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Democracy ain’t pretty

sausage-making

Once again I find myself reluctant to get my tightie-whities in a twist the way I’m told a good liberal is supposed to do:

ThinkProgress reported today on the growing number of angry right-wing activists viciously harassing Democratic, as well as moderate Republican, members of Congress on health care reform. Jonathan Cohn wrote that these tactics represent “classic astroturf organizing, in some cases bankrolled by the health care industry.” The insurance industry is sending staff members to over 30 states to “confront” lawmakers about health care reform. Simultaneously, Cohn writes, the health care industry will use the August recess to “flood the airwaves with ads picking apart reform legislation.” Indeed, AHIP, the lobbying juggernaut for the health insurance industry, has promised to change its tone and begin running negative ads on reform soon.

ThinkProgress sat down today with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to discuss efforts by the health insurance industry and the right wing to derail health reform. Asked about the recent ambushes at town halls, Durbin expressed confidence that his “colleagues won’t fall for a sucker-punch like this”

First of all, any blogger who didn’t see this coming needs to turn in their keyboard. “GOP and health insurance industry unite to oppose health care reform” is as predictable as “wild bear shits in the woods.” This not only should have been foreseen but planned for by anyone who was really trying to change our current health care clusterf**k.

This is why I knew we were screwed as soon as I heard the announcement that single payer was off the table. Well, actually I knew we were screwed when the DNC/RBC stole the nomination from Hillary and gave it to Obama, the single payer announcement just confirmed it. If somebody REALLY wanted to reform health care they wouldn’t take the best option away before they even started.

Instead of single payer we get something that should be called the “Health Insurance Industry Protection Act,” with a consolation prize of “public option” that isn’t really public option. Sorry, but real ponies don’t oink.

So now I’m supposed to be outraged because the Republicans and the health insurance industry are exercising their legal rights by trying to block some shitty legislation that wasn’t worth getting excited about in the first place?  I don’t think so.

This brings me to my final point.  Take another look at the first two sentences in that quote from Think Progress:

ThinkProgress reported today on the growing number of angry right-wing activists viciously harassing Democratic, as well as moderate Republican, members of Congress on health care reform. Jonathan Cohn wrote that these tactics represent “classic astroturf organizing, in some cases bankrolled by the health care industry.”

Which one is it – “angry right-wing activists” or “astroturf organizing?”  It seems like every time the GOP tries to organize themselves in opposition to anything the Obamacrats are doing  it gets called astroturfing.  I guess all those people that showed up at the Tea Party rallies weren’t real people, they were just paid operatives.

What’s that you say?  The rallies and this current strategy were ginned up by the GOP and in some cases funded by special interests?  Well no shit!

Weren’t the Obama bloggers just recently gushing over their exclusive conference call with Teh Precious on the topic of health care reform?  Didn’t they tell us how His Supreme Hopenchanginess commanded them to go forth and spread the word?

I find it highly amusing and hypocritical that the Sippy-Kup Kidz of the Kool-aid Kingdom are upset about the Republicans doing a little community organizing of their own.  The Failbots apparently thought that they had a monopoly on Alinsky’s methodology too.

Don’t get me wrong, I think most of these tea-partying Republican radicals are ignorant twits.  But then again, so are most Obama supporters.  I don’t belong to either tribe, but the Democrats do bring back fond memories and some of them claim to want the same things that I do.  However right now the Democrats have a bad plan, bad message and bad leadership.

Currently it’s all about defeating and demonizing Republicans, winning elections and passing meaningless or bad legislation just to claim victory.  The agenda is tribalism, not policy.  Policy should determine strategy and strategy should determine tactics.  Right now tactics determine strategy and strategy determines policy.

I want to see genuine health care reform – single payer.  I’m not gonna get all excited fighting for something I don’t even want, and I’m damn sure not playing this game anymore:

1107charlie_brown_lucy_football


UPDATE:

Let’s take this from the NY Times in pieces:

Health Plan Opponents Make Voices Heard

Senator Arlen Specter and the health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, were heckled and booed in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Are they sure those are connected?  I’m pretty sure Specter and Sebelius get booed all the time.  If they don’t, they should.

The protests, organized by loose-knit coalition of conservative voters and advocacy groups, were a raucous start to what is expected to be weeks of political and ideological clashes over the health care overhaul President Obama is trying to push through Congress.

The conservative groups, including FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, are harnessing social networking Web sites to organize their supporters in much the same way Mr. Obama did during his election campaign. Democrats said they expected supporters of the health care overhaul to mobilize against Republican events later in the month.

Don’t Facebook and Twitter belong to Obama?  Letting the Republicans use them is sacrilege!

Republicans, however, seemed to get the early jump, in part because Democrats, who hold the majority in Congress, have scheduled numerous events, including forums and town-hall-style meetings, to discuss the proposed health care legislation with constituents.

So the Democrats scheduled meetings and the Republicans showed up?  Wow!  Couldn’t see that coming.

BTW – why does the NYT assume that all the protesters are Republicans?  There are a lots of pissed of liberal Democrats out there too.

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