Thursday, March 18, 2010

Progressives and Leverage

Glenn Greenwald has a great post up on Salon about the lack of bargaining power that Progressives (liberals) have in Congress. Essentially, nobody believes that Progressives have the will to kill a bill for not being liberal enough. Rahm predicted that they would fall in line and could basically be ignored, and he was right. As a result, progressive priorities like the public option never had a chance.

Interesting stuff, but I'm not sure how I stand. I've been on the side of "ditch the public option, take what you can get, and pass the bill" for quite some time. But I can understand the argument that at some point, liberals lose their ability to shape legislation if they cave on every issue. I can't imagine that a bill as massive as this that ultimately accomplishes a major progressive goal (32 million more Americans will be covered) is the place to take that stand. But where is the appropriate place to flex your muscle? Your guess is as good as mine.

1 comment:

  1. I think Krugman had a good point on the Rahm part of this. I'd argue that falling in line is not being ignored in this case (not that you're arguing the opposite). It's getting the best deal you can on something that will actually pass. A lot of Democrats who represent non-Progressive districts wish Health Care Reform would go away, but they're caving, too.