So as we rattle off an endless list of polls that show overwhelming super-majority support for the public option, Congress continues to act in its own interest and contrary to what you want — in defiance, even, of what 50-66 percent of Republican voters want — in defiance of what up to 76 percent of crucial independent voters want.
They’re being paid by the health insurance lobby to kill the public option and to require everyone to buy private insurance at whatever premium they’d like to charge you.
This leaves us with the president to crack some skulls. Robert Reich had some good advice for President Obama:
Be LBJ. So far, Lyndon Johnson has been the only president to defeat American Medical Association and the rest of the medical-industrial complex. He got Medicare and Medicaid enacted despite their cries of “socialized medicine” because he knocked heads on the Hill. He told Congress exactly what he wanted, cajoled and threatened those who resisted, and counted noses every hour until he had the votes he needed. When you’re not on the road, you need to be twisting congressional arms and drawing a line in the sand. Be tough.
I’ve resisted this “Obama should [fill in the blank]” advice in the past, but the level of corruption in Congress demands that the president throw his considerable popularity in the faces of these sold-out bastards. It’s a perfect storm of push-back against Congress. Super-majority support for the public option, and an overwhelmingly popular president to deliver those numbers to the asshats who refuse to acknowledge anything other than Frank Luntz’s hackery.
Be LBJ, Mr. President. Go!
Adding… This Reich bit is also important:
Put everything else on hold. As important as they are, your other agenda items — financial reform, home mortgage mitigation, cap-and-trade legislation — pale in significance relative to universal health care. By pushing everything at once, you take the public’s mind off the biggest goal, diffuse your energies, blur your public message, and fuel the demagogues who say you’re trying to take over the private sector.
I seriously believe we should all take this advice. This has to be the priority. If for no other reason than we are being sold out and it has to stop here.