Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Congressional Dems: Sound off like you got a pair!

I just sent this letter to my Democratic US Congressman on my lunch break. If you have a Democratic US Congressperson, and also support reform of the health care system, I urge you to do the same:

Mr. Ellison,

I am writing to urge you to continue to push for passage of health care reform. This was a reason MN-5 sent you to Washington. If this fundamental promise is not fulfilled, and you vote to let the bill die, you can not count on my vote in 2010.

In the wake of Mrs. Coakley's loss yesterday in Massachusetts, the Congressional Democrats who have made public statements seem to be utterly demoralized. While the arrival of Scott Brown in the Senate will mean picking off a Republican vote for cloture in order to get anything significant done in that body, *health care reform must go on*.

The House can, and must, pass the Senate bill unchanged. The instinct of some of your colleagues seems to be that this special election was a referendum on HCR. It wasn't: it was a reflection of the economy, and of Coakley being a worse candidate than Brown.

If the House passes the Senate bill, some of the additional provisions of the House bill can be made individually, perhaps through reconciliation if they reduce the deficit. In this scenario, the House Dems will certainly need to defend the bill to their constituents, but at least they will have something to defend. The only worse scenario, for the country, our health care system, and for the Democratic caucus, is for the bill to be dropped. Because the only thing the electorate will hate more than a bill that needs defending is a waste of a year's legislative focus.

A vocal minority of the country may oppose this plan from the right. Another vocal minority may oppose it from the left. But the votes for doing at least much as the Senate bill does is a majority. It is time for that majority to speak. There is no drawing board to go back to. The Senate Republicans will assure that. This is likely the only chance in our generation to get this done. Please take that chance, and GOVERN.

I hope that this email is not necessary. I would expect a solid progressive like you to understand the stakes and the import of the moment. But then, I would have expected the same from Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner, and they seem to have formed the Curl Up And Die Caucus.

Please keep up the fight. The Republicans ran roughshod over the country with slimmer majorities in both houses during most of the Bush Administrations. Democrats must do the jobs they were elected to do.

I am about as reliable a Democratic voter as you can find, but I will vote for a primary challenger and may not vote at all for Congress if you do not fulfill your promise to fight for health care reform.

Sincerely, etc etc.

1 comment:

John Aerni said...

Well said, Fred. I just copy and pasted most of that to my own rep. Thanks for doing this and kicking me to do the same!

John Aerni-Flessner