Another week, another urgent exhortation to CALL YOUR SENATORS RIGHT NOW TO SAVE HEALTH CARE. SERIOUSLY IF YOU DON'T DO IT RIGHT NOW ALL IS LOST. I know we said the same thing last week when we asked you to drop everything and call your Senators, and we weren't lying then. We're not lying now either. This just keeps happening, like, every week. And it will until someone puts an end to this farce.

I don't think anyone is in charge of the GOP right now; it's a rudderless ship so enormous that momentum alone will carry it onward for another couple of years after its crew pulls a Mary Celeste. But Ryan and McConnell are conniving little weasels of the old school of weaseling, and they are not above using the din of the Trump Circus as cover for their otherwise moribund legislative agenda. The fact is that the more they propose an ACA repeal – and this latest bill is distinguishable from the "skinny repeal" option from two months ago in name only – the higher the odds they will succeed. Short attention spans and, much more importantly, fatigue work against anyone trying to organize opposition to it. You can only see that URGENT MESSAGE to CALL YOUR REPS IMMEDIATELY so many times before you stop calling, before you eventually stop noticing it altogether, and before and it becomes another repetitive background image in the cheap cartoon we're living in right now.

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Perhaps you're full of vim and vigor and I'm projecting here. The social media effort to flog opposition to Graham-Cassidy felt more than a little tired and desperate, though.
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It felt like the tenth cup of coffee you consume in the vain hope of inspiring one last burst of activity from your adrenal glands. At some point it becomes a lost cause. All the coffee in the world isn't going to keep you awake and alert.

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Here's a great analysis of the irregularity of voting on this bill before it has a CBO score and honestly I just can't, again. We've been through this so many times already. Each iteration will have fewer activists showing up at protests, fewer people dutifully calling their reps in Congress, fewer people summoning up the outrage that we all seem to be exhausting on a daily basis for the past seven months. And that, of course, is how they will win (If they do. It's not a given. For now.)

Mobilizing activists is like asking your friends to help you move; the more often you do it, the closer the odds of a positive response get to zero. That's a Big Ask, and you have to hoard it and use it strategically. The Democratic base came into 2017 low on enthusiasm and energy to begin with, united and motivated seemingly by hatred of Trump alone. Bringing back a Single Payer proposal was a reasonably smart move if for no reason other than the potential to generate a little enthusiasm.
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They're going to need it.

21 thoughts on “SHOTGUN STRATEGY”

  • My assumption is that the histrionics of "Damn you all!" that we get from Ryan and McConnell every time their Repeal attempts are voted down is pure theater–that is, neither man is ashamed or angry or disappointed–that both hold their constituents in utter and complete contempt, and are simply going through these pathetic motions because it's all part of the game. That we are rubes to them, and they don't care if it's the short con or the long con–rubes is rubes, and they'll do what they want to us eventually.

    In the meantime, fuck it, it's not like they're not getting paid the same, either way.

  • The party that bitched and screamed for years on end about how Obamacare was passed with NOT ONE REPUBLICAN VOTE is now trying desperately to scrape up that 50th Republican vote plus one.

    Does Trumpcare cover having your sense of shame surgically removed?

  • I agree with the outrage fatigue. For me, my 10th cup of coffee is shows like The Daily Show or Full Frontal; it's reassuring to hear the message that it's not just my perception that things are the way they are. Their staff can also dig deeper into issues than I can (they're allowed to use the Internet at work, after all).

    The axing of the requirement to accept people with pre-existing conditions is deeply troubling; anyone who's lived to the age of 20 has pre-existed and had some sort of condition. Fell out of a tree and broke your arm when you were 8? Well, buddy, that's a pre-existing condition and we're not going to cover you! Got walking pneumonia or mono in high school? Forget it, we don't insure your kind! Existed in a female body and experienced any of the countless minor issues that body is likely to have experienced? Too bad, so sad, no insurance for you!

  • I called my GOP senator 5 times yesterday and three times the day before. Our lives and our children's lives are at stake. We cannot afford to become fatigued. Saving health care for my family, friends and community is worth the effort, regardless of how many times these sociopaths attack it.

    The same goes for the destruction of the EPA, public health services, public lands and nearly everything else the government does to make people's lives better. Time to get off our behinds and stop whining on the internet about the GOP criminality.

    Have you called your Senators today?

  • Good point Ed. I'll get on that today. I also need to check if the primaries here are open or closed.

    Funny story, I now reside in the district of McConnell himself. I was talking to a local union member last week, he told me, has been in the senate my whole life, and I've voted against him Every. Single. Time.

    So not everyone is a rube.

  • With McCain now saying that he will probably vote for it since the AZ governor is for it, it looks as if the new bill might pass. You know Murkowski and Collins are not voting for it. However, Rand Paul (single payer is slavery) now says he won't vote for it because it doesn't go far enough. So maybe there's hope.
    I'm in NJ where Booker and Menendez will vote no. Hopefully Menendez, now on trial for corruption, will not be found guilty, or if he's found guilty please make it after the next democratic senator is elected. Otherwise, Christie is appointing a republican to his seat which would probably make passing this awful bill a slam dunk.

