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Thread: Progressive 'line in the sand' over public option evaporating already?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Progressive 'line in the sand' over public option evaporating already?

    *snort*

    As always.

    It was somewhat disconcerting when Donna Edwards would not confirm to the Hill this week that she would vote against any bill through conference that did not have a public plan:

    Edwards, who signed the letter, declined to speculate on whether she would vote against a conference bill without a strong public option.

    "That's a long way down the line," Edwards said. "I am talking about the House vote."



    So Howie Klein asked her if she'd like to clarify that. Donna released a statement, saying she is "unequivocal, unwavering, and unapologetic" about supporting a public option. But:

    It is important that we stay focused on getting a robust public option included in the House version of the bill-- nothing watered down. As a progressive member of the House of Representatives, I can't spend time guessing or speculating about what the Senate will do. I do know that if we don't do our work to get a strong bill out of the House, we won’t be able to beg, borrow or steal a robust public option from the Senate.



    Uh -- Rep. Edwards signed a letter on August 17. This is what it said:

    We have attached, for your review, a letter from 60 Members of Congress who are firm in their Position that any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the President's signature, MUST contain a public option.


    That's more than "speculated," that's a commitment. Through conference. That's why all those people gave all that money through ActBlue.

    We're not stupid. That letter said what it said because we're coming to understand the process and your steak sauce techniques. We knew you would try to use that distinction well before you said it. And we know you'll try to tell us later on that "it was this or nothing... and you don't want nothing, do you?" Everyone has known it all along. It's the standard operating procedure for Congressional progressives. That's why we specified we needed something different this time. And it's why the side of "no you can't" always wins, even in the face of overwhelming electoral victory for "yes we can."

    No, we don't want nothing. We want what we want. We want what was in the letter you signed.

    We've been living with "better than nothing" for years now, on the assumption that something really was better than nothing, and that nothing really was the only alternative to something.

    How's it working out for you? How's that economy going? Lots of jobs and clean air and health care in your districts? Yeah? Lots of "something," but also lots of grousing that your people are still living like they're getting nothing.

    Time to start thinking about what it means to lay "nothing" at the feet of the people who tell you it's your only other choice. Let's have the question, for once, be whether "something they don't like much" isn't really better than "getting blamed for delivering nothing."

    That only works if people think you'll really do it. And right now, even your biggest fans don't really think you'll do it.

    I can't even imagine the fire you're going to bring down on yourselves if you ask for thanks in the form of money, then pocket the cash and fold.

    UPDATE: I should add that I understand where Donna's coming from on the conference being a long way off. The three House committee bills still need to be unified, Senate Finance hasn't finished and when it does, that still needs to be unified with the HELP bill. And after that, the two houses need to pass their bills, and only then will we see what's in the conference report. And I did make mention of this in the Saturday panel I participated in at Netroots Nation, noting that there was every chance that progressives would come back and say that "all the essential elements and benefits" of a public option -- whatever that may be -- are in the bill, sorta, so... you know... why not?

    That's about what I expect. And we can, I suppose, talk about how much of what we wanted is enough. That's the calculus every Member has to go through, and it can be impossible to predict.

    But remember that we're talking bargaining strategy here, not substantive legislating. You use the bargaining power to get that substance. Going into the process with a scholarly "we'll see" is an instant signal to the other parties that you're going to be riding in the back, probably taking the hump seat, letting someone else drive and take shotgun.

    You, uh... shouldn't do that.

    UPDATE 2: Regarding the sentiment that Edwards or anyone else in particular ought to be punished in some way, I have two things to say. First, it's not my ActBlue page, and not my fundraising campaign, so I certainly can't make the call there. And second, if this money is supposed to be connected to deeds and not words, well then, as Edwards says, that's a long way off. I would advise holding the wheel steady, and using the time we have to talk this through with Edwards and the others on the list. If we want their rhetoric to change and their behavior along with it, I'd advise staying engaged. And if you feel wronged in the end, well, then you have something. If you feel a refund is warranted, go for it. But if you're donating and refunding, donating and refunding over and over with each TV appearance, well, that's not going to make you look like much of a player, I don't think.

    Daily Kos: The health care conference dodge begins
    no spine, can't ever commit. As always.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Donna Edwards is just one person. Here's a more complete list:
    FDL Action: Whip It! Day 58

    By: Marisa McNee Friday August 21, 2009 5:58 am

    Standing Up for the Public Option has raised over $300,000.00. Amazing....

