Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Mary Landrieu says she's against a public health insurance option.

This makes me FURIOUS. I am calling her now.

I am calling her in D.C. at (202)224-5824.

I am calling her in New Orleans at (504) 589-2427.

Look, I have come to accept that Mary Landrieu is always going to vote more conservative than I'd like. The reason I supported her was that I thought that at the very least, when there were really important lines in the sand to be drawn, she would vote for the interests of working people. I have not appreciated many of her votes so far since reelection but I still held out hope that on the big issues she'd be there.

I have voted for her and volunteered for her based on that. If she is anything other than an enthusiastic champion of lowered health insurance costs, she'll never have me as a phone banker again!

To play cowardly politics with healthcare is intolerable. It is a tipping point issue for me and I find any waffling on it to be unacceptable.

If we make it known how important this is to us, she may change her mind. She needs to hear from us before she takes an unequivocal position.

Her staffers are totally nice though so don't be too angry with them.


alli said...

I called and her staffer was, uh, not nice. I made it clear that the Senator's comments were infuriating and unacceptable, but she didn't take down my ZIP code or anything. Let's hope they're getting bombarded.

E said...

That's fine. I hope they ARE getting agitated. Mary's position is unacceptable and she should catch hell for it.

jeffrey said...

The thing about shit like this that always gets me (at least from a political strategy point of view) is, you know your opponents are going to call you a "dangerous liberal socialist" no matter what you do. Why sacrifice so much to try and win an unwinnable argument?

In reality, I understand that the only constituency Mary needs to placate are her campaign donors and the lobbyists she sees every day but the absurd criticism of not-at-all-liberal Mary's "dangerous" tendencies is tiresome and frustrating.

E said...

The thing about it for me is WHAT CRITICISM? She just got reelected to a six year term and it doesn't seem to me like she's in any real danger whatsoever. That's what has been so frustrating about her in this session. The GOP is on the ropes, Obama is surging - even in Louisiana. He's proposing fairly benign, pragmatic changes; changes that represent the bare minimum of what we need to do to change things around for the better.

I have no idea what Mary Landrieu is thinking. DKF points out that she took $600k from the insurance industry. She has done nothing this term to inspire any confidence that isn't what's going on here.

I'm absolutely furious. Jeffrey, you're really good at keeping a sarcastic and pessimistic viewpoint so that you don't seem to get really ticked off at kinda unsurprising disappointments like this. I still feel totally betrayed and I want her to be put on the defensive about it. She needs to know that her base (real live voters in the Democratic Party in Louisiana and NOT insurance industry donors) can be just as critical as the conservatives she seems so fearful of.

E said...

damn it's been awhile since i've been this ticked. it's kind of fun....

...actually no i'm still mad.

jeffrey said...

Ah but she does get criticized for being a "liberal" every time her name comes up on talk radio or during any campaign she's been involved in and generally whenever she's referred to in any public affairs discussion which takes place within the so-called mainstream framework of Louisiana politics.

I don't agree with the label, of course, as the facts clearly rendered demonstrate it to be an absurdity, but since when is public discourse in any way fact-based?

The general public accepts the liberal Landrieu perception and so we can expect her to be in some way responsive to that. I find her response cowardly and stupid at first glance... but on further examination believe it to be a convenient excuse for her to serve the big donors who comprise her de facto constituency.

I don't think you can change this very much by calling her office. What is needed is a change in the way our news media reports on and discusses politics so that it combats rather than facilitates the phony narratives which frame the ill-informed debate. Which is, again, to say... I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. Especially if my health coverage wasn't so good.

E said...

"I don't think you can change this very much by calling her office. What is needed is a change in the way our news media reports on and discusses politics so that it combats rather than facilitates the phony narratives which frame the ill-informed debate."

One thing I've learned is that phone call bombardments actually have an impact. Mary Landrieu doesn't read blogs. She does get briefed on how pissed off people are about different things she's done. One big way they measure that is call and letter volume. As for your belief that we need to change how the news media discusses these kinds of issues - well that's what the blog is hopefully working toward over the long term. Short term I think we need to yell at Mary Landrieu's answering machine. It's democracy baby.

jeffrey said...

Well, you know, who am I to discourage the practice of yelling at inanimate objects? Or,if need be, at their answering machines.

Anonymous said...

So if the media portray Landrieu as a centrist rather as a liberal that would help her be able to be more liberal? Look...anything that's not rock-ribbed right wing is a marked as a liberal in many parts in this state and "liberal" is not, for the majority of the state, a nice thing to call a person. Is Landrieu not in any danger of losing her seat? Not this last time so much. Ironically, Kennedy, Buddy Roemer-like kooky as he is, was probably the least nutcase of anyone Landrieu has had to run against and with the others the election was a cliffhanger.

E said...

That's an interesting point.

Even in Louisiana, as conservative as it is, would it really hurt you as a candidate to run for reelection on a "look i just delivered you affordable healthcare" platform? I doubt it.

Rather, I think a victory on affordable healthcare is as big a political win as it is a win for working families and the uninsured.

The more I think about it, the more I consider Landrieu's 'centrism' on public option to be a convenient cover for what is really just a classic special interest sell out. She campaigned on healthcare reform, she signed a pledge in favor of public option. So during the campaign she certainly didn't run to 'the center' on healthcare - she was a stone-cold lefty pinko socialist.

But since the election she's buckled. The question then is:

Under what pressure?