An Open Letter To Rep. Stupak (and any other Democrat voting against health care reform)

The first paragraph of the preamble to the 2008 Democratic Party Platform reads as follows:

We come together at a defining moment in the history of our nation – the nation that led the 20th century, built a thriving middle class, defeated fascism and communism, and provided bountiful opportunity to many. We Democrats have a special commitment to this promise of America.  We believe that every American, whatever their background or station in life, should have the chance to get a good education, to work at a good job with good wages, to raise and provide for a family, to live in safe surroundings, and to retire with dignity and security. We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right. We believe that each succeeding generation should have the opportunity, through hard work, service and sacrifice, to enjoy a brighter future than the last.

Mr. Stupak you cannot vote against this bill and still consider yourself to be a Democrat.  This is too big, too important an issue for you to turn your back on  this bill because it doesn’t go far enough to support an issue that is important to  you and a very small majority within our party.  For me, and I believe to the vast majority of those of us who call ourselves Democrats this is our core issue, universal health care.  I know this bill is far from perfect and does not go far enough in meeting that goal of universal health care, but your objections to this bill are not based on the bill not going far enough, nor the cost.  You and your supporters are attempting to hijack health care reform to further an issue that has no business even being part of the current debate.

To vote no against this bill is to turn your back on your country and party.   Congressman I also have to ask you, since your religious beliefs are at the core of what you object to in this bill;   Would Jesus really want you to be the instrument that denies health care coverage to 31 million Americans?

2008 Democratic National Platform

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99 responses to “An Open Letter To Rep. Stupak (and any other Democrat voting against health care reform)

  1. House Democrats to meet Obama on Saturday

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – All of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are invited to the White House on Saturday for a meeting with President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the White House said on Friday.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100319/pl_nm/us_usa_healthcare_obama_democrats_1

  2. Dems Scared Into Action By Everyone From Donors To The Base

    In recent days, the message has been conveyed throughout the caucus that the failure to pass legislation into law would be a cataclysmic misstep. It goes beyond the certainty that activists in the base would be demoralized, that the president would be weakened or that Congress would seem entirely ineffectual (if not so already). The damage to the party would be so far-reaching, lawmakers have been told, that even the big-time donors who have long supported Democratic causes would be less inclined to contribute.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/19/dems-scared-into-action-b_n_505757.html?just_reloaded=1

  3. nannymm

    Very well said, Brian!

  4. And a P. S. to the Hispanic Congressional Caucus:

    I agree completely that the exclusion of the undocumented is absurd. However do you really want to be party to an attempt by the GOP to hobble first American president of color?

  5. nannymm

    Most Catholic organizations do back this bill, dnd. Only the crazy right wing single issue ones are against it.

  6. Hey d, Ed is running the Hannity charity scam piece.

  7. I was impressed with Boccieri’s statement earlier today:

    • dnd

      Critics of Nancy Pelosi clearly don’t grok the Italian-American community in San Francisco or Baltimore. Or Italian-Americans in general 😉

  8. dooty

    looks like this is really gonna happen, huh? Will it stfu the cretins on the right? I somehow think not.

    • dnd

      “To grok (pronounced /ˈɡrɒk/) is to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book Stranger in a Strange Land. In Heinlein’s view, grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed. ”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok

  9. dooty

    dang Brian even I knew what the word “Grok” meant and I am just a redneck.

  10. Well you see even I can learn something new!

  11. dooty

    I read that link Brian and the rw crazies are really out and out scared.

  12. tonyb39

    Brian,
    Good piece.I agree the bill needs to pass and Stupac is a shit,but I read pieces like this from David Sorota and i can’t disagree either?

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/whats_the_matter_with_democrats_20100318/

    “What’s the Matter With Democrats?”

    “Ever since Thomas Frank published his book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Democrats have sought a political strategy to match the GOP’s. The health care bill proves they’ve found one.

    Whereas Frank highlighted Republicans’ sleight-of-hand success portraying millionaire tax cuts as gifts to the working class, Democrats are now preposterously selling giveaways to insurance and pharmaceutical executives as a middle-class agenda. Same formula, same fat-cat beneficiaries, same bleating sheeple herded to the slaughterhouse. The only difference is the Rube Goldberg contraption that Democrats are using to tend the flock.

