From “The Hill.com”:
House liberals shift climate change tactics, will not draw 'lines in the sand'
By Russell Berman - 04/07/10 06:00 AM ET
Liberal House Democrats are shifting their political tactics on climate change after failing to secure a public option in the new healthcare reform law.
The move comes in the wake of liberals having to walk back threats that they would vote against a healthcare bill without a government-run program.
“Drawing the line in the sand too quickly was part of the lesson we learned on healthcare,” the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), told The Hill.”
Essentially confirming what I have been saying since the passage of President Obama’s Health Care “Reform” legislation, Progressives in congress are facing the reality that this administration, just as the Clinton administration before, will be less than likely to work with them in any substantive way. From Clinton’s DADT to DOMA; to Obama’s “More Nukes and Drill Baby Drill” energy announcements, his “Healthcare as a subsidy to the Insurance Industry plan, to his continuing policy of indefinite detention without charges for “enemy combatants”, and more; the continuing shift to the right is inescapable.
The words of Rep. Grijalva are telling indeed; basically admitting that there is little stomach for the fight after allowing themselves to be shouted down by a vocal group of Blue Dogs and a president whose only negotiating position is concession. As the Hill article points out:
“A group of 45 House Democrats, all members of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), sent a letter late last month to congressional leaders, urging them to retain strong caps on carbon emissions. But the missive notably did not include any threat to oppose a stripped-down bill.
The letter stated only that the coalition “feels that it is of the highest priority that any comprehensive energy legislation includes reductions in greenhouse gas emissions necessary to spur investment in American green energy technologies, and is consistent with reduction targets in the House-passed legislation.”
That stands in contrast to the language used last August in the healthcare debate, when 60 House Democrats signed a letter stating plainly that they could not vote for a bill that lacked a public option. Eight months later, every House liberal (emphasis TLS) backed the final legislation even though the public option had been discarded.”
And so what does this mean as we move forward? From my point of view it means that if we really want to see a shift back to the “true center” where Progressive values such as Universal Healthcare for All and an end to illegal and endless military interventionism are respected points of view and not something to toss under the bus at the first sign of resistance; Progressive MUST stop blindly following party dogma that preaches mindless support for incumbents based on the false memes of “risking the safe seat” or “the public is not there yet.” As anyone who watched the polling could tell you, the public was well out ahead of the politicos on the subject of the public option and they are just as far ahead on the subject of a clean environment. Also we MUST keep holding self identified Progressives accountable. The Hill closes with a statement from Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that pretty much sums it up:
”Progressives drawing a line in the sand for the public option was not the problem. Being weak and not sticking by their line in the sand was the problem,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Their credibility will be less than the Blue Dogs’ in every future policy battle until progressives draw a line in the sand and refuse to cave…”
Look around. There are Progressives challenging for a seat somewhere close to you. Identify them. Help them. We did “More”. It is time for “Better”.
Chad (The Left) Shue