I think I’ve told this story before: Once had a colleague, once, used to call in IT when his computer would break. And the IT guy would stand over my co-worker and painstakingly explain what exactly had gone wrong, and how he intended to change this or that to make sure it never happened again, and it would go on for precisely as long as CW could stand it and then he’d get up, look the IT guy right in the face, and yell, “FIX IT!”

We don’t care who had to give what to get what, out here in the world where it’s cold and we’re broke. We don’t care how important this is politically to anybody, or why what we were promised — fixing a broken health care system — has now been watered down to an expansion of the current health care system we’re required to subject ourselves to. We don’t care that some conservative Democrat had to explain it to his district, or somebody somewhere pissed Joey Lieberman off by calling him a dick on her blogso there motherfuckers eat it for breakfast and lunch, or that Harry’s trying really hard, or Obama never promised this or that or the other thing.

We just want them to FIX IT and not make us a party to their unending bullshit.

p>Maybe that’s childish. Maybe everyone I know should be invested in every single turn of every single screw, especially the screws currently sticking us to this big wooden cross, but honest to God, people are working three jobs just so their kids can have something, anything, under the tree this year, or maybe go to community college for a year or something, or stay in their homes. I have several neighbors in foreclosure right now. And everybody’s tired, and everybody’s scared, and everybody I know is about ten seconds away from catastrophe, and that catastrophe might right now be lurking in somebody’s lungs, or bones, or heart.

We elected these people to FIX IT and they’re not gonna do that. At least, the watered-down bill they’re going to pass in the Senate won’t do that. Not even close.

But my question is always: What’s next? Given everything we know, and everything we think we know, and everything we’ve been saying all along, what’s next? Because we can’t stand here bitching all day long about how we were betrayed. I’m giving us a statute of limitations of probably next week sometime, or whenever Joe pulls his dick out of America’s ass, so I’m not saying don’t be pissed, I’m saying … we’re pissed, then what?

Because as much as I sympathize with everybody sayingkill it and move on (and I do) and everybody sayingfuck this and I’m done (and I do), we have what we have and anger isn’t a plan. I feel in some ways like I felt in 2004, just after the election: Lots of people are going to get unnecessarily dead from others’ stupidity and venality, and we tried our best to stop it, and we failed. But we can’t sit here forever. It’s the governing principle of my entire life: Get back up. Even if you don’t know what for, even if you don’t know where to go from here, get back up. I said it in 2004 and I said it in 2005 and I said it every other goddamn day in 2008 when we were losing on FISA and I’m saying it now. We don’t have any other way to do this. We don’t have any other choices.

What we can choose, however, is where we go from here. What do we do next? Do we celebrate getting any kind of bill passed at all, even a toothless one like this, and work on pushing to improve it? That would certainly seem to be the easiest thing to do. Do we primary the SHIT out of Lieberman this time and every other worthless spineless conserva-dem on the planet, organize moneybombs and the like? That would be the most satisfying, to me at least. Do we forget politics, and turn to charity, and help those who do give a shit, since our politicians clearly don’t?

I’m honesty asking. I don’t have the answer.


14 thoughts on “FIX IT

  1. The only solution is to knock off corporate dems in the primaries and replace them with progressives; easier said than done, I know, but otherwise we’re left with these corporate cocksuckers forever.

  2. I’ll keep saying it: Until we get the money out of political campaigns this will go on and on. (And term limits would just make things worse…if that’s possible.)

  3. Primarying Lie-Berman won’t do any good: He’ll retire in 2012…
    I think the answer is “d. All of the above.” We need public financing of elections, we need primary challengers and we need to turn back the concept of corporate citizenhood. All of these things will take time; until then, we need to get more of our own money into the game, as an alternative to the corporations.
    We also need to get out the pitchforks and come up with a progressive version of tea parties.

  4. Do you have a plan? Cause I don’t see one here. t’s pretty clear voting for Democrats isn’t working. Saying to do that again isn’t a plan. We’ve done that, we won elections. Nothing changed. We got them 60 fucking Senate seats, and it’s not realistic to expect to get Democrats more. At some point, you’re just not going to get more seats that are favorable to reform, and we’ve reached that point. Obama beat McCain by 7 ponts, how much bigger a victory do you think is possible in these days?
    So yeah, not voting isn’t really a plan. Nobody else seems to have a plan either. We tried voting. I’m told people tried not voting, but I see no real evidence of it. I see some college kids sat out in 2000, not that any organized effort was ever actually made to pressure the Democratic Party by witholding electoral support. I’m 27. I was alive in 2006, and 2008. I know we’ve tried voting, and we even won, and nothing happened.

  5. Nate has an interesting take on why the Senate bill is goodover here. As to what we do next, my best guess is: Keep pushing on health care. DC will want to bury this issue the moment the president signs whatever comes across his desk. We need to keep the pressure on after the bill is signed: Push up the implementation date, increase subsidy levels, highlight the ways the reformed system is failing actual human beings, etc. What’s next is what we’ve been doing. Just because they want us to forget about it doesn’t mean we have to.

