I don’t know what to think anymore

This isn’t going to be very long, nor even really a proper diary, but I need to get this off my chest.  I’m not inclined to put this up elsewhere, because I’m not in the mood for being flamed into oblivion.

The news of the health insurance reform bill being probably a done deal has me feeling very deeply torn.  To come out of the process with nothing wasn’t politically feasible.  To come out of this particular exercise with this piece of offal is enough to make me want to give up on the entire political system altogether.

Then, this afternoon, I got the following email.  Now, I get a lot of political junk email — from activist groups, from congresscritters, from organizations allied with the progressive movement.  Most of it I just delete, because most of it consisits of pleas for money I can’t spare.  I quote it in its entirety below the jump.  Some of what they say is true, some is pure bombast, and the overlap between the two is causing me real issues.  I pass it along not because I believe everything they say, or to hold it up for ridicule, but in the interest of a progressive community deconstruction of this text.

from The Pen:

We came across a very brief obituary notice this morning, about a

curious individual with a single word for a name, in an obscure

newspaper of diminishing circulation and soon to cease publication

altogether itself. The notice read:

Hope, a professional political campaigner and poster model of

Washington, DC, dead at the age of 26 months, from starvation and

abuse. No surviving close relatives.

Pledge of Independence Action Page:


Friends, our premise from the beginning has been that we must first

speak out for policy change to our elected officials. For unless we

are in fact speaking out, only then can we know if they will listen

to us or not. AFTER we do that, it becomes clear who is listening and

who is not, and THEN we have the base to hold them to account

accordingly, and to remove from office those who will not listen.

We have now arrived at the latter point with regard to each and every

sitting member of Congress of both major parties without exception,

and the fake Independents can go too.

We are calling for all citizens of the United to declare that under

no circumstance will they vote for any candidate associated with

either the Democratic or Republican parties, and that we instead

dedicate our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor, to electing

worthy independents who can demonstrate a lifetime of public policy

advocacy on behalf of the people, true citizen legislators.

In support of this initiative, besides asking you to submit the

action page above, we have set up a Facebook page which will expand

into a national organizing network, with pages for each individual

district in the country. For those of you who have resisted

participating in Facebook up to this point, we will do our best to

find alternate ways to help you connect with this, but it really is

time to get with it on this page here.


When you visit the Facebook page above, please become a fan. Then

post something on the wall, click on the Voices tab to submit the

Pledge of Independence action page that way, start and/or add to a

discussion. In short, we need to start congregating, talking to each

other, and organizing.

Because where we are now at is this:

For their part the Democratic Party tied its wagon to a fundamentally

corrupt health care bill, based on a secret deal made long ago by

President Obama personally to kill off any prospect of a public

option of any kind. So cynical was the deception in which Democratic

members of Congress also conspired that while 51 Senators stated they

supported a public option of some kind, after being forced into the

procedure of reconciliation (which would only require 51 votes) the

Speaker of the House further conspired to suppress even the very weak

public option passed in her own chamber, so that those Senators would

never have to honor their pledges.

Let us be clear. There would not have even been that 51 on the record

had they not been gaming the fact that they thought 60 would be


Likewise, while more than 60 members of the House pledged

unequivocally in August that no bill would pass by them without a

“strong” public option, all but two waved through a House bill that

was anything but, including a draconian new restriction on a woman’s

right to choose for good measure of insult. And the last one

standing, Dennis Kucinich, failed in the end to honor even his

pledge. He is returning, by the way, all contributions based on this

in case you are interested about that.

From all this one truth in inescapably evident. There is not a single

Democratic member of Congress who is willing to take responsibility

for being the deciding vote on ANY matter of progressive principle.

Not one. Not a single one. Not now, not tomorrow, not next week or

month or year, until the end of time.

If they could not pass a meaningful public option NOW, with 51

declared votes in the U.S. Senate, and only that many needed, it will

never, ever, ever happen. All this talk about “we’ll get to work the

very next day on improving the bill” is nothing but knowing and

willful LIES. Never again will the Democratic party have such

compelling margins in both houses of Congress. It is not that they

couldn’t get it done. In truth, they were never even the slightest

bit interested in getting it done, only in lulling us into thinking

they would.

The entire last presidential campaign was nothing but a slick

corporate con job, which is why we have ended up with a slick

corporate health bill, and the slick corporate graphics and the slick

corporate slogans are all we are going to get until we DEMAND

something different.

For the last couple election cycles, the Democratic “leadership” has

been pitching that if we would just elect more Democrats, then they

could finally get something done for the American people. What is

transparently clear now is that if they only needed ZERO votes to

pass a public option, they could not even come up with those.

Whatever the required number, they would find some way to fall short

in the end.

So what we are left with is a bill that is so despicable at its

bottom line, forcing all of us to buy corporate insurance under

penalty of the IRS, with no meaningful option that might actually

save us any money, that they are trying to find a way to sneak it

through so that nobody is actually on record voting for it. That is

how utterly ashamed they themselves are of what they are doing.

And by the way, the blue doggy Democrats who ARE voting against it

are against it not because it does too little for the people, but

because it does too MUCH!!

Which brings us to the Republicans, who have gleefully done

everything they could in the last year to grind the entire business

of government to a halt, with an unparalleled number of Senate

filibusters over even the most mundane matters, tying up hundreds of

bills even approved by large “bipartisan” margins in the House. And

all for the unabashed and declared purpose of paralyzing our

legislature so that the American would experience so much pain and

anger that they might exploit that to get back into power.

This must not happen.

There must arise in every district of the country strong independent

candidates for office, and the people must organize themselves to

rally behind the best and most worthy independent challengers. And

then ALL incumbents without exception must be removed from office in

the next election possible.

We have barely 7 months to do it before the next general election,

and we’d better get on it. The social media network we need is in

fully in place on the Facebook site with 300 million members. The

basic conversational resource tools are there, and we have created

our own astounding new application functions through the Voices tool.

All we are asking you to do is go there and talk among yourselves to

get this thing started, and let’s get it together folks.


Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed

to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

So… now that you’ve read it, what do you guys think of this?  Do you find it as simultaneously unsettling and electrifying as I do?  Is it fair to label the Democrats as cynical sell-outs, or is this over the top?  If they are serious about a real new path in American politics, the time is terribly short.  Are they honest in this, or they simply tools of the radical right?  Can this end up being a positive thing, or is it a path to letting the Republicans back into power?  

Can you see why I am so torn?  


Skip to comment form

    • Noor B on March 19, 2010 at 03:14

    I really am that dismayed by everything political.

  1. What I am gravitating toward is to take the medicine that at first makes you ill in order to get better.

    btw, I’ve taken a leave from the DKos echo chamber; good to see you here.

  2. To come out of this particular exercise with this piece of offal is enough to make me want to give up on the entire political system altogether.

    Being dismayed is part of the process. Three years ago I felt the same way.  After fighting for democrats and helping them win back majorities in both the House and Senate, I felt that things might change and hoped they would spend some of their political capital.  But it turned out that they just drag their feet, making excuses for why they can’t do this or that.

    They can all talk the talk, but they fail when they walk the walk.

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