AlterPolitics New Post

The Most Effective Way To Protest At The Ballot Box

by on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm EDT in Politics

Are you disgusted with the Democrats, and their cynical attempts at impeding the very ‘change’ they promised us in 2008?  We ushered them in with a clear mandate to make good on their promises, and once given complete control of the government, they’ve taken every opportunity to legislate the status-quo — all under the guise of ‘bipartisanship’.  As if voters are too dumb to understand that reconciliation has remained a tool available to them to actually legislate their promises into law.  When Republicans previously held a smaller majority in both houses, they used reconciliation repeatedly to enact all three of Bush’s major tax cuts which added trillions of dollars to our national debt.

That’s the kind of conviction we believed we were getting in 2008, when we put Obama in the White House and gave Democrats majorities in both houses.  Boy were we fools!

Ever since its passage, the Democratic Party has cited Health Care Reform as its greatest accomplishment.  Back in May, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ecstatically claimed:

“Healthcare reform is my proudest achievement in Congress,” she said. “But it would not have been possible without the leadership of President Obama.”

However, with the President’s job approval ratings plummeting, Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton complained recently that they aren’t getting their due credit from their base (whom his boss had previously referred to as the ‘professional left’):

there is some “frustration” in the White House that activists on the left are criticizing President Barack Obama for not being liberal enough instead of giving credit for his accomplishments, including health care reform. Still, Burton said the administration will continue pushing its agenda even if liberals don’t give them credit.

It is a bit ironic that what the Democratic Party feels to be its greatest achievement, Health Care Reform, essentially sent its own base packing.  And they feign feelings of ‘hurt’ and  ‘frustration’ by it all.  As if they don’t already know:

Candidate Obama promised his supporters a robust public option without a mandate.  Once elected, he immediately embarked on cutting back door deals with hospital groups (where he secretly promised them there would be no public option in the final bill), and with Big Pharma (where he secretly promised to oppose Congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to negotiate drug prices downwards.  He also agreed to prohibit US citizen’s from re-importing drugs from Canada).  He then lobbied the Senate to drop the public option and any expansion of Medicare.

As if this weren’t bad enough, he additionally imposed a mandate on all American citizens, who would now be forced — or suffer financial penalty — to purchase expensive and crappy insurance policies (often with unaffordable deductibles and premiums) from the ‘for profit’ health insurance industry.  A HUGE gift to the very industry most Americans hold responsible for creating the worst and most expensive health care system in the world.

It’s clear that the Democratic Party is out-of-step with its own base.  The party shrewdly believed they could promise us what we demanded, meaningful change, and then ignore us once elected.  They used the straw men available to them, obstructionist Republicans and their Blue Dog cousins, to evade ‘Change’.  And President Obama’s call for ‘Change’ suddenly transformed overnight to a call for ‘Bipartisanship’ (his excuse for not using reconciliation to fulfill his campaign promises).  Obama supporters, they figured, would just blame the obstructionist Republicans for Obama’s abandonment of the platform he ran on.  Well, now they’ve discovered that in this new internet era, the blogosphere has made triangulation and political shell games very difficult for politicians to pull off.

Morale is low on the left, and many have concluded that Democrats no longer represent their interests.  So for those of you wondering what to do at election time this November, here are your options, along with my two cents on each:

1. Vote Democratic — reward them for screwing you over.  Nothing reinforces bad behavior quite like an unjust reward.  Result: Democrats get reelected and continue to screw us over, as clearly there are no repercussions for anything they do.

2. Stay home / don’t vote — Perfect!  Then the main stream media can interpret all the Republican victories as an indicator that the electorate wants Obama to move even further to the right.  Hypothetical headlines: “Americans Reject Obama’s Big Government Policies”.  Result: Obama and Democrats in Congress move even further to the right.

3. Vote for a Green/Independent left candidate on the ticket — Even if (s)he has a slim chance for victory, this is by far the most ideal method of sending a message.  Result: It’s a vote for the Left (the message can’t be misconstrued by the MSM), and it helps to strengthen (build momentum) for third party candidates. The defeated Democratic candidate will view that third party candidate as a ‘spoiler’ and the party will realize that for the next election in that state, they better move to the Left or lose even more detractors to independent parties.

