Attacks keep pouring in. Get used to it!

In the latest attack, habmed writes:


One second you’re yelling about how the Republicans have an insane purity test, and now you are instituting one for Democrats!

Jimmy Carter? Howard Dean? Ralph Nader? Do these names sound familiar? These are resounding progressive election losers, whose failure helped usher in years of conservatism in this country.

The healthcare bill is not perfect, but it is a STEP in the right direction to the public option one day. Kill this bill, and you legitimize these crazed right wing fundamentalist teabaggers in the eyes of the American people, give Congress over to the Republicans in 2010 and send Sarah Palin to the White House in 2012.

Folks, guess what? AMERICA IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE COUNTRY . . . at least not yet. But historically, progressive changes in this country have came incrementally, never all at once.

President Obama has signed SCHIP, the Matthew Shepard Act. He has bought up the property to transfer the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. He has banned torture. He is withdrawing the troops from Iraq, and has a deadline for Afghanistan troops. He signed the stimulus for which the economy would be MUCH worse. He has accomplished a lot yet he doesn’t have your support. This is insane, he isn’t Jesus! He can’t’ do everything!

You Jane, along with your deluded progressive supporters are all barking mad, and when we become perennial election losers for the next several years, I am not gonna blame the Republicans or the teabaggers, I’m blaming YOU!

First, I don’t recall Jane ever yelling about Republican purity test nonsense.

Second, Jane wants to institute an “insane purity test” for Democrats, habmed?

“Insane!” habmed says.

Is it insane to defend women’s reproductive rights when, in the House’s Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congress passed legislation – with the help of 64 House Democrats – that seeks to take them away?

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Of course, one might argue that it was insane to have accepted the compromise of creating a public health insurance option (i.e. an incremental change toward universal health care) rather than fight for single-payer Medicare for All, but I don’t think it was. Jane correctly decided early on that achieving universal health care this year – with the current political configuration – would have been extremely unlikely, if not impossible.

But once it became clear that the Democrats were badly screwing up health care reform, was it insane to push for alternate routes to achieve some measure of real reform (as opposed to pretending to be happy when they pass something that isn’t reform and joining them in saying that it is reform so they can score political points)?

Excuse me for sounding reasonable, but what’s insane about arguing that candidates who run as Democrats and who are elected by the people be held accountable for failing to uphold core Democratic Party principles as set forth in the 2008 Democratic Party platform?

On page 10 of the 2008 Democratic Party platform, entitled “Renewing America’s Promise” (pdf), we read:

Covering All Americans and Providing Real Choices of Affordable Health Insurance Options. Families and individuals should have the option of keeping the coverage they have or choosing from a wide array of health insurance plans, including many private health insurance options and a public plan.

And on page 50, we find:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

Should anyone running for elected office or currently serving in office as a Democrat be expected to support these positions? Yes.

And if by saying so I institute an “insane purity test,” I don’t care.

These positions laid out in the 2008 Democratic Party platform are about fighting for and defending Americans’ rights, and they should be fought for and defended whether they’re in the Democratic Party’s platform or not.

Our latest attacker, habmed, claims that the Senate’s turd of a health care bill “is a STEP in the right direction to the public option one day.”


Maybe not, but these failed leaders had A) a majority of Senators supporting the creation of a public option, B) a bill that passed in the House of Representatives that included a public option, C) the majority of the American people supporting a public option (pdf), and D) the President of the United States making public statements supporting a public option.

And still they failed to get a public option.

A public health insurance option would 1) increase competition, 2) lower costs, and 3) keep the insurance companies honest.

Yes, while the Democrats were busy killing each version of a public option, the majority of the American people supported the creation of a public option (pdf).

And, now that the Democrats have failed to create a public option, a Research 2000 poll conducted between December 16 and 17 shows that 59% of all Americans and 88% of Democrats still support a public option, compared to 33% of all Americans and 37% of Democrats who support what the congressional Democrats and the White House are currently proposing and saying so forcefully is the best thing for the American people (though it most definitely is not).

And the American people are supposed to be happy that the Democrats want to give the private insurers millions of new customers in exchange for no real competition and difficult-to-enforce regulations? I don’t think so.

Well, the American people are not happy. According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted between Dec 11-13, President Obama’s approval rating fell to 49%. And, according to the results of a CNN/Opinion Research Corp survey released on Dec 10 (pdf), 43% of Americans think that congressional Democrats can do a better job on health care reform, compared to 40% who think that Republicans can do a better job.

Now that’s insane!

And the Democrats are entirely to blame for it because they failed to fight hard enough for real reform and because they failed to deliver on the change we were told to believe in.

So, leading up to the midterm elections, we have on the one hand a gaggle of failed Democratic incumbents hoping to fool former supporters (the ones who voted for them in 2006 and 2008) into thinking that the fight is really between Democrats and Republicans, and that, despite Democrats’ best efforts, Republicans and teabaggers are the ones who ruined health care reform. We get obnoxious emails all the time from Obama, the DCCC and the DSCC telling us that Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck must be stopped and that teabaggers are our biggest problem.


On the other hand, we have people like habmed laying the groundwork to blame Jane Hamsher and people like me, one of her “barking-mad,” “deluded progressive supporters,” when the Democrats lose seats next year.

It is very likely that the Democrats will lose a lot of seats next year, and it’s also looking increasingly likely that Obama will lose in 2012.

But the fault for those losses will be entirely theirs for having failed so miserably to lead and for failing to fight for what’s right.

Look, if blaming incompetent, though well-intentioned Democrats seems too harsh for you, habmed, there are real assholes among the Democratic Party for you to hate with the intensity of a thousand suns.

The mainstream media insists on using the term “moderate” Democrats to describe them.

They are House DINOs like Mike Ross (AR04), Melissa Bean (IL08), Jim Cooper (TN05) and Anna Eshoo (CA14), and Senate DINOs like Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Joe Lieberman (CT).

They’re not “moderate” Democrats.

They’re not Democrats at all.

Call them corporatist Democrats. Or even Plutocrats. But not “moderate” Democrats.

And, if you really do want to save the Democratic Party in 2012, habmed, you would be shouting at these corporatist Democrats and everyone who enables them and you would be blaming them for all the House and Senate seats that they’ve decided to throw away in the 2010 midterm elections.

If you voted last year for Democrats thinking that they would replace Bush’s massive bailout to the financial services industry with a massive bailout to the health insurance industry, then you got what you voted for. Have a nice day.

If you voted last year for Democrats thinking that they would use efforts to reform health care as an opportunity to do more to undermine a woman’s right to choose in a matter of conscience than the Republicans have done to that right in decades, then you got what you voted for. Have a nice day.

But you should know that millions of Americans voted for Democrats last year thinking that they were voting for change. They were told that we can have change. They were told to hope for change. They were told to believe in change.

And if you, habmed, believe that those millions of Americans who voted for change last year will be voting for Democrats next year, you’re insane.

Most likely, they won’t bother to vote next year at all.

If you’re unhappy about that unfortunate truth, take it up with Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

Now, if you still believe that all Americans should have the widest array of health insurance options possible, including a public option, and that Americans should have a better field of candidates to choose from next year than they had last year, then please help us keep our campaign going.

Blue America / FDL Action