Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fire, Meet Gasoline. White House Goes After "Left of the Left"

So the Washington Post ran a story today on how the White House is seeking to repair the damage with their supporters over the public option:

"I don't understand why the left of the left has decided that this is their Waterloo," said a senior White House adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We've gotten to this point where health care on the left is determined by the breadth of the public option. I don't understand how that has become the measure of whether what we achieve is health-care reform."

"It's a mystifying thing," he added.
Note to White House. Try again.

If their definition of the "left of the left" is someone who believes access to health care is a basic human right, supports reform that ensures availability to to ALL Americans on Day One,  that is national, available everywhere, and accountable to Congress and can bargain for rates from providers and big drug companies, then yeah, count me in as "Left of the Left." 

Oh, and include your boss in there too, Mr. Anonymous White House Adviser, because guess what, even Obama knows the only option that does all of this, besides single-payer, is THE PUBLIC OPTION.

Folks, I was a Regional Field Organizer for the Obama campaign during the general election, and I gladly gave my life over for the cause for the last half of 2008. But I am no ideologue, in fact I consider myself left of center. If I am feeling this angry and abused by what I've heard coming out of Washington in the last week or so, I can only imagine I am one of millions. Millions. 

Or as a good friend and fellow activist - who just happens to be gay - put it the other day,

"Now the rest of you understand what the gay community has understood for months."

Look, I'm glad we elected Obama president, the alternative was so much worse. But it's clear the Community-Organizer and Story Teller In Chief has been kept deliberately from this fight, so concerned were his advisers that he not present a firm position for the Republicans to attack.

Well guess what, that strategy has let the Republicans define the narrative for them. Now it's all about "death panels" and "pulling the plug on Grandma" and "government takeover of health care" and the rest of us are left twisting in the wind, trying to figure out what, exactly, we're being asked to fight for.

Folks, I did not work my ass off to get Obama elected President, I worked my ass off to change the direction this country was going, and I will continue to do so wether or not the Obama administration is on board.

I start today. 

Make a contribution to ActBlue "Health Care Heros". These are the folks in Congress who have stood up and said they will defend the public option. A donation will show them we support their efforts and will show others still waffling there's an upside to making the public option their "Waterloo" too.

On the list are 13 deserving CA Legislators who could use your dollars and/or words of encouragement. Please click on the links to make a donation. Nothing is too small.

For those who can't chip in, DFA has a thank you action item to thank our healthcare heroes. With an approach that uses more carrots and less sticks, hopefully we can encourage others in California and across the country to join these brave progressive leaders.

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