Some unknown -- but potentially decisive -- number of Congressional Democrats have tentatively concluded that their electoral chances this fall are improved by avoiding further debate on health care reform. Let's prove them wrong.
I believe that their analysis of public reaction is completely mistaken in the first place, but my faith in the patient offer of logic for their consideration is wearing thin.
Therefore, working from a similar suggestion posted by another contributor to this site, I have a more direct suggestion. Let's apply our cumulative financial influence to the side of pressing for action on health care reform legislation.
Tell Democratic Members of Congress that the only federal candidates getting our contributions this year are incumbents who voted for reform and who continue to call for its passage now, and challengers who express clear support for passage of health reform. (Are you an incumbent who voted "no" in the first round? Then come back and ask again after you've voted "yes" on final passage.)
Tell the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) and the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) that they'll get our contributions this year only AFTER health reform legislation is passed.
Let the DSCC and DCCC convey the feedback to Congressional leadership that Congressional spinelessness on this issue is slowing down the money train. If political survival (which sadly includes fundraising capacity) is the only language which some of them speak, let's talk their language.
After all, this is the kind of issue that defines what it means to be a Democrat in the first place. With the largest majorities in the House and Senate (even after the Mass. special election) that we're likely to see for many years, this is our only good chance to act on this crucial problem.
I personally consider access to health care the most important social justice issue of this generation. Accordingly, I'm prepared to make it the subject of the kind of blanket call that I rarely endorse.
No histrionics. No threats. No deals. Just a promise.
Call it the Health Care Now Pledge.
**Here are the phone numbers:
--Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Phone (202) 224-2447
--Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Main Phone Number: (202) 863-1500