4. Write-in ‘PUBLIC OPTION’. Assuming you ONLY have Republicans and Democrats on your ballot, and you’ve realized that option 2 (above) is not going to accomplish anything, what should you do?  Cast your vote for a ‘public option’ as if you are treating this election as a referendum.  Remind the party that is parading this HCR bill around like a trophy wife, that you are not voting for them BECAUSE of that very bill.  Result: If the MSM sees that the Republican candidate won 200k votes, the Democrat won 185k votes, and ‘PUBLIC OPTION’ won 16k votes, that sends a clear message that the Left protested this election.  It provides indisputable clarity that the Left abandoned the Democratic candidate, and instead wrote-in a HUGE Democratic betrayal in its place.  Imagine if the press were to report that the Democrat would have won this race had he won all the votes cast for ‘PUBLIC OPTION’ .

5. Write in whatever you want. Some commenters made the suggestion on TheMalcontent’s FDL diary (which introduced this ‘write in’ idea) — that voters should just write in whatever they want.  For example, if the wars are your main problem with the Democrats then write-in ‘Iraq’ or ‘Afghanistan’.  If you are out of work, and pissed about it, then write in ‘job creation’. Or if you’d prefer ‘Medicare for all’ then just write that in, instead of ‘public option’.  Result: You may potentially get more write-ins, but you will most certainly muddle the message, possibly to the detriment of the entire effort.

When the press gets ballot box results they aren’t going to report seemingly insignificant numbers.  For instance, if the Republican won 200k, Democrat 185k, public option 25, Iraq 4, Ralph Nader 1, medicare for all 7, Guantanamo Bay 6, Bush war crimes accountability 1, …  They’ll only report the bigger numbers.  The more numbers any single write-in gets the more you ensure it gets reported, and brought to the media’s attention.

For those of you who have reservations about writing-in ‘PUBLIC OPTION’, I’ll just say this: whatever the write-in is, please pick something that the Left, and specifically the Left, is furious about so that the MSM will disseminate the message correctly.  It’s crucial that if you decide to protest this election with a write-in, and get others to do the same, that you send a clear, simple, distinct message that can’t be spun into a victory for the Republicans or Glenn Beck.  For instance, ‘Obama must resign’ may be a popular write-in for some on the Left, but I suspect Tea Partiers who might hate the Republican incumbent option on their ballot, will take full credit for it, if it were to be successful.  Glenn Beck will be doing victory dances all week long.

We are striving for headlines the morning after which read something akin to, “The Left Abandons Democrats For Their Betrayal On The Public Option”, AND NOT, “Americans Reject Obama’s ‘Big Government’ policies”.  Essentially, we want this message to be one that makes Democrats feel the wrath of their base; the same ones they routinely call names, like ‘fucking retards‘.  We want Democrats to begin to govern to the Left, and fear the very ones who elected them.

We either control the message, or the media will happily create its own narrative for the Republican victories.  And as always, it will be a call for the Obama administration to move further to the right.  So if you were already planning on sitting out this election, please consider option #3 above, and if that’s not an option in your district/state then please consider option #4.  These are the two best strategies for insuring that the main stream media disseminates correctly that the Left played a huge role in Democratic defeats.

The Politics Of Genocide Denial

by on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm EDT in Politics, Turkey, World

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is preparing to consider H.Res.252—The Armenian Genocide Resolution—this Thursday (March 4, 2010), and it has some key Congresspeople scrambling to kill it.

The resolution calls upon the President of the United States:

(1) to ensure that U.S. foreign policy reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the U.S. record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution; and

(2) in the President’s annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide to characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, and to recall the proud history of U.S. intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

The resolution is basically a formal acknowledgment by the United States of America of the first genocide of the 20th Century.  It essentially proclaims that the U.S. government is NOT a Holocaust denier, and it includes quotes from former US Presidents (including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush) who publicly acknowledged the Armenian genocide in speeches during their respective terms.

