Each day there are more articles revealing how some Republican leaders in town hall-style meetings are permitting misinformation, myths, and distortions about the health care reform bill to go unchallenged. They're even furthering the "untruth" by tacking on additional editorial comments to the questioner's statement and taking the false scenarios even farther.
This is an intentional ploy to derail President Obama and is not about health care reform. And it could work. They pretend to discuss compromise but have no interest in forward movement. These leaders are not serving the American public; they are serving a political party that wants its power back. Some of these leaders on the Senate Finance Committee, part of the "Gang of Six." that is reviewing the bill for areas where they can compromise. (See my Aug 29th post on this topic.)
There are many people who have legitimate concerns about the costs and benefits of the reform bill under discussion. Democratic and Republican leaders are among those with concerns. This is not a bad thing. Disagreement can lead to a better bill that serves us better. Concern, discussion, and disagreement can lead to compromise. But as I've discussed before, some of the dissenters are not interested in compromise.
These vocal opponents are interested only in derailing Obama's power. Health care reform is their weapon.
My message to the President, and to my legislators, is to stop playing "pretend compromise" and focus on what is best for the American public. The Public Option is vital to true health care reform. You knew that going in; now refocus and move forward.
The Democratic Party needs to find those Republican legislators who have the guts to vote on conscience, defying Republican leaders who are using this important bill to derail the President. If there are areas where compromise makes sense without gutting the bill, then compromise.
Democrats and Republicans who have issues with the bill need to discuss those issues without distortion. And they all need to tell the American public the truth, pointing out what the lies and distortions are when they surface so Americans can be informed and not lied to; the lies of omission must stop.
But overall, they must listen to the American public. Our voices have been raised, loudly and clearly. But it seems as if leaders in both parties are not listening. Their ears are tuned elsewhere.
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