    First, their leaders campaign on pledges to create a government insurer (a “public option”) that will compete with private health corporations. Once elected, though, Democrats propose simply subsidizing those corporations, which are (not coincidentally) filling Democratic coffers. Justifying the reversal, Democrats claim the subsidies will at least help some citizens try to afford the private insurance they’ll be forced to buy—all while insisting Congress suddenly lacks the votes for a public option.

    Despite lawmakers’ refusal to hold votes verifying that assertion, liberal groups obediently follow orders to back the bill, their obsequious leaders fearing scorn from Democratic insiders and moneymen. Specifically, MoveOn, unions and “progressive” nonprofits threaten retribution against lawmakers who consider voting against the bill because it doesn’t include a public option. The threats fly even though these congresspeople would be respecting their previous public-option ultimatums—ultimatums originally supported by many of the same groups now demanding retreat.”

  13. tonyb39

    I don’t believe Reid will push for the Public Option and certainly the President won’t.At this point its like a kick in the gut for him to even go there,wtf,wait, maybe that’s all it will take to placate progressives??Maybe someone like Grayson can get the Medicare buy in,he seems genuine!

  14. doots to which link are you referring?

  15. tonyb39

    Brian,
    Peter’s piece was a good read,thanks, but its like he’s in an alternate universe..

    “That hope is now gone. From top to bottom, Democrats have decided to bet the party’s future on the belief that Americans prefer bold liberals to cautious ones. Now it’s up to the bear.”

    What a joke,what about the President’s healthcare bill is BOLD and LIBERAL??? Hell,its basically Romney Care and similar to what Bob Dole put up as an alternative to the Clinton’s plan..

  16. Tony I think you’re really missing the point of the piece or perhaps the hard light it paints the Clintons in is clouding your judgment.

  17. Well it looks like some sort of health bill will be passed and I hope it has plenty of good items in it.

    Does anyone know if Keith had a show last night?

    I have not seen any clips up and I did watch Rachael so I know that MSNBC was on. Did they have some sort of special and not have Keith on? Please let me know.

    And if he was on and the clips don’t show up what was the topics he did?

    Later gang and keep up the good work Brian.

    Oh by the way, loved the Hannity story. Remember though that Hannity’s a coward for declaring to be waterboarded for charity and the troops then hiding and not going through with it.

    God Bless all.

  18. tonyb39

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-17/the-pure-greed-of-obamas-phony-health-care-reform/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsR4

    “The Pure Greed of Obama’s Phony Health-Care Reform
    by Michael Moore”

    Here’s a good read by a hometown favorite of mine..

  19. AP MSNBC ran a repeat of KO’s health care special comment show last night.

  20. tonyb39

    I guess we just disagree about Peter’s piece.I didn’t think the things that were facts in his piece painted the Clintons in a bad light.Oh,the things speculated about did,like saying how Hillary advised by Penn would have handled the current try at healthcare differently.I don’t even go there,its something we will never know.

  21. nannymm

    Personally, I’m sick of the anti-Clinton crap. Enough already! Hillary and Obama have put it aside and are working well together. Why do some people always have to bring things back to Bill and Hillary? Sheeeesh!!

  22. nanny I don’t think the point of the piece is to be “anti-Clinton”. I think the point of the piece is what happened to the Democratic Party in the Reagan era and how the party is now changing in the post Reagan era. But (and I know you are tony are going to want to slit my throat over this one) but how do you as liberals rationalize the Clintons’ fondness for triangulation. Seriously I’m not trying to pick a fight but when I read both of you railing against this president for giving into the right on some points it makes my jaw drop. The Clintons repeatedly threw the left under the bus and you seem very willing to let it slide where the they are concerned by not Barack Obama.

  23. Yes doots, one of the joys of this week for me has been watching the full fledged panic taking place on the right!

  24. tonyb39

    “The Clintons repeatedly threw the left under the bus and you seem very willing to let it slide where the they are concerned by not Barack Obama.”

    The first two years of the Clinton Presidency were filled with attempts at getting the liberal agenda passed,Bill failed and lost the Congress.Of course after that he moved to the center.Brian,you comparing the Clinton’s situation to President Obama’s is not a fair comparison.Democrats under Obama have the largest majorities since the 60’s,big difference! Hey,were allowed to disagree,that’s A-OK,but why oh why does everything always have to come back to the Clinton’s vs Obama?Last time I checked they were on the same team..