One quote included within the body of Resolution 252 was made by none other than Adolph Hitler, acknowledging what he personally had taken from the preceding Armenian genocide:

As displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying ‘[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ and thus set the stage for the Holocaust.

That quote exemplifies how deranged leaders often look back to previous massacres and genocides in gauging how the international community might deal with them should they too embark on the annihilation of a targeted group.  Unfortunately, in Washington, DC, lobbyist threats are far more likely to move politicians than the snuffed out voices of 1.5 million innocent human beings.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek warned of repercussions, if the motion passes:

“Turkey and the United States are two important allies,” he said. “We have a shared history over the past 50-60 years. Adopting this resolution will harm relations.”

In a rare show of unity, a powerful Turkish bipartisan parliamentary group is in Washington to deliver that message.

Three US Congresspeople are leading the charge to squash the resolution, as reported by The Hill:

In a February 22 letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee members obtained by The Hill, Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) ask their colleagues to reject a resolution that would recognize the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide. […]

“A vote on this resolution will do nothing to rectify the tragedies of the past, but it will most certainly have significant negative consequences on current and future relations with Turkey,” the letter says. Cohen, Granger and Whitfield are all co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations.

The three lawmakers are also working on a separate letter to Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the panel’s ranking member, opposing the resolution. The trio is gathering members’ signatures and 14 lawmakers have signed onto the letter to Berman and Ros-Lehtinen. Aides are expecting many more to sign on before that letter’s release on Tuesday.

The resolution was aborted the last time it was introduced in 2007, after aggressive lobbying by the Turkish Lobby and the Bush Administration:

In 2007, the resolution squeaked by the panel with a close vote of 27-21 in its favor. But after intense pressure from Turkey, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided against bringing the resolution to the House floor after originally promising to do so.

But some believe that this time around the odds are good for its passage.  According to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who introduced the resolution for consideration, there are more favorable conditions today than in 2007.

For one, President Barack Obama was rather vocal on the campaign trail in promising to acknowledge the Armenian genocide:

“I also share with Armenian Americans — so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors — a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a U.S. senator, I have stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey’s acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide.

In 2006, Obama was quoted as saying:

I criticized the secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term ‘genocide’ to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.”

Asserted Mr. Obama, back then: “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.”

Mr. Obama also stated unequivocally that “as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Of course many will recall that when President Obama finally got the opportunity to make good on his promise in Turkey (April 2009), he opted out.  Could you even imagine an American President choosing not to use the word ‘Holocaust’ or ‘genocide’ while in Germany, so as not to offend any German Holocaust deniers in the audience?  Could you imagine an American President choosing not to use the word ‘genocide’ in Rwanda or in Cambodia so as not to offend any Hutu or former Khmer Rouge genocidaires?

The good news, as far as this resolution is concerned, is that President Obama (unlike his predecessor) has chosen to remain silent on the measure:

… the Obama administration has taken no public position on the measure, set for a vote Thursday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Aides to senior lawmakers on the committee say there has been no pressure against the resolution from the White House.

Another factor working in favor of the resolution is the now-strained relationship between Israel and Turkey:

The [House Foreign Affairs] committee is strongly pro-Israel, and prospects for passage could be affected by rising tensions between Turkey and Israel, as well as Turkey’s relatively warm relationship with Iran. In the past, Turkey and Israel had friendlier relations, and Israel had quietly lobbied against the resolution.

But after what happened in 2007, Speaker Pelosi in not about to commit to anything:

A spokesman for Pelosi did not say whether or not the House leader would bring the resolution to the floor for a vote if it passed the committee again.

“It’s important to take it one step at a time and see what the committee does next week. Following their action, we can have a discussion with the chairman and others about next steps,” said Nadeam Elshami, Pelosi’s spokesman.

It is long past due for the United States of America to stand up and be counted in acknowledging the Armenian genocide.  To do otherwise is akin to rewarding the genocidaires.

As Thomas Jefferson once eloquently stated, “There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.”


