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What part of "we simply cannot vote for such a proposal" did they not understand when they signed their names?

Everyone needs a hobby, right? And if health care goes down because a couple of progressives who are cosponsors of H.R. 676 don’t think there’s a problem with health care in this country sufficient to enact immediate change, I think making sure Democrats in their districts have a choice in the next election is a good one.

Both Sam Farr and Michael Capuano are now saying they are "open" to triggers for a public option. Both live in strong Democratic districts. Both are single payer supporters. And more importantly, both signed a pledge with 58 of their fellow Democrats saying they would hold the line on the public option. And now they’re screwing them over:

[W]hile Progressive leaders have staked their caucus’s reputation on getting a strong public insurance option, vowing again and again that they will not cave, the rank and file aren’t necessarily holding the line.

“We’re the caucus that least marches to a unified drummer — that’s not what we do,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) said. “I’m serious about increasing access and quality, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a grand slam home run. I’ll take a ground-rule double if that’s what it takes. I’m happy to compromise if that’s what it takes. But compromise is compromise — it’s not rolling over.”

Do they think that voting for a public plan is not already a compromise off of single payer? Do they really think that insurance companies like UnitedHealth, whose CEO has over $700 million in unexercised stock options, need one more chance to "get it right?"

Capuano and Farr have been shaking donors down for years campaigning about a "health care crisis." Did they suddenly wake up this morning and decide that a "crisis" was all in their minds? That things aren’t so bad after all? Are they really going to try and pull off immediately soaking middle class people for insurance they can’t afford to use in a huge transfer of wealth to the insurance industry, and safeguard the public only "if and when"?

Everyone has to choose here. Nobody gets a pass. You’re either in or you’re out. That goes for everyone — members of Congress, liberal institutions, everybody who has been calling for liberal health care reform. You can’t be "for" something and then enable those who are trying to dismantle it.

If you live in Rep. Capuano’s or Rep. Farr’s district, and you know an up and coming progressive leader who knows how to keep their word who would be a good primary challenger, let us know.

If you are one of the 3,103 who donated $6,071.43 to Capuano or the 2,870 who donated $5,691.07 to Farr based on the letter they signed to vote against any bill that does not have a robust public option, call them and tell them you want it back.

And please join Slinkerwink over at Daily Kos today as she continues looking into the relationship between health care lobbyists and members in strong Democratic districts who WON’T take the pledge. What is happening with Capuano and Farr underscores why her efforts are so vital — if everyone is allowed to keep their head down til it’s time to vote, and then joins together to vote en masse to sell it out, it’s too late. They need to know the people in their districts are watching them now.

As the administration stars to twist arms and peel progressives off like this, weakening their resolve and hammering the block down to get it below 40 — the number necessary to defeat a bill without a public option — we’re gonna have to twist back.

Join us as we find new and entertaining ways to show Rep. Capuano and Rep. Farr that this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.

Sam Farr: 202-225-2861, 831-424-2229, 831-429-1976.

Michael Capuano: 202-225-9322 , 617-621-6208, 617-621-6208

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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