As we close in on a Senate health care reform bill, Howard Dean and a number of other voices on the left have suddenly started calling for the bill to be defeated. Moveon.org has launched a campaign to attack the most liberal senators for failing to fight more vociferously for the public option. This is just madness, a petty pouting at the compromises that had to be made to overcome a Republican filibuster.
I have said this before, and I will say it again. If you are looking for a target for your anger, aim it at the drug companies, at the health care industry, or -- most appropriately -- at the American people. If they were willing to elect sixty Bernie Sanders and Russ Feinbergs, we would live in a socialist paradise. The liberals in the Senate have been fighting a rearguard action since they stepped onto the field of battle. Those forty Republican senators pretty accurately represent perhaps forty percent or more of the American people. Barack Obama won less than 53% of the popular vote. Almost 47% of those voting chose John McCain and Sarah Palin. That is the reality of the American political landscape. Obama positioned himself only moderately to the left of center on the issues, and still only pulled less than 53% of the vote. What is going on in the Senate right now is a complex, messy, infuriating, excruciating, but quite accurate reflection of that reality.
You want Bernie Sanders to call the tune? So do I. Fine. Don't hold protest meetings in Greenwich Village, or Cambridge, Mass, or Berkeley, California, or Hyde Park, Chicago. Hold them in Ogden, Utah or Charleston, South Carolina. Never been to Ogden or Charleston? Wouldn't go on a bet, because they are not your kind of people? Then stop complaining and take what you can get!