health care legislation. And I will vote for any Republican on my ballot who is running for any federal office against any Democrat who does not commit to supporting single-payer health care legislation. This makes me one of those swing voters Democratic candidates will go to such great lengths to court. Democratic office seekers who do not champion my special interest will cost themselves two votes - the one I don't cast for them and the one I do cast for their opponent.
     
    I'm out to wreck the career of any Democratic office seeker who does not demonstrate his/her minimum commitment to social justice by supporting single-payer health care. If enough people took my pledge and the result was we ended up making the difference which elected, or re-elected, a corporatist or a Christopathic Republican, you won't see me trying to squirm out of taking responsibility for that outcome. Instead I'll be all, "Now that you know we're serious about this health care issue Democratic Party, who are you going to run the next time an election rolls around?"
     
    I'm not going to drop out of the process. I am a life long Democrat who is going to do my best to take back the Democratic Party from the corporatists who control it. The best way for rank-and-file Democrats and unaffiliated lefties to get started at achieving this goal is to rally 'round a commitment to single-payer health care, declare ourselves to be single-issue swing voters, and then follow through as members of a growing voter bloc. 
     

    Good luck wresting control from the corporatists...

    "Nader voters reduced themselves to claiming that no, they had not played a crucial role in determining the outcome of that election. Instead, they declared themselves to have been irrelevant actors in a dead heat election. Some movement."
    Really? They 'declared' themselves irrelevant? I'd like elaboration on how so.
     
    'I am a life long Democrat who is going to do my best to take back the Democratic Party from the corporatists who control it.'
    I have to critique one thing: If you think the only power you have is with the federal elective vote, you might as well vote thirid party. The 'vote' is just one of an arsenal of political tools that one must wield. Waiting to vote in 2010 is not an option for me.
    "...declare ourselves to be single-issue swing voters..."
    Look, we need broader minds than that. Besides, in my book TWO ILLEGAL WARS trumps 'health care' anyday. Why do so many people have an itch for government to be the provider of health care? We need to get this off this 'government can heal us!' kick ASAP.
    The corporations control both major parties. The only difference between the DEMS and REPUBS are, frankly, irrelevant ideological ideosyncrancies.

    Eight years later, Nader on the 2000 election

    www.youtube.com/watch
     
    Rather than say, "my campaign cost Gore the election in 2000 and we'll continue to draw off votes from the Democrats," Nader lists other factors as those which cost the Democrats the White House in 2000. And, of course, Nader ran as an unaffiliated candidate in 2004 and as an Independent when in 2008. If a party is not going get its candidates elected and is not out to alter the results of an election, what is its purpose in running candidates? (In this YouTube clip Nader does say Gore should have moved to the left but he did not claim his failure to do so is why he, Nader, ran.)

    So what is the purpose of third party electioneering, and specifically Green Party electioneering? Is it to seek a pot of gold by finally qualifying for federal matching funds or to be perennial complainers about not being assigned a podium at presidential debates? No one says third parties don't have a right to run candidates. What people like me ask is, what is their purpose in running candidates election after election if its not to affect the outcome of those elections? If the reason for third parties to run candidates is to provide venues at which like minded people can meet and socialize, say that. Just be advised, Democrats and Republicans don't run candidates so that those who are aligned with them can meet and socialize. 
     
    You say there are more important issues than health care reform and that an enlightened voter should be committed to promoting a panoply of issues. A lot of lefties have felt that way for years and there has been plenty of organizing around anti-war issues. But has there been much progress in demilitarizing the United States over the past few decades? No. So maybe it's time to rethink the approach.

    Your'e right, there are several ways to bring about political change. Electing people who share your objectives is one. Buying influence is another. Persuading overwhelming numbers of people to agree with your positions is a third and is easiest to achieve if you have access to a few mass media megaphones. Alternatively, you can develop an action plan and hope that when the revolution comes yours is the one which the triumphant vanguard adopts as its doctrine.

