20 July 2009

Blue-Dogs are Weakening the Mandate

Blue-dog Democrats, The Gang of Six, turncoats, whatever; I have a name for them but the social compact and my own innate sense of decorum prevents me from using it here, are the Democrats who are doing their utmost to stymie health care reform.

Here we are, at the payoff point of a very hard fought victory at the polls where Americans overwhelmingly voted for and mandated change and in poll-after-poll voice their desire for health care reform even to the extent that they would accept a tax increase to pay for it, and we have so-called Democrats trying to scuttle the process.

Fine. Let them have their way. There is always 2010. We have waited this long for health care reform and we can wait another year or two. Let's make 2010 about health care reform. Let's put single-payer right back on the table where it belongs after gutless blue-dogs and other finger-in-the-air Democrats took it off. Imagine in 2010 getting elected anywhere other than Lauderdale County Mississippi on a platform of "I helped kill health care reform".

Personally, I am impatient with mediocrity, and am damned sick and tired of weak-kneed gradualism and incremental "progress". The Republicans did not achieve what they achieved through incrementalism. They staked out positions on the extreme right, fought for them with savage zeal, and only pulled back slightly when they had no other choice--and that is part of how they moved the country to the right.

Now some Democrats seem to believe that being slightly right of center is being on the left. It is not--it is being on the right along with the likes of Kay Bailey-Hutchison and other Republicans. When your starting point is on the right of center, you're going to be pulled further to the right.

It is way past time for progressive Democrats to gut-up and purge the old-guard and blue-dogs. It is time for a new progressive order in the Democratic Party, here in Texas particularly, that support things such as health care reform, regulation of the electric and gas companies, support of basic human rights, and supporting the safety nets which should protect older people and working families.

This will not be accomplished through apologia, reason, charm and collegial discussion. It can only be accomplished by progressives mobilizing and energizing to take over at the precinct levels. We do that, and if necessary make 2010 about health care, then we will have taken back our country and state. Right now...it's still their's and this health care reform fight is proof of how far we have yet to go.

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