  25. tonyb39

    and I know you are tony are going to want to slit my throat over this one)

    Haha,nope,i think you’ve had enough trouble with knives lately,say what you wish i think were tough!

  26. nannymm

    Werll said, Tony.
    Brian, I used to scream at Bill Clinton, too. But the times were different; Congress was far different, too. It was also a time of apathy. There was far less activism on the left; the base was smaller. In short, it was a very different era. Clinton started out on the left and moved to the center out of necessity. Obama had a strong Progressive base and coalition to support him. Yet, he chose to put his quest for bipartisanship ahead of progressive ideas. That is what has angered me. Had he really fought for the progressive agenda and then been forced to move to the center, I could have and would have accepted that. I’m an idealist who also has a strong streak of realism coursing through my veins. But Obama never fought for single payer universal healthcare. NEVER. He started from the center left and has moved to dead center. He’s a piss poor negotiator. Clinton was a fighter. If Obama had a bit of that fighting spirit in him, I think we could have achieved so much more. The time was right. We had the majorities in Congress. And the majority of Americans were strongly behind Obama and major healthcare reform. He squandered all of that. So, yes, he is achieving what Bill Clinton was unable to do. But he could have achieved so damned much more.
    All that being said, I strongly support Obama and am proud that he is our president. I just wish he had a bit more fighting spirit in him…

    • dnd

      “Clinton started out on the left and moved to the center out of necessity. ”

      Huh? Clinton signed PRWORA, fulfilling a campaign promise. PRWORA had it’s roots in the Contract With America (or what some call Contract on America 😉 ).
      Clinton signed NAFTA on January 1st 1994 (happy new year!).

      Bill Clinton has always been a centrist (as is Obama), even as Governor; a “New Democrat.” It, and his natural charm, served him well.

      The biggest difference between Clinton and Obama (other than the charm quotient) is that Clinton smokes cigars and Obama smokes cigarettes.

  27. nannymm

    Think of it this way, Brian. Bill Clinton became prez in the “Reagan era.” That in and of itself was amazing. The country was still in love with that old fart Ronnie; liberal was a dirty word. Clinton’s liberal efforts cost him the Congress and would have cost him a 2nd term had he not moved to the center.
    Obama, on the other hand, became president, because this country was fed up with the repugs and failed conservative ideas. The country was ripe for strong liberal/progressive ideas and leadership. They didn’t get it from Obama. They got some “post partisan, bipartisan” pablum that didn’t work and quickly turned toxic. I see that as a huge error and a squandered opportunity. To me, it’s sad. It may well be a generation or more before we progressives/liberals have such an opportunity again.

  28. tonyb39

    Nanny,
    What a terrific comment and I absolutely agree! I have copied it so i can send it to Baz in Australia..Baz loves American politics and I think your comment will help him understand things better,he thinks were a bit crazy over here..

  29. nannymm

    Thanks, Tony.

  30. tonyb39

    Oh, thank you,your a joy! I tell Baz all the time about the blog.Baz loves Obama,but doesn’t get the whole way things work in are government,hell neither do I!! haha

  31. There is a lot of opinion out there that Obama’s doubling down on health care as he has done since what happened in Mass will cost him gravely. For better or worse President Obama has put his presidency on the line for health care, I’m grateful.

  32. nannymm

    I’m glad that he finally has put his presidency on the line, too, Brian. But it’s his fault that we’re here now.
    But, frankly, I’m sick of this whole debate. We are where we are. At some point we will need to examine the reasons why things have gone as they have. We will need to determine what was done well and what was screwed up. But you can’t compare the Clinton years to now. It’s apples and oranges. For now though we need to look forward. This battle is far from over. Even if the House votes Sunday to pass this bill, it must go back to the Senate for the “fixes.” That is far from a sure thing. The repugs are determined to make mischief. And who knows what some of our own senators will come up with. Every change has to be materially related to the budget as determined by the senate parliamentarian. ONE TINY CHANGE –EVEN ONE SINGLE WORD—in what the House passes Sunday (assuming it does pass) and the entire thing MUST go back to the House for another vote. So this is not a done deal. The senate has a unique ability to fuck it all up; and dems have an uncanny knack for turning victory into defeat.
    This constant Clinton v Obama nonsense is getting us nowhere. It is not helping us pass a healthcare bill. More importantly, it is just one more thing used to divide Democrats when we most need to be united. So, to anyone who wants to debate Clinton v Obama, I say, “STFU and get to work passing the agenda that both Clintons and Obama support.”

