Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Reward leaders who believe in health care reform

with 2 comments

We fear when politicians do what they can to get elected, and not confront the issues where Americans need the power of Congress. But what if, for once, the two seemingly polarizing concepts came together and fought for positive change as one single entity.

What if the Democratic Party had passed a robust health care reform bill?

True, the Democrats — without help from the Republicans and let’s be blunt, some Democrats — might pass a health care bill in the spirit of American beer vs. European lager: very watered-down. But the pace and spirit and the way they went about it has damaged their brand in the eyes of the voters. Not for doing too much, but for not doing enough.

Look what not passing a health care bill has done to the Democratic Party. Really, could passing a robust bill be worse?

So in an election year, we have the party in power running scared after trouncing the opposition in the last election cycle. The pundits were talking about how the Republican Party was lamented, needing to pick up the pieces. All the Dems had to do to clinch the deal was pass a strong health care reform bill.

Oops.

There are some who believe that Dems passing a health care bill is worse than not passing one.  And these are not Republicans.

The last major act of political courage occurred in the mid-1960s when the Civil Rights Act was passed. The Democratic Party lost perhaps a generation of progress for their courageous stance, even if that courage involved bringing the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments back to their originally intended power.

So it’s easy to see why politicians will be afraid. And Dems were afraid the last time they tried to reform health care; and look what happened to their numbers.

What the mainstream pundits don’t understand is that voters punished the Democratic Party for NOT doing health care reform in 1994 and will again punish that party in 2010 for NOT doing health care reform.

If the Dems actually put together a really solid, budget-saving, actually helpful health care bill, and voters did punish them for it, I will commit some public humiliation of some kind.

But I don’t really have to worry. Nancy Pelosi is saying no public option, though that is subject to change another 9 times to go with the 54 changes so far.

Older politicians have been convinced that Americans really don’t want change, or at least positive impactful change. Americans have been receiving negative change for a long time, which is part of the reason why we are in the current mess.

And the hope for newcomers can be dashed, especially when they are as bizarre as Eric Massa.

But Americans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and even some who sat out of the election want someone to do something to help regular Americans. The anger of the people — not the mostly fake teabaggers — but the real anger stems from watching those say they will bring change and they don’t.

Say this about Republicans: they aren’t as likely to face this level of anger because they don’t actually promise to help people any more. Listen to their speeches. It’s just not there.

After disastrous Republican rule, Democrats come along and say “things will be different under us.” Bill Clinton did this in 1992 and Barack Obama also came through in 2008. Except things are worse in 2008 than 1992. And the needs of the American people are being ignored.

The first party that can figure out how to truly help Americans can be dominant in the political landscape for decades to come. In 1933, FDR decided this would be the Democratic Party, and they were in charge for 20 years.

Would the Democratic Party of 2010 like to do the same? You might think so. All they have to do is pass a strong health care bill.

The teabaggers won’t, even if they are the people who needs health care reform. The Republicans won’t, and they aren’t politically punished for nor trying. Ron Paul likely won’t. Greens, sure. Anybody else?

Realistically, the Democratic Party is the best hope. And that is somewhat depressing.

We should reward politicians for true bravery in political leadership. We haven’t in the past. But we should let them know that this time we are serious. If you got excited about 2008 and haven’t been since, this might be the time to tell your representatives in Washington, “vote for health care reform and we will vote for you. Don’t and we might stay home in November.”

Being positive: not the norm in Washington. Then again, a change is needed on more than just partisanship.

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2 Responses

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  1. Republicans want want failure, they want things like the insurance companies to continue to rake in billions and to keep the unwealthy at a disadvantage. The infrastructures portion was what we needed to get us going in advancing our country to come into the present but the old conservatives who want to go back to the “simpler times” (ie. slavery, and racial discrimination via lower education). Our country and everyday people need help due to bad financial policy and they are just not getting it. Who is getting it? Big business. God bless America.

    aarp quote

    March 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  2. Thank you for the post, your site looks excellent! I’ve lost track of Clinton’s activities recently. Hopefully I can catch up soon.

    Gidget Mancino

    March 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm


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