Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Progressive Option?

Are progressives now an option in Congress? It has been within progressives control since January 20th if not Election Day last year. By “it” I mean their ability to influence national policy on some issues, the biggest and most important of which is arguably health care reform. But they don’t seem to have done it.

The first draft of yesterday’s blog contained the question “Where are the progressives?” I took it out Monday night because progressive Democrats drew a “line in the sand” on Monday (and we all know how solid and unmovable sand is) about the public option being included in anything that comes out of Congress and goes to Obama’s desk.

Being pro-active is very helpful to get what you want. This may be a gross generalization, but I think most progressives are so passive and peaceful that they even think fighting for what’s right is wrong. Get some cojones! Get your knuckles bloody if you have to!

Today I called the police at the building I manage because the problem-causing guest of a less-than-admirable tenant molested one of my tenants. Yesterday the guest caused another problem which brought everything forward. Now it is a matter of building the case against the tenant which will legally force him to leave because he did not believe he had to control his guest which allowed the guest to molest the tenant. Drugs were involved, of course. Containing and removing threats to other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of their premises is part of my job and doesn’t happen if I just sit in my office and wait for things to resolve themselves or complain that I have no control over my building.

This is what progressives must do continuously from health care forward because I don’t think most mainstream Democrats have enough cojones to stand up to Republican bullying.

What may help progressives and Democrats in general with regard to public support of health care reform is to define the terms being used in the bills in Congress and the plans Obama has in mind.

At first hearing, who would know what a public option is just from hearing those two words? That sounds like public offering of a stock purchase. A co-op. What the hell? That’s a real estate term to most people. Couldn’t the brains behind Obama’s election and his campaign slogans not have invented terms which makes the specifics of health care reform easy to understand.

Perhaps like politics, landlord-tenant law in California does not always follow common sense or logic. But there is a framework with which I can protect my tenants.

Teabaggers and Astroturfers defined and owned health care debate in this country for a good month through town halls until last week when Obama finally came out of his cave and began to refute the outrageous myths which many Americans believed were true. Republicans defined the game while Obama and the Democrats were on the sidelines warming up. Playing catch up is not good politics.

Progressives need to get ahead of the scare tactic-question of health care reform providing free health care for illegal immigrants.

Should progressives not have started earlier to take control? Hell yes! Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are simply not fighters. Don’t wait for them to do anything.

I don’t care if this is a recess or not. Reid needs to be on the phone to Max “Raucous” Baucus and Kent “Been had” Conrad and reign them in. I hope they have learned their lesson for agenda items in the future. As the Republicans become more and more controlled by the far right, doesn’t that not also mean that, conversely, lefty liberals should move to take control of the Democrats just to balance things out in America?? Maybe I’m nuts.

The work of the Democrats in the 2010 election, before they become the Dem-o-craps, should be to focus on defeating Grassley, Coburn, DeMint and Vitter.

If the Dems allow Stormy Daniels to be Vitter’s only challenger I will be move to Louisiana and vote for Vitter myself.