Monday, December 21, 2009

Challenge The Status Quo, Expect Disappointment, But Don't Quit

It wasn't the greatest week to be a progressive.

Yes, the Democrats appear to have reached the necessary 60 votes to win Senate approval (against an intransigent, 100% negative GOP minority) for a health care reform bill, but the result is weaker than what was hoped for, as well as what's needed.

The public option is gone, barriers to legal abortions are codified and other shortcomings all indicate the stubborn power of conservative and private sector special influences.

And in Copenhagen, the world climate summit ended with a few targets set, and a decent deal on forest protections established - - but to a large extent, the major oucomes were victories for inertia and denial.

And you know what?

We will accept these health care and environmental changes as victories, though we had hoped for more.

They are certainly advances over Bush era obstinance, but progressives are in the political game for fundamental change and, as has often been the case, we have seen again that the status quo is hard to budge.

We will probably get more action on buth health care reform and climate-protection strategies when fiscal or environmental problems beccome even more severe.

So for now - - let's acknowledge that some progress has been made, that it's all a process with imperfection that has to be fought continually to be made better, that many people have tried and done their best (we're not looking your way, Joe Lieberman/Ben Nelson, et al), but progressives have to be realists to keep moving forward, lest we let our passion die or quit the game completely.

Then the status quo and its beneficiaries would really win.

1 comment:

Brutus said...

Finally, a bill that has'nt been (so far) completly written by the health industry! It will be an interesting week on the hill.