Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Where were the protests FOR health care reform?

with 2 comments

Where was this passion FOR health care reform?

The House and Senate are conferencing over the health care reform bill, with a strong push to get something to President Barack Obama for him to sign.

Liberals and conservatives hate it for diametrically opposed reasons, but united in wishing something else were coming down the pike.

Given the strong vocal support in every major poll for the public option, politicians seemed reticent to jump in and support the public option. Usually, politicians flock to support something that has high popularity ratings.

However, we forget sometimes that politicians are swayed in part due to public reaction. Visible public reaction.

We saw the teabaggers, the disrupted town halls — the visual images lasted long after the noise died down. But there was no strong push from the other side.

Yes, there were protests in favor of health care reform. If you looked very carefully, you could find examples of those on the left publicly protesting in favor of health care reform. But you didn’t see those images on the 6 O’Clock News.

To sway those on the fence or those who couldn’t tell a public option from a financial option, there needed to be visible, loud reminders that our health care system, despite what Rush Limbaugh says, is in tatters.

And they weren’t there.

What the Left forgets quite often is that the battle has to be won in the public eye. Conservatives get this, with large organized groups running teabagger events designed to look spontaneous, even when they weren’t.

Not every mind will get changed with protest, and even if there were a few protests, getting the MSM to take left-wing protests seriously is a harder mountain to climb. Notice how eager the MSM was to cover the right-wing protests. Fox News Channel went out of its way to promote the teabaggers, but more legitimate news sources covered them aggressively, and certainly with more intensity than liberal protesters.

But liberals made it easy for the MSM and even progressive media to ignore their concerns. Teabaggers were out in April, but there was little heard from the pro-reform side. The town hall criers were out in August, but barely a peep from the other side.

When the poll numbers for reform were crashing, the blame was placed on the concept. In reality, the politicians who danced around the public option, who tried diligently to defeat it — they brought on the poll number decline.

And even when all of that happened, the pro-reform voices felt silenced.

Those on the left seemed like they thought everything was over when Barack Obama was elected and there were 60 Democrats in the Senate. This is when the process should have started.

Voting for your favorite candidate isn’t enough. Those on the Right work 24/7/365 for their causes; if the Left falls short, well, it’s easy to see who will “win.” And the rest of us who need better health care lose in the process.

A lack of marketing savvy plagued the left in the battle for health care reform. Those who follow politics knew what the “public option” was, but those watching from afar heard different stories as to what that meant.

Even before teabagger took on a new meaning in the political lexicon, the Left should have been in the streets with simple signs featuring one strong message: Medicare for All.

The Right may have been clueless as to what their signs were about, or even how to spell the words on their signs, but their enthusiasm was something the MSM couldn’t miss and wouldn’t turn away from. This cost the Left the momentum in the debate, but they never really understood the need for momentum.

When health care needs to be reformed (again) down the road — and it will — use this as a guide for how to do it right, next time.

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Written by democracysoup

January 8, 2010 at 12:04 am

Posted in health care reform

2 Responses

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  1. Is Obama’s heath reform finished?

    Jon Taylor

    January 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

  2. Excellent work! Those guys at your competition (I don’t need to say who) don’t even have a clue! Keep em coming! I have a Political Humor site of my own at White Rabbit Cult… I will place a link back to your blog. Thanks!

    political satires

    February 11, 2010 at 7:48 am


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