Friday, June 12, 2009

The Real Problem Isn't Limbaugh -- It's Conservative Democrats?

Chris Bowers makes the case that the real problem here isn't the far right, it's those on the right who pretend not to be:

Stop telling me how bad Republicans are--we don't need a single one to pass the public option. In fact, not only do we not need any Republicans, but a public option can become a reality even if nine Senate Democrats, and 39 House Democrats, defect. This should be a slam dunk.

We should be naming names, flying to their home states to hold large rallies, and lining up primary challengers against public-option averse Democrats. Instead, our leaders are holding fundraisers for them, pressuring their primary opponents, and hosting dinners in their honor. Kind of makes you wonder how serious even those Democrats in favor of the public option are about change.

So here is the deal we should make: progressive media outlets and organizations will only start attacking Republicans again Democrats pass a public health care option that is open to all Americans who are not currently eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or S-CHIP. Until that happens, we are not allies. Instead, they are the obstacle, and we are the pressure.

I'd say his argument holds water in the short term. Right now, Limbaugh and Newt are pretty irrelevant. We really need to focus on conservative Democrats who won't support a progressive agenda.

However, in the long term, I expect the far right to be back, and we can't ignore them. It's not really up to them whether we pass anything significant as far as universal healthcare, but they definitely will not stop being a factor in our politics any time soon, unfortunately.