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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/16/09

Stop telling us "We don't have the votes!" GO GET THE VOTES!!!

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reprinted from dailykos  by meldroc

Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Harry Reid, I'm talking to you.  Because we're sick of hearing your lame excuses.  We're tired of necessary legislation like health care reform being watered down, sandbagged and sabotaged because you want to cave to the insurance industry.  We're sick of your craven cowardice.  We gave your party the majority so you can fulfill promises to fix our economy, extricate us from Bush's wars and repair a health care system that's so badly broken that up to 100,000 people die every year from inadequate health care in the richest country in the world.

Every week we hear a new ploy.

Last week, it was the trigger, that was engineered to never be triggered.  Didn't fly, did it.

This week, it's the co-op proposal, designed to leave the risk pools so fragmented and the co-ops so small as to have zero influence on the insanely inflated prices in the health care market.  Yeah, we know why the Rick Scott groupies like this idea.

And now you're going on all the cable news bobblehead shows and saying "We don't have the votes!"

Well, I have one word in response: BULLSHIT!!!

Harry Reid, you're the Senate Majority Leader.  Stop sniveling.  Don't tell us that you don't have the votes.  Go get the votes.  That's your job.  Try acting like LBJ instead of a jellyfish, and you'll be amazed at how much can be done with a little arm-twisting.

And don't tell me that you need 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate.  The only reason that is the case is because you allow it to be the case.  It doesn't take sixty votes to pass a bill.  It takes 51.  Perhaps you could make it clear to fellow members of your party that it's unacceptable for a Democrat to vote against cloture for a Democratic bill, but they're perfectly free to vote against it in the final vote if they have to object.  And if all that fails, you've got reconciliation, if you've got a pair...

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flickr image by Steve Rhodes

Kent Conrad, don't tell me that the only way to get cloture on a bill is to water it down and cave in to unreasonable Republican demands.  Perhaps you've forgotten that past senators in this quandry deal with it by going on the bobblehead shows, but instead of saying "We don't have the votes," they say "The opposition are holding this bill hostage by refusing to let it come to an up-or-down vote!"  It's amazing how many Republicans will start walking back when they're publicly shamed for obstructionism.  You only need a couple.

I could keep giving this sort of condescending "advice", but you know, and we, the voters all know the real game that's going on.  So let me ask you a question.  Are you going to grow a pair, show some strength and start acting in the best interests of the country and your voters?  Or are you going to continue to play games with us, feeding us lines of bullshit designed to fool us into complacency, so you can take a dive for your buddies in the insurance industry who've given you hundreds of thousands of dollars in tasty campaign money?

I've got news for you.  We the People have wised up.  We're no longer falling for Harry and Louise ads.  88% of us want either single-payer or a public option.  And most of us have been, at the minimum, screwed out of thousands of dollars of insurance premiums, deductibles and medical bills.  Some of us have been driven into bankruptcy or chronic illness because of our broken system.  That makes us really, really pissed off.  We're no longer buying the old excuses.  We're all laughing at the Republicans who are crying about "socialized medicine"  And some of us don't even watch much TV anymore as we become an Internet society.  That means that if you stand with us, do the right thing, even at the expense of your insurance friends, we'll watch your back and stand with you.  If you continue with the same old bullshit, those tasty millions in insurance lobby money won't save you from electoral defeat.

So stop feeding us bullshit.  You promised us health care reform.  GET IT DONE!!!

UPDATE: I got a request to post some phone numbers and contact information, so people reading this can contact their Congresscritters and Senators and give them some public pressure.  YOU GOT IT!!!

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