Saturday, February 06, 2010

Why Health Care Matters to so-called "Democratic Moderates" like John Boccieri

We have a friend who has donated in the five figures to Democratic candidates since late 2003. He has donated to gubernatorial candidates, senatorial candidates, congressional candidates, and presidential candidates. He has worked extensively for Democratic candidates for president, governor, senator, and representative. Recently he made the following observation:

He pointed out that Democrats have reached a 78 vote majority in the United States House of Representatives, a 9 vote majority in the United States Senate, and have a Democratic president. They have passed a health care bill in both the House and the Senate. They could pass a health care bill right now by having the House adopt the Senate bill without any amendments. Or, they could pass the Senate bill in the House, and then make changes by reconciliation. Either one he could live with.

But here's what he can't live with: Not passing a health care bill. If there isn't a health care bill passed, then he says he's done. No more contributions to Democratic candidates. No more working on Democratic campaigns. He will spend his time and his money somewhere else.

Now our friend can live without a health care bill. He has insurance. His wife has insurance. His children have insurance. But, he considers health care to be a universal human right. He is very distressed that we don't have affordable health care for all Americans. He has worked for Democratic candidates because he wants health care reform. So, to come this close, but not get there, is a big, big blow and calls into question just why in the world he worked so hard for Democratic candidates in the first place.

See, here's what our friend gets that so-called Democratic moderates like Representative John Boccieri don't get. People like our friend don't give money or work for candidates because they want those particular candidates to have political power. They work for them because they want certain policies adopted, certain laws passed, and certain results obtained.

A lot of Democratic moderates seem to think that it is some big thrill for us if they win political office. Well, here's a thought: Most of us don't give a crap if John Boccieri is a Congressman, we give a crap if he is a Congressman who is voting on issues the way we would vote if we were in Congress.

So, when he does something like vote against the health care bill in the Congress, and then thinks that we will vote for him anyway because he is supposedly better than the Republican running against him, he shows he doesn't get it. He does't understand that for some of us, like our friend, there are votes that are absolutely critical for continued support and health care is one of them.

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