Contra Marshall, I would not put much weight on tea leaves and second derivatives. For example.
That uptick in support for Obama over health care happened at about the same time that Obama personally stepped into the process (i.e., announed his summit). Note that Obama didn’t push any specific policy until two days before the summit on February 25. People apparently respect leaders who care about things and show some leadership in making them happen. If nothing else the Bush administration showed that Americans reward boldness and success more or less independently of what the new laws actually do. Bush freed the FBI to tap everyone’s phones and more than half the country went nuts with joy.
Whatever minor upswing Democrats might be riding right now, they’re riding it because they have grown a little fighting spirit. If they let health care die the country will turn on them for being losers. Most Democrats will take exactly the wrong lesson from that and compromise the rest of their agenda away, and Republicans will run roughshod over them until they win a majority back in November.
thereisnospoon at Kos.
The situation now is as follows:
* Whatever happens, must happen quickly or not at all.
* Stances on healthcare reform have hardened significantly for nearly all legislators.
* Whatever deals were going to be made, have basically already been made.
In short, the time for bluffing and negotiation is at an end. The final deal (Senate bill + reconciliation) is basically written in stone. Now the only question is whether that deal will pass, or not–and who will be allied with whom in that coming battle.
Exactly. Policy discussions are done. The House will put out its reconciliation bill as soon as Monday. The only question left is whether Democrats will grow the balls to save millions of uninsured Americans and their own jobs.
Today would be a good day to get to know your Reps’ staffers on a first-name basis.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Guide for first-timers here.
Just called my Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) district 9. He’s a pretty consistent progressive Democrat. The staffer that answered the phone was somewhat clueless on if Cohen was voting yes or not. I will try his Washington office.
It undermines claims to being a long-term political watcher when you don’t seem to realize that a major difference that has developed between the two parties on legislating is that one party never leaves campaign mode, and the other actually tries to govern like adults some of the time, but then goes back into campaign mode during a campaign year.
You know, the way things used to work.
Anyway, Marshall is right on this one.
and i see the balloon-juice “buh bye bart” fund for margaret saltonstall has grown to almost $2,000.00 overnight. awesome.
i’m already in for a hundred. kick in what you can. every dollar says “fuck you, bart stupak!”
Cole Moore Odell
I’m sorry, I just love the word “roughshod”–all I can think of is Lucy Van Pelt shaking her fist at Linus, hollering “I’ll run roughshod over you!”
By the way, I’m sure people will be shocked, shocked I tell you that the GOP was lying about what the Senate parliamentarian said about reconciliation.
If and when they pass this damn bill, I think I’m going to pop open a bottle of champaign. This whole process is taking way too long.
My rep is going to vote for this thing. Otherwise he would not be able to go anywhere without being met by mobs of angry old hippie ladies.
Called my rep, Donna Edwards of MD, a few days ago. Apparently I’ve now called so much and so often that they know me by name.
The person who answered the phone was very non-committal, but stressed that Edwards was strongly in favor of health care reform. I said yes, that’s all well and good, but is she going to support the Senate bill? No answer to that yet.
Also, I told them the story of an acquaintance of mine who has cancer and who’s insured, but the insurance company is now refusing to pay for most of the cost of his chemo treatments, so if the guy survives, he’ll be bankrupt. I don’t think that got their attention, but when I reiterated that if they didn’t get health care reform passed, I would no longer vote, volunteer or give money to the Dems, they actually wrote that down.
What also seemed to get their attention was when I stated that if they can’t pass this, then they can’t pass anything.
I called my rep, Sheila Jackson-Lee, the other day. The staffer was initially cagey in stating the Rep’s support for the bill – which I learned pretty quickly was just defensiveness from the screaming, cursing hordes of death-panel teabaggers that have been calling in.
They appreciated calls supporting the bill (and thanking them for their support), and I think they could all use more. You can hear the elation in the staffers’ voices when they get a polite, reasoned call in support of the bill.
Call your reps.
Could somebody just page me when the GOP actually tells the truth about something for a change, even by accident? It would be so much easier. kthxbai
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@dmsilev: They always lie, but now, on HCR, the gooper bullshit factory is running round the clock. They have nothing, and they know it, other than to try and terrorize House dems with layers of misinfo.
Would you ladies consider a trip to southern Wisconsin? My Rep is Paul Ryan and I can’t think of anyone who could use a mob of angry old hippie ladies chasing him around the district more than that wingnut idjit.
I just donated to buh Bye Bart.
Can’t call my congresscritter, cause she’s a repuglican, and is evil
I just called Rep. Jim Marshall’s Washington office. I actually called his local office yesterday, ala the OFA request yesterday and talked to a staffer who was clueless. Today’s staffer was much more informed and verbally agreed with every point that I made: that this was the time for Democrats, even BlueDog ones, to come together and pass this HCR, that if they didn’t they would suffer the consequences next November, that there was a reason Marshall calls himself a Democrat, given that it is much easier to get elected as a Republican in this red state and district, even if he did vote against the House bill previously.
