Okay, so here’s how it works.
The Senate version of health care reform absolutely sucks, and progressives need to oppose it as loudly and effectively as they can, even threatening to torpedo health care reform entirely if there aren’t some pretty big changes. And then we all have to bite our tongues and support the final bill that comes out of conference, even if it largely resembles that sucky Senate bill.
Why? Because as sucky as it is compared to what we all wanted, it’s a helluva lot better than what the American people have now. And, if you think the Democrats are going to have a larger majority in either House after 2010, especially after failing to pass health reform, then you’re smoking crack.
The Democrats are going to lose seats in 2010, because that’s the natural order of things for the party in control of the White House during off year elections, and because many of the seats we picked up in 2006 and 2008 are seats the Republicans never should have lost. (ID-01 a Democratic stronghold? Enjoy your crack.) And as President Clinton learned in 1994, promising to deliver on health care only to fall flat on your face, doesn’t much help at the polls.
You want Obama to fail? Reject health care reform. You want the Democrats to lose a ton of seats in 2010? Reject health care reform. You want to stop insurance companies from denying you coverage due to pre-existing conditions, or dropping your coverage once you get sick? Well, even the sucky Senate bill does that.
Yeah, I know that conservative Dems and insurance industry shills like Lieberman have us over a barrel, and that totally sucks, but that’s the way it is. We lost this debate when Ned Lamont lost in the general, and there’s just not much we can do about it at the moment.
So I’ve got no problem with progressive Dems yelling and screaming and complaining, and doing everything they can to blow the damn thing up. Call your congressman and your senators and tell them they can kiss your vote goodbye if this is what comes out of conference. That’s what I’m planning to do.
But once the deal is done, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ll be flip-flopping faster than a flapjack on a hot griddle.
Cynical? Yeah, sorta. But that’s politics.