Do you have any idea who your audience is?
Do you know who you’re playing to?
I don’t think you do. But giving you the benefit of the doubt, as serious, important politicians who have what I can only assume are long resumes showcasing a series of very important victories, let me then ask you this:
Who are you afraid of? Whose votes do you think you’re going to lose?
No, I’m not talking about senators here, so stop saying, “Ben Nelson” or “Mary Landrieu.” I’m talking about real, live human beings – the American voters out there across our country.
Exactly what percentage of the population is it that you think fits the following parameters:
– Open and willing to vote for Democrats
– Likely to vote for President Obama’s reelection in 2012, and likely to vote for a Democrat in the 2010 midterms.
– Generally supportive of climate change legislation, Justice Sotomayor’s nomination, repealing DADT, stem cell research, the stimulus package, et. al.
– Not going to vote for Obama or congressional Democrats because you passed a public option as part of the health care bill.
Is there anybody who fits those parameters? Is there anyone out there who’s on board, but a public option is going to be the one thing that turns them off? I don’t think it’s very many people. Maybe I’m wrong. If you think I’m wrong, please tell me who those voters are, what districts they live in, what the demos are, etc. I’m really curious.
On the other hand, do you realize how much you would energize your base by passing a public option? Do you understand how excited the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party would be if real health care reform was passed? The voters would be there in 2010 and 2012, I guarantee you that.
Which is not to mention all the millions of uninsured people you’d be scoring big points with. These are people who would remember that the Democratic Party was there for them, and that the Republicans called them lazy good-for-nothings who can drop dead for all they care.
The wingnuts aren’t going to vote for you no matter what. And the great middle of this country would see that:
A) The President is a strong leader, and
B) That Congress sometimes gets things done and isn’t completely useless.
This should all be self-evident to anyone paying attention. I shouldn’t need to point it out. So what’s the holdup?
I think the holdup is a combination of:
1. Typical Democratic Party cowardice, backing down in the face of clowns like Joe Wilson rather than standing firm, denouncing their bullshit for what it is, and doing what you friggin’ campaigned on.
3. $$$$$$$$$$$$. Which, by the way, you’d get plenty of from your base if you do the right thing on health care. And who gives a crap about the insurance companies fighting you in 2010 and 2012? It’s going to be sour grapes, and we’ll all know it.
By the by, nobody’s going to turn out for you in droves because you chose to be passionately centrist. Nobody gets jazzed about legislation that’s been moderated pointlessly.
And that’s the real kicker here: there’s nothing stopping you from passing a public option but you, and the rest of us know it. Sure, there could be good things in a bill that passes without a public option, but pardon us if we don’t see a history of legislation that benefits the people instead of the corporations. So no, we’re not going to take it on faith that a bill without a public option will work for the people, nor do we like your “trigger” garbage.
Do the right thing here. Pass a strong public option. The votes, money, and volunteers will be there. And who’s going to be turned off that is legitimately open to voting Democratic? I just don’t see it.