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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An Open Letter to Jane Hamsher

Dear Jane,

You and I do not have many political agreements, but one thing we agree upon is that the Senate health care bill must be defeated. I have my reasons, and you have yours.

One thing we agree upon is that the mandate is an abomination. For me it's a huge leap down a slippery slope of government control over our lives. For you it forces individuals to pay a substantial portion of their income to private insurance companies with little in return.

You have called on left and right to join forces against the mandate:

If the health care bill written by the Senate is passed, middle class Americans will be mandated to pay almost as much to private insurance companies as they do to the federal government in taxes, with the IRS acting as a collection agency for penalties of 2% of your annual income for refusing to comply.

This is just one of many recent measures that has brought liberal progressives and conservative libertarians together to join forces in opposition....

You have noted the "enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill." Here is what you have written about what would happen if the left and the right joined together around defeating the Senate bill:
It scares the bejesus out of the DC establishment of both parties to think that the left and right might align against the corporate interests that dominate the massive giveaways that keep happening no matter who’s in power.
The fate of the Senate bill may hinge on the outcome of the special election in Massachusetts on January 19. Scott Brown (R) is within 9% of Martha Coakley (D) overall, within 2% among people who definitely will vote, and leads independents by 44%.

Scott Brown will vote against the Senate bill. Without 60 votes in the Senate, Harry Reid would have to go through monumental procedural gymnastics to get the bill passed, even with the secretive attempts to avoid a conference.

Martha Coakley will be the 60th vote for the destructive Senate bill you hate so much.

And Coakley is the type of Democrat about whom you complain so much, someone who promises progressives one thing to get your money and votes, then does another thing. Coakley promised during the Democratic primary that she would not vote for any bill which contained restrictions on abortion, netting her hundreds of thousands of dollars and votes from progressives. But after the primary, Coakley switched her position and now has joined Harry Reid and Ben Nelson.

I want the Senate bill killed for my reasons, and you for yours. Now is your chance to kill the bill by helping elect Scott Brown.

Are you with us on this, or not?

Update: As requested by a commenter, here is the link to contribute to Brown's campaign.

For my complete coverage of the Brown v. Coakley MA Senate Race, click here

Related Posts:
Uh Oh, Cats and Dogs Getting Along
Biggest Defection of The Day (That You Never Heard About)

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  1. I agree with your point, but it almost feels like an 'I dare you' rather than joining against a common enemy. Not that it likely matters much, but it seems like a tone more like "we can fight tomorrow, once we kill this disaster" might be more likely to elicit the response we need.

    As I say, not likely a big difference, but in this case we all really do need each other's help. Still, you've written it, and that's more than I've done.

  2. Suggest posting a link to Scott Brown's website for those of us persuaded by your argument enough to donate!

  3. Since both this site and Hamsher presumably have arguments against the bill, have you considered the shockingly radical step of making those arguments to one of the bill's supporters, but doing it in a smart way?

    Important note: I'm not talking about throwing tantrums, or letting pols know what you feel, or ranting, or asking open-ended questions that can be answered with stock boilerplate. I'm talking about finding a small number of smart, experienced people who are familiar with your arguments and who can "cross-examine" those who support the bill.

  4. If the government controls every aspect of our lives, then we've got to fight over control of it. Because guys on our side will have intrusive pro-life, anti-gay things in mind, and heaven forefend what kind of godless communist notions you have in mind to corrupt our precious bodily fluids. (Yes, I'm teasing.) But if the government has a hands-off policy, we don't have to fight. Sure, it'll hurt your politicians and my politicians and their fundraising that's predicated upon fearmongering us, but they've all got government jobs.

  5. Sure, right after she finishes getting Hadassah Lieberman blacklisted.

  6. Only in politics is such extraordinary malfeasance possible... like Scozzafava in New York, a lurid dissembler and imposter, this Massachussetts candidate exhibits not a grain of integrity or even common sense. Strange how D-rats in general and hoicked-up female candidates in particular seem prey to this tell-'em-anything then betray 'em syndrome.

    After decades spent re-electing a cowardly, drunken blowhard, Massachusetts could well be permanently inured to atavistic reactionary grotesques-- the abominable John F. Kerry, after all, keeps promoting socialist cesspools with impunity. But maybe, just maybe, after suffering decades of corrupt inanities, Bay State voters may rouse from slumber to heed another call.

  7. @Victor Erimita - I'm willing to put the Hadassah incident behind us in the interest of the greater good of defeating the monstrous health care bill.

  8. It would be nice to see Americans of different political parties banding together to defeat what is plainly a very bad bill that terrorizes a large swath of the population. Recall that Americans joined with Communists to defeat a common and terrible foe.

  9. The past couple of weeks Ms. Hammsher has grown in my esteem. I would never have thought I'd admit that. While I disagree with many of her positions, I can respect her for those I agree with. I'm a centre/right libertarian now...used to be much more GOPite...then my party left me on it's march to social conservatism...and even moreso when they forgot they were supposed to be fiscally conservative as well.


  10. Kudos to Prof. Jacobson for proposing an alliance with the left in the interest of defeating the health care bill. As the Klingons say, only a fool fights in a burning house.

    For election day what we can now hope for is a blizzard over metropolitan Boston and sunny warm weather in the western part of the state. Massachusetts is geographically like a small version of New York: it's the big city that's overwhelmingly democratic, while the less populated rural sections (Massachusetts has more than 350 cities and towns) still contain a fair proportion of old-style Rockefeller Republicans.

  11. The Hadassah Lieberman attacks were made worse by her blog post on HuffPo. She was actively trying to get people to stop their support of the Komen breast cancer foundation because of Lieberman... That's tapdancing right on the line, IMO.

  12. In this very smart interview, Brown broadens his appeal to frustrated MA Democrats and Indpendents by promising not to be a "filibuster" senator.

    'Brown: I Won't Be A "Filibuster Senator"'


  13. Prof. Jacobson, if the House votes to pass the Senate bill "as is", then would the Senate even have to vote on it again?

  14. @KitKat, as I understand the process, that could happen. But that does not appear to be the plan, as the secret negotiations appear to involve tweaks of the Senate bill.

  15. Then I think that means at least one more cloture vote for the Senate. Here's hoping that they can drag out the process and we can get a election miracle from Massachusetts to stop this terrible bill.