Well, here we are again, wondering what will happen to health care reform. It is amazing that we're still watching the Democrats fumbling around when there is a clear path to success.
Before Howard Dean took over as chair of the Democratic party, I used to say that Republicans are a bunch of vicious hypocrites and Democrats are a bunch of fumbling incompetents. Then Dean launched his 50-state strategy. I watched Obama run a great campaign and the Democrats in congress got majorities in both chambers. So I stopped saying it. Unfortunately, now that Dean has completed his tenure, the Democrats went back to their old ways.
So, in the hope that Democrats still have some potential, here's my message to those of them who are still on the fence about health care:
- This is why you became a Democrat. Democrats believe in the ability to government to help people. Democrats believe that government should help everyone, not just the wealthy. Here's your chance to act like a Democrat.
- Failing to pass health care reform will make you look inept. That's what the Republicans are counting on. Don't worry about people voting against you for passing health reform. They didn't vote for you in the last election. Worry about people who will vote against you for your legislative incompetence.
- You'll show Republicans they can lie and get away with it. Do you think they'll stop lying if health care reform goes away? NO, YOU IDIOT!! THEY'LL SEE LYING WORKED AND LIE MORE!!
- Don't be afraid of Republican lies. They lie because the facts are against them. Otherwise, they wouldn't have to lie. Don't be afraid to call out the Republicans on the their lies and don't be afraid to answer their lies with the facts. Just learn to make the facts understandable. Say it over and over and people will get it.
- I promise I'll vote for you if you support health care. I know I'll regret this, but I mean it. I dislike both my senators (Specter and Casey) immensely. But I'll vote for them in the primary and general elections if they can deliver on health care. Screw this up, and I'll vote for Felix the Cat first. This is especially true for you, Bob Casey, if you get sucked into the anti-abortion mess.
- The Senate bill is imperfect but it is still better than nothing. I'd be happy to see the public option in there. Hell, I'd like to see a single payer system, but I know it can't happen in the US. But since you can't make a perfect bill now, this will do. You can make the system better in the future, even without a single payer system, and maybe without a public option.
- Don't be afraid to use the budget reconciliation process. The Republicans used it to pass their tax cuts for the wealthy. You can use it, too. Make the Senate bill better with it. The fact that Republicans are yelling (and lying) so hard about it tells me they're scared. GO FOR IT.
- Don't worry about Republican hand wringing over the deficit. Instead, counterattack. It was Republicans who ran up the deficit with unwise tax cuts and two unfunded wars. They were the ones that created the economic mess we're in with their opposition to effective regulation of Wall Street. Economists will tell you that the deficit is not out of control, especially because interest rates are so low. Answer Republican lies with the facts.
- Health care reform is good for the economy. From reducing lost wages to reducing illness-related bankruptcies, better and more affordable health care is good for the economy. More affordable health care means more small business start-ups. Small business almost always fuels economic recoveries.
- Don't be afraid of a Republican filibuster on this or any other bill. Make the Republicans do it. Let voters see the spectacle of them staying up all night holding up the work of the Senate.
- Stop trying to get a bipartisan bill. In AA, they define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Get some sanity. The Republicans aren't going to help you.