Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sirota on the Washington Power Dynamic in the Healthcare Fight

Writer and political pundit David Sirota wrote an extremely important piece of political analysis over at the Open Left blog which deserves to be read far and wide by people interested in the healthcare battle and how it can potentially tilt the power dynamics in Washington. The recent outpouring of outrage and organizing on the Left in support of a public option in healthcare reform is having an effect where Progressives are finally flexing their political muscle and is on the verge of success.

Sirota writes:

Polls show local Democratic dissatisfaction with easily primary-able Democrats, putting huge pressure on those Democrats to get in line; the Paul Krugmans of the liberal punditocracy, often offering up "on the one hand, on the other hand" dithering at the end of legislative fights, have now come out pretty strong for a public option; mainstream Republican editorial boards like the Denver Post are saying the public option is necessary; the decline in Obama's poll numbers are being fueled by progressive - not conservative - dissatisfaction on health care; fundraising for the public option campaign is intensifying; and the organizing work to support the public option is in full gear.

Taken all together, the aimed at A) forcing House Democrats to pledge to vote against a public-option-free health care bill and B) getting Senate Democrats to state their support of a public option may be making the easier legislative path the one that squeezes the Blue Dog Democrats...

He adds:

We must focus laser-like efforts on constructing a group of House members who delivers on a promise to vote against a public-option-free health care bill. If we do that, we will change the power dynamic in the health care debate by forcing the administration to use its power to make the public option a reality in the final bill that is reported out of the conference committee. And even more broadly, it may change the power dynamic on every other issue by finally establishing the progressive majority in the Democratic caucus - and not the corporate whores - as the final "deciders" on other major bill... While they aren't going to get us all the way to single payer (which I've long said was a huge missed opportunity), they may deliver us a public option that represents genuine progress.

Read the original article at the Open Left blog.

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