odd time signatures

Hillary for VP, redux

Two tracksStrains of June, 2008 play on. Back then, Barack Obama won the primary race but Hillary Clinton did not concede on cue. Speculation abounded. Would Hillary divide, or unite the Democrats? Would Barack choose her as his running mate? Every day on Newsgang Live that summer, Steve Gillmor insisted that Hillary would be VP, that she had to be VP or else Obama would lose the election.

Here we are again. At the end of a brutal year of wrangling over health care reform, everyone jockeys for position. Bart Stupak insists he must have his strict abortion language. Dennis Kucinich insists that he will vote no despite the inclusion of his state-based single payer initiative in the Senate bill. No public option, he declares, means a no vote from him. No ban on public funds for abortion, Stupak declares, means he’ll take 12 yes votes and go home.

In candidate-land, Blanche Lincoln rethinks her position on a majority vote after she is confronted with a viable primary challenger; Mr. Stupak is about to discover that he is dispensable. Alan Grayson introduces an optional Medicare buy-in for all as “The Public Option Act”, and 38 senators have signed onto some form of support for a public option, but with many caveats. Grayson’s poll numbers run higher with Republicans than the Republican candidates in his district while Lincoln’s fade and Stupak’s star plummets.

HCAN stages a mock arrest of AHIP members and the Tea Partiers bring their town halls to Washington DC. Politics, American-style. What does it all mean? Will Hillary be VP?  Will reform, even Senate-style reform, become reality? What new surprises will come tomorrow? When will Hillary be VP?

It means this bill’s going to pass. It’s probably going to involve some kind of deal for limiting women’s access to abortions, which sucks. This is because it’s easier to sell women down the river than it is to step off a high horse. It also means we will unite around it, and around the next round of reforms, too. It means that Grayson’s bill might actually become reality someday and Stupak will be blessed by a cadre of Catholic bishops.

It means 31 million people will not be discriminated against. It means kids with pre-existing conditions will have coverage right away. It means we’ll all have access to preventive care, and clinical services, and it means an end to the power of the insurance lobby as it has been for decades. It means we’ll be able to pursue dreams, like owning our own business, or being a musician, or writing the Great American novel. It means we win.

Stupak or Kucinich (and I’m guessing Stupak) will come around once the proper sacrifices have been made to the god of the moment, and we will unite.

Whether Hillary will be VP remains to be seen.

For more talk of Stupak, Kucinich, and some of the specifics of HCR, here’s the archive of my appearance on Nicole Sandler’s radio show today. I start at around 66 minutes or so.

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