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
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
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?