Obama's team is ramming through health reform legislation on the broken backs, hopes and dreams of liberals and progressives.
The health reform efforts of the White house have hurt progressives, liberals Democrats and their causes bigtime. It's not because they attempted to take on health reform. It's because they did such a cowardly, sell-out, backstabbing job.
Let's start with women's rights. Women make up close to two thirds of Democrats, yet one of the most important issues for women, freedom of choice was thrown to the wolves by Nancy Pelosi and Stenny Hoyer and Harry Reid. It's not just the lost ground. This becomes proof that Rahm Emanuel's and others' claims that it is good to bring in pro-life bluedog Democrats to the Democratic party are correct. Expect to see more of them as Emanuel and Obama move the party further to the right.
This tawdry senate episode has cemented the power of small state sold-out and corporate owned senators to control legislation. Something must be changed here-- maybe a rule that fillibusters can only be used so many times in a week, month and year, and then the party runs out, like time-outs in a football game.
On Meet the Press, Joe Scarborough reports that health insurance stocks hit a historic high on Friday. The people are not stupid. They've seen that the Democrats are forcing through a bill that is giving a huge gift to insurers. The Democrat party is going to be decimated in the next two elections and they will deserve it. The leaders of the party and the whitehouse may be bribing or strongarming Democratic legislators. But those legislators will be looking for jobs with Health INsurers, lobbying firms and big Pharma, come 2010 and 2012.
Markos Moulitsas says that the Republicans were completely repudiated in 2006 and 2008, but he's also pissed about where the legislation has gone.
We have good reasons to be angry. The amendment that would have allowed Americans to buy discounted imported drugs was opposed by the Whitehouse, according to Dem Byron Dorgan, who sponsored the amendment. This is betrayal and a broken campaign promise.
At this time, all the progressives I'm talking to are disgusted or worse. Will they show up at the polls? Maybe. Will they vote for Democrats? That's looking less and less likely.
Dailykos polls show that 85% of REpublicans will be showing up to vote, but less than 60% of Democrats, less than 40% of Blacks will be showing up. The numbers are equally bad for under-30s. This is bad news and it is happening because these groups are perceiving the Democrats as being weak, acting in bad faith and betraying their constituents.
There are numerous reports that Obama's inner circle believes that they have the liberals and progressives "covered." Maybe they mean that they've bullied the liberal members of congress into getting on board for the health care legislation. They sure don't have us "covered" when it comes to the next election. Progressives might vote for some Democrats in the next election, but the level of energy they throw into the races-- the volunteer work, the get out the vote, the phone banking, the contribution of funds-- I don't think it's going to be there. The contributions will probably show up in the primaries, in efforts to take out bluedog incumbents.
It's not too late. But it's very unlikely that the right thing-- a two bill health care reform process-- will happen. That would change everything. But it could be done and it could be done this week if the congress was determined to do it. I wrote about it here: Reject Reid's Gift to Insurers; The Two Bill Solution to Health Care
This fight is not over. The enemies of progressives, liberals and populist Democrats have been flushed out-- bluedogs, Rahm Emanuel and others in the Whitehouse, Lieberman, Nelson, Baucus, Landrieu, the senators who backed the Whitehouse opposition to discount pharmaceutical imports. The progressives have grown in power, organization and leadership. Who would have thought that dailykos blogger Markos Moulitsas would be on Meet the Press facing off with a former GOP head?
No this isn't over by a long shot. But it will be a roller coaster ride and there will be casualties. Unfortunately, it looks like the first casualty is the American people.