Liberal groups, such as MoveOn and SEIU, and liberal bloggers (such as Jane Hamsher and our own Joe Sudbay) have been pressuring Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu to support the public option in health care reform (i.e., some kind of public health insurance plan). Landrieu has been adamantly opposed to anything resembling a public option. So groups like MoveOn have been running ads against her.
Yes, let’s not pressure bad Democrats to support key provisions of the most importance piece of legislation of Obama’s presidency, let alone the next decade.
Obama is quickly pushing liberal groups to a make or break moment, I think. Groups like MoveOn can’t just agree to stop supporting, and advocating for, key components of the liberal agenda simply because the president asks them to. I mean, sure, MoveOn can. Just as the gay groups have so far rolled over and played dead for the president even as he files briefs defending ant-gay laws, even as he compares their marriages to incest and pedophilia, even as he turns a blind eye towards the two gay service members a day being kicked out under his watch. But MoveOn doesn’t lack the spine, and crave the cocktail parties, like our national gay civil rights groups. And now we have the second time that Obama has criticized MoveOn, and implicitly, its members.
At some point, liberal groups, and their liberal constituencies, are going to realize that the president has a habit of asking much and giving little in return. The blogs learned it during the election, when they busted their butts for this president and have since been treated like dirt. The gays have now learned it. The immigration groups are starting to learn it, as are the health care reform groups. I understand some women’s groups aren’t real happy (as if anyone thinks Obama, who is beginning to seem genetically incapable of fighting for anything “controversial,” is going to defend abortion). And now it’s MoveOn, again.
At some point these organizations’ members are going to wake up and smell the coffee. And it isn’t going to be pretty for anyone.