There are early signs that progressives are truly fed up with being treated like free piggy banks to the Blue Dogs. There are two articles that indicate things could be shifting under the Blue Dogs’ feet.
Up front, h/t to PaulVA at Daily Kos.
The first comes from the union side of things. The Sheet Metal Workers International Association is the first union to have suspended all campaign donations to every Democratic candidate until the Employee Free Choice Act and true health care reform have been passed. Now that’s letting the money talk! Further, AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka puts a shot right across the ConservaDems’ bow:
And then there’s that other group: those fair weather friends who can’t seem to decide which side they’re on. I’m talking about politicians who love to have our help come election time, but, always seem to forget us after the votes are counted.
He continues with language that allows for no misunderstanding:
we need to send them a special message: it’s that you may have forgotten what the labor movement did to get you elected; but, by God, we never will! And if you stab us in the back on health care this year don’t you dare ask us for our support next year!
PaulVA points out that labor has contributed more in this cycle than the health care industry, financial services or any other interest group to the Blue Dogs. More importantly, labor supporters have provided the greatest difference in field operations for Democrats than any other group for a long, long time. These ConservaDems, by and large, represent relatively right-leaning districts. If the troops don’t show up in 2010, it will be much, much harder for these clowns to win their re-election campaigns.
Rep. Salazar is one of the folks, representing CO-03. If substantial numbers of real Democrats don’t show up, Rep. Salazar, do you think you can power yourself to victory? Will you really take the chance to find out?
The second comes from another Dkos diary from irmaly, who links to a Huffington Post piece about Howard Dean. The good doctor offers up another important piece of the re-election equation: primary opponents.
“I do think there will be primaries as the result of all this, if the bill doesn’t pass with a public option,” Dean said, in a phone interview with the Huffington Post.
This is what I’ve been calling for for a couple of years: better Democrats. If the Blue Dogs want to obey their corporate masters and slow down progress in Congress, they don’t belong in office. The Obama administration darn near gave away the farm from the get-go by not demanding single-payer universal health care from the start, but Dean is correct: a bill without a public option would be worse than no bill at all at this point.
I will not help out any Democrat who gets in the way of 1) an aggressive climate change bill or 2) a public option health care plan. More than that, I will work for their opposition, be it a more progressive Democrat or a Republican. These Dogs need to know that there’s a penalty for working against the people. They’ve been unaccountable up until now because people like Rahm Emanuel recruited them as such. I don’t care what Emanuel promised them. They’re Democrats and Democrats work for the people, not for themselves.
Like I said, I fervently hope these two emerging trends are real. If ConservaDems sink health care reform, they should get no help from unions next year. If ConservaDems sink health care reform, they should be primaried by more progressive Democrats. The unions can spend their money and time on real Democrats, not the back-stabbers currently in office.