I haven’t written much about politics here recently – both because I felt I wasn’t adding much to the conversation, and because I never blog quite fast enough to keep up with the story. It’s possible that by the time a lot of you read this, the situation will have resolved itself one way or the other; at this point, it’s tough to make predictions.
The election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat wasn’t, in and of itself, a great setback. But what was utterly demoralizing was the craven, cowardly, and chaotic way that Democrats on the Hill responded. Suddenly, the entire fate of health-care reform seemed doomed. Barney Frank and a number of liberal Congressmen announced they couldn’t support passing the Senate’s version of the bill. And health-care reform – which is, at this very moment, one single fucking roll-call vote away from passage - seemed more and more to be DOA.
It was a disgusting performance. I’ve been following politics closely for nearly a decade, and this is the most despondent – the most furious – the most ashamed I have ever felt. I voted for these people. I worked to put them there. And they have done worse than fail – they’ve run away before having the chance to fail.
So: I’m asking all of you, if you support the cause of health-care reform at all, then call your Congressman. Use a phone, not email, if you want them to actually listen. Call during business hours – it’s 3:30 on the West Coast, but I only got an answering machine in Mike Thompson’s office. The House switchboard number is (202) 224-3121, but you can also just go to your Congressman’s website and find the number for their DC office.
Call them and tell them: pass the Senate’s version of the bill. Tell them: this is your change to save millions of lives, to elevate tens of millions of people from suffering.
Tell them: this is the single greatest liberal cause of the last century, andto not pass it is to commit mass political suicide. Tell them: you already voted for the thing! And you will get attacked for the vote, regardless of whether it passes.
Tell them: If you walk away from this, I won’t give a single vote or dollar or hour of my time to help any Democratic candidate in 2010 or 2012. I won’t vote for people who won’t fight for me. I won’t vote for cowards.
Tell them: pass the damn bill.