A thought came to mind that I hadn't seen elsewhere. I don't post many blog entries because anything I have to say has generally been said by a lot of people elsewhere, and I don't feel my words are so deathless that they need to contribute to the junk drawer that is the blogosphere. When I see an aspect of something no one else seems to, though, it's time for a comment.
Now, a lot of people are saying we have to get healthcare done now, because if we don't, it won't get done at all. I agree with that, but I think it's much more than that. We have to succeed--Obama has to succeed--or else it's the end of the road for Democrats entirely.
Look at it this way. Obama was elected with the closest thing Dems have had to a mandate since LBJ was elected in 1964. We have the largest Congressional majority since that time, too. Obama came in with the kind of popularity that we haven't seen since Reagan and a clear mandate for change. Yet we're getting derailed by the combined might of the D.C. lobbies--Big Health is out to get us, and it's been revealed (via leaked internal memo) that Big Oil is planning the same strategy for climate change legislation.
If we can't accomplish major legislation with the assembly we have now, when will we? Is there any possibility that if the big corporations win now, they will be weaker in the future? If the most popular Democrat since Kennedy, since FDR really, can't accomplish the major change we need along with a veto-proof Senate, who is going to come along and do it? We get taunted by the right for having elected "The Messiah" and "The One." Yeah, we put a lot of pressure on Obama to deliver more than any other President has. But if he doesn't do it, if we can't do it, who in the world is going to?
Who will be able to stand up to Big Money if we cannot?
Paraphrasing the Chief of Staff in "The American President," the American people thirst for leadership, and they'll crawl through the desert to get it. And if they don't find it there, they'll drink the sand. Wake up, Democrats: if we can't show that we have the spine and cojones to lead, Americans will turn to people who do. And the only other option is the GOP.
We can't crow that the GOP is dead. We can't relax just because they keep putting up fools and buffoons. If we don't lead and succeed, the American people will choose a buffoon who can. They already did in 2000 and 2004. As it is, we stand to lose seats in 2010 because of our indecision, and we'll be able to accomplish far less--especially since, thinking they see the writing on the wall, Dems will tack even farther to the right, thinking that's what Americans want. That's not what they will be voting for: they'll be voting for anyone who can govern strongly. And if they see the GOP as strong in 2010, and we can't accomplish anything between there and 2012, we're going to see a Republican president...and that one may well be a loon like Sarah Palin.
There is no "maybe next time." This is it for us. We have the strongest leader in a generation, and if we can't get it done now, no one is going to trust us in the future. Be firm with your congressperson and your President. Tell them that the public option is not optional. As our President said, "We are the people we have waited for." If we let our agenda be destroyed by a well-ogranized group of lobbyists now, we might as well throw in the towel. This is it. If we don't win now, they own us.
Write, call, and pester your leaders until they listen. A free America is your responsibility.