The staffer also agreed with me when I said that I had lost all respect for all Republicans for the foreseeable future, as they had all lied about this issue and other issues, that they had no principles to speak of, and that no one with any sense would vote for a Republican in November as they have nothing positive to offer the country, no matter how weak we perceive most of our Democratic elected officials, t
The staffer agreed, and yes, Tim, you are right, this felt a lot better than railing at the nets. I will go do some enjoyable things for the weekend.
Have called my rep and the rep next door (a dem who is being targeted, pretty ineffectually, by teabaggers), told them I think the momentum is on our side, get it done and I will donate $, I will knock on doors, do the right thing. I have given up trying to get a straight answer and am settling for just getting my point across.
If I could do a little therapy here today, I just want to let you guys know that I have been having these fantasies lately. Settle down. Every day something happens or says something that just makes me think that people who seem to be completely incapable of seeing things from the point of view of those less fortunate really need a giant dose of karma. Specifically, there are people who I literally want to have a premature infant with a congenital heart defect. I want them to have a half-million dollar hospital bill and lose their job from missing too much work. I absolutely want the baby to be o.k. and to be healthy and a joy to all at the end of the day. But I am beginning to focus to an unhealthy extent on fantasies of karma kicking people in the ass really hard. I realize that around here, I could still win Miss Congeniality, but do you think in the general public that it makes me a little bit of a sociopath? Is there something I can do to bring my blood pressure down a little bit?
Lipinski IL 3 is trumpeting his pro fetus cred on his website and will oppose the bill. Any constitutents need to call or fax and carry on. It’s a shame his only apparent principle allows him to let actual people die so people who elect to choose a policy in the exchange that covers abortion will be forced to use their own money and pay for it. And that ,somehow, in his tiny little mind means the feds are paying for abortion.
With all these green shoots, maybe I don’t need Glenn Becks $149 bag of seeds.
@IndyLib: I’m not an old hippie lady myself so I can’t help you there, but I do think it was a major tactical mistake to not put the Republicans on the defense from day one. If the GOP wants to be responsible for the death and bankruptcy of their fellow citizens, they ought to be held accountable for that.
I called @Fergus Wooster:
It’s not just Lee. A few days ago I opened up a call to Rep. Schiff’s office by asking where the Representative stood, and I got a: “He has not yet finalized his decision” response.
This morning I opened up my phone call with a request for Rep. Schiff to pass the Senate bill as-is, and the staffer said that he would.
Tim F., thank you for reminding folks like me to call.
Third Eye Open
Called Boyd (2nd-FL) and the staffer said that the congressman won’t make a decision on the bill until the reconciliation bill is drafted and he can, “insure that you can retain your choice of plans and doctors, will not add to the budget deficit, and will bend the cost curve”. This is what you get when you’re represented by a Blue Dog…
Staffer said that they are hearing a lot from “outside sources” mobilizing against the bill, but they are getting far fewer calls for the bill…gotta love the south!
@Jackie: Lipinski gives nepotism a bad name. Sadly, the IL primary was a few weeks ago so there’s not much that can be done to get rid of him for now.
@wvng: Call your rethuglican congresscritter anyway. I just called mine (Goodlatte, VA) and told his aide I was worried about the congresscritter’s reasoning, since he’s going around telling the Waynesboro paper the bill will cost $850 billion, when the CBO says the net savings will be a deficit reduction of $118 billion. Goodlatte’s never going to vote for the bill, but that doesn’t mean his aides shouldn’t receive a reality check on a regular basis. (At least one of them quit since the HCR debate started, to go work for our local mayor, a Democrat.)
TPM reporting almost daily a diff Dem Houser voting No on this. Aint gunna pass!
The president is delaying his Asia trip by three days to get health care done.
And, Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is a “no” on the Senate bill, per TPM.
Gutierrez is saying he’ll vote no because it doesn’t let undocumented immigrants buy coverage on the exchange?
So tens of millions of legal U.S. residents must all suffer because the bill doesn’t improve the admittedly shitty status quo for tens of thousands of illegal U.S. residents, and there is not a chance in hell of passing one that does.
The front of my head is really getting flat.
If you know anyone in IL, can you please get in touch with them? Ask them to remind Gutierrez that, as U.S. citizens, they also vote?
My rep is Peter “Enormous Douchebag” King, so I doubt my call would do much good. Still, I could still call, just for the giggles.
Both NY senators are on board with this plan as well as supporting the PO, but I may call Senator Gillibrand anyway, just to let her know that she’s my girlfriend.
I wish I knew what it would take to boot Paul Ryan’s ass out of office in this district.
The district is gerrymandered so that half of Waukesha county (aka Wisconsin wingnut central) is in our district, but so is a large part of metro Milwaukee and it stretches to the outskirts of Madison (aka Wisconsin DFH central). This is probably the most densely populated part of Wisconsin (which isn’t saying that much, I’ll admit) outside of metro Milwaukee and if that little budget-weasel (budget-badger?), Ryan won in 2008, by nearly 30 points in an area Obama won by an average of 10 points, then he must come across pretty damned well to a crapload of people who voted Dem for President.
