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Betray Me at Your Peril

By: seeker561 Thursday February 25, 2010 6:30 am

This week, for the first time in the forty years since I became eligible to vote, I will vote in the republican primary. I live in a red state and the victor of the primary will most likely be our next governor and I desperately want to cast an effective vote against the incumbent.

The republicans will then assume that I am actually a member of their party and start sending me crap in the mail just as the democrats have done for the 20 years since I moved to this state.

The republicans will be as mistaken as the democrats have been in assuming that I want to join their club. In the end I am an issues voter. I prefer to vote for a candidate that most closely appears, and believe me I recognize that appearance is a far cry from essence, to echo my views on the issues.

Unfortunately, I frequently find that I must vote against the candidate I most disagree with. Most often this strategy benefits democrats much to their delight and my dismay.

In the end, we may choose to be issues voters or club voters. Obama and the democrats benefited from attracting a lot of issues voters like me in 2008. Their dismal performance at governance caused many of us to stay home in Massachusetts a few weeks ago, an event that likely foreshadows the outcome of the elections in 2010. Democrats will lose, gain or stand pat based on issues voters like me, not club members.

Today, the president embarks on a renewed effort to market the Senate’s health insurance company profit protection act. As an advocate for single payer, the democrats left me at the alter before the first word of the first bill was written. I could have tolerated a compromise that included an expansion of Medicare or a robust public option. Instead of producing a bill that takes us a tenth of the way or a quarter of the way toward that goal, the democrats have chosen a strategy that takes us entirely in the opposite direction. The have chosen to promote and protect the very private, for-profit companies that created the need for reform in the first place. This is a betrayal of the first magnitude that I will not soon forget.

Not only will I make every effort to defeat this strategy, I will make every effort to defeat the proponents of this strategy in 2010 and beyond. Think of me as the progressive equivalent of a pro-life voter. I can accept a compromise that gets me closer to my goal. I will not accept a capitulation that takes us in the opposite direction.


The Push Begins

By: seeker561 Thursday February 11, 2010 11:27 am

I just received an email from Organizing for America asking me to sign up to volunteer to " commit your time to back up candidates and officials who fight hard for health reform."

The request begins:

"For months, our opponents have spread lies about reform to scare voters away. But the simple truth about what reform would actually do — save jobs, guarantee all Americans affordable, stable coverage, and significantly reduce the deficit — is something most Americans strongly support.

The question is, come November, will the voters know the facts?

OFA supporters have asked for a way to show every member of Congress that if they fight for reform now, we’ll back them up this election season."

Predictably, nowhere does the request actually define what "reform" they are asking me to support. I can only presume that the reform they speak of is the Senate Bill, since it is the only plan in play at the moment.

I clicked on the links hoping to find a "contact us" button but no such option seems to exist. I wanted to ask directly what exactly I would be volunteering to support.

I bactracked the URL and eventually found a contact us link that took me to ‘".

Here is what I told them:

I just received an e-mail from OFA that begins

"william –

As we head into an election year, the new strategy for killing reform is claiming that members of Congress who vote for it will suffer at the polls."

I was dismayed to find that there was no way to respond directly but I thought it important to respond. Make no mistake, I am very much in favor of true health insurance reform but I strongly oppose any bill that does not include a public option or an expansion of Medicare.

I will actively campaign against any member of congress who votes for the senate bill as it stands. I will actively campaign against any member of congress who votes for any bill that does not include a public option or expand Medicare eligibility.

Additionally, I will donate to the campaign of the opposition candidate to selected member of congress that vote for the senate bill.

I have voted in every election since I turned 18, including off year elections and school board elections. In 2008 I donated money to a political campaign for the very first time in support of President Obama. That will not happen again.

Corporate bailouts for insurance companies via mandates is NOT the change I voted for.

I received a similar request from Move-On about aweek ago. It also requested support for health care reform without specifying what that reform might be.

I urge everyone to be skeptical of these solicitations of support for HCR. The requests are carefully constructed and the vagueness and omissions are deliberate. Don’t be conned.