So a fine friend of mine has adopted the stance that anyone to the left of Joe Lieberman needs to STFU and let the Senate force a shitty, shitty health care bill down the throat of the House and the country.
He does so under the banner of "GOVERN" which seem to be shorthand for "liberals will never get what they want because Democrats will always have to make compromises to get votes enough to pass actual legislation." Fair enough. But on this particular bill, it seems that a healthy majority of the vote-giving public really, really, really doesn't want this bill.
And make no mistake, this is a crappy piece of legislation. The basic deal seems to be that, in exchange for dropping pre-existing conditions requirements and the ability to deny care, health insurance companies get a provision that requires every citizen in the US to buy health insurance. Now, poor people won't be able to afford it, so the government will help them out. The government will get this money by taxing the health care benefits of people who have decent insurance now. So there will be a massive shift of dollars from the working middle class and the rich to insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors. Joy. Oh, and people with decent health coverage now will see it get worse. Double joy.
I'd also like to point out that we liberals are making nary a peep about our party passing really crappy legislation that will almost certainly come back to haunt us at the polls, the anti-abortion Dems will certainly be making hay and getting all kinds of goodies from the leadership. I'm sure our subservience will be rewarded in Heaven.
Now that we have 59 seats in the Senate and our year of a "filibuster-proof majority" has been revealed to be the joke that it is, can we please, please, please not keep the dream alive by shopping around for Republican votes to try to buy? It's over. How about we write bills that actually reflect Democratic values and have the Republicans (and Lieberman) vote "No" to every single bill? Let's schedule a vote-a-day and have them vote "No" on these things. Then we can go to the American people and say "This is what we stand for. This is what the Republicans stand against." Instead, we stand for compromise above else. We specialize in the art of the (unsuccessful) deal. We will sell out anything for a vote. We stand in the middle of the road and wonder why we keep getting run over.
The Democratic leadership sold out most of everything the liberal base believes in to get a deal and it didn't work. Now we have to go out and run on the "we tried to pass a muddled piece of shit that would likely have been a colossal failure, but we tried!" platform.
Lieberman needs to lose his chairmanships now. Reid is obviously incompetent as Senate President. We still have a large majority of the House and Senate and we can build on that, but we need to build from a solid base that reflects the parties values, not from a place where we will compromise on everything to win a few votes.
If it is our duty to govern, then we need to govern from our principles. We need to show the American people that we have ideas that appeal to them. We need show them that it is the Republicans that block good things from happening. We are going to lose the mid-term elections in a big way unless we give the American people something to vote for that they actually want. They do not want this health care bill. We will not lose the mid-term because we failed to pass an unpopular health care bill, we will lose the mid-terms if we make it the only thing that the Democrats stand for.