1) Read Jon Cohn. Read him now. Then read him again.
2) Call your Member of Congress. Tell him or her that you voted for them to pass health care reform, not to turn into jello. Tell them this especially if your Congressmember is Barney Frank or Anthony Weiner.
3) Any Democrat who does not vote for the Senate bill should be subject to a primary challenge.
Here’s the NYT’s headline:
Obama Weighs Shift in Health Plan, Seeking G.O.P. Backing
That must be a joke. As a friend of mine wrote:
Flabbergasted. What possible incentive would any Republican have to bail the Democrats out? Is it really not obvious that they intend to spend 10 months ratf**king him on every bill while whining that he won’t support deep, “bipartisan” tax cuts? He needs to beat them. Christ, I hope there’s a game going on to throw up distractions as the House votes get wrangled.
A careful reading of the two stories does not indicate that Obama is reaching out to the GOP. He is talking about “core elements,” which may be about passing the Senate bill. I sure as hell hope so.
5) To Democratic House members. Legendary trial attorney Gerry Spence closes all of his trials with a final plea that has now become famous:
Before I leave you I want to share with you a story I tell in nearly every case. . . It’s a story of a wise old man and a smart-aleck boy who wanted to show up the wise old man as a fool.
One day this boy caught a small bird in the forest. The boy had a plan. He brought the bird, cupped between his hands, to the old man. His plan was to say, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?” to which the old man would answer, “You have a bird, my son.” Then the boy would say, “Old man, is the bird alive or is it dead?” If the old man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and the bird would fly freely back to the forest. But if the old man said the bird was alive, then the boy would crush the little bird, and crush it, and crush it until it was dead.
So the smart-aleck boy sauntered up to the old man and said, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?” And the old man said, “You have a bird, my son.” Then the boy said with a malevolent grin, “Old man, is the bird alive or is it dead?”
And the old man, with sad eyes, said, “The bird is in your hands, my son.”
And so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the bird is in your hands.
Ladies and gentlemen of the House Democrats: the bird is in your hands.