    "Electing people who share [my] objectives is" the change strategy I'm going to work at. The shortest path to actually electing people, with whom I agree, is first to get them nominated for office by the Democratic Party. I think organizing a lot of people around one issue is the best way to go about that and, for a lot of reasons, I think single-payer health care better lends itself to forming a solid voting bloc than any other issue.

    (After polling negligible numbers in 1840 the Liberty Party threw the 1844 election to the Democrat James Polk by drawing decisive votes from Whig candidate Henry Clay in New York. By drawing decisive votes, which again determined the outcome in New York, the Free Soil Party was responsible for the defeat of the Democratic candidate, Michigander Lewis Cass, and the victory of the slave-owning Whig candidate Zachery Taylor in 1848. The Free Soil Party polled only 5% nationally in 1852 but in 1856 the Republican candidate out polled the American/Whig Party candidate and in 1860 the anti-slavery Republican Party candidate won the White House. That's twenty years from the first party to represent it to victory in a national election for the single-issue anti-slavery movement.)

    What can a Speech Do??

    My take on Obama's upcoming speech to Congress:
     
    Can Obama's Speech Save Health Care Reform?
    http://thoughtmerchant.net/2009/09/03/can-obamas-speech-save-health-care...
     
    Thought Merchant
    www.thoughtmerchant.net
    Politics and Commentary for the Thinking Person of Color
    "Better to Sell an Idea than to Buy a lie!"

    “Public option” or not?

    Clearly President Barack Obama knows he will not be able to deliver the health bill he marketed to the public.  And of course, voters know that by now too.  But, the sagging poll numbers for Democrats and the president may have more to do with the economic crisis we're in and the uncertainty and hardships it brings. And as for the “public option”, this may likely become a negotiating tool used by the Administration to get some sort of bill passed.   Clearly, the winner of universal health care will include big pharma and the the private insurance companies who will get another 45 million customers much of which is to be paid by uncle sam; gail slim phenternin, I help contribute to monthly diet blogs

    Tell me something I dont know Mr. Dixon

    Another left wing rant. I already knew what you were gonna say before I read the artilce.  The questions becomes, what are we going to do about it?  Are we gonna take it to the streets?  Are we gonna start a mass movement to  overhaul our political system.?  Term limits? End of corporate money? More poltical partys?   This is the level that I am on.  All this bickering over healthcare is a distraction!!!   The people need to unite and take down the current two party system.   Will BAR lead the charge?  

    What To Do

    The lobbist are hired by the corporations to pay members of Congress to make laws desireable to the corporations , so the corporations hire the people that have access and influence to members of Congress . Ex-members of Congress . Many family members of the members of Congress have jobs or are associated with these corporations and if a law is passed that is detrimental to the business of the corporations it could also be detrimental to a family member's income . Ask Senator Dodd who his wife works for . He is just one of many . Congress makes the laws and controls the funding . Today's laws were designed by the corporate lobbyist and enacted by Congress for the benefit of the lobbyist and their friends in Congress . The President has requested of Congress an insurance competition bill and as of yet there is NO bill for him to sign . THe GOP and others would have us think there is a bill that we do not want . SO , with lots of help from the left there are plenty of accusations  towards the President about a bill that does not exist .  

    Your emphasis on "LBJ did it in 11 months" is genius.

    It clearly makes this a political problem basically and not a technical one.  The will is not there.  I have used your arguments often and to great effect. 
    One little quibble.  They did have main frame computers then.  My uncle was a pioneer and his company's computer ran the Houston space program.  We put two guys on the moon in the Sixties also.  I read somewhere that all the new Medicare cards were mailed out a month after passage of the bill.  If Americans have the will they can do it. If we want something, we will find the money. And with our new computers and internet, we can sign up twice as many folks in a jiffy.
    It's very clear that we no longer have a functioning democracy.  It is rapidly openly devolving into a Russian like mafia style oligarchy.  Time to find a nice mafia don to take care of me.

