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.It's Time to Spay and Neuter the Blue Dogs on Health Care

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Earth Bound Misfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:49 AM
Original message
.It's Time to Spay and Neuter the Blue Dogs on Health Care

As the most sweeping reforms ever of our tattered health care system wind their way through Congress the majority of Americans who support these desperately needed measures must understand that failure at this crucial point will not only be a disaster for the nation, but also for the Democratic Party. The Democratic leadership, including President Barack Obama, must make it clear to the so-called Blue Dogs in both chambers that they better not obstruct, water down, or block health care reform this time around or there will be hell to pay. So far President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have shown they have learned from Bill Clinton's mistakes sixteen years ago and they seem determined not to repeat them. But the wild card is the Blue Dog coalition that loved spending lavishly on the Iraq war only to rediscover the evil of budget deficits as soon as Obama was elected. The Blue Dogs ought to be discredited for their Republican-lite politics and they certainly must be prevented from torpedoing health care reform. The fates of the Obama presidency and the Democratic Party are at stake. And the Republican know this.

There has been a lot of bogus analysis of why Clinton failed in his attempt to push through health care reform (the issue he had run on in 1992). This failure was so gigantic it has provided ample ground for multiple and conflicting autopsies. But the main reason, in my view, Clinton failed -- in addition to the enormous amount of money the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations spent blocking it -- is that he did not involve the public in a series effort to counter the predictable corporate/right-wing onslaught and he did not tame the Blue Dogs.

The Democratic leadership at that time apparently believed that by capitulating to the Republican-Blue Dog agenda on "free trade" (NAFTA), and screwing over labor unions, one of the key Democratic constituencies, the GOP and their Blue Dog brethren would cooperate on health care reform. It was a monumental error in judgment that cost the Democratic Party dearly. Health care reform was just as popular among the public then as it is today. The Democrats showed the country that even with majorities in both houses of Congress and the presidency they could not deliver largely due to Blue Dog obstructionism. All the Democrats had to show for their efforts going into the 1994 midterm elections was a very pissed off labor movement and a failed attempt to help working people attain affordable health care. On election day Democrats stayed home and the Newt Gingrich "revolution" seized Washington launching a fourteen-year period of misrule the consequences of which we are still dealing with today.

Ironically, in the 1980s, the Democratic Party had sustained itself better than during the Clinton years because it was forced to mobilize against the administrations of Reagan and Bush the Elder. In the 1990s, once the Blue Dogs and their champion Bill Clinton was in power the Democratic Party experienced a precipitous decline in power and influence nationally, which paved the way for the Tom DeLay/George W. Bush years. These historical facts are why I was so relieved and gratified when Obama successfully sidelined the Clintons in the 2008 marathon primaries.

Which brings us back to the Blue Dogs and the current health care bills. The Blue Dogs must be tamed, trained, and neutered. We can count on the President to deploy his oratorical and political talents, and to draw upon his immense popularity with the American people, to get these health care bills passed. But the health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations are already putting the squeeze on their Blue Dog allies to block these efforts. If they succeed Obama and the real Democrats are going to suffer in the next midterm election just as Clinton did in 1994, not because they tried to do too much, but because they did too little.

The stakes couldn't be higher for President Obama. He derailed the Clinton-Blue Dog freight train in 2008. But if the Blue Dogs jump up on their hind legs and bite the hand that feeds them it will be a sign that the Clinton restoration that Obama worked so hard to stop has succeeded anyway. This outcome will give the Republicans just the jolt they need.

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. Got to love the title of this thread.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I Rec'ed it based on the title alone.
Well, actually I did read it before hitting "Rec" just to make sure.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 12:17 PM
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2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
quidam56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Quality health care in TN & VA
As a former health care giver, I am shocked and saddened to see what has become of health care in America. $ 1. 4 million is being spent per day in DC by the health care lobbyists so your elected representative is getting taken care of and has quality health care we pay for and can't afford ourselves for our families, I know what is deemed, defended and supported in Tennessee and Virginia as quality health care and clearly profit care comes ahead of patient care. MRSA ( methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureas ) is infesting our communities because filthy, uncaring hospitals and emergency rooms are breeding them and spreading them into our schools, homes, restaurants. How many more Americans' will be diseased or die while 74 % of Americans' are begging for health care reform ? More people died in America last year from MRSA complications than AIDS. When MRSA and a flu bug start mixing, it won't be pretty and we are being infected by the very health care system we depend on and trust to keep us safe and healthy. If we had "the best health care" in the world then why does RAM ( Remote Area Medical ) come to Wise County, Virginia year after year so people can go to the fairgrounds and stand in a line like cattle in the hot July sun just to see a health care provider ??? America's health care system is a disgraceful sham !
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. Fuck that. Put'em down.
You do that when they're lame.
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Earth Bound Misfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I'll drink to that
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'll be writing my blue dog dem congress-critter asking him to vote against the House bill.
Edited on Thu Jul-16-09 07:56 PM by Laelth
It stinks. I'll be writing the Progressive Caucus and asking them to do the same. I would rather have no bill passed than to have that bill passed.

Order me to buy insurance when I can't afford it? Require me, under pain of criminal sanction, to spend roughly 12% of my gross income to buy poor insurance that no doctor and no hospital is even required to take? If I could afford to give away 12% of my gross income, I would have insurance already. I would have bought it myself. Instead, this bill will force me to buy insurance that I can't afford and can't use because, if I did go to the doctor, I wouldn't be able to afford the co-pay.

No thank you.

Give me a public option like the U.K's NHS, paid completely out of general tax revenues, and I'll get on board. I don't have to have single payer. Instead, I demand a real public option--not vapor-care based on the same Romney-care that's bankrupting the state and enriching insurance companies in Massachusetts.

No thank you.


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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Couldn't agree more about the Blue Dogs
Edited on Thu Jul-16-09 11:38 PM by Proud Liberal Dem
I do kind of take issue with the notion that if health care reform falls apart (presumably, because of them) that Obama and the other Democrats are going to take a hit in 2010 and maybe in 2012 as well. What happened in 1994, the so-called "Gingrich Revolution," never really had much to do IMHO with the failure of the Clinton Health Care Plan per se so much as a convergence or culmination of the Reagan revolution against government that started during his Presidency and seemed to reach its apex in 1994 resulting in the Republicans taking control of Congress for the first time in literally decades. Although many people were doubtless upset at the failure of the reform on our side, it was the Repuke's successful demonization of the Clinton Health Care Plan that helped pave the way for their upset victory.

If, the great maker forbid, health care reform efforts get derailed this year, it seems unlikely that people are going to vote the Repukes back into office so that no reform can take place because, as we have all been observing, the Repukes aren't even putting up any plans, ideas, etc. but are just carping and whining on the sidelines. I suppose it's because that's pretty much what they know best how to do but they're not even being particularly successful at demonizing health care reform this time around because too many people are hurting out there for them to be able to dupe enough people into believing that there isn't a problem this time- unlike last time. Hopefully, any failure of health care reform will, if people are educated well enough, will result in fewer "Blue Dogs" and Repukes in Congress after 2010 thus giving President Obama another (better) crack at health care reform.

I sense this time, however, the winds is more on our backs more so than our opponents and I'm cautiously optimistic that we will succeed in getting something substantive passed this year damn the torpedoes and I really appreciate President Obama's aggressiveness on this issue, particularly as of late.
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