It appears President Obama has once again proven himself to be a spineless, non-principled, duplicitous wimp.  The AP is reporting:

Obama Administration Urges Congress to Wait on Armenian Genocide Resolution

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is urging Congress to hold off on a resolution declaring the Ottoman era killing of Armenians as genocide.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee was scheduled to vote on the resolution Thursday, and appeared likely to endorse it.

But White House spokesman Mike Hammer said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had spoken with the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, on Wednesday and indicated that such a vote would jeopardize reconciliation talks between Turkey and Armenia.

The move breaks a campaign promise by President Obama to brand the killings genocide.


Anyone who cares to see the House Foreign Affairs Committee Mark-Up of the Armenian Genocide Resolution can watch it live HERE.


It passed the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, but remains to be seen whether Pelosi will do what she did in 2007 and deny a Full House vote:

House panel approves resolution recognizing Armenian genocide

Reporting from Washington – A divided congressional panel Thursday voted 23 to 22 to approve a resolution to officially recognize the Armenian genocide despite a last-minute attempt by the Obama administration to delay a vote on the long-debated measure.

Whether the measure will come before the full House remained uncertain. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village), has said he would only bring the issue before the House if there were enough votes to pass it.  […]


I thought I’d address one of the core arguments being made by some of the critics of this resolution; that being: “It’s not the US’s business to weigh in.”

Here’s Justice Richard Goldstone’s explanation regarding the international community’s responsibility over crimes as grave as genocide, and how the Holocaust in particular changed the fundamentals of international law:

These crimes were so great, he explained, they went beyond their direct victims or the countries in which they were perpetrated, to harm humanity as a whole. This definition, he said, meant that perpetrators were to be prosecuted anywhere, by any country … This rational, he went on to say, constituted the basis for the concept of universal jurisdiction.

In other words the world views genocide as a crime against “humanity as a whole,” and therefore it is in fact OUR BUSINESS — the business of the international community. It is not just a private dispute between the perpetrators and the victims.

So even though the Turkish genocidaires all died evading both prosecution and even vilification during their lifetimes for slaughtering 1.5 million men, women and children, the world still owes it to their victims to set the public record straight — to help thwart Turkish historic revisionism.

Do you believe the Holocaust is our business? After all we have Holocaust museums here in the US (taxpayer subsidized) and yet that was a crime committed by Germans against Jews, Poles, Gypsies, gays, Russians, etc. Why should that incident be our business, but not the Armenian genocide?

Do you believe the Rwandan genocide is our business? How about Khmer Rouge’s genocide in Cambodia? How about Sadam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurds? How do we pick and choose which are to be acknowledged? How do we determine which genocide deniers are to be imprisoned (such as Holocaust deniers in Europe), and which ones are to be placated (Turkish genocide deniers)?

There’s no exceptionalism when it comes to genocide. Genocide against one group is a crime against all of us.


I read this great comment left by Appok over on digg (in response to this post), and I thought I’d share it with readers:

For anyone who needs a contextual footnote to put this article in perspective, here it is:

My great-great-grandfather was a prominent Armenian businessman who owned a number of large orchards in what is now Turkey. He had seven children and four siblings (1 brothers and 3 sisters) each with their own families. The entire extended family consisted of approximately 45 people, many of whom were young children. None of them were active in politics or military affairs. Needless to say they posed no threat to the Ottoman Empire.

Of the 45 people in my extended family, only 2 survived – my great-grandmother and 1 of her cousins.

Acknowledging this genocide isn’t simply a matter historical accuracy, politics, or retributive agenda. Why this bill is important is the same reason why it is a crime to deny the holocaust in Germany. By politicizing this bill, they are essentially turning history into a commodity, to be bought and traded in exchange of political and diplomatic capital. There is a reason why history is taught in school. Hitler used this justification for the holocaust: “”Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

My 2 cents.

Stupak-Pitts: A ‘Poison Pill’ Devised To Abort Health Care Reform

by on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 8:55 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

Blue Dog Democrat Ben Nelson (Senator-Nebraska)How did we ever get to this point — to the Stupak-Pitts amendment — which now threatens to smother meaningful health care reform in its crib?  Let’s start with the underlying agendas of the opposition, and how their failed tactics brought us to the divisive issue at hand.

