Warning to Democrats Wavering on HCR: Primaries Are Coming

Bumped -- Jonathan

A central tenet of the Democratic Party is that we want every American to have access to quality, affordable health care. Period. There should be no debate about that.

As such, Democrats who are wavering on whether or not to support the most substantial health care reform in decades should expect that Democrats in their district will want to replace them with better Democrats. Period. There should be no surprise about that.

It looks like conservative Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts' 9th Congressional district wants to make himself a test case.

Rebuffing personal pleas from President Obama and Vicki Kennedy, Representative Stephen F. Lynch said yesterday that he will vote against the Democrats’ health care overhaul, contending that it doesn’t put enough pressure on insurance companies to reduce costs.

The move is a shift for the South Boston Democrat, who voted in favor of the original House bill along with the rest of the Massachusetts delegation in November.

Expanding coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and prohibiting pre-existing condition restrictions is progress. The anti-choice, conservative Lynch is obstructing progress. He says the bill doesn't do enough, so he'd rather scuttle health care reform for another generation rather than pass this and attempt to build on it (if, in fact, that's his real contention).

Lynch wants to obstruct reform, wants to obstruct progress, obstruct the Democratic agenda. Fine. A better Democrat is already organizing a potential primary challenge.

Harmony Wu is seriously considering a run to represent the 9th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives. Like many of us, she has become frustrated with Congressman Steve Lynch's lack of commitment to progressive issues, especially health care reform. Please help progressive democrats collect signatures for Harmony Wu's nomination papers this weekend!


For those of you who don't know her, Harmony is a Needham mother of two who took it upon herself to coordinate Needham for the Obama campaign, and shocked everyone in the state with what she was able to deliver. Since then, she has been an inspired and passionate volunteer political organizer. She has led the charge for health care organizing in Lynch's district, mobilizing hundreds of people to call and visit Lynch's office in support of reform. Out of frustration, she has decided to consider a run against him both to show that there is passionate support for health care reform, and to hopefully remove him from office if he votes No.

This effort has sprung up in just the last twenty-four hours and has already gone from 0 to 60. (HT: Dayen at FDL)

The message: wavering Democrats are on notice. Oppose health care reform, oppose a reform measure central to the heart of the Democratic Party, scuttle health care reform for another generation, and expect to be replaced via primary by a better Democrat. The notice has been issued; and, we'll know on Sunday night how many of you we'll seek to replace.

Tags: health care reform, Health care, Primaries, Stephen Lynch, Harmony Wu, MA-09 (all tags)



Primary voters are usually kind of involved and with it

I have met quite a number of people who vote in primaries - not everyone actually gets out and makes a point out of voting in a primary.


The voters in the primaries - at least the ones I've met - are almost always a bit more tuned in and are watching closely.  Healthcare Reform is a defining issue for them. Vote for it, and you will have the primary voter.


Vote against it - and you will have someone voting against. You.

Thats my view.


by Trey Rentz 2010-03-20 11:26PM | 0 recs

This "threat" is about as meaningless as they get - most of the Reps in the "no" column don't have to worry about left-side primary challengers; they will be swing district victims likely to lose to a Republican in the general. Primary them... and you wind up just strengthening the Republican argument, most likely, when the GOP is selling fear and resistance to change.

More to the point - the problem here isn't, and hasn't been ideological; the problems are structural problems related to the size of the plan and the relative costs. You could put more liberal folks in some seats, less liberal ones in others... you'd still have concerns that keep this vote to a very narrow set of folks who are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

All of which, really, is a reminder that one of the biggest problems on the left, with healthcare, is myopia: this effort, in the long view, either needed to bigger and braver, or smaller and more focused. Either option would have opened up options, and given some of the most liberal voices some real say in affecting the outcome. As it stands we've played an ever-narrowing game over a small set of minor disputes that are really beside the bigger issues that need to be addressed, whether in helathcare, our economy, or our politics. And now, after all that's happened... you say "do it, or else you'll face a primary." Hilarious. That's so beside the point.... and a remarkably toothless threat.

by nycweboy1 2010-03-21 12:41PM | 0 recs
RE: Toothless

Did you read the post? Rep Lynch is in a seat drawn for Dems. That's the point.

by bay of arizona 2010-03-21 04:16PM | 0 recs
make your case

so, a democrat says the bills doesn't go far enough. It doesn't. Now show me  he is all those bad things you claim he is. He may be.

 But half the country agrees that the bill doesn't put enough pressure on insurance companies. Ever hear the story of the election of  scott brown, right there in Massachusetts?

Rebuffing personal pleas from President Obama and Vicki Kennedy, Representative Stephen F. Lynch said yesterday that he will vote against the Democrats’ health care overhaul, contending that it doesn’t put enough pressure on insurance companies to reduce costs.

by brooklyngal 2010-03-21 11:21PM | 0 recs
RE: make your case

Failing to pass the bill sure ain't gonna put any pressure on the insurance companies.  It's ironic that someone who claims the bill doesn't do enough to oppose the insurance companies is voting exactly the way the insurance companies want everyone to vote.

More to the point, someone who represents a blue district, and thus has to worry more about a primary from the left than about a general election challenge from the right, probably shouldn't be automatically trusted when they claim they voted against the bill because it wasn't progressive enough.  I mean, we're supposed to believe that even Dennis Kucinich has been co-opted by the insurance companies or something, and Stephen Lynch is the one true liberal in America?  Yeah right.

by Steve M 2010-03-21 11:29PM | 0 recs


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