Friday, December 18, 2009

Every Vote Is Important...

...not just Joe Lieberman's, or Ben Nelson's, or Olympia Snowe's. And while these Senators are wielding their power because of an elusive 60th vote and making health care legislation exponentially weaker in the process, the White House assumes that the liberal votes will be there in the end. They shouldn't be so quick to count on those votes if they keep stepping on the throats of liberals and progressives instead of the extortionists they've been trying to appease for the last three months.

Now that the Senate Democratic leadership has stripped the last vestige of the public option — the Medicare buy-in provision — from its bill, progressives are feeling doubly betrayed.
“It’s time for the president to get his hands dirty,” Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, said in a statement this week. “Some of us have compromised our compromised compromise. We need the president to stand up for the values our party shares.”
...“I don’t sleep well,” [Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie] Sanders said. “I am struggling with this issue very hard, trying to sort out what is positive in this bill, what is negative in the bill, what it means for our country if there is no health insurance legislation, when we will come back to it.”
This in combination with Ben Nelson's new movement of the goalposts for his vote is having everyone walking a fine, thread-bare tightrope.

Although I still think this whole thing may backfire, as I believe not passing anything would be a more devastating blow to the Democratic party and the progressive agenda than passing a weak bill, I really do want to see liberals and progressives push back hard and let it be known that they can't be taken for granted. Their votes count just as much.

No comments: