Nothing. You get to keep the status quo.
I've been staying out of the intercine lefty blogwar but I've finally had enough of this misguided campaign. While I think that Dave Weigel is giving FDL
too much credit for the announcement today that another incumbent Dem,
Vic Snyder of AK, is retiring, their stupid push polls and Kill the Bill campaign are not helping the progressive cause as far as I can tell. If anything, it's moving the Overton window to the right. Shadegg was a moderate who often voted progressively. How does pushing him out move the window to the left?
The fact is the health care bill is ridiculously complicated and nobody really knows what it will do once it's enacted. What we do know for sure is the price of allowing the status quo to remain unchallenged. We're living with the empirical evidence of that. And I can't fail to recall how many times FDL and the other kill the bill people mocked the Democrats for not knowing how to play the game. I'd suggest they check the rule book themselves. It's not easy to get over 500 politicians to agree on a big measure and compromises have to be made in order to make any progress. Any change is better than no change at all. Even if it's for the worse -- which is not at all clear -- it's movement and if the bill fails to improve the situation, at least we'll know what doesn't work. Down with Tyranny
has a much better approach. They've been critical of the bill and of Obama and managed to do it without throwing in their lot with Grover Norquist or adopting right wing framing that only helps the GOP. DWT links to a really good piece that reminds us how the game works. Nobody gets everything they want. And for crying out loud, change we can believe in was a slogan, not a promise to demolish the broken system we've had for decades and completely rebuild it to progressive specs in under a year.
And I'm sorry. Much as I like Jane and respect her work in the past this all smacks too much of putting personal advancement above advancing the cause. One can't fail to remember when FDL joined in roundly deriding Democrats for appearing on Fox and legitimizing the GOP outlet. Now we see Jane appearing on Fox, smiling sweetly at those bobbleheads she villified only months ago and complaining when they don't credit her site for doing their oppo work. And who doesn't know that in today's media environment, that the surest way to get attention, big media links and teevee time is to speak against the President and the Democratic agenda?
Further, Jane has survived three operations for breast cancer, so I assume she has insurance coverage that she feels secure in keeping. I suspect most of the Kill the Bill people do as well. I'd remind them that for the millions of people who can't afford to buy coverage, or can't get coverage at all under the current system, this quixotic quest for progressive purity looks not only self-serving, but a little selfish. If they succeed in killing the bill, they also condemn thousands of Americans to an untimely death from lack of health care. Last I looked, that's not a progressive value.
Tactics matter. Holding their feet to the fire is good, but burning down the house to do it just doesn't help anyone -- except the teabaggers and the Republicans.
[More posts daily at The Detroit News
Labels: Activism, Congress, health care, President Obama