Thoughts On People Power And Movement Building

It’s worth noting that Congressional Democrats and the professional operative class had very little to do with the defeat of the AHCA, the Republican healthcare proposal (boldface mine):

On Friday afternoon, as congressional Democrats learned that the GOP had essentially given up on repealing the Affordable Care Act, none of them took the credit. They had never really cohered around an anti-AHCA message. (As recently as Wednesday, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was still using the phrase “make America sick again,” which most Democrats had abandoned.) They’d been sidelined legislatively, as Republicans tried to pass a bill on party lines. They’d never called supporters to the Capitol for a show of force, as Republicans had done, several times, during the 2009-2010 fight to pass the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, Democrats watched as a roiling, well-organized “resistance” bombarded Republicans with calls and filled their town hall meetings with skeptics. The Indivisible coalition, founded after the 2016 election by former congressional aides who knew how to lobby their old bosses, was the newest and flashiest. But it was joined by MoveOn, which reported 40,000 calls to congressional offices from its members; by Planned Parenthood, directly under the AHCA’s gun; by the Democratic National Committee, fresh off a divisive leadership race; and by the AARP, which branded the bill as an “age tax” before Democrats had come up with a counterattack….

The group, NJ11th for Change, birddogged the Republican congressman with two tactics. First, it held mock town hall events in all four of the counties he represented. “Thousands” of people showed, according to Juviler; all were informed of how to call his office. When the health-care bill was dropped, Frelinghuysen was besieged with calls. And on Friday, he announced that he would oppose AHCA. According to Joe Dinkin, a spokesman for the Working Families Party, there were dozens of stories like that.

For the first time in a long time, a pretty sizable number of Republicans were more scared of grass-roots energy of the left than of primaries on the right,” said Dinkin.

Well, at least they had the brains to get out of the way.

Maybe they could, y’know, propose a Democratic healthcare plan? Maybe even one people might like?

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2 Responses to Thoughts On People Power And Movement Building

  1. anthrosciguy says:

    Actually, I think they did just about exactly what they should have done. Stay out of the deal making and let the limelight shine on the Republican clusterfuck. If they’d brought forth their own plan at the time the news would’ve shifted to that instead of being about the draconian Republican plan and the lame backbiting and excuse-making going on in the Republican Party.

    Now they could certainly bring one out. In fact, I’d bring forth two ideas, by two different Democrats (or maybe Bernie could announce one of them). One would be a series of improvements to the ACA, and the other would be a proposal for single-payer. The latter should be presented, IMO, with a pitch such as “we can save money and get better healthcare for everyone simply with Medicare for everyone”. Then push the debate in the media to be between those two proposals. Biggest problem there would be the media “balance” desire, which they’d probably indulge with Republicans sniping at Democrats rather aimlessly; but with the two Democratic plans it might be possible to short circuit those professional political trolls.

  2. Net Denizen says:

    See, you’re missing the point. The democrats’ strategy for the last 16 years has been to wait for republicans to fuck up so badly that people turn to the dems instead. They don’t need ideas when “we’re not them” plays so well to soccer moms and whatever other favorable demographic they need to cater to thinks this year.

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