John Aravosis uncovers an amazing nugget in TIME Magazine. Apparently, there are Democrats who saw Rep. Joe Wilson yell "You Lie!" at the President of the United States and thought, "that guy has a point." And they happen to be the ones writing the health care bill in the Senate Finance Committee.Yeah, funny, ain't it? I saw the things on Kos about raising money for Joe Wilson's Democratic opponent. (The link is here, for those who want to help.) That's a worthy goal, and Miller seems like a solid candidate.The controversy over Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's shouting out "You Lie!" at the President over his claim that illegal immigrants wouldn't benefit from health-care reform apparently sparked some reconsideration of the relevant language. "We really thought we'd resolved this question of people who are here illegally, but as we reflected on the President's speech last night we wanted to go back and drill down again," said Senator Kent Conrad, one of the Democrats in the talks after a meeting Thursday morning. Baucus later that afternoon said the group would put in a proof of citizenship requirement to participate in the new health exchange — a move likely to inflame the left.So many things wrong with this, starting with caving to an extremist...
...Not to mention the fact that buckling to these demands will not get one Republican vote on any health care bill.
This is the Senate Finance bill, not the overall bill. But Democrats are so wishy-washy when it comes to, well, anything, that we actually could see this rotten, xenophobic, piss-poor policy in a bill supposedly designed to expand access to health care.
I know a lot of money has been flowing to Joe Wilson's opponent in 2010, but a far better use of those dollars would be to funnel them toward primary opponents for Kent Conrad and Max Baucus.
But I can't help but agree with dday that Joe Wilson isn't the problem. After all, idiots like that are hardly in short supply in the Republican party; you're never going to excise them from the House, nor should you expect to. The problem is The Blue Dogs, and their stubborn belief that if only they cave in to everything the Republicans complain about, the Republicans won't have a leg to stand on and will stop being so mean.
THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
The blue dogs are motivated by fear. They're craven in the face of both noisy Republicans and grasping lobbyists. They've blocked everybody else out. But that isn't a bad thing, not necessarily. You, as progressives and liberals, just have to make them fear you more. It worked for the Republican base, it works for progressives, liberals and social-democratics elsewhere, and it can work for Dems in America too.
That's why Rahm, the patron saint of maudlin centrists, is threatening and screaming at progressive organizations to get in line. Fear, with a touch of greed, is the only thing Rahm and his centrist pets know. If you can't replace them—though they richly deserve it—then you might as well scare them.
And that's why you should think carefully before lending your time and money towards beating bad Republicans, instead of bad Democrats. Things may change. I hope they change. But right now, focusing on beating Republicans would just empower the terrible Dems, and make things that much worse.