The GOP agenda, in a nutshell, has long been to diminish Barack Obama as President, at any cost.  By defeating his health care reform bill — one of the cornerstones of his ‘change’ campaign — Republicans would effectively undermine the symbolic significance of his Presidency.  Republican Senator Jim DeMint (SC) admitted this much on a conference call with “tea party” participants, as early as July:

If we’re able to stop Obama on [health care reform] it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.

The Republicans will attempt to defeat any Health Care Reform bill, by any means possible, and at any cost.  They are convinced this will resurrect their party from the ashes.  They’ve latched onto hot button sound bytes like “government takeover,” “socialism,” etc. to confuse their ‘low information’ constituents, and to conjure up fears that their entire way of life is being threatened.  Beyond the far-right-fringe-elements in their party, this strategy has failed.

The Blue Dogs, a group of so-called ‘conservative’ Democrats, has a somewhat different motivation for killing meaningful health care reform.  This group represents the ‘status-quo’ face of the Democratic Party.  They consistently put corporate lobbyist interests above the interests of their constituents, thereby ensuring the nation’s problems never get solved.  And as one might expect, they are well compensated for helping to obstruct meaningful change.  The Washington Post reported as far back as July 31 of this year:

A look at career contribution patterns also shows that typical Blue Dogs receive significantly more money — about 25 percent — from the health-care and insurance sectors than other Democrats, putting them closer to Republicans in attracting industry support.

Most of the major corporations and trade groups in those sectors are regular contributors to the Blue Dog PAC. They include drugmakers such as Pfizer and Novartis; insurers such as WellPoint and Northwestern Mutual Life; and industry organizations such as America’s Health Insurance Plans. The American Medical Association also has been one of the top contributors to individual Blue Dog members over the past 20 years.

The Blue Dogs’ agenda, in a nutshell, has been to ensure that no health care reform legislation adversely affects the profits of the industries that line their pockets.  Competition — nonexistent in today’s health insurance marketplace — would pose a threat to those runaway profits, and so Blue Dogs naturally oppose a public option.

They boast how they too want universal health care, but in reality it’s the Health Insurance Industry-approved version they advocate for — the one where all Americans MUST purchase private health insurance (or face stiff fines) even if they can’t afford it.  Under this version, tax payers would subsidize the private health insurance industry’s extortionate rates, but only for citizens whose income levels qualify.  Where’s the ‘conservatism’ in non-negotiable corporate subsidies?!

In August, Business Week released a story called “The Health Insurance Industry Has Already Won,” revealing the industry’s strategy all along had been “to target the Blue Dog Coalition, which includes Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)” (as quoted by Think Progress):

Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives’ Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth’s strategy. It boils down to ensuring that whatever overhaul Congress passes this year will help rather than hurt huge insurance companies. […]

Matheson, whose Blue Dogs command 52 votes in the House, can’t offer enough praise for UnitedHealth, the largest company of its kind. “The tried and true message of their advocacy,” he says, “is making sure the information they provide is accurate and considered.” […]

Fifteen years after the insurance industry helped kill then-President Bill Clinton’s health-reform initiative, Ross is frustrating the Obama White House by opposing proposals for a government-run insurance concern that would compete with private-sector companies.

The monkey wrench:


After months of misinformation and fear mongering, the Republicans and Blue Dogs failed to scare the American people into their corner:

An Oct. 16-18 CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows that 61 percent of Americans favor a public health insurance option administered by the federal government to compete with private health insurance companies, while only 38% oppose one.

An Oct. 20 Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows that “57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it. (In a June Post-ABC poll, support was 62 percent.)”

