Finally Left Leverage on Healthcare

Niagara FalSenator Bernie Sandersls, Ontario           Maybe progressives and liberals are finally willing to exercise some leverage rather than watching painfully as conservatives and moderates strip every bill that arises down to the bone with health care reform being the latest front page casualty?  There are signs of a stirring.

            SEIU and Andy Stern after having seemed for so long to have been a White House annex office at their headquarters on Dupont Circle finally is snapping back at the evisceration of health legislation.  Trumka and the AFL-CIO are unhappy and balking at the compromises.  MoveOn which has been indistinguishable from Obama’s Organizing for America is sending out emails targeting Lieberman and praising Senator Bernie Sanders and his threats to NOT vote for the health care bill’s Senate version.  There are real discussions everywhere that people gather where folks are trying to find a way to still rationalize supporting so little at this late date in the fight.

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Hunkering Down for Reform

slide_immigration_family_400x308Washington Being around the DC area gave me an opportunity to ply friends and associates for information on what might be happening to some other critical efforts for reform now that health care is at center stage.  The votes still don’t seem there for labor law reform and there’s no push to have it jump over health care in the queue of course.

More interestingly were the tidbits I gathered from my friends in the immigration reform movement.  There seems to be an emerging consensus that this will be a longer fight than anyone would have wanted and that there needs to be a re-engagement tactically and strategically with the base to rebuild the momentum.

Importantly, there seems to also be two other important recognitions.  One is that the anger and disappointment of the base about increased enforcement (like 287g) can’t be ignored or rationalized, especially in the absence of any positive steps towards reform by the Administration.  The other is a recognition that to get this job done may require some real leveraging of the elections in 2010 and 2012, and in my view a much clearer quid pro quo about votes following reform, rather than hope.

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