Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pass the Bill. Now.

This morning congressional Democrats are talking about killing their year-in-the-making health care bill because Martha Coakley lost in Massachusetts. This would be the stupidest thing they have ever done.

Well, maybe not as stupid as spending months talking to Mike Enzi about health care reform. Or dithering until history could call Olympia Snowe. (I guess that was actually a wrong number.)

But it will be stupid nonetheless. A year ago, a generation watched as the president we elected pledged to change the nation. He brought with him sweeping majorities in both houses and a mandate to fix things. A year later, an entire generation is being told that our votes matter less than those of a few cranky Red Sox fans. The Senate health care reform is not perfect--far from it. But it represents a vast improvement over the status quo, and the willingness of Democrats to scuttle it over a single election--to give up Ted Kennedy's dream, essentially, because Ted died!--is shameful. If we cannot face down a few foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans, why should the American people trust us to face down tougher challenges?

Pass the bill. Do it today. Do it proudly, with heads held high, knowing you are on the right side of history. Campaign that way, never apologizing, praising the merits of the bill, reminding people of all the good it contains and all the problems it will fix. THAT is how you win elections. And even if we still lose in least Dems will have done something with the mandate given in 2008. Something lasting. Something real. Something for the history books. Anything else will be a disappointment that a generation, ready and willing to be Democrats for life if only the party earns that loyalty, will not soon forget.


オテモヤン said...
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The Grim Reefer said...

you must feel awfully silly now

Richard said...

Not really. Did they take my advice? No. Did they win in 2010? No. The Republicans continue to foam at the mouth and until recently Democrats, up to and including Obama, continued to cower in fear. Hopefully they will realize, in the next year, that you can't expect people to rally around your positions unless you actually bother to explain why they're better than those of the opposition and don't back down in the face of lies.