And even more alarming for the Blue Dogs were polls indicating they were entirely out of step with their constituencies back home. Take, for instance, the state of Arkansas where Rush Limbaugh has a higher approval rating than Barack Obama:

  • Lead Blue Dog, Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) — who had received $921,670 from the Health Care Industry — discovered that in his Arkansas district, the breakdown of recent polls show:  Of ALL voters: 47% favor the public option, 44% oppose one.  Of Independent voters: 47% favor the public option, 43% oppose one.  Of Democratic voters: 74% favor the public option, 19% oppose one.
  • Blue Dog, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) — who had received $325,350 from the Health Care Industry, as of June 30 — found that she was completely undermining the will of her Arkansas constituents.  The breakdown of recent polls showed:  Of ALL voters: 55% favor the public option, 38% oppose one.  Of Independent voters: 56% favor the public option, 34% oppose one.  Of Democratic voters: 81% favor the public option, 14% oppose one.

To make matters worse, the left has taken them into their scopes.  Various progressive groups (MoveOn, PCCC, amongst others) began targeting these politicians with TV ads back in their home districts, documenting the vast sums of money they’d taken from the Health Insurance Industry.  OUCH!

One group, Mobilization For Health Care for All, on different occasions, peacefully protested Joe Lieberman’s Congressional office — refusing to leave until he signed a pledge to stop taking health insurance industry money.  Lieberman hid from them, and had his staff call the police to physically remove them.  These tactics from the left generated what Blue Dogs fear most — exposure of their corruption.  They’d never anticipated blow-back from members of their own party.

So, what’s a Blue Dog to do?  Well, they dipped into the playbook of Karl Rove.  Rove successfully galvanized his conservative base for W’s 2004 re-election campaign, by putting a right-wing-hot-button issue — gay marriage — on the ballots of every key battleground state.  If the strategy could work for George W. Bush, after the Iraq quagmire, it could probably work for anyone.

They couldn’t sell Americans on the evils of the public option, so they changed the subject to something divisive: Roe Vs Wade.  The Blue Dogs and the Republicans joined together to concoct the Stupak-Pitts amendment, which effectively prohibits any private insurer who wants to be part of the new health care exchange program — (note: every private insurers wants access to the 50 million new customers on the health care exchange program) — from funding legal abortions.  So women whose policies now provide this coverage, would most likely see it disappear under the new legislation.

And Nancy Pelosi — desperate to get something through the House — unwittingly allowed this Trojan Horse amendment into the final House bill.  Without missing a beat, Catholic Bishops began to enter the fray lobbying our legislatures to keep the amendment, as have the religious right.  Women’s groups are up in arms about how this thing ever got attached to the health care bill.  The Stupak-Pitts amendment has successfully hijacked the entire debate on health care reform.  It is now all that is being discussed with regards to the pending health care legislation, and it is dividing the Democratic party in two.

And the Blue Dogs are smiling themselves silly.  Blue Dog Dem. Sen. Bill Nelson, whose vote is critical to getting a bill passed in the Senate,  stated today that he would not vote for the current House bill, because of the presence of the public option, but now he adds this to his talking points:

Unless the Senate bill includes a similar provision [as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment] he’ll vote against it.  “Federal taxpayer money ought not to be used to fund abortions,” Nelson said. “So whether it is subsidies on premiums or whether it is tax credits or whatever it is…it should not be used to fund abortions.”

He’s conflating the pro-life issue with health care reform — so as to curry favor with certain religious constituents, who otherwise might punish him at the ballot box for his public option stance.  Abortion is the single key issue to so many on the religious right.  The Blue Dogs have strategically injected the most divisive issue in American politics into the debate as a red-herring — to distract from what they intended to do all along:  kill meaningful health care reform.  Unfortunately, it appears to be working…

Pelosi To Fellow Democrats: “Come Out Of Hiding On The Public Option!”

by on Friday, October 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

This is the kind of leadership those on the Left have been craving for.  According to Huffington Post Nancy Pelosi called together a closed door meeting at the Democratic caucus, and she is pressuring the Representatives to ‘stand up and be counted’ on a robust public option: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ramped up the […]

Nancy Pelosi: The Lone Democratic Leader Fighting For Health Care Reform

by on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

New estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showed a healthcare overhaul drafted by Democrats would reduce the U.S. budget deficit over 10 years and cost less than $900 billion.  Reuters reports that: [Pelosi] asked CBO to provide estimates on three versions of the [public] option — one based on reimbursement rates paid to healthcare […]