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Joe Bageant's friend on the mandate

Joe Bageant gets letters:

1) If folks can't afford to reroof the Old Manse or buy groceries or put retreads on the Jimmy, how (and why) are they going to get insurance, and

2) If they can't afford insurance, how are they going to afford the alleged fine, and

3) Who is the Insurance Police, who's going to rat me out, and

4) Why did The Bastards wait until the whole country is unemployed to pull this shit, and...

wait for it:

5) Who elected these boobs -- wait, I have a long-standing soft spot for boobs; make that "idiots" -- anyway, and supposedly to act in our interests? Not me.

Me either. But I really do wish I had some place to go.

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chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i have a soft spot for boobs too, but my understanding is they aren't supposed to have that effect on boys.

/rimshot/

primaries are where we're supposed to go, lb. it's that or completely dropping out, at this point. as i wrote recently in an op-ed, the HCR movement can take a page from the gay rights folks, who've had real success on the marriage equality front in a number of surprising places. state by state efforts, and city efforts in librul enclaves- it may be more possible to get what we need from smaller govt entities than the federal one. now, this is hard on people who live in hopeless red states/zones, but really, it's the time for everyone to make hard choices. i'm just talking out loud, but i can't help but wonder if a movement to bring single payer to the states, one or two at a time, might be more effective.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

It's easier to swing a cheaper local race than a national one.

On a national level, I do think where primaries aren't successful, we should consider running a third party candidate in a race where it could swing the result (note - third party does not have to win to have an effect, just has to get enough votes to scare the hell out of the Dem so he/she cravenly sucks up to our side). For example, I think Max Baucus could be vulnerable to a primary, but also to a third party National Healthcare Candidate. Montana has an active single payer base, is small and relatively cheap in terms of advertising. Schweitzer won as governor, in part, by taking older Montanans to Canada for drugs. So it's not your typical right-wing state on healthcare issues. Republicans who might never vote for a Democrat, might be persuaded to cast a protest vote (not the really insane ones, but the disenchanted, bitter ones who love Medicare but hate the government).

If a couple of National Healthcare candidates did even remotely well, it would get attention.

Otherwise, I agree - primary, primary, primary.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i live in a state in which the Old Powers are still entrenched, and holding up a lot of progressive change simply because of the way the Machine works here, for all it no longer represents "the people" or the interests of the majority. that is going to change here, mainly b/c the auto industry has fucked itself, but it'll be a while before populism here can take a viable political form and fight successfully with the establishment.

but less populous states are a different story, as well as those which are solidly blue. which is to say: i agree with you. it's really, really cheap and easy to swing a small state race: gov, sen, house, state, etc. on the scale of things, it's sort of amazing, just how cheap it can be. let's compare, say, how much it costs to run ads for Lamont, a "progressive" in a state like CT, compared to what MaxTax spent to retain his incumbency. i'm betting smart money applied well could take out a host of Blue Cross Dogs and even winger reps in smaller "markets" with a minimum of prog money.

really, it makes me a little crazy, but mostly disappointed. as i'm fond of saying, "progressives" will never win in the SCLM arena, never compete with Village lobbying $$$ for hookers and blow. those are games we lose just by playing, if you know what i mean. but compare and contrast to "small" movements. i mean, how in the fuck does Iowa pass marriage equality before, say, NYC??? think about that. even in solidly "red" states/munis, i think there's a chance to take populist anger on "both sides" and turn it into something constructive. "let's all have health care, regardless of who we are!" seems a powerful motivator in many communities i can imagine, esp if a simple, logical path to paying for such is outlined to voters on the initiative to accomplish that.

Avedon recently put up a link to someone who wrote, paraphrasing, "never in my life has the Village been more out of touch with the reality of the vast majority of people in this country" and that's more or less what i believe. that includes "A-List" bloggers, talking bobbleheads on the SCLM, and the Village-based directors and execs of "our" major prog orgs. fuck those people. they live in a world of their own, and we can't really change that, short of violent revolution. we can have an impact on our own communities, our neighbors, or state reps and local govs. clearly, we're going to "lose" this round of national HCR. we here all know why. the question is: where can we "win?" and how has that been done before?

communities like SF, VT, cities and states with programs for the elderly and children...those are our models. again, it's very similar to marriage equality fighters, except that in the case of health care, i guaran-fucking-tee you that there will *not* be a backlash to repeal reform, once enough children/families/old people/whomever actually enjoy the freedom of civilized coverage. once people understand how nice that is, they never go back. cf medicare, VA care, etc.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

My brother is basically a conservative/libertarian (mostly because he's in an income bracket where that helps his taxes and his bonuses). But he's the one who asked me why we didn't simply bailout Wall Street by bailing out homeowners - making their bad debt good, solves a lot more problems for a lot less money. He can see that because it isn't a "political" issue for him, it's simply one of not being a member of the corrupt elite.

Ian Welsh said recently that the left is the most dangerous political group in America - just look at all the resources the GOP, media, Obama and the Democrats put into sidelining it. And the reason we're dangerous is not ideological, per se. It's because we offer solutions to the problems real America faces and that's all most people care about. The real divide is between the elites and everybody else and we're the only folks offering policy solutions for the everybody else. Which is why, IMO, there's so much focus on "partisanship" - it's to keep everyone rallying around their jersey and not uniting to throw the corporatists of whatever party out.

Alan Grayson, after all, is from a Republican district.

There's always going to be the problem of keeping them honest once they get in power. But we have to start somewhere.

Submitted by lambert on

The progressive blogs are all reinforcing partisanship, so how is it possible that partisanship works against policy solutions that actually work?

[rimshot. laughter]