Tuesday, August 11, 2009

how to beat a teabagger 

JHD asks what it is I would have people do. Bruce Dixon at BAR has some very constructive ideas:

If it were not for hundreds of thousands of pro-single payer faxes, emails, and phone calls constantly bombarding the White House, members of the Senate and Congress and the corporate media, along with the unceasing background drumbeat of sinbgle payer activism in towns and cities and rural areas and on the internet, there probably would never have been a public option proposed, and whatever Obama and corporate Democrats have given away in the last few weeks of negotiation would have been surrendered before the start of any talks at all.

The interval between now and Labor Day is a time for negotiation,a time for argument, a time for struggle. Nobody negotiates by giving up the store at the start. Just as salespeople learn that “no” is the start of the conversation, we have to let go of the notion, and let go of leaders with the notion that it's wise and “pragmatic” to give up on covering everybody. We need to come up with new ways of formulating our real demand, which is Medicare For All. We need to press that demand in two directions --- upward toward our elected officials and media, and inward to other ordinary people like ourselves.

It's time to demand your representative's vote when single payer reaches the floor later this year, and to insist that the ability for states who desire it to enact their own single payer legislation be retained in whatever bill is passed this year. Even if you do not support single payer, and just want a fair and effective public option, and coverage of the uninsured, know that single payer activism, single payer pressure makes your demands stronger. And get out there to make your demands too. It's now or never.

This is a time to organize visits of half a dozen or more constituents at a time to the offices of your senator and representative, whether that person is a Republican or a Democrat. If you film that visit, we'll feature it on Black Agenda Report, and if you're near the Marietta GA office of Phil Gingrey, email me at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com, and let's plan to make that visit together with a few dozen of our closest friends. This is a time to join some single payer organizations and mailing lists. Pick one and join it, and take part in something, a mass co-ordinated mail or phone event or teach-in this month. If you're a nurse or health care professional, you should be joining the mailing lists of the National Nurses Association and/or Physicians For a National Health Care program. You can contribute to and get involved with Single Payer Action, As kwame Toure used to say, pick an organization that's going sixty percent of where you want to go, and join it. If you can't find such an organization, start one.

I'd only add Healthcare Now! to the list above.


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