Democrats & Liberals Archives

An Open Letter to KOS

KOS, your progressive voice is a strong, eloquent, and persistent battle cry against the monstrously nihilistic conservative Republicans who are trying to tear our society apart. You were a prime force in getting President Obama and the Democratic Congress elected. Now you are pushing them to achieve progressive legislation, especially health care reform. However, your exertions against bipartisanship and your continued fight for the already-defeated public option only serve to pull Republicans into the next Congress.

Your efforts in the recent election campaign were exemplary. You and other progressives helped us get rid of Bush and all he stands for. You got many people to believe in the need for change, and to vote for the type of change Barack Obama stood for: real justice, true diplomacy, good jobs, transformative climate-change action, prosperity-producing energy industries - and universal health care.

President Obama has started to work and is making progress on each item he promised. Because of all the conservative forces and institutional restraints placed on him, he has a long way to go on his agenda. But he is making progress.

When it comes to his number one priority, health care, President Obama has already taken us further than any other president in American history. He has worked on it for months on end, almost from the beginning of his administration. He has talked to practically anyone who had any ideas on the subject. He negotiated with congressional members of his own party and of the opposition party. Today, both the House and the Senate have approved health care bills. We are so close to our goal we can taste victory.

Unfortunately, our possible victory is not total. In order to pass a bill in the Senate, we had to remove the public option. Without this compromise, the bill would not have passed. You and a few other progressives may not agree with this evaluation. But this evaluation was made by our duly elected president.

Of course, in his campaign Barack Obama stressed over and over again that he would seek bipartisanship. He tried valiantly to do it, but the Party of No stymied him at every turn. You, KOS, and other prominent progressives, did not help in any way. As a matter of fact, almost from the beginning you kept hammering away that bipartisanship would not work. And when it did not, you gloated that you were right all along.

Would it have helped if you had taken a different tone toward bipartisanship? Probably not. However, it would have kept the Democratic Party more unified and President Obama's favorability numbers higher. The Democratic Party would have been in a better position to withstand the coming Republican onslaught in 2010.

Even now, after the huge battle fought in the Senate, you are fighting the leader of our team, President Obama, by continuing to push for the public option. Evidently, you don't believe in teamwork. During the campaign you performed as a member of the team. But now, when it counts, you are working against the team.

During the campaign, Barack Obama proclaimed that he would not be able to do all he wanted unless we acted as a team. Here's how a team should work: Before a decision is made each person or group should push as hard as possible for their approach and everyone's ideas should be considered. After the decision is made all members of the team would be expected to work together towards what had been decided.

As a member of the team, it's time to stop the criticism of Obama, forget about the public option, and push progressive ideas in a way that is not likely to produce another ideological battle. Even Jakob Hacker, the guy who introduced the idea of the public option, thinks the Senate bill is OK:

As weak as it is in numerous areas, the Senate bill contains three vital reforms. First, it creates a new framework, the "exchange," through which people who lack secure workplace coverage can obtain the same kind of group health insurance that workers in large companies take for granted. Second, it makes available hundreds of billions in federal help to allow people to buy coverage through the exchanges and through an expanded Medicaid program. Third, it places new regulations on private insurers that, if properly enforced, will reduce insurers’ ability to discriminate against the sick and to undermine the health security of Americans.

According to the latest polls, the majority of the public is now against the health care bill. Why? One big reason is the constant and violent attacks of Republicans. This alienated many to the right of center. Another big reason is the many attacks of the bill from progressives like you, Huffington and others. This alienated many to the left of center.

The net result of all your criticisms is that you have reduced the enthusiasm of the left, making liberals less likely to vote, thus making it easy for Republicans to gain strength in 2010. If this happens, you will have a Congress that is less likely to produce any progressive legislation.

We must pass a health care bill or the Democratic Party is doomed.

KOS, join the team. It is not too late. Abate your criticism. Indulge in a little praise. I personally think President Obama deserves a mountain of praise for the way he has confronted his many challenges and the great progress he has already made. Let's work for the Democratic Party in order to prevent Republicans from ruining our chances for a decent society.

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 29, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #293154

Speaking of incompetent.. How about that 911 thing I think bush was president at the time. Come to think of it was he not president when we had that katrina thing to. There are a few more things too but I sure you remember the good times as well.

Posted by: Jeff at December 29, 2009 8:54 PM
Comment #293161

The incompetence of 9/11 started with Clinton and the first trade center bombing. The incompetence of Katrina started with the incompetence of the Dem. leadership of Louisana. Bush did make mistakes on both counts but cannot be held totally to blame.

Posted by: KAP at December 29, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #293163

Thanks, KAP, for reminding us that Bush did absolutely nothing in 8 years to improve a huge problem from the 90’s, even after it killed 3000 Americans. He instead decided to yield another 3000 soldiers in a completely unrelated adventure. Not to mention the 30,000 injured causalities.

Posted by: gergle at December 30, 2009 12:33 AM
Comment #293171

The perpetrators of the first bombing were apprehended.

Absolutly! Let me sign on to too.
The Health care bills is not all I wanted but it is a major victory for progressives.