  33. tonyb39

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/opinion/20blow.html?th&emc=th

    “Could Obama Be Invincible?”

    “The empty-headed chattering class began another round of speculation and inane analysis this week when his approval rating dropped to 46 percent, its lowest yet. Silly pundits.

    It was a minor tick and overplayed. If I were a Republican strategist (God forbid!), I would actually be very worried that the lower 50s/upper 40s could be Obama’s bottom. He has weathered some of the worst months of his young presidency recently, and his numbers have barely budged”

    • dnd

      “GOP Congressmen: Most Republicans Now Think Iraq War Was a Mistake”

      They shoulda asked me seven years ago 😉

      Maybe they got an earful from the Vets at openfree.net.

  34. Morning peeps. Hows the snow d?

    • dnd

      It stopped snowing last night. Sun’s out. A balmy 21 degrees here.

      It was suppose to snow today. Glad the forecast was wrong for the first day of spring.

      • dnd

        The teabaggers have been bussed into DC to protest health care reform. Never mind that most of ’em look like they’re on Medicare.

        Don Imus is at his ranch for kids with cancer, phoned in to Neil Cavuto, explaining that perhaps it’s more important to be there (DC) “standing around with a bunch of people who look like they just got out of a mental institution…” (referring to the teabaggers).

        Imus explained that a lot of the kids that come to his ranch are poor and don’t have health insurance.

        • dnd

          BTW, it’s unseasonably warm (and humid) in DC today. Hope none of the teabaggers faint from the heat and need that socialistic health care.

          Good thing they’re not protesting global warming 😉

  35. A balmy 65 here, eat your heart out!

  36. Newsweek Columnist Alter’s White House Book Details Obama on ‘Teabaggers,’ Rahm’s Rage, Summers’s Nickname

    One argument Alter makes is that Obama came late to health care — as a Senator in 2006 he didn’t even include it in a memo listing his policy priorities — but once in the Oval Office, he became a stubborn behind the scenes champion of getting it through Congress, even as many of his advisers warned it was the wrong course.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/03/newsweek_columnist_alters_whit.html

  37. California Bar Now Investigating Orly Taitz

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/california_bar_now_investigating_orly_taitz.php?ref=fpb

    If she gets disbarred maybe she can get a gig as guest blogger on TM

    *snicker*

  38. Baron Hill
    (D) Indiana

    A yes vote

  39. 2:21 PM ET — Democrats say no deem and pass.

    Two Democratic lawmakers tell the Huffington Post that the party will not use the controversial measure known as deem and pass to get health care into law.

    Rep. Eliott Engel (D-NY) said the House will vote on the Senate bill first before it considered a separate package of reconciliation changes. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) confirmed.

  40. nannymm

    Amen! Deem and pass was the coward’s way (repugs have a propensity to use it.) It would also have been a risky maneuver; had the issue ever ended up befor SCOTUS, one never knows what the right wing hacks on the court would have done.

  41. 2:39 PM ET — Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: How the vote tomorrow will work.

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says what will now happen is first a vote on the reconciliation package followed immediately by a vote on the Senate bill. They had wanted to do this all along, she said, but thought they had to do Senate bill first. The parliamentarian has now ruled it’s ok to do reconciliation first.

  42. nannymm

    That’s perfect, Brian. I can’t wait to get these votes over with.

  43. nannymm

    Where are you getting those updates from, Brian?

  44. nannymm

    Menacing
    Josh Marshall | March 20, 2010, 2:42PM

    Things seem to be getting pretty heated in the Capitol with crowds of anti-Reform/Tea Party activists going through the halls shouting slogans and epithets at Democratic members of Congress.

    As our Brian Beutler reports, a few moments ago in Longworth office building, a group swarmed a very calm looking Henry Waxman, as he got on the elevator, with shouts of “Kill the bill!” “You liar! You crook!”

