As Jane has noted here and here, the big push by the White House’s apologists (aka the “Punch the Hippie” corporatist wing of the Democratic Party) to demonize all those who want the Senate health care reform bill to be fixed is in full swing. The brunt of the demonization is being directed at people like Raul Grijalva, the Congressional representative from Arizona who has been at the forefront of legitimate health care reform in Congress.
But, as should have been apparent from the Coakley loss this week, all the demonization that the Punch the Hippie wing can muster is not going to suffice to counter the very real electoral damage that will be suffered by those Democrats who choose to embrace the Senate HCR bill as it currently exists — and not just in the House, either; the Coakley campaign was twenty points up on Scott Brown until Martha Coakley, whose primary stance was fiercely pro-choice, was forced to embrace the Ben Nelson anti-choice amendment. Marcy Wheeler talks about this here. And Chris Van Hollen, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, discusses it here:
“Because of provisions like the Nebraska deal, the Senate bill has been branded in a way that understandably makes it unacceptable in its current form to many voters, especially independents,” Van Hollen told me, adding that Senator Ben Nelson has acknowledged this provision is problematic and must be changed.
He said this was a lesson of Tuesday’s loss: “The Massachusetts election turned on lots of factors. One factor was health care reform,” he said, referring to the Senate bill.
Van Hollen also reiterates that reconcilation is not only possible, but is the best way (and in fact the only way) to get the bill passed. Unless, of course, Rahm Emanuel really does want to see the House flip to the GOP this November.
Call the members of the House’s Progressive Caucus and remind them of Van Hollen’s words.