@IndyLib: I’m in Madison, and although I always knew Ryan was very conservative, I never thought of him as a real wingnut until recently, when I found out that he’s one of those crazies who hands out Atlas Shrugged left and right. Now I’d be willing to volunteer for any Dem who could kick him out.
I’m getting afraid he might end up our senator some day, and I would have to shoot myself.
@IndyLib: I grew up in Sensenbrenner’s district (largely Washington and Ozaukee counties, I believe), and that’s just a hard-core conservative part of the state. (My dad repeats Rush talking points to me like you wouldn’t believe.)
However, I know that in Wisconsin, we generally like to vote for the incumbents. Or, at least, that seems to be “the way things work” that I’ve seen. Government representatives continue to win re-election until they retire, generally. I’m sure there are exceptions, but our representation doesn’t usually change overmuch, as I recall.
Also: on the topic of pro-lifers voting against, this was interesting – a group of 25 pro-life religious leaders–including evangelicals Joel Hunter and Ron Sider, as well as Francis Doyle, the former associate general secretary of the USCCB–signed a letter released yesterday in support of the Senate version’s treatment of abortion funding
The Bishops aren’t going to support the Senate HCR, but at least some pro-lifers are looking “big picture.”
Isn’t that the truth. I wonder if he’s thinking about running against Kohl in 2012?
I looked up the only Dem candidate that’s announce so far and she’s a very nice lady from Kenosha who has never run for office before. He beat a very nice lady from Pleasant Prairie by 29 points in ’08. This is not going to end well
@dmsilev: Yes I know. I always vote for someone else in the primary but obviously don’t vote for the republican in the general. I’ll have to check out our green party nominee this fall. I swear if this doesn’t pass , I will be ringing doorbells for any non psychotic who primaries him next time. Since I won’t have to fight for the presidential nominee I want ,I’ll have the time. Thank you FSM.
@IndyLib: I heard rumors that he might try running against Feingold, but that clearly hasn’t happened ( … yet?) so I’m thinking he might be waiting for Kohl to retire … whenever that will be.
I can’t imagine he’s planning on running against Russ this year with his name on this budget crap.
He can probably beat an underfunded, unknown Dem congressional candidate who won’t smack him upside his smug little pointed wingnut noggin with stuff like this, but I can’t believe he’d take on Feingold with this hanging around his neck. He’s playing good little Repuke cog in the greater wingnuttia whacko machine right now.
@IndyLib: Even if it’s impossible to defeat him, Dems should run a lot of ads highlighting his exceedingly crapola budget. Just getting the word gets out (to all of Wisconsin, preferably) that he wants to privatize Social Security, replace Medicare with vouchers, etc. might help forestall his ambitions.
It seems like he’s getting a lot of attention nationally, so I’m sure he has plans for higher office at some point.
I agree that his wingnut side needs to be more exposed to the district and the state. I don’t think he was always this rightwing crazy. I think he was recruited by the R leadership because he looks and speaks well on TV, he doesn’t have a southern accent – so he can’t be thrown in with the BubbaR contingent. He’s the midwest version of Eric Cantor – young, good looking, and crazy as a bedbug with a Reagan complex.
@IndyLib: You’re exactly right! I hadn’t really thought about it before (really I haven’t given him much thought at all until recently), but I bet I thought he was somewhat reasonable because he’s nice-looking, sounds smart, and doesn’t even have that smugness that I loathe in Cantor. I guess that’s why I was surprised to find out how batshit crazy he really is.
And if I had no idea, I’m afraid he could easily win statewide office unless we actively get the word out about him. Not sure how to exactly though.
@dmsilev: Well, knock me over with a feather… NOT!
Looky here, wherein the Democratic leadership finds their balls, and adds student-loan reform to the healthcare reconciliation bill to make it more palatable to House Democratic holdouts.
If done, this is a threefer: it abolishes unnecessary and deficit-raising subsidies to private student lenders, pulls some House Democrats into supporting the healthcare reconciliation bill, and shows up objecting Republicans as defenders of corporate welfare for Wall St.
Can it be that congressional Democrats are finally learning?
Well, I called my Rep. Giffords (Dem, AZ-8). Or, tried to, at least. She voted for the House bill last fall but now has problems with the medicaid expansion — AZ can’t afford the extra 200,000 people. Which is . . . probably true, because AZ has no money. She likes the House bill, however.
Anyway, I “tried” because when I called her DC office, the answering machine was on and the mailbox was full. I tried calling the local office but it’s been busy for the past few hours.
@Callope Jane: It’s probably busy with wingnuts and teabaggers. Don’t give up.
I called my rep, Speaker Pelosi, both yesterday to support HCR in general and today to ask if she’d put a public option in the reconciliation bill. boldprogressives.org is saying that the senate has put the public option on her desk, if it’s in the bill Durbin will whip support for it.
The staff member told me that there was speculation on that today but she didn’t know anything for sure.
Called the local office of Rep. Harry Mitchell (Dem.,AZ-5) this afternoon. He was a “yes” on the House bill in November but is waiting to see what the bill looks like before deciding how to vote on Monday. I was told that it depends on what is going to be done about medicaid funding. He is a strong supporter of health care reform according to the aide I spoke to.