AlterPolitics New Post

This November, Write-In “Public Option”

by on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

I met up with Stan at The Seminal at FireDogLake (FDL).

I’d recently written about the rationality of we on the Left strategically boycotting the upcoming midterm elections, and had continued pushing that notion in the comments of a diary by Democratic Party flack Jason Rosenbaum, seeking help in those elections from we who had given his co-opted little party the Congress and White House on a silver platter just two years ago. In that same diary’s comments, Stan suggested that a strategic write-in campaign, rather than a strategic boycott, would be even better.

And he’s right.

The resulting diary follows. (See it on FDL here.)

Reclaiming the Democratic Party for the American Left

By: themalcontent Wednesday September 8, 2010 11:42 am

Even as elements of the faux-Left media machine crank up their efforts to minimize the inevitable losses Democrats will suffer this fall, a few diaries in the last week […] at FDL have helped crystallize what I believe could prove an effective strategy by which the American Left might reclaim the party from the DINOs who have so thoroughly and blatantly co-opted it.

The search for a credible, irrefutable way to give voice to our frustration has bubbled up in direct proportion to failure of the Obama Administration – and its Democratic Party majorities in both houses of Congress – to lead, since Inauguration Day 2009. So the diaries I’m about to reference contain merely the latest and perhaps most clear statements (to date) about what form such a statement might take, and are not meant to diminish or negate all the deep thought and dedication to progressive ideals so many here have expressed since the 2008 election.

The first, posted last Wednesday by Bill Egnor, prompted this one from me, over the weekend. Yesterday, I shamelessly whored that admittedly hastily assembled diary on several threads on both the main page and here at The Seminal. Then Jason Rosenbaum posted this, and the comments indicate to me that perhaps something resembling critical mass is near.

TheCallUp’s comment on Jason’s diary was my lightbulb moment, and appears to have been one for others. Not merely a boycott of the two major parties by those on the Left, but a way to register our displeasure, one that resists the Coakley-esque parsing which DINO flacks perpetuated – that’s what’s needed.

While writing-in “public option” or “single payer” or “Medicare for all” (h/t to alternateid), or “John Q. Public Option” (and maybe “Jane Q.,” to differentiate male and female voters?) – and I think we must all agree on one of these, or another that relates to the massive health insurance reform FAIL, so as to further reduce any possibility of parsing – the mere act of writing it in won’t get us where we want to go. If the goal is reclaiming the Democratic Party for the American Left, we need to make clear how we’re doing it, why we’re doing it, and what we expect to happen next. Without a clear, succinct statement of our goals, we will be marginalized by the sycophants and we will fail.

Having just elaborated on How we’re doing it, I’ll again state, below, the other elements I believe critical (for ease of reference as we discuss this initiative further in the comments):

Why we’re doing it: Because Barack Obama has failed to lead based on his 2008 stump speech, and Democratic obstructionists within his administration and the Congress are complicit in that failure. To have even a hope of keeping the White House in 2012, we insist Obama begins leading based on his campaign. If he does, we might, in 2012, even give him a majority in both houses of Congress once more. But that majority will not include anyone who thinks or votes like Joe Lieberman, Bart Stupak, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and other duplicitous DINOs.

What we expect to happen next: On November 3, the massive Democratic loss still stinging, Obama must fire Rahm Emanuel, Tim Keane, Robert Gibbs, and Tim Geithner, and replace them with Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich (or Dr. Dean), Al Franken, and Elizabeth Warren respectively. Further, Warren’s counsel – alone – determines who will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Note: If Larry Summers has a problem with any of this, he can hit the fucking pike, too.)

And: On November 4, Mr. Obama addresses a joint session of Congress. In the somber, serious-as-a-heart-attack five-minute speech – two minutes is better – he creates by executive order, as Congress looks on, a public works program which mirrors the WPA, but in 2010 proportion to FDR’s 1935 model. He blunty states, with the wolrd watching, that a vote against funding it is a vote against putting Americans back to work. While he’s at it, he signs another order, ending DADT. Finally, he demands legislation outlawing corporate personhood, in similarly blunt fashion: “Refusal to do so will make quite clear which of you work for real people and which work for phony ones – and, I’ll venture, will subject you who work for the latter to the same kind of popular revolt my party has just undergone.”

In closing this diary, I’ll add one more thing: A lot of people have been saying for a long time that the Internet will change politics forever. It almost did in 2008. We now have a chance to actually make it happen, and (respectfully disagreeing with TheCallUp) we don’t need MoveOn to promote it, at least not yet. In fact, the more obvious it becomes that this has truly bubbled up from independently thinking Dems and Progs, the less it opens us to Righty accusations of being an astroturf org like the teabaggers.

So: What HCR-referencing phrase or name can we all agree is best to write in? And, will you commit to e-mailing at least 20 people and/or blogging your support of this initiative at one lefty blog, in order to help get it going?

Remember, we must move quickly: The campaign season is under way.