Monday, March 01, 2010

Memo to the White House: Dump the DINOs or Pay the Price in November

Progressives are pushing back against the DINOs (Democrats in name only) in the Democratic Party along with the White house’s stubborn support for them. Yes, it’s a good thing that the White House is finally getting off the dime and moving toward passage of desperately needed healthcare reforms without the obstructionist Republicans.

But President Obama’s posture continues to baffle. His Republican healthcare chum, Olympia Snowe, told him to take a hike, refusing to attend the White House healthcare summit. During all this time wasted courting Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi and the DINOs, the President could have used his clout to twist some Democratic arms into accepting the public option, or at least negotiate better concessions. Instead, the President came away with precisely the wrong message, that the public option is some sort of ideological cause célebre for progressives rather than good public policy that stands to reduce the deficit even further.

Water under the bridge. The time for reckoning has come.

Among the DINOs, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas was boldly intransigent in blocking the public option despite repeated polls in her state that gave the public option solid majorities. Now progressives, the netroots -- derided by Chris Matthews who used his program Hardball as a platform to bash the public option -- have launched a dump Lincoln/draft Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter drive, raising substatial funds for Halter's campaign even before he made his challenge. The netroots message to candidates contemplating a challenge to DINOs was support healthcare reform and the public option and the netroots will have your back. Lt. Governor Halter has officially tossed his hat into the ring. Did the netroots have a role in nudging Halter? Hard to say, but the money’s real. Certainly Matthews’s obstreperous outbursts and techy asides are fundraising boosters.

Matthews’s delusional argument is that the netroots are now trying to defeat “centrist” Democrats like Lincoln. Wrong, Chris! First, corporatist is not centrist. Second, the public option is good public policy; it is neither left nor right. His interrogation of Dr. Dean was not only transparent but utterly ridiculous. The so-called “weakness” in Dr. Dean’s position is not yet apparent, yet Chris continues to go over that waterfall and keeps coming back for more. Realistically, Matthews should do that promo drenched to the bone. It’s his show. So far the netroots have raised $400,000 for Halter’s campaign out of a 500K goal for the week. Thanks for your support, Chris; keep saying stupid things!

Here’s a new anti-Lincoln pro-Halter ad:

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