Its also the first time in a long time that a problem was tackled without a vodoo effort at tax cuts for the priveleged or a budget busting,poison pill fiasco like Part-D. It was frustrating Max Baucus spent months and months trying to craft a “bi-partisan” bill with the administrations blessing. That was ,however, what BHO campaigned on. It became obvious to all that there was nothing short of failure that would get Rep approval and the bill was passed along party lines. I hope BHO learned something. For the Reps to oppose to a man a major bill that helps 31 million Americans get health care, is budget neutral , saves money in the long run,and is a vital part of our economic recovery shows just how reprehensible thay are.
A special rasberry to the distiquished senator from Israel, Lieghborman. I hope he takes his 30 pieces of silver and chokes on them. Time for a concerted effort to dump that traitor.

Posted by: bills at December 30, 2009 8:09 AM
Comment #293174

Lets talk about the anti-trust issue -

McCarran-Ferguson was originally designed to empower both the federal government and the individual states so that they could act to prevent insurance companies from becoming abusive monopolies.

How ironic that it has instead enabled the health insurance industry to achieve exactly the opposite result because the federal government has chosen not to pass legislation targeting insurance monopolies and the states have, for the most part, shirked their regulatory responsibilities.

States haven’t gone after obvious Health Care Monopolies because their budgets are stretched too thin.

All 50 States need to bring legal action collectively and the Federal Government needs to join the suit.

Allegations of price-fixing, bid-rigging, exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors, and the dividing up of markets need to be full explored so we can get rid of our dysfunctional corporate health care system that’s choking the economy to death.

On a macroeconomic scale it would return money to “our” pocketbooks and be more profitable for America. Less money out of our paychecks going to Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelsons friends at Well Point would be a boom for the economy. It would enable an increase in savings and investing as well as spending.

Our money is being horded by the few to the detriment of the overall market place. That money needs to be returned to the tax payers in mass and available to stimulate the economy across a broad sector of markets as a whole versus the gain of a few Senators from Aetna named Lieberman and Nelson and the hysterically wealthy and tone deaf CEO’s they greedily represent.

As conservatives like to say - enforce the laws on the books! It’s time to sue the Insurance companies regardless of the Healthcare Bill that Passes.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Posted by: Paul Burke - Author Journey Home at December 30, 2009 11:43 AM
Comment #293177

KOS, keep up the good work and continue to fight for the progressive cause. Let the liberals know what they can do with their corpocracy and their corpocratic health reform bill.

Posted by: jlw at December 30, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #293179

I woke up this morning to a surreal ad on CBS Newsradio, where some Rpblcn was claiming that their leading candidate for the US Senate here, Mark Kirk, is gay, has appointed gays , and is gay friendly. I was pretty surprised that this ad was even aired. Mark Kirk is pretty well-regarded everywhere. He serves in the USHOR for the 10th IL, which begins about 2 miles from where I live. He is a Commander in the USNR Intellegence, has been in the reserves since 1989 and actually deployed to Afghanistan.

“Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual. Roeser suggests Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.”

A spokesman for Mark Kirk issued this statement: “The ad is not true and is degrading to the political process. The people of Illinois deserve better.”

It looks like the Rpblcns are trying to sabotage their own chances this coming year.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 30, 2009 4:41 PM
Comment #293181

Paul, the public option is not dead, until the Conference Committee’s resolution bill kills it, or the Senate or House kill the Resolution bill. The political psychology and calculus regarding Senator’s and Representative’s votes on the final bill out of Conference Committee will be considerably different for some, than that which fostered the individual bills in each of the separate Houses of Congress.

The Public Option may not survive, but, it is not dead, yet, and some of those who voted against it previously, may be forced by the new calculus to vote for it on final passage. This scenario of shifting votes has played out many times in Congressional history resulting in passage of bills presumed dead before their time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 30, 2009 5:36 PM
Comment #293182

ohrealy, Republicans sabotaged their chances this coming year with their actions over the last 9.

One prominent Republican Senator is quoted as saying when Republicans passed the Rx drug bill via deficit spending, that the reason was that deficit spending was common practice then. Yes, truth does occasionally slip out. When Republicans were in charge, deficit spending was common practice. Now, that Democrats are attempting health care reform which is payed for and not adding to the deficit, those same Republicans are against it.

Pretty well cinches a no vote for any Republicans on my part in 2010. In or out of power, Republicans despise fiscal responsibility, even as they lie their arses off rhetorically championing it on the campaign trail. Mama said, know folks by what they do, not what they say they will do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 30, 2009 5:42 PM
Comment #293185

>Republicans despise fiscal responsibility, even as they lie their arses off rhetorically championing it on the campaign trail. Mama said, “know folks by what they do, not what they say they will do”.
Posted by: David R. Remer at December 30, 2009 05:42 PM

Hear! Hear!

Posted by: Marysdude at December 30, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #293262

Voting for a Republican is just inviting more greed and corruption. Wake up. 8 years of the last Republican administration almost took this great nation down.

Posted by: Jeff at January 1, 2010 10:53 PM
Comment #380602

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Posted by: korsu001 at July 6, 2014 10:45 PM
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