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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Man Comes Around

I have been doing some serious considering as to whether, as a voting Democrat and a liberal/progressive idealist, I could get behind healthcare reform as it stands at this point.

After the public option was tossed to the side to appease conservatives that are going to vote against this anyway, I was afraid that Democrats had lost their spine, their will to fight. And then here came Obama saying that it had to be done, to move forward, to pass it. That's the main issue that I take with Barack Obama, he's too willing to compromise with the conservatives when he just needs to tell them to fuck off and let us get this done the way it needs to be, the way a plurality of Americans want it to be.

And when Howard Dean said to kill the bill, I wasn't sure what was going on. Now it seems that he's coming around to how most of us progressives are seeing this. It's imperfect in the Senate version, but there's still work to be done and tweaks to be made.

Think Progress has more.

From my perspective, the way that the Senate approaches legislation is quite dysfunctional. The very idea that there has to be a super-majority just to prevent filibuster is ridiculous. Also, the procedural aspects of the Senate allow conservatives to stall and delay debate for any number of reasons. It's a childish game that the Republicans are playing and they can get away with it.

Does there have to be a super-majority when we elect officials? No. So why is this rule in place to begin with?

Lastly, Republicans have refused to take up the issue with healthcare costs for nearly two generation. Why? Because it's actual legislative work that they don't want to have to do. Democrats have failed multiple times - most recently when Clinton was in office, and that was because Republicans simply didn't want us to win. That is what is driving Republicans on virtually every issue Democrats take up - they don't want to be the ones on the losing end of an important battle. If they are, and it's looking like they will be this time, and healthcare is a success, like it will be, Republicans are done for.

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