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My response to Darcy Burner about the shunning of single-payer advocates

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lwcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-03-09 11:53 AM
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My response to Darcy Burner about the shunning of single-payer advocates
http://www.openleft.com/showComment.do?commentId=187493

Single-payer advocates are being painted as dreamworld "purists," in large part because they've been excluded from a discussion that should have included them early and often.

The A-list blogs and big activist groups (such as MoveOn) went all-in on "public option" and largely shunned single-payer related activism. "Mostly failed to leverage," as you put it.

And candidate/President Obama promised an "open and transparent" process that "considered all options." Absolutely nothing of the kind transpired (though a secret deal with Big Pharma did). Where was the outcry from progressives about this duplicity and lack of transparency? Well, it's not like people's lives are at stake, or anything....

In light of that, those who advocate for single-payer became much like the early bloggers, trying to "crash the gate."

That does not mean we're doctrinaire or unrealistic. We are doing our best to be heard (including the brave souls who got arrested for getting the words "single-payer" uttered in Max Baucus's oh-so-inclusive hearings).

At a minimum, helping/allowing single-payer advocates to be heard should strengthen whatever compromise plan might come out of Congress. You seem to acknowledge that.

But I think you're doing us a disservice to surmise that we're fools who don't understand Washington "sausage-making."

We're demanding leadership for policy that works, and we're struggling to be heard in part because progressive advocacy leaders have so tightly embraced the lackluster compromise that is our elected Democrats' default position.

There was never a substantial forum -- neither the ones that Obama and Baucus had promised, nor in the top sites of the left-blogosphere -- where the pros and cons of different approaches were discussed. It was just "public option" sis-boom-bah, and barely any discussion even now about how to make the "public option" (if any) actually "robust," "strong," etc.

Marginalizing and demeaning those who wanted better, and who could have been powerful allies in meaningful compromise reform -- if that's all we can get with this climate of change and with a silver-tongued Democrat in the White House -- was never, IMHO, a great plan. YMMV.

Thread begins with Marcy's original post, here:
http://www.openleft.com/diary/14869/why-bipartisanship-...
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