  6. Simply put, we have to be committed, not just interested. If we are truly committed we see this as virtual treason to the very idea of democracy. And, treason isn’t something we should try to counter by donating an extra $10 to someone. It is a serious matter, deserving of a serious response.
    American politicians rightfully hold voters in contempt. They know that within a month we will all forget this and will be talking about Tiger Wood’s latest bimbo. The only way I can see to change that is to make our politicians afraid of us. What one thing in the whole world scares politicians and other wealthy people? It is anything that might reduce their success in accumulating vast sums of money, their God.
    All it takes to change that is one successful general strike, a general strike that shuts down the majority of American business for at least one day. Sure, that would be hard work, and the TV is calling, but that is what it will take. I’m continually amazed that none of our “leaders” has what it takes to sound that call, and organize it. And, the best possible time for this is right now, when so many US business interests are depending on our holiday spending spree for their annual profit.

  7. I’m not happy about this shit burrito at all — way too little, 8 years too late.
    To keep from despairing utterly, I’m trying out this little mantra: You can’t fix it all at once. The GOP had control of the Congress for 12 years, and the WH for 8; we’re not going to turn the tide in less than a year. It’s going to take a concerted effort to change the culture, and it won’t be dramatic. It’ll be like taking a hill at Guadalcanal — we’ll have to fight for every fucking foot.
    The important thing is to keep fighting. Fall down 7, stand up 8.

  8. I’m with CrispyShot, I suppose. It’s going to take decades to fix what Dubya broke–hell, it’s going to take at least all of Obama’s first term just tofind everything that two terms of unfettered conservative rule broke. HCR with some teeth would have been a great first step, and now it’s a shitty, watered-down first step, but we’ve got to start somewhere–and then keep pushing.
    Maybe enough shitty steps, piled on top of one another, will turn into an actual stride.

  9. What DCrefugee said:

    We need public financing of elections, we need primary challengers and we need to turn back the concept of corporate citizenhood. All of these things will take time; until then, we need to get more of our own money into the game, as an alternative to the corporations.
    We also need to get out the pitchforks and come up with a progressive version of tea parties.

    What say a few of our best lawyers draft a constitutional amendment to outlaw personhood for corporations?
    What about dusting off McCain-Feingold on public finance and sending it through again? Even though HuffPo opted to sensationalize McCain’s rant about “not being able to walk around the halls of the Senate without bumping into a lobbyist” (for shame, HuffPo, you missed the point, and a great opportunity to actually listen to what the guy was saying), the time is ripe to pounce on the sentiments of some of the Senators themselves. There is an annoyance for the taking, if we’re smart about it.
    Lastly, I’m becoming more and more convinced that we need to spin this whole situation as being favorable for US, progressives and WeThePeople. We need to remember, as vividly as possible, the outpouring of people empowerment that characterized the 2008 election. It’s OUR time. Why am I reminded of the Colorado River exerting its will over rocks? Over time?
    “Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance”
    Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)
    Lastly, the thought occurred to me last night, you know, there are a lot of entrepreneurs, cultural creatives, innovators and “whistleblowers” who are outta work. Why do I keep seeing candidate headlines for 2010 that contain the descriptors, “virtual unknown.” Heh. May our holiday discussions include passing the Hat, if only to round up the names of persons willing to throw theirs in.

  10. Trying to be philosophical vs. just turning off all media and planting turnips. This will be a battle of inches. But I do think this first bill, in whatever form, gets us an essential beachhead. We can not go backward from here just like we have not from medicare or social security or civil rights. Once we have established that Americans are entitled to health as a right, not a privilege, we will never settle for less. That is why the Right and Corporations are fighting so hard now and have fought like Hell at every other moment we’ve tried before. We may only get one toe on the beach this time out. But we’re on the beach. I have to believe (really super HAVE TO) that this is true.

  11. or whenever Joe pulls his dick out of America’s ass
    It’s probably worth taking a look at Chris Cillizza’s breakdown of just how many orifices Joe Lieberman has to put his dick in. Unfortunately, it’s a lot.
    Part of the problem, I think, is that we have kicked-puppy syndrome from 2000. A handful of Floridians didn’t vote for Gore/Lieberman (hey, there’s that name again) for what were probably mostly justifiable reasons, and that put the election in play enough for, well, you know. So the instinct has been to get Democrats in office, no matter what.
    Which… also seems reasonable. I’m inclined to go with what I thought was more or less the Kos model circa 2004-6: get a majority, then start pushing them left.
    I would like to see more outrage against the GOP for obstructionist tactics, instead of accepting it as a given. I don’t think it will make them less obstructionist, but it might make a difference come election time in competitive races.

  12. nothing means the health insurance/medical industrial complex won again. and inch is an inch. this will be a long hard slog to convince the sheeple.

  13. There’s no lever of power that the people can pull that will put enough good Senators in the Senate to make a difference in a generation. What needs to happen is for the filibuster to go away, or at least transform into what the American people think it is, Jimmy Stewart talking until he drops. Let every Senator who is opposed to something speak until they drop, then vote with a simple majority.
    The people put solid majorities in place in both the House and Senate for a very good bill. But in the Senate it takes something like 2/3rd vote with the distortion of small conservative states getting 2 votes, same as California and with the filibuster rules.
    Find strategies that get rid of the filibuster, that’s what has to happen next.

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