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How The Democratic Party Will Lose Its Base PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 10:41

ResolutionUPDATED X 1

Today, progressives North Dakota Democratic-NPLers are really struggling with what's happened with health insurance reform and the Baucus bill draft that was released yesterday.  

To recap: PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry, earlier this year announced that it would be setting aside $150 million to pay for an ad campaign supporting the President’s health care bill. The deal was apparently struck in July, after former Louisiana congressman and current PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin (Rod Blagojevich’s underdog opponent in the upcoming semifinal match of the Corrupt Scumbag of the Century So Far tournament) met with Rahm and other Obama aides in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Also in attendance were representatives of the usual panoply of awful medical corporations, including Abbott laboratories, Merck, and Pfizer. It was in this meeting that the White House agreed to sell out health care reform in exchange for a few bucks to fund the next couple of election cycles.

Tauzin, who has never been one for subtlety or finesse (he took his $2 million-a-year PhRMA job about ten seconds after he finished pushing through the Prescription Drug Benefit bill), stupidly later revealed some of the contents of that shady meeting, saying that the White House had “blessed” a plan involving the $150 million. He disclosed to reporters that he had extracted a promise from the White House to drop two important reforms: one, to allow the government to negotiate bulk rates for drugs in Medicare, and the other to permit the importation of cheap drugs from Canada (which was once an Obama campaign saw).

Matt Taibbi (TrueSlant.com) (read this, too, please) (and this) (and this) (and, last but not least, this)

My headache today wasn't caused by the fact I read the Baucus mark-up this morning.  If you read these (above) five links, you'll understand why I have a headache today. 

If I were a conservative talking head or blogger, I'd be all over this.  Instead, they're all silent.  You know why?!?  It's because this is exactly how THEY do business.  They see no problem with this.  They're just jealous they're not getting a bunch of ads bought and paid for by these particular lobbyists, now.  It's the progressive base that's walking away right now, or about to. We're starting to feel like maybe the principled leaders we thought we were electing might not be who we thought they were.

Next time you see a commercial on North Dakota television advocating for one of the members of your North Dakota congressional delegation, advocating for our delegation member's desire to find "a bipartisan solution," paid for by some pharmaceutical industry front group you will now have a much better understanding of why the pharmaceutical industry paid for that ad.

Oh.  And here's a shocker:  There won't be ANY Republicans signing on to this Baucus sell-out.  Who -- besides everybody who has a pulse -- could have predicted that?!?  Why did the Democratic leadership even try  to negotiate with these obstructionists?  They should have seen this coming.  We voted for smarter Democrats than this.

This Baucus health care debacle and the appearance of bought-and-paid-for politics stinks to high heaven and makes me wonder sometimes why I'm a Democrat.


The only hope for the Democratic base is that there may be a remote possibility this was a brilliant political maneuver designed to draw the Republicans into admitting they'll never sign on to ANY Democratic plan, and so now the Democrats can start over with universal healthcare on the table, and negotiate down from there (if at all).  

But I am not holding my breath.

[UPDATE:  Click here to barf some more.]

Comments (5)add comment

nimrod said:

Big sucking sound.
I've read a lot of Matt Taibbi -- his reporting usually turns out be be pretty credible. That big sucking sound is the Democratic base in ND finding out that Conrad and Pomeroy left their North Dakota values at the PhRMA ATM window. Time for the ND Democratic base to take the state party back from the big money boys in DC.
September 17, 2009
Votes: +2

Adam said:

I'm pretty sure
that the baucus bill won't make it out of committee unless Republicans are going to vote for it.

Jay Rockefeller(D-WV) had made it pretty clear that he can't vote for the bill. If he can pull one more democrat over(Kerry or Schumer, possibly Cantwell, Stabenow, or Menendez) then the bill won't pass.

If that happens we're stuck with the HELP committee bill, which was Ted Kennedy's bill, chaired by Chris Dodd. Its a far more progressive bill that would be coming to the floor.

I have no idea how that'll go over on the floor, but it won't be watered down by conservatives out of committee...
September 17, 2009
Votes: +0

What the Heck said:

No one should be surprised
Our pay to play system continues to reward the wrong industries and the corrupt politicians they've paid for.

I won't be voting for Conrad, Pomeroy, and maybe not Dorgan. Would I be desperate enough to vote for Hoeven, if he's ever brave enough to make a decision about running? Wow. I can't believe I'm even uttering those words.
September 18, 2009
Votes: +1

Big Jake said:

absolutely predictable. Beyond shameful. Our party is officially joining the ranks of those who are bought and paid for and don't attempt to hide it. Baucus is and always has been a joke. Like Hoeven, absent family money, he might qualify to be a janitor---no offense to the janitors. the ND democratic party has been bleeding for years. This will drive the next level out as our party abandons its' principles---I forgot, just what are those principles?

As I understand it, the healthcare issue has been around since 1907 when TR first proposed it. I would go so far as to suggest that this is a defining moment for our country. I am sad to say that my hopes are fading fast. I am a conservative or at least I think so and believe is our free enterprise system as the best system known to man. But it does have a fatal flaw. Unchecked and unregulated capitalism is not sustainable. Greed and corruption will bring it down. The founding fathers knew this and built into our constitution a series of safeguards. We have abandoned most of them. It is not too late. The failed healthcare system is an example of the flaw. It is the unbridled greed of the whole system that is at fault. Beginning with the Doctors and flowing to hospital administrators, the drug cartel, the insurance rackets and their cozy relationship with medicare/medicade. They have proven over time that they cannot regulate themselves. I would prefer that the private sector would solve the problem but it is too late. The rest of the industrialized world manages more effective and efficient health care systems and their is no reason the we can't apply good old American ingenuity and rebuild this into an efficient and effective system, perhaps we can even hope for an expansion into prevention and become a healthier society. It is a violation of the very essence of the Declaration of Independence and the vision and wisdom of Jefferson, et. al. to allow so many of us to be ignored and left behind. Socialism? B.S. Acting for our commonwealth ----absolutely. This has become a moral issue. Are we willing to stand up?
September 19, 2009
Votes: +1

Out West said:

Somebody ought to go to the pokey
Yep, I remember Billy Tauzin saying that during the middle of the Enron crisis. "Somebody" is you, Blly, and your time has come.
September 19, 2009
Votes: +0

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