  • My senators are both dems and my congress critter is opposed to the various bills that have been brought forward since Trumpligulamygdala received his 3M* fiat to rule.

    Massive MurKKKan Mandate–not to be confused with actual majority of U.S. voters or even votes cast.

  • I think they will pass it.

    It be such as an absolute clusterfuck, that throwing 32 million off the insurance roles is just the start. Health care is 18% of GDP, I expect the entire health care system will crash. Remember 'to big to fail'. Hospitals will close, doctors will go bankrupt, insurance rates will skyrocket, nurses will be out of work and people will.

    I expect the entire economy to crash like it's 1929.

  • Dumb question I suppose, but can someone tell me what is the specific "ask?" Is there a bill number, that I can say, "please will the Honorable Senator vote no on Sxxx?" It shouldn't be necessary, but if I just say "Graham-Cassidy" or whatever, the staffer can choose to be an asshole about it and play dumb and be like, "What do you want, anyway?" or they might just be that dumb.

    I will try to make myself call. My Senators are Grassley and Ernst, so it feels pretty useless. That's what I meant above about the staffers being assholes. Right now, Grassley is pimping his state-legislator grandson to be appointed Iowa Sec of Agriculture, a position vacated because the incumbent got a federal appointment. He is always reelected with at least 60 percent no matter what he does. I have a feeling that, things being what they are in the Hawkeye State, Ernst is going to be a female version of Grassley. I don't expect to live long enough to see another Democratic Senator from Iowa.

    My late brother, RIP, was involved in a couple of local land-saving efforts toward the end of his life, before he got sick. Both had a lot of smart, passionate people working very hard to stop the fuckery that was going to happen. They seemed to be kinda sorta successful in one case (at least a sort of stalemate, as the land is still undeveloped) and a dismal failure with a different, but overlapping group in the other.

    He felt pretty bad about it, but I told him, "You know, you guys are all just volunteering and trying to fit this activism into your regular lives, while they can hire people to do this full time. Multiple people."

    The richer these bastards are, the more people they can hire to do this full time, and the poorer everybody else gets, the less they can afford to fight.

  • Does Trumpcare cover having your sense of shame surgically removed?

    No, but pulling the proverbial lever for the Republican Party does.

  • You're absolutely right that the Republicans are trying to wear us down through an unceasing push on all fronts, because this is their best chance to push forward their long-cherished dreams that are less popular than influenza. I'm horrified by the contents of their dreams and what they're willing to do to realize them, but I'm not against such a push in and of itself: in 2009, I would've been happy to see the end of the filibuster entirely, and was happy that the Dems had the guts to move towards saner health care policy in spite of possible political repercussions.

    Still, I think you're being a *little* too pessimistic here. Pessimism is always justified with respect to US government in general and the GOP in particular, but: *did* Dems come into 2017 with low enthusiasm? There sure have been a lot of people marching for a country whose population has a reputation for avoiding physical activity. Health care reform was torpedoed in the early 1990s out of fear of change; 3 GOP senators were swayed by unremitting pressure to vote against skinny repeal (even if there should've been a lot more); there's only 10 days left before the GOP will lose the opportunity to pass their horribleness through reconciliation, after which they'll either need more Dem votes than they've been able to get or will need to blow up the filibuster (which I'm not so sure they could manage, but would at least prevent senators representing about 10% of the pop to block anything…I mean, you could still have senators representing about 16% of the pop block anything, but it's a bigger push to get rid of the Senate). Besides, as we get closer to midterm elections, I have to believe that Congress will be less willing to take up astoundingly unpopular bills. It's always a fight, and the fight doesn't really have an end, but if the forces of good keep fighting now in the way that they've been fighting, it's reasonable to expect a win and a breather.

  • Leading Edge Boomer says:

    My senators and representative are safe Democrats, so I sent messages to Collins, McCain, and Murkowski. Here are some resources to prepare a message to your senator:
    * Graham-Cassidy is not a replacement because it removes all three essential features of any wokable plan: individual mandate, subsidies to help lower-income people afford insurance, and no bias against pre-existing conditions. That puts the US all the way back to the bad old days when medical costs accounted for half of all individual bankruptcies.

    * Graham-Cassidy exlplained in cartoons—

    * States that took the offer from ACA to expand Medicaid would lose more than states that did not:
    Here’s a map of financial winning and losing states—

    * Sen. Cassidy claims more people would be covered, after $215B is removed from the system: Impossible—

    * Nine Republican senators were asked to explain the bill. Fascinating “reasoning”—

  • Here in NC, by the weirdo directives of this bill, our Medicaid funding will get zapped by a third, and in this state that is seriously gonna hurt. I see a whole army of home health care workers getting laid off, to start with. But I guarangoddamntee you that both Burr and Tillis will vote for this shit pile and not feel one millisecond of remorse.

  • That will be the day I ever lift a finger to save a neoliberal scam like Obamacare. Let it die so the momentum behind Medicare for all will become unstoppable.

  • The way to avoid the fatigue, I guess, is to make a habit of contacting your congresscritters weekly. Not that I do that, but yeah.

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