Progressives Get Played Again By Their Own

Posted by on Feb 23, 2010 in Opinion, Politics | No Comments

Many progressives often like to point out to the religious right that many Republicans play them for fools. They talk about the abortion issue and a “right to life” to obtain their votes and contributions, but do little if anything to change the laws once in power. Well sadly the same thing often happens to my party and we often can’t/won’t admit it either.

Politics Daily, October 4, 2009:

Jay Rockefeller has waited a long time for this moment. [….] He’s a longtime advocate of health care for children and the poor—and, as Congress moves toward its moment of truth on health care, perhaps the most earnest, dogged Senate champion of a nationwide public health insurance plan to compete with private insurance companies.“I will not relent on that. That’s the only way to go,” Rockefeller told me in an interview. “There’s got to be a safe harbor.”

President Obama often says a public option is needed to drive down costs and keep insurance companies honest. To Rockefeller, it’s both more basic and more vital: The federal government is the only institution people can count on in times of need.

The Huffington Post, yesterday:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) threw a wrench into Democratic efforts to get a public option passed through reconciliation, saying that he thought the maneuver was overly partisan and that he was inclined to oppose it [….]

“I don’t think the timing of it is very good,” the West Virginia Democrat said on Monday. “I’m probably not going to vote for that” [….] In making his sentiment known, Rockefeller becomes perhaps the most unexpected skeptic of the public-option-via-reconciliation route. The Senator was a huge booster of a government run insurance option during the legislation drafting process this past year.

Rockefeller seemed to be on CNN and MSNBC almost daily throughout much of 2009 saying what a righteous champion he was for the public option. That it was basically the cause of his life. Doing all of this while he knew it had no chance to pass with 60 votes.

But now that Democrats are considering the reconciliation process—which will allow passage with 50 rather than 60 votes—Rockefeller is all of a sudden “inclined to oppose it” because he doesn’t “think the timing of it is very good” and it’s “too partisan.” Pretty strange excuses for Rockefeller to make with regard to something that he claimed, just a few months ago (when he knew it couldn’t pass of course), was such a moral and policy imperative that he “would not relent” in ensuring its passage.

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