Change You Can Follow Like A Sheep

Barack Obama wants activist groups to chill out and stop calling out sellout Democrats:

President Obama, strategizing yesterday with congressional leaders about health-care reform, complained that liberal advocacy groups ought to drop their attacks on Democratic lawmakers and devote their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation.

In a pre-holiday call with half a dozen top House and Senate Democrats, Obama expressed his concern over advertisements and online campaigns targeting moderate Democrats, whom they criticize for not being fully devoted to “true” health-care reform.

“We shouldn’t be focusing resources on each other,” Obama opined in the call, according to three sources who participated in or listened to the conversation. “We ought to be focused on winning this debate.”

Specifically, Obama said he is hoping left-leaning organizations that worked on his behalf in the presidential campaign will now rally support for “advancing legislation” that fulfills his goal of expanding coverage, controlling rising costs and modernizing the health system.

In what I hope will be the answer Obama hears from every activist group let me say:

Firstly, activists have every right to influence this bill and criticize politicians that are helping the health insurance industry preserve their ability to victimize their customers. Secondly the much the vaunted Spock like logic of Obama is clearly missing from these comments.

Sure, holding fire on the Conservative Dems would get the bill passed quicker, but that it’s wholly beside the point. If passing the bill quickly was the goal then we shouldn’t just give up on the public option, but every part of the bill the health insurance industry deems controversial. Why not just let the lobbyists write the whole reform package to save us time? The Republicans got lots of Bush’s bills through Congress using that method.

And just for clarification this is not about ideology, it’s about helping people stay healthy and not go broke in the process. It’s my skin in the game as they would say in health care circles. These groups are fighting for my own and millions of Americans well being and I don’t appreciate Obama telling them to stop because Mary Landrieu doesn’t like being called a sell out.

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