Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Give 'Em Hell, Michael!

Michael Moore vents against the whiny Democrats who have capitulated to the Republicans on universal healthcare, promising to back it up with his considerable clout. If you're one of the spineless jellyfish DINOS who are in the pockets of the (W)ealth insurance industry opposing the public option, you should be more than a little concerned.

We've got your number and we're coming after you. We, the people, elected you to work for us. This means, first and foremost, responding to our overwhelming support for universal healthcare with choice and competition which includes a public option. Poll after poll demonstrates this.

As Michael said, "who the hell do you think you are?" If you do not stand up for what the people want, a strong public option, we'll find someone who will. That's a promise.

So let's get specific here. President Obama may "like" Olympia Snowe, but we don't. Senator Snowe has totally ignored the wishes of her constituents by opposing the public option. One day after her two NO votes against the public option, Democracy Corps conducted a survey of Maine residents with some harsh results for Snowe's position:

* By 50%-39% Maine voters say Republicans want Obama to fail;

* By 62%-29% Maine voters say Obama has made an effort to reach out to Republicans;

* By 64%-28% Maine voters say Snowe should vote for a good healthcare bill even if ALL Republicans oppose it, rather than only support a bipartisan bill; and, most significantly,

* By 62%-27% Maine voters prefer a public option over Snowe's proposed bait-and-switch "trigger" (52%-34%).

Olympia Snowe is becoming more obnoxious by the day. Not only has she stomped on her constituents' expressed desires, but she's really getting into her self-important role as the anointed Queen Bee of healthcare reform. Today she introduced an amendment to "assist" economically strapped states by stripping their most vulnerable Medicaid populations of life-sustaining benefits. Only the good Senator Rockefeller had the guts to rip into her; then, in keeping with weird Senate comity rules, said he wasn't impugning her motives. The day before, she had twice voted against the public option.

To hell with Olympia Snowe.

If Democrats cave to the false narrative that Senator Snowe is essential to a sucker's "bipartisan" bill, there will be hell to pay with their own constituents. We're not in a forgiving mood, and we're already lining up candidates who will challenge them in the primaries as real Democrats. When Michael Moore says he's joining the cause, they'd better listen.

Then there's Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, a true profile in cowardice. In a state that supports the public option by better than 3-2, Sen. Lincoln shifted from support of the public option to opposition in the space of one month: August. Polls show her running behind four Republican opponents. Lincoln's miscalculation is that no matter how many sweeteners the insurance industry has dealt her, she cannot out-Republican Republicans. Her only winning strategy is to stand her ground and run as a Democrat. If she does, we'll support her and she'll win. If she doesn't, we'll oppose her and she'll lose.

Sen. Lincoln, you know what to do. We'll be watching.

Senator Max Baucus's obssessive-compulsive BPD (Bipartisan Disorder) is getting to be tiresome as well. The result has been an execrable (W)ealth insurance giveaway bill. His sole virtue is that he's beaten back Republican filibuster attempts and seems determined to put this monstrosity out of its misery by reporting it out of Committee next week. Then it can hopefully be submerged by the Kennedy Democratic bill from Sen. Harkin's Health Committee.

Let's not forget Sen. Kent Conrad, who has shown himself increasingly to lean right on the fence he's been straddling. This is one DINO with a pronounced identity crisis who really needs to decide whose side he's on. His heartless support for the Snowe slam of easing states' financial burdens on the backs of their Medicaid populations was disgusting.

These are the most prominent villains of the healthcare debate currently unfolding in the Senate Finance Committee. The Republicans aren't mentioned because we know what they are -- they've introduced one outrageous amendment after another -- they're window dressing, a sinister peanut gallery of hideous mutants. It's these others, who for parochial and personal political calculations have joined the dark side, that we should target for political defeat. Ben Nelson, too. This guy's the dean of the DINOS, given his latest statements opposing the 50 + 1 reconciliation strategy.

Hell, the newest Democrat, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a supporter of the public option, is better than this crowd.

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