We may have community health centers but where are the doctors for them going to come from? The payment schedule for them is too low to actually attract enough doctors. Its the same with Medicaid. We're going to have a major expansion of Medicaid but, as is the case now, a strong majority of doctors refuse to accept Medicaid patients because of the low reimbursement rates.
This is exactly what progressives need - punishing corporate Democrats by challenging them in the primaries with more progressive candidates who can win in the general. Halter, a proven vote getter in Arkansa, has a much better chance of winning the general than Lincoln. Progressive activists should get behind him to propel him into office. A Halter victory would resonate throughout the Democratic Party; blue dogs like Landrieu & Bumpers would become extremely cautious in taking on the Democratic Party on major issues.
I used to share your outlook on keeping Nelson but don't anymore. Traditionally, Nelson often voted against the Party but didn't go on the airways to criticize the Democrats. With their public demonizing of Democratic policy positions & efforts, he, Liberman, Lincoln, Landrieu, in concert with RW attacks, have successfully branded Democratic positions as far left & irresponsible. This will have a far greater future effect on making it difficult to elect Democrats than the small gain of having Nelson sometimes voting with the Democrats.
BTW, with Nelson's tack right, it obvious he's going to run for reelection whether as a Democrat or Repub.
Half of me wants to see Bayh go down as a cautionary tale to Democrats who continually undermine the Party publicly. Bayh's appearance on FOX a few days ago berating the Party for going too far left was a bit too much. The MSM loves this narrative & it reinforces notions of why not to vote Democratic. I realize Indiana is a pretty conservative state & Bayh can't be an out & out liberal. But systematically undermining the Party's positions requires keeping the blue dogs in check.
MSM types will never get it or will not say it on the air. A corporate media will not sustain commentary that goes against the economic interests of those in charge. The focus needs to be on elected Democrats & the only way to get their attention is to successfully primary those that vote much more conservatively than their constitutents. There are those from social conservative districts that are liberal on economic issues & districts that are more progressive than their elected official on both economic & social issues. Pssh... Sen. Lincoln (Ark), House Reps. Ross (Ark & leader of the Blue Dogs) & Steny Hoyer (Maryland & House Majority Leader) would be nice for 2010; Sen. Lieberman & Landrieu when they come up. Also priorities: progressive targeting in upcoming open senate races in Ohio, NH, & Repub senate seats in Maine & Mass. would give progressives a powerful seat at the table.
Nathan, you somehow think that progressives not playing hardball & backing down is a winning formula. I assure you that progressives joining the fight for the Medicare+ option will not mean anything, & that the same conservative Democrats will also whittle down the Medicare buy-in for 55+ & Medicaid expansion to nothing (Those Democrats are not going away). Also, the central problems with healthcare will remain: the private insurance companies are sleazy & insurance rates remain at prohibitively high levels (they really should be a third to 50% lower); the public costs of covering the new millions of insured will be so expensive that it'll be junked some time in the future; insurance companies will find some way to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions (as someone who works in the healthcare field, trust me on this).
Progressives can't keep jumping like scared rabbits into a new hole every time the conservative Democrats say boo. The best strategy, at this point in time, is to let them filibuster & wear them down during the filibuster. Meanwhile, progressives keep running ads against them & organizing to defeat them in their next election. Liberman needs to be told, if you filibuster, no Democratic committee chairmanships for you.
P.S. I like the new proposal better than a weak PO but its so obvious this is going to go the same way as the PO proposal.
I believe Durbin or Schumer would be more effective as leader...(Harry Reid defeated)it wouldn't be a tragedy if he lost.
Two points: 1) Your assumption that what Reid does regarding his senate leadership is largely based on reelection calculations is highly dubious 2) Given the lack of cohesion among senate Democrats, unlike the Repubs, what in the world makes you think Durbin or Schumer would be more effective? Specifically, what could they do that would whip recalcitrant Democrats like Bayh, Baucus, Lincoln, Carper in line? Among Repubs, cohesion is maintained because of corporate/wealthy interest campaign contributions & a powerful base of RW fundamentalists. Senate Democrats get their money largely independent of the Party & thus are not accountable to it. This is what drives elected Democrats, not some personality as majority leader.
Also, your thinking is myopic. We progressives need to focus on making each congress more progressive than the previous one. A Reid loss would mean one less moderate Democrat, replaced by a RW Repub fire breather, who would probably be around for another 20 years. You're supposed to move the ball down toward your end zone, not go backwards. The senators I suggested we challenge above, in primaries, could be replaced by more liberal Democrats from their states. Reid is about as liberal as you're going to get from Nevada.
It is time to replace Reid as Senate majority leader. Since Senate Democrats are unlikely to take that step, I agree with Chris Bowers that Reid losing re-election next year wouldn't be such a bad thing.
desmoinesdem: I usually agree with you on your posts but the idea that its a good thing for Reid to lose to a RW nut is nonsensical. Reid has been ineffective as majority leader but you overlook
that the Democratic Party lacks any cohesion, is dysfunctional & no senate Democrat would be able to change things without fundamentally altering the Democratic Party. Progressives went through the same thing with Daschle - ie. he's really the reason senate Democrats perform badly, we need to get rid of Daschle & things will improve etc. - and nothing changed.
Reid is moderate & supportive of the Democratic Party. Let's spend progressive's limited resources on getting rid of Democrats that are a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party. This election: focus on beating Senator Blance Lincoln (Arkansas), Cong. Ross (Arkansas), Cong. Hoyer (Maryland), Cong. Cooper (Tennessee). Future elections: focus on getting rid of Senator Baucus (Montana), Senator Feinstein (sic) (California) & the 2 Republican senators from Maine. Now, that would change things rather than just playing musical chairs.
Edwards made a mistake, one that he must atone for. However, the man must be looked at in full. Unlike all the Rw miscreants, exs. ex senator Thurmond, current senator Vitter with his diaper romps with prostitutes, ex senator Craig with his bathroom sex with men, current governor of S. Carolina, the current Repub senator from Nevada, he championed the cause of the powerless - the lower half of the population that living on the economic edge. I hope he realizes he made a terrible mistake. I don't understand how he could be considered for criminal charges when Vitter consorts with prostitutes & there's no prosecution in the horizon. Ditto the Repub senator from Nevada where illegal use of funds to hush up his affair with a staffer & misuse of National Republican Committee money for a payoff to the son. Something fishy here.
With the Repubs filibustering everything, this is too timid a measure. At a minimum, senate Democrats should note that the nuclear option under Bush requires that the senate vote up or down on all Obama appointments. They should declare that the precedent has been set & must be followed.
Thanks for your informative analysis. Having followed Netanyahu throughout his career, I find him incapable of seriously engaging in final settlement negotiations. He's an extreme ideologue who completely believes that there's no such thing as peace with the Arabs because they can't be trusted. Thus, encorporation of most of the West Bank enhances Israeli security in his eyes. Even if he completely changed, his coalition tilts very sharply toward further settlements. He's a clever & verbally gifted politician who knows how to effectively mouth the words of NEGOTIATIONS without doing anything substantial.
I'm so old I remember Bush press conferences. One in particular stood out - you know, the one where Bush assigned seats to the press corp & there was a designated order in which members of the press would get to ask their questions. It was great fun seeing the press treated like little children & nary a peep of protest out of them.
The important point is overlooked: Whomever wins, no changes in laws or policy is legitimate unless the ruling council of mullahs accept it. Iran is a theocracy, with the council of mullahs deciding who may run & what government may legitimately do. These elections are nothing more than a dog & pony show.