    Not long before, Rep. Barney Frank got an uglier version of the treatment. Just after Frank rounded a corner to leave the building, an older protestor yelled “Barney, you faggot.” The surrounding crowd of protestors then erupted in laughter.

    At one point, Capitol police officer threatened to throw a group of protestors out of the building but that only seemed to inflame them more; and apparently none were ejected.

    Note that this was in the Longworth building, not the Capitol building proper. But I’m a bit surprised that this is being allowed to occur anywhere in the Capitol complex. From Brian’s description it sounds like menacing.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/03/menacing.php?ref=fpblg

  45. 3:22 PM ET — Steny Hoyer: Reid has more than 50 signatures for reconciliation.

    Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said just now that his counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has presented him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter signed by “more than 50” Senators agreeing to pursue reconciliation fixes to the health care bill.

    Asked by the Huffington Post what assurances the House had that the Senate would take up their reconciliation fixes, Hoyer flashed a grin and replied that leadership was quite confident the votes would be there. He then revealed for the first time that a letter had been prepared to assuage nervous House Democrats that 51 Senators were committed to passing reconciliation.

  46. Loving the fact the prez on the hill is being televised.

  47. nannymm

    Catholics United: Things are really starting to move. fiverthirtyeight.com is reporting that pro-life Catholics Carney and Cuellar will vote yes! Just waiting on a few more holdouts.

  48. 3:24 PM ET — 10 votes shy of health care. According to the vote count being kept by the New York Times, Democrats now have 206 declared or strongly expected ‘yes’ votes for health care reform, leaving them in need of just 10 addition votes to ensure the bill’s passage.

    Of course, many of the publicly undeclared members of Congress have likely already privately communicated their positions to Democratic leaders. But every member who announces their position publicly gives extra assurance that their vote is solid.

    I think they have the votes or you wouldn’t be see this pre-victory dance going on right now on TV.

  49. nannymm

    “I think they have the votes or you wouldn’t be see this pre-victory dance going on right now on TV.”

    There’s no doubt in my mind about that!

  50. nannymm

    House Democrats seeking executive order on abortion funding
    “House Democrats are working with the White House to craft an executive order that would clarify President Obama’s intention to maintain a long-standing ban on federal funding of abortion, congressional Democrats said.

    The effort was part of a hurried campaign by House leaders on Saturday to persuade a pivotal bloc of antiabortion Democrats to support far-reaching health insurance reform.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/20/AR2010032001941.html?hpid=topnews

  51. The executive order maybe a stroke of genius to get Stupac on board, a meaningless gesture but will enable Stupac to save face.

  52. The president was at his very best!

  53. nannymm

    Yes to both.

  54. nannymm

    My representative, Bill Owens, just issued a statement (via email) that he will support HCR tomorrow. YAY!!!!

  55. TempeBev

    Harry Mitchell will vote for Heathcare

  56. Yeah I think Charlie is going to be a yes vote too.

    🙂

  57. nannymm

    Charlie is a safe bet, I’d think.

  58. Democrats Picking Off Stupak Supporters

    House Democratic leaders appear to be succeeding in their push to peel off abortion-rights opponents lined up with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) against a health care overhaul.

    Stupak said those standing with him now number about six — down from the rough dozen he has claimed for weeks. That is likely enough to put the majority within striking distance of the 216 votes they need for passage.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/44436-1.html

  59. tonyb39

    Glad to read all of you.So much good news,up or down vote on reconciliation and then a vote on the Senate bill,great! Stupac may vote for the bill,terrific,maybe that would take away a right wing talking point that abortion is being paid for by this bill?

  60. nannymm

    Good article, dnd.
    From my reading of the bill, we will not be allowed to buy into the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. That will remain an option for federal employees only.

  61. Tea Party Protests: ‘Ni**er,’ ‘Faggot’ Shouted At Members Of Congress

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html

    Why not Fa**got?

  62. nannymm

    Personally, I think both words should be spelled out and spoken out in all their hatefulness when used in a news story or academic situation. Let’s stop hiding the ugliness. People need to see and hear how despicable these terms are.

  63. nannymm

    I hope there is good video of these assholes. It should find its way into Democratic campaign videos in the fall. Let people see what these right wing assholes are like.

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