17 March 2010

Final March for Reform and What's Ahead for Democrats

The materials being put out by OFA (Organizing for America, the President's outreach organization), on the "Final March for Reform" are very good, and very well organized. I hope this is a blueprint for greater activism from the President, in particular as to the specifics of the legislation he wants to see passed. 

The President was great in Ohio the other day, and I think this is just what reform actually takes: highly visible presidential leadership.

I hope going forward that the lesson learned from Health Care is that you must come to the table with the best reform you can think of... and compromise from there. The mistake we made, as Democrats, in HCR was to compromise away Medicare for All or something of that sort before we even came to the negotiations.

Also, I think it must by now be abundantly clear that the Party of No Deal is just that... and that we have to convince the people to demand that their Republican (and some Democratic) congresspeople and Senators vote for their interests.

And, in the campaign, we have to be willing to call them out, point out their hypocrisy, point out how they represent corporate interests and the interests of the Very, Very Rich, and not the interests they pretend to represent.

With Dennis Kucinich having yielded to pressure (including even from Daily KOS's Markos Moulitsas), I am now reasonably optimistic that this HCR reconciliation bill will actually pass, and that it will, in fact, serve as a springboard for further critical reforms.

I have seen commentary (not sure about actual polling) indicating that possibly the election of Brown in Massachusetts was actually the low water mark for Democrats, and that things are actually swinging back already. If that's true, then a huge push to counter the lies and hypocrisy of the Party of No Deal may minimize the damage this MidTerm, and from there, we just have to continue to shape the message, pull together as a party to make sure that there actually is a reform agenda that can be simply and clearly explained to be in the best interests of the great majority of the public, and fight like hell to regain and build on victorious margins in the Congress.

To this end, I would like to see the President's supporters organize to actually buy time for Presidential Fireside Chats, (including advertising to get people to watch them). I have been critical of the President and especially of some of his advisers, but I do think his communication abilities are second to few, if any, and that if he will get out there with real "fire in the belly" and ask the public for support, with strong, albeit straightforward and simple, arguments for his policies, he could actually easily turn around the perception that his presidency is floundering, and create a big momentum of public good will for his agenda. So far, the Party of No Deal has been winning the Message War; they're good at it; but now is certainly not the time to give up.

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