Wednesday, August 19, 2009

And everyone thought it was just me

Well, apparently I'm not the only local blogger asking Steve Cohen to take the pledge NOT to vote for a healthcare bill without a public option. Saying you support the public option is nice, but it leaves you wiggle room to vote for something less because the White House is pushing you to do so.

I want NO wiggle room. As I said earlier,

I also understand the term used often by our hero Ted Kennedy, that "the perfect is the enemy of the good". However, in this case, I'd like to turn that spin around and say that, in the instance of the public option, half-assed and inadequate is the enemy of the necessary and the acceptable.

And now, other bloggers are asking him why he's not taking the pledge. Jeff at the Pesky Fly asks, Polar Donkey asks why he doesn't take the same tack as Rep. Anthony Weiner of NY State, and Bob of 55-40, who would rather swallow broken glass than say a good thing about Willie Herenton, suggests that Steve may have to be primaried if he votes for a bill without the public option. UPDATE: No, that's apparently NOT what Bob said, he clarifies here. Cohen HAS to take the pledge.

No, I'm just not ready to go there by any stretch, but I've known him 30 years and consider him my friend. However, there's a hell of a lot of voters in the 9th District who HAVEN'T known him 30 years and may not be so willing to stay with him if he votes for anything less than the public option.

Steve, we know you believe it's the best plan; all we ask is that you stand up and block anything less from coming out of Congress. Your constituents demand it, and the very people you have always stood for in the past are COUNTING on it.

A bill without a public option is no reform at all, and I know you know that. Let's make sure everyone else does, too.

Finally, I steal this comment from Mr. Conspiracy at the Pesky Fly post, because it sums everything up for me:

What makes you think that if they sell out on a public option, they won't sell out on any other real reform? What makes you think that we won't end up with a bill that mandates we all buy private insurance whether we can afford it or not? What makes you think we won't end up with a bill that is nothing more than a huge giveaway to the insurance companies. The stock market certainly sees that possibility.

The public option forces all those other changes to take place. Without the public option, I suspect this will be nothing but a TARP plan for the insurance companies - funneling tax money directly into their pockets without any regulation or oversight.

You can't expect to influence asshole Senate Democrats to sign on as long as they have cover to not vote for the thing. As long as you give total power to Republicans, Blue Dogs and Joe Lieberman to kill any bill they don't like, you have nothing to bargain with. Only with the threat of mutually assured political destruction will we get a bill that actually addresses the problems. If Obama knows that he gets no bill without breaking one of the coalitions, he will bring he guns to bear on the weakest point. Signing the pledge strengthens our position. Not signing - signalling a willingness to compromise - will assure that when the time comes, Obama's big guns will be aimed at us, not the blue dogs, not the Conservative dems in the senate, who are the actual obstructionists and have alreayd shown their complete willingness to let people die for lack of healthcare.



Sharon Cobb said...

I posted earlier, and I don't know what happened.

Anyhow, Cooper was tv this morning, and I posted about that.

I hope my other post appears.

Anyhow, Cooper bragged about stopping the President.

MickeyWhite said...

You are not going to 'stay' with him? Please, give me a break. I predict come November 2010 you will push the "Steve Cohen" button.

Steve Steffens said...

Now, you know better, it's not me he has to worry about...

callmeishmael said...

Three matters: first, are you and other liberal bloggers REALLY willing to sacrifice those "Other(s)"you claim to champion at the altar of doing nothing so you can maintain your ideological sense of what is "right?" I am not saying that passing a bill without a public option is better than doing nothing. I am asking you and your fellows to think through what you are saying vis a vis those you have claimed to support for years.
Second, you folks have been howling about "primarying" John Tanner or Bart Gordon or Junior for as long as I have known the Cracker. When push comes to shove, however, and when someone does step up--say like Walter Evans against Sr. in 1986--you pooh, pooh their chances and do nothing short of maybe voting for them. If Cohen's lack of purity causes you to threaten a primary opponent, you had better start thinking about which one of you is actually willing to challenge him.
Third, I remember bellowing and screaming about not voting for Junior against Corker in the 2006 general given his support for torture legislation, the credit card and bankruptcy bill and his general sticking it to the Memphis left wing various and assundry groups who have now become bloggers. I might remind the Cracker for whom he publicly mentioned as having voted for when he actually got into the booth.

Lisa said...

Liberal bloggers are sacrificing no one. You have the situation completely backwards.

It's the Blue Cross Dems who want to give away more power to the insurance companies, who have been committing murder by spreadsheet for years.

Liberal bloggers are the ones trying to stop them, the public option is the only plan that leaves no one behind.

callmeishmael said...

How does a public option do so? How is hoping for the failure of a reform bill that does not meet your exact specifications not, in fact, sacrificing those you, the Cracker and the other left wing bloggers claim to care about?
Even if you get a public option, poor people still will have to buy a policy within it. In so doing, they will have to depend on the same government that is now on the verge again of cancelling one of its most successful programs in recent memory (cash for clunkers) to make caring, rational decisions about their health care. If it can't continue a workable program that is eveidently a simple process with clear guidelines, how can anyone dealing with illness expect anything other than a complex, bureaucratic monstrosity: much like we have now.
With respect for your person and your views, I think left wing bloggers are doing little more than forwarding an unworkable solution and ideology.

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