It's time to stop giving slack to recalcitrant Democratic senators. It's time to play the hardest hardball with them from in and out.
From in the Senate, Harry Reid needs to get as tough as it is possible to get. Joe the MFing .... well, add your own expletives... Lieberman is making history, duplicitously stabbing his party in the bag, killing cloture. It is time for Harry Reid to make history not just for Lieberman, but for any Dem who stabs the party in the back by enabling a filibuster that prevents an up or down vote.
What can Reid do? He can take away Lieberman's appointment as head of the Homeland Security committee. He can move his office to the basement. He can scrutinize his expense bills. He can have him investigated on ethics complaints. He can cut his perks to the bone and reject any requests for expenses or extras, like junkets to Israel. He can make sure that any pork Lieberman tries to grab is trimmed and pruned to nothing. He can make Connecticut constituents see clearly that a vote for Lieberman cost them big.
flickr image by by New Hampshire Public Radio
Then there's outside-- what the people can do. They can make Lieberman's life miserable, his family's life miserable, his synagogue's members annoyed.
Consider the pro-life protesters who camp outside of abortion and family planning clinics. They make the lives of the workers at those clinics miserable, They make the clients uncomfortable so volunteers are needed to escort them in to the clinics. Do the same thing to Lieberman.
And it should not stop with Lieberman. Every senator who is blocking healthcare reform should get the same treatment-- a bi-partisan effort, but particularly the Dems who would be betraying their colleagues. Force them to cast these votes to prove what shills for the insurers they really are. Go after their families. Go after them when they attend their churches. Use signs calling them murders and whores. Give them the same treatment the pro-life protesters give abortion clinic workers.
And it should not stop with senators. Go after the CEOs. Use signs calling them killer and traitors. Go to their churches and synagogues. Go to their children's schools. Make them uncomfortable. Fight them. Give the CEOs and all the workers the same treatment the pro-life protesters give abortion clinic workers. Why go after the hourly workers? They carry out the orders to deny services, to cancel or deny contracts and health care services because of pre-existing conditions or whatever lousy excuse.
People are dying every day. Families are being brutally savaged, having to make the decision between food on the table or life-saving drugs or treatments. This doesn't happen in the world's civilized nation.
The US, without health care for every American, is no longer fit to be characterized as civilized. The legislators and lobbyists and workers who prevent or block or fund the blocking through lobbying of true health care reform deserve everything that can be legally thrown against them to make their lives hell.
Give 'em hell, Harry. And give it to them, activists across America. Make it excruciating for them to chose to screw Americans for the insurance industry.