The upcoming health insurance vote is so important to me personally, first as a moral issue, and second as a practical matter (after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease), that I intend to hold all Democrats -- from President Obama to those Democratic Legislators who vote "yes" through those Democratic Legislators who vote "No" -- responsible INDEFINITELY into the future, if the final reconciled bill does not include at least a "public option" for health insurance. To be clear, under the conditions i just outlined, i will not vote for any Democrat for anything. I'll stay home on Election Day if the choice is between a Democrat and a Republican--or vote Green if that choice is available.

Maybe Ralph Nader was right, even in this past election, in saying that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans? Clearly, there isn't much difference between voting "no" like a Republican, pro-insurance company lackey and voting "yes" for insurance company approved bill like insurance company shill, Senator Max Boccus, took his pieces of silver to support. As I have no direct leverage over the senator from the great big state with hardly any people (Montana), and considering the nation-defining moral significance of this decision, the only course left open to me is to leverage my own Legislators. And I hope that others will join me in doing so. Let's force Democrats to act like Democrats! We shouldn't allow Republicans dressed up as Democrats to wag the Party. Blue dog --- