This week we mourn the passing of the Senate’s Liberal Lion, the senior Senator from Massachusetts, Senator Edward Kennedy, or as most of us (meaning New England Progressives) “Teddy”. Even though I never met the man personally, I always recall my family referring to him as “Teddy” and as an adult so have I always just called him “Teddy”. I could go on about his accomplishments, or about how his views reflected and influenced my own, or even about how sorely missed he will be, but I won’t. At least not right now, it hurts a little too much to think about how we won’t see him in the Senate anymore, or pics of him with his dogs on his boat.
Instead, I want to express my hope that his passing may prompt some Democrats into coming back to the fold and fight for a Public option (President Obama this means you). There have been far too FEW that are willing to throw down the gauntlet and force the 60 Democrats in the Senate into line to vote for a public option. I am really hoping that Teddy’s passing might shame the President and Harry Reid into whipping the Senate into shape. We ALL know that the only path to universal healthcare is a public option. All the stupid, idiotic, and shortsighted proposals from the right about things like a tax credit to buy private insurance need to be ignored for the trite thin smokescreens that they are for the Health Insurance Conglomerates to maintain their fat paychecks.
And in a way, I expect that sort of nonsense from the Right. But, we need to force the Dems that are wavering because their nests have been feathered by the Healthcare lobby into line by threatening to expose them for the hypocrites they are. This job falls to the President and Reid. The President already dropped the ball on mortgage reform. If he fumbles this one as well, I doubt I will be the only progressive looking for a new standard bearer.