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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just pass the bill

Awesome post by D. Aristophanes at my new favorite blog, Sadly No. I was saying this exact same thing earlier today (though not nearly so well or so humorously).

. . . not passing anything at all is a defeat of epic proportions. This cannot be stressed enough. Ask yourself if, in nine months time, when GOP Congressional gains have eliminated the possibility of rebooting HCR for years, you will be happy that at least the Senate bill didn’t pass. Ask yourself the same question, only now it’s 10 or 15 years in the future, and you are toiling away at another long-haul, uphill process towards reform, faced with the same entrenched opposition and the next generation of teabagging nitwits at every turn. Ask yourself how smart you will feel when you turn to your now-grown kid and tell him or her that back in 2009 you helped take HCR through the muck and slime of a year of hell to within inches of the finish line, and got bupkis as a result.

All the reasons liberals are very, very angry about this are absolutely valid. We’ve played the battered wives to the vainglorious douchebags in the Senate Club For Ass time and again throughout this whole nasty process, making concession after concession to the likes of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. It’s very, very tempting to finally say, enough is enough . . .

This is not a minor thing, to further enable these patrician asswipes. Nor is it a minor thing to essentially validate the ascendancy of the Senate — an archaic, obstructionist, anti-democratic relic of a bygone time — in the hierarchy of institutional power. Nor is it a minor thing at-fucking-all to have to accept that HCR has no public option, is full of blatant bribes, screws unions and shovels piles of cash into the insurance companies, among other things.

Sadly, we just have no other options. There is a ray of hope that the House may be able to wheedle out some assurances from the Senate that post-passage bill-fixing will be done in reconciliation. That’s increasingly less likely to happen, however. I would argue that even without such assurances, Congress could still fix some of the most objectionable parts of the Senate bill post-passage. And in ways that could actually present Dems with some minor but meaningful victories — for example, a straight vote on eliminating the Ben Nelson bribe seems like it would pass easily and even with the bipartisan support that the Villagers so frantically demand.

At any rate, my wish — a wish that I wish I didn’t have to wish — is that everybody please hold your noses one more time and urge your Reps to pass the Senate bill. Balloon Juice has great guidance for how to do this, check it out and check out the roll call they are also putting together.

And please stop the blame game. There’s plenty of time for that later. We’re racing across the savanna with a ravenous lion at our backs towards a lonely, rickety tree that just might save our lives. There’s no time to stop and bicker about who it was that suggested the goddamn African vacation in the first place.



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