The title of the AfterDowningStreet article below asks a question. "Who said they'd vote no on a health care bill this bad?" Fifty seven Democrats had made that promise in July. The answer is that two were good to their word. Kucinich and Massa.
The bill passed by 5 votes.
What does this tell you? That these 57 members would have had enormous power if they had stuck together and stuck to their guns.
We've seen the blue dogs play this game. We will likely see the minority Republicans in the Senate do so soon. Sometimes, a minority too small to pass legislation can still have great power just by saying no.
The Democrats desperately needed the votes of these 57 Representatives to pass their 'Bailout under a Blue Cross'. The question is, why didn't these 57 use the power that this position gave them in order to demand a decent bill?
These 57 had a veto power over the whole dang thing. Why didn't they use this power? If even three others had joined Kucinich, then they had the power to kill this bill. Why didn't they use this power?
Its a very old game in Washington. And as such, everyone knows what the next step would be. The Democratic leaders would come to this caucus and said 'what do you want?' If this group had really wanted to get some progressive (ie, decent, moral, caring) features into this bill, they had the power to do so by saying no. Why didn't they?
Instead, they lined up and voted for the big health corporations. All us suckers got was a nice sounding statement from Kucinich. Isn't that all we ever get from the Democrats? Nice words? I liked the words. I framed them and put them up on my little virtual wall here. But nice words is all we got.
The next obvious question to ask is this, "Why do we keep electing Democrats?"