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Here's my issue with the way these debates play out...

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vi5 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 11:01 AM
Original message
Here's my issue with the way these debates play out...
Healthcare is the most immediate and obvious one, but it's basically on everything. Prompted by this post at TPM:

I understand that for better or worse we need 60 votes.

I understand that there are a handful of "centrists(ie. attention mongers screaming "Look at attention to meeeeeeeee") and that we need their votes.

I understand that e-mail or phone blasting members of a body of government where 90% of them are on our side and supporting the legislation we want and only a handful are mucking up the works is to some degree counter-productive and wheel spinning with regard to the "PLEASE VOTE FOR THIS!!!!" when most of them are going to anyway.

What the pressure needs to be is for the majority to bring to bear on the minority, even within our own party.

The problem is that the minority (the Nelson's, the Conrad's, the Landrieu's) are the ones calling the shots and saying "Do this or else I won't vote for it." rather than the way it should be with the leadership saying "Vote for this and support the majority of your party or else" and being the ones to dictate the carrot/stick way things will pan out.

And yes, I get it our party is diverse and we should be happy that we don't march in lock steps like the repugs, etc. yeah yeah yeah. And if there were no concessions made to these people of differing opinions then I would agree that it's wrong for us to ram a bill that they completely disagree with down their throat by weilding a big hammer.

But at this point, when concessions have been made, when negotiations have taken place, when they've already had their whims catered to and given their precious media is the time to say "We've made the concessions. Now if you still don't vote with us here are the ramifications from is what will happen to your positions of leadership, you committee chairs, your voice within the caucus." I hate to use parenting terms but now is the time where it needs to be said "If you stimey this historic piece of legislation and vote against the very large majority of your party.....this will be your punishment."

Now maybe this is being done behind closed doors. And if things turn out o.k. then I will freely admit that this was the case and that our leadership chose to do this in private and in back room negotiations rather than wielding their power and their hammer in public.

But if this does get stymied and it does fail because of a select few attention mongers and "centrists", and our leadership offers no punishment or ramifications...then that's where I have the issue.

O.K....rant over. Flame away and tell me how great it is that we don't march in lock step like republicans and how democracy is messy and a game of chess and all that.

Thanks for listening.
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pass any bill, and fix it later.
Or don't pass a bill, look weak again to americans, and re-elect more republicans. cycle continues.
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's what I'm afraid of
Doing nothing is NOT an option IMHO and there is no better chance than now to get something in place because it may be next to impossible to get anything- even something as relatively modest as what we have in the works now- pass a Congress filled with more Republicans and empowered Blue Dogs. What's currently in the works is not perfect and I am more than willing to concede that point but the potential benefits, particularly introducing the concept of universality in terms of health insurance coverage, will lay the groundwork for more reform down the road including, possibly, a single payer system ran by the government instead of controlled by the private insurance companies. This is not- nor was it ever promoted as- the "endgame" in regards to health care/insurance reform in this country.
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Agreed...shame no one else is replying
I think they are all busy with Palin and watching dumb Fox news clips.

I think we are pretty much in agreement. I never in my life imagined I would be an Emanuelite, but if we dont pass a bill, the press and GOP would love to play the 'Democrats are weak' card. A card which is totally phony, but would work politically in this dumb country. If we lose our majorities next year I promise this president is going to be screwed, and so is our country. I'm starting to worry now.

I always supported Obama knowing that if we get another Republican or Bush in 2012 or 2016 then anything positive Obama does can be eradicated. I think Obama hinted at it in his campaign -- bottom-up change, encouraging participation, providing an example of behavior and rhetoric, but all of these hints are getting buried in the day to day talk. That day to day talk is going to be based on what bills or initiatives get passed. Healthcare, no matter how perfect of a vision we have (single payer in my case) is going to have to be incremental.

I think your point about 'introducing the concept of universality' is interesting. I was thinking about ways that the first bill should sort of 'force the private companies' hand towards either really fixing itself or revealing over the next four years that they really are just bloodsuckers on the public tit, and a drain on medicare. I'm not sure if the bill we have really does that, but if it did, I think it would put us in a better position to fix the HC bill four or six years from now.

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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yup
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 12:12 PM by Proud Liberal Dem
I think that some people have become so focused on achieving perfection (i.e. Single Payer) in one fell swoop that they are unwilling to see any progress for what it's worth- and there IS progress in several areas contained within this legislation. While I would not shed a single tear if health insurance companies disappeared tomorrow (or existed solely to sell supplemental policies), I realize that, given that so many people have become brainwashed by and steeped in anti-government rhetoric over the past 30 years, it's going to take some time to reverse that mentality and "re-sell" people on the notion of government (i.e. we the people) being able to do anything right or positive before people get to the point where they will be fully willing to accept a SP system.
As for my comments regarding 'unversality', what I think will be useful about the *mandate* is that it will get everybody used to the idea of being required to pay for health insurace (they would, after all be required to pay for SP)- which will likely create the structure for a new health care system that can later be taken over by the government (should that ultimately be legislated). Also, the more people are exposed to the private insurance system, the more incentive/pressure there might be to eventually just do away with private insurance altogether (or, as I said, reduce their role to basically selling supplemental policies) and fully embrace a government system. :shrug:
It's hard to say, of course, exactly what's going to happen. Maybe the private insurance industry will reform itself (just after monkey's fly out of my butt I imagine ;-)) but I think that the current health care legislation moves us forward- even if by inches. Any improvement is worthwhile IMHO. I just hope and pray that we don't squander this golden opportunity to do SOMETHING.
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