    Good points!  If folks were

    Good points!  If folks were on the same page or at least in the same volume set, issues such as health care would have been solved or winding up by now...

    you're quite right of course

    and I am old enough to know better.  I remember computers ranging from the size of cargo vans to the size of boxcars, using big rolls of tape and punch cards.  I was in a hurry when I wrote that, and will change it later this evening.  Thanks, Lady Di.

    Democrat / Schmemocrat

    We have not had a President who was a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson. We’ve not even had a Presidential candidate who was a Democrat since George McGovern.
     
     The Democratic Party has been replaced by the DNC–The Democratic National Corporation. Roosevelt is dead; long live Clinton and Obama!
     
    Gore Vidal had it right when he observed that we have one political party with two right wings

    Yes. And when you lie down (lay down?) with vampires

    you get bled, like leeches.  My representative in the House,
    I read yesterday (not sure where), a cosponsor of
    HR 676, Conyers/Kucinich Medicare for All, said he's
    not going to vote for it when it comes to a vote soon.
    They don't care what we think, so we have to "show 'em".
        Single payer, single payer, single payer.  (I have
    Medicare and would like to be rid of Medigap, speaking
    of vampire health care companies:Blue Cross, formerly
    a non-profit, but now "for profit". Not sure how long I
    can pay for medigap. Medigap is private insurance
    to pay for the 20% Medicare doesn't cover.)
     
         Doesn't single payer, with no paperwork for
    patients/consumers sound like "nirvana"?  If Medicare
    got passed in Congress, if social security disability
    got added to social security, then single payer can get
    passed. 
     
          Good point, Mr. Dixon, re the many ways the Pres-
    ident aka White House can get votes, if he wanted
    them, for single payer/Medicare for All: "bribes" aka
    "carrot" (vs stick).  
     

    health and wealth

      First time blogger. The corporations during LBJ's time were not as well organized,most  PAC's then were union PAC's. Afer Buckeley -Vallejo(1972), corporate PACs mushroomed, from less than 25 to now over 1000 PACs.
      I think we would be a lot better off if unions didn't invest so heavely in elections since so much of their money goes  into what's refered to as "candidate centered politics." Candidate centered politics is a conservative approach to democracy. Organize voters into legislative alert systems intead  of just giving money to candidates who then give  the money to consultant's who shovel it over to broadcasters and direct mail companies and collect their consultants fee. The Democrats money comes in large part  from unions and could be spent more wisely. Progressive union members should argue that strategy when they're allocating money to candidates.Build legislative pecinct networks, support the candidates you should support but use some of the rank and file money for legislative precinct networks. If you do that the precinct volunteers will turn into electoral volunteers and will multiply the loaves for you during election time.
    Third there needs to be a Big State Democracy Senate movement. We need a U.S.Senate based on population not on states. One senator per 3 million people. The you could slam dunk Single Payer.The Slimmy Six who are blocking health care reform represent half of the people in states that total 8.5 million citizens. Since a democratic Senate would have one Senator per 3 million votes the Scum bag Six would only be the Scum Bag 1 1/2. Not only  would people in Big States support this idea, progressives in the rest of the states would as well.They aren't getting much from the current set up. We're one of the most backward democracies in the world as a result of this undemocratic so called upper house.
     

    thoughtful reply. Am thinking on it. Re LBJs time:

    Robert Caro's "Master of the Senate" - one of his
    series in bio of LBJ, has a remarkable story of how the
    corporations were fighting to demolish public electric
    companies (to get privatized electric companies) as
    far back as the 1920s.  The culmination was Enron
    and that fiasco and the mess of the electric companies
    now.  Greg Palast has some interesting writing on
    electric companies, too. 
      Unions are pretty shrunk in percent of workers, and
    in numbers now.  Do you know "Building Bridges",
    the radio show (they have a website) on WBAI, by
    Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash?  (Note: Mimi Rosen-
    berg is a Legal Aid lawyer and union activist, and Ken
    Nash is a labor librarian.
      They support the TakeBack
    WBAI movement.   See  www.takebackwbai.org
    (I support Mimi Rosenberg and the undo the coup
    movement.)
     
     

    Clicky Web Analytics