    Took the Pledge
    1. Emanuel
      Cleaver II
    2. Lloyd Doggett
    3. Donna Edwards
    4. Keith
      Ellison
    5. Bob Filner
    6. Barney Frank
    7. Raul
      Grijalva
    8. Phil
      Hare
    9. Rush
      Holt
    10. Carolyn Maloney
    11. Jerrold
      Nadler
    12. Chelle Pingree
    13. Lynn
      Woolsey
    14. Robert
      Wexler
    15. Maxine
      Waters
    Only With
    "Robust"
    1. Earl Blumenauer
    2. Corrine Brown
    3. Andre Carson
    4. Judy Chu
    5. Yvette Clarke
    6. William Lacy Clay
    7. John Conyers
    8. Elijah Cummings
    9. Peter DeFazio
    10. Bill Delahunt
    11. Lloyd Doggett
    12. Sam Farr
    13. Chaka Fattah
    14. Marcia Fudge
    15. Luis Gutierrez
    16. Jane
      Harman
    17. Alcee Hastings
    18. Maurice Hinchey
    19. Mazie Hirono
    20. Mike Honda
    21. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
    22. Sheila Jackson Lee
    23. Eddie Bernice Johnson
    24. Hank Johnson
    25. Marcy Kaptur
    26. Carolyn Kirkpatrick
    27. Dennis Kucinich
    28. Barbara Lee
    29. Eric Massa
    30. Jim McDermott
    31. Jim McGovern
    32. Gwen Moore
    33. Grace Napolitano
    34. John Olver
    35. Bill Pascrall
    36. Donald Payne
    37. Lucille Roybal-Alard
    38. Laura Richardson
    39. Linda Sanchez
    40. Jose Serrano
    41. Albio Sires
    42. Jackie Speier
    43. Pete Stark
    44. Bennie Thompson
    45. John Tierney
    46. Ed Towns
    47. Diane Watson
    48. Mel Watt
    49. Anthony Weiner
    50. Nydia Valezquez
    51. John Yarmuth
    PP Weasel Words
    1. Neil Abercrombie
    2. Joe Baca
    3. John
      Boccieri
    4. Bobby Bright
    5. Russ Carnahan
    6. Steve Cohen
    7. Gerry Connolly
    8. Joe
      Courtney
    9. Rosa
      DeLauro
    10. Jim Himes
    11. Steny Hoyer
    12. Jay Inslee
    13. Steve Israel
    14. Patrick
      Kennedy
    15. Sander Levin
    16. Ben Ray Lujan
    17. Kendrick Meek
    18. Zach Space
    19. Gary Peters
    "Open to
    Anything"
    1. Leonard Boswell
    2. GK Butterfield
    3. Lincoln
      Davis
    4. Susan Davis
    5. Charles Gonzalez
    6. Sander Levin
    7. Dan Lipinski
    8. Mike Ross
    Campaign Silo » FDL Action: Whip It! Day 58

  3. #3
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Also:
    Donna Edwards (and others) could learn a thing or two from Jerry Nadler

    By: Eve (nyceve) Gittelson Sunday August 23, 2009 10:16 am

    Several months ago, I helped persuade encourage Jerry Nadler to take the whip count pledge. So I'm particularly thrilled to see that's he's standing firm as iron these days. From the way he's talking, he's a changed man--delighted he took the pledge, and knowing full well the critical nature of the pledge project.

    And for anyone with lingering doubts that the path to securing the public option runs right through the House, Nadler's resolve is what the Whip Count Project is all about.

    Nadler was interviewed the other day by PolitickerNY, a local New York newspaper about the public option. Here's some of what he said.

    Thanks to our hard work and fierce push back, Nadler is feeling much more optimistic:
    But now a key Congressional backer of the public option believes his side may have regained some momentum.
    “I’m probably a little more optimistic than a couple of days ago, because of the strength of the pushback,” Representative Jerry Nadler told me in an interview yesterday.
    A Senate bill with no public option won't pass the House:
    At the time, Nadler and his colleagues were upset at a Pelosi-backed compromise with conservative Democrats that watered down the public option in the House version of health care legislation. But last weekend’s developments suggested that the White House was ready to go one step further and junk the public option altogether.

    That sparked a vocal backlash from Nadler and his allies.
    “If they try to get a bill through the Senate with 60 votes without a public option, it won’t pass the House,” he said. “We will make sure it doesn’t pass the House.”
    Drawing a line in the damn sand (also known as voting no against any bill without a public option):
    “We’ve got to draw the line somewhere,” he added. “And this is where we’re drawing it. And we have to draw it here. We probably should have drawn it a little closer in.”

    So what happens, I asked Nadler, if the House is ultimately presented with a bill with a cop-op provision instead of a public option—and if the White House and House leadership then tell progressives that it was the best they could do and that if it fails, the Obama presidency might be sunk?

    “They can’t allow it to come to that situation, because I’ll vote no,” he replied. “They cannot allow it to get there, and that’s what we’re telling them now. If it comes to that, enough members, I think, will vote no. And they certainly don’t want to test that.”
    Got that, Donna? Got that, Rahm? Got that, Max? Got that, Kent? Got that, Harry? Got that, Mr. President?
    Campaign Silo » Donna Edwards (and others) could learn a thing or two from Jerry Nadler

  4. #4
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    You tell 'em Jerry. No co-op!
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