Look! In the Senate! It's...A "Progressive Pony" Fallacy!
I have a question for you, O Corrente Community. Have you, perchance, received an email like this recently?
As you probably know, the White House and Democratic Senate leaders caved to Joe Lieberman and took both the public health insurance option and Medicare expansion out of the health care bill.
That means no competition and no choice -- just a bailout of billions of dollars to the same insurance companies that caused our health-care crisis in the first place.
We have one more chance to change this bill. Progressives in Congress can say they will block any bill without a public health insurance option.
We'll deliver it to top progressive senators Russ Feingold (WI), Bernie Sanders (VT), Sherrod Brown (OH), and Al Franken (MN).
Without a public option, this bill doesn't change the structural, long-term problems with our health care system. Instead, it's a raw deal that the insurance companies love: mandating that millions of Americans buy their junk products.
All it takes is one hero.
If just one brave senator says they will block a final bill without a public option, that will force President Obama and Senator Harry Reid to make a choice. They can either force Joe Lieberman and other corporate Democrats to accept the public option OR they can pass the bill through "reconciliation," a Senate procedure that only needs 51 votes.
Joe Lieberman will become irrelevant -- and generations of Americans will thank the brave progressive Senator who fought for fundamental change.
All it takes is one -- one hero to step up and change history.
I really cannot believe that some of my liberal brethren and sistren still haven't clued themselves in to what is really going on in the Democratic Party. Here, let me explain.
You see, when Obama took over the DNC in 2008 (he was not even the nominee at the time, and it had never been done before, but hey! who cares about such petty technicalities), he did so in order to gather all the Democratic Party fundraising into his own coffers and consolidate the ideology and power into his hands. As dedicated Obama cheerleader Ezra Klein co-wrote in the American Prospect:
...some feared the Obama phenomenon--the millions of young people passionate about his campaign, the thousands who have lined roadsides just to wave at the Illinois senator's motorcade--had become a force unto itself, indifferent to the fortunes of the traditional Democratic Party, unbound by a commitment to progressive ideology, and wholly dependent on the character of Barack Obama. As blogger Matt Stoller writes on OpenLeft.com, "Power and money in the Democratic Party is being centralized around a key iconic figure. [Obama] is consolidating power within the party."
This was a new critique of Obama: not that he was beyond parties but that he had personalized them. That rather than building the Democratic Party, he was building an Obama Party, with all the good and bad that that centralization entailed...
Of course, since this piece was co-written by Ezra Klein, the rest of the article pooh-poohs the very real and obvious problems that a personality-based Obama Party, beyond "progressive ideology" (whatever the hell that's supposed to be), could cause.
And here we are, thanks to millions of "progressives" like Klein and Bowers, in an era where the President controls not only the bully pulpit, but the coffers of the Democratic Party as well. We saw in the primaries how willing he was to use strong-arm techniques against Hillary's delegates. Do we really think that a Chicago Machine politician like Obama would fail to use these tactics on our "progressive" Congresscritters in order to force them to do his Reaganite will?
Of course he wouldn't. And of course, somehow, for some reason, they have all caved on the Senate bill. Every. Single. One. Of. Them - even those who said they believed in the Public Option Sparkle Pony and the rights of women to control their own bodies, like Massachusetts Senate nominee Martha Coakley, who has already thrown away her supposedly steadfast support for women's reproductive rights in order to support the bill.
But don't blame them. What choice did they have? Do you know how much MONEY it takes to win a Senate race? Some say at least $10 million. Where in the world would they get that kind of cash if not for the DNC and the DSCC?
So let me sum up. There is no chance IN HELL that any Senator or House Member, no matter how "progressive," is going to be able to stand up to Obama's agenda. The Democratic Party is now thoroughly bought, paid for and strong-armed, in the best Chicago tradition.
If we are ever going to break the stranglehold the corporatists have on both parties, we need to stop believing in "heros" and start doing things ourselves. We need to ally ourselves with groups that are outside of politics entirely and receive no funding from the DNC; groups like NOW, or PNHP. Perhaps we can even start our own Party, as Violet Socks and many others (including yours truly) are talking about over at Reclusive Leftist.
But for Goddess' sake, stop talking about how what we need to do, is elect more "progressives." Because once they get into Congress, they're going to be stuck doing exactly what Obama wants them to do - or they won't be back.
Yes, Virginia: There's no fucking pony.