A Thatcherite joins the fight. Demand that the House not desert it.

Even Andrew Sullivan thinks we should pass the damn bill–and that’s just the beginning. Can those who were Democratic partisans all along do any less?

Andrew Sullivan has decided that Obama and his supporters should take recent events not as a signal to give up, nor even to make concessions, but as an occasion to fight all out against the politics of lies and nihilism.  If a recent convert (if such he be)  from libertarianism says this, can long-time Democrats say any less?

Yes, this will be another hook for the RBC to say that the House should pass the damn bill.  All of us who still believe that getting sick shouldn’t mean going broke should call our representatives to tell them, as bluntly as possible, to pass it.   The claim that the Senate bill “can’t pass” the House, even with the prospect of huge modifications through reconciliation, is a giant act of evasion from people pretending that votes are inanimate objects rather than choices.  If all the congresspeople saying this decided simply to say “aye” instead, it could pass.  But they will only say aye if we say “or else.”

The grading rules of politics do not include partial credit for good intentions, nor the excuse that the Senate ate your public option.  Weber was right: politics means taking responsibility for your choices, and for the foreseeable consequences of acting or failing to act.  The consequences in this case involve tens of thousands of lives.  Tell the people who claim to represent you that you will not stand for politics in the passive voice.

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.

2 thoughts on “A Thatcherite joins the fight. Demand that the House not desert it.”

  1. Instructions on calling your representative, copied from a post at Balloon Juice:

    (1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .

    (2) Remember, this person works for you. You pay his or her salary and you voted for them. You’re the boss here, or at least one of them, and it’s they who should worry about what you think of them.

    (3) Identify your name and zip code. If you are not a constituent don’t bother. Since you guys never listen to me, at least google a zip code in the appropriate district before you call.

    (4) State the issue. This is easy: pass the Senate bill or the party gets it. We can (and certainly will) fix the shortcomings later.

    (5) How strongly do you feel? Don’t apologize about feeling passionate or pissed off. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    (6) What are you going to do about it? (Updated from earlier) This part is not that relevant when they’re getting a ton of calls. Every teabagger threatens the end of the world, so they get pretty jaded about it.

  2. Keep up the pressure! The more the debate continues, the more seats the Republicans pick up in the fall!

Comments are closed.