The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Call Your Representative


    I'm going to shamelessly repost this from Tim F. at Balloon Juice, because it's good and timely advice. Call your member of the House and tell them to vote for health care reform. Tell them loud, and tell them proud. Here's how:

    (1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .

    (2) Remember, this person works for you. You pay his or her salary and you voted for them. You’re the boss here, or at least one of them, and it’s they who should worry about what you think of them.

    (3) Identify your name and the town or neighborhood where you live. If you are not a constituent, save your phone bill and yell at the TV.


    This is urgent. Call your Rep today.

    More tips here.

    And hearing that the Speaker thinks she doesn't have the votes makes calling your rep, and telling them how you want them to vote, more urgent, not less.




    Where does (3) leave our Canadian misfits? Can they just pick a couple of the fence-sitters, figure out what towns they represent and pick one of those?

    It leaves them with sane national health insurance.

    Well, sure, if they don't care about their southern neighbors. Cry

    The good thoughts of our Canadian friends are very welcome. And there are lots of other ways to help at other stages of the process. But Congress only takes calls from its own voters. Today, Canadians are like History itself

    "which may say alas, but cannot help or pardon."

    Yeah, you guys are on your own from this point on. Just to be clear about what you're urging, doctor: you want the House to pass unamended the Lieberman-edited Senate version of the bill. The one that doesn't even repeal the insurance industry's anti-trust exemption.

    Like a lot of House Democrats, I can't work up much enthusiasm for that -- even if I thought it would work. I'm sure Nancy Pelosi would love to give the president his paper victory, but she's right -- she doesn't have the votes. Too many members think the watered-down bill is just a bad piece of legislation, and they are pissed of at Harry Reid and the White House for sticking them with responsibility for this turkey.

    I only know what I see on TV or read in the papers and blogs, but I don't think any version of this legislation can pass. By all means let your legislators know you're really, really angry that they botched what should have been a slam-dunk, but be prepared to move on.

    After the dust settles, the first thing Reid should do is repeal the anti-trust exemption. Warn any Dems thinking of joining a filibuster that he'll slash the 60-vote rule as needed and kick them out of caucus to boot. But I don't think the threat will be necessary, because everyone will be eager to regain a bit of public trust after this fiasco. And call in Howard Dean to mastermind future incremental reform bills, cutting Rahm out of the process. (Ideally, Obama would fire him altogether, but as I wrote earlier that won't happen. Also dump Menendez from the Senate campaign committee; no-one who fucks up this badly should get a second chance.)


    Passing the Senate bill is exactly what I want, right now. Because that's what's left on the table, and it includes some important previsions, like the end of companies retroatcively canceling your beneifts when they're sick. Is that bill what I want. No, but I'll take what I can get.

    And then I'll start campaigning for the next round of reforms. This is how you get what you want ... step by step, part by part, not all at one glorious moment but progressively.


    It's not abandon hope now and wait for next time. It's take what you can get now and start tooling up for next time.


    "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien" - Voltaire (The best is the enemy of the good.)

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