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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/1/09

Spineless Dems or a Dem-Trifecta Driven Filibuster-Proof Congress and a Media Carrot

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It had been months, since November, or maybe even longer, since I characterized the Dems as spineless. I was giving Obama and the Dems a chance, wishing and hoping and thinking and praying.

The Burt Bacharach lyrics advise us to "hold him and love him." Sorry Barack, sorry House and Senate-- no holding, no loving. I did my thing in the voting booth and I've been writing and showing up, raising my voice, and you're coming up short. Lately, that word, "spineless," has been creeping back on my tongue.

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Spineless BLUE Jellyfish flickr image by I Love Milwaukee

The Dems in Congress were given incredible power by the American people and they've pissed it away.

David Swanson's brilliant new book, Daybreak, must reading for any progressive patriot, has a chapter title which describes the 111th Congress Democrats-- Voluntary Impotence. Castratos-- self-induced. When power is given, there is a responsibility to use it wisely. That takes courage. It is cowardly-- spineless-- to not use it at all.

Now I wasn't the one who pulled the S word out from the past. Bill Moyers called the Dems spineless in describing how they're handling health reform. How else could they be characterized, allowing a loudmouthed minority of angry losers and a right wing echo-chamber, fueled and funded by the insurance company and for-profit health care industry EVERYONE knew would be there to foment fear and insecurity?

You and I knew that the health care industry would spend billions to protect their multi-trillion dollar industry. Why were Obama and the Dem Trifecta team surprised by the toxic teabaggers and their lying messages of fear? It's just plain bad leadership that is at fault. And part of the reason for the failure is there are a lot of Dems who actually are whores bought and paid for by the for-profit health industry-- like Max Baucus. But he's not alone.

Over and over again we've seen clear examples of congressional Democrats using right wing talking points to criticize single payer plans. These legislators are not ignorant. They've met with many single payer advocates and they know the truth. They just choose to mouth the right wing talking points. This is not the representation they were elected to perform.

The good thing is, the Dems and Obama can regain their spines and start doing the job we elected them to do. They gave more than lip-service to the idea we now see was unrealistic-- working at achieving bi-partisan agreement on the big issues.

The truth is, the American people massively rejected the right wing vision and gave Democrats the trifecta-- the perfect horror storm for Republicans-- control of the House, Senate and White House. And the (expletive deleted) spineless Dems are throwing it away. More than anyone else, I blame Harry Reid. He has failed to keep his house, or in this case, his Senate, in order, allowing Max Baucus to produce a total clusterfuck in the Senate finance committee. It should never have been allowed to go so far. It is Reid's job to whip Baucus and the other Bluedog Dems in the Senate into acceptable compliance.

Bernie Sanders, on Rachel Maddow last night, said it right. Those Dems need to work with the Dem Party to block the Republican filibuster. That's all. They don't have to vote for the bills they don't like. They can abstain or oppose them. But they do have to help the Dems so they can hold up or down votes that allow a simple majority to pass basic legislation. This should be a given. This should be clear from the beginning. If Lieberman or Landrieu or Specter or Baucus don't like the health bill, they don't have to vote for it.

Ten Democrats can abstain or vote against it and it will still be passed by the Democratic caucus, with the Vice President breaking the tie. But those moderate Dems MUST make it clear that they have demolished, obliterated and wiped out the filibuster in the 111th Congress. Either they work with the Dems or they don't. If Baucus and his "centrist" Dem cronies won't block the filibuster, what good are they in the caucus? Tell them to guarantee a filibuster-proof Congress or go join the other side-- and lose his committee seat and whatever other penalties can be applied to Montana, including a cut in funding for Montana projects, wherever possible. Votes have consequences-- for the constituents who send a**holes to Washington and the a**holes who constipate progress.

Once we've gotten that filibuster-proof Senate resolved, and the silly notion of bi-partisan cooperation on health care out of the way, it's time to re-assess what American needs. The fact is, for-profit health care is a parasite, a cancer getting bigger and bigger, dragging down the US economy, literally laying waste to and killing US industries. Obama's band-aid approach to cobble together a public option doesn't cut it. We need the same solution that EVERY other first world civilized nation has come to. We need single payer health care. Repeated studies have shown that it will save one to four trillion dollars over ten years, rather than costing an extra trillion-- with medicare cuts.

That's right. We have to get Baucus and Landrieu and Lieberman and Specter, Bill Nelson and Claire McGaskill and others to not only block the filibuster, but allow 50 democratic senators and Joe Biden to pass the most momentuous, most courageous, most moral bill America has seen since Lyndon Johnson ended racism with his Great society and equal rights protections.

We've given the Dems and Obama incredible power. As they've spinelessly avoided using it, their numbers have descended lower and lower. Part of the problem is Obama selected a ragged collection of DLC Dems from the Clinton administration-- a failed administration that repeatedly sold out Americans, signing the US up with the American-industry-destroying WTO and NAFTA, trying to make Democrats look more and more like Republicans. Obama may have had some rationale for starting with experienced administration hands, but now, it's time to jettison them, to replace them, like Moses replaced his leaders with people who'd never lived under Egyptian slavery, with tough, strong leaders who truly want change, who are willing to represent the people who gave the Dems the Trifecta Majority.

If Obama and Harry Reid don't "spine up," they will deserve to lose their next elections.

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity scheduled for release May 22, 2019

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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