Great Guest Post By “Democratista”!

Over the weeks before Christmas, I found myself totally absorbed by the “debate” on health care reform bill in the Senate. Debate is not what I watched at all. As a matter of fact, one would not know that the Democrats and Republicans were speaking about the same bill. The Democrats tended to read stories from their various constituents who went through extreme financial and emotional pain, including preventable deaths, and pushing toward getting as many people as covered as possible, claiming this bill would do just that.

The Republicans railed on about cuts to Medicare and “killing grandma” and taxes, taxes, taxes. It was nothing different than any other “debate” between these two parties. You would have real difficulty understanding what was in the bill and the amount of legal jargon and references to other sections make it incredibly difficult to understand even if you do read the actual legislation.

Then something happened which totally changed my focus. I live in MA, which I laughingly called “the Socialist Republic of Massachusetts”, and all of a sudden I started seeing tons and tons of signs and people for Scott Brown. We all know what happened there. I gave up. I totally gave up. I didn’t watch any news or care a lick about what the pols were saying. I got to know my State Rep over the course of the special election, and if I was going to care about politics, it was going to be local only.

I admit I am one of those dems who didn’t pick up a phone and work on the Coakley campaign until the last week. I made sure to stress to everyone I knew who probably wasn’t interesting in voting, who thought it was a shoe-in, who hadn’t been paying attention, that they had better go vote if they wanted the seat to remain in Democratic control. I made sure all three of my sons voted, one via absentee, one driving home from school and one still home.  It was for naught.

 And then January 29, 2010 I got a bucket of ice water dropped on me. President Obama went to the Republican retreat. He spoke and answered questions and all of a sudden my brain turned on and reminded me WHY I voted for this man and that giving up is not an option. I “enjoyed” the State of the Union, but I wasn’t moved to think there was much hope.

Friday was different. I don’t for one second believe the President will change the minds of the wing nut brigade, even though he did mention his healthcare plan was not some Bolshevik plot (loved that), but I think he got a new chance with Independent minded people and he certainly energized the base from what I observed.

Heck….MSNBC is running the thing over and over and I have watched it as it happened and dissected by MSNBC since the original airing. I’m so lucky I was tuned into CNN on-line and heard this start. I could go to C-SPAN and watch and eat my lunch. The timing was perfect. Now don’t get my wrong. I don’t all of a sudden believe that gridlock is going to magically disappear from the Congress, ESPECIALLY the Senate, but I have HOPE that if the President keeps working in this way that he can maybe, maybe get enough support to move some of the more reasonable legislators to support some of his ideas and maybe even acknowledge that some of their proposal actually have been heard and incorporated in legislation. If the rational people can “out scream” the wing nuts, we may just be able to make some progress. I’m not convinced, for sure, but I have HOPE again and it’s a lot better feeling than the despair I was experiencing. I just pray it’s not an illusion.

8 comments

  1. Demo — I feel the same way. He pointed out to the Republicans that their rhetoric is believed by their constituents making it hard for them to work across the aisle. He used the phrase “boxed in”. It’s always been the contention that the fundies, racist organizations and Libertarians who make up the teabagger movement are harming the Republicans worse than the Democrats. Those chickens are coming home to roost this year as Republicans are facing wingnut primary challengers.

    I also watched the POTUS and VPOTUS speeches at Tampa. After the Q&A, Obama left everyone with the message to be respectful to each other and listen to others’ point of view.

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  2. Democratista:

    That had to be a real tough loss for Massachusetts Democrats. I was wondering how you all were holding up. I’m glad to know you were heartened by the President’s performance in Baltimore Friday. IMHO Scott Brown was just a political star du jour in a star starved Massachusetts Senate race. Coakley lost partially because Massachusetts wants politicians with style and star power, like Ted Kennedy. Political ideology did not play as large a role as it should have. Coakley’s absence of charisma lost her the election. Unfortunately Obama has raised the bar for political candidates. Nowadays, in addition to all the other qualifications for office, candidates for elective office must be good looking and athletic. All Massachusetts needs is a good looking athletic, otherwise competent Democratic candidate next time and he/she will defeat Scot Brown.

    As for Obama’s performance in B’more, the Republicans apparently hoped he would be at a psychological disadvantage on their own turf at their annual “retreat.” They planned to ambush Obama with a whole host of long winded loaded questions. But Br’er Rabbit welcomed that briar patch and reminded us all why we voted for him. He explained himself and maintained the high road. As long as he’s able to do what he did in Baltimore no one can touch him come 2012.

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  3. Hi all….

    I have been consumed by tennis so I didn’t realize that this was posted. Yes…I can actually watch news again. I totally love Chris Matthews asking Mike Pence what the Republicans needed to see to work with the President on health care, and then, coming right out and saying it wouldn’t be in their best interest. Pence comes back with the standard line about working for the people’s interest, but it seemed like total bs at that point.

    We all know that the bill was amended an awful lot to include Republican ideas, so much so that many Liberals were very unhappy.
    And the greatest argument to me is that the Republicans can say all they want about health care being important, but it is a fact that they didn’t take any initiative when they had the chance.

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  4. Someone on DKos called the Republicans’ questions “machine gun” questions.

    It goes like this:

    We all know that [false premise #1] and [false premise #2]…[false premise #10]. My question is, do you really eat kittens?

    In most cases, the hapless target will simply answer the question at the end and ignore all the stuff before it. Then the questioner appears with a talking head saying “Obama didn’t disagree with [false premises #1-10] so they must be true.

    Our wicked smart POTUS didn’t fall for that. Before he answered the question he addressed the false premises.

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  5. Demo, your post is outstanding! Thank you for taking the time to write it for this blog. Like you, I am rejuvinated by what the POTUS has done lately. I am particularly happy about his smackdown of the GOP talking points on Friday.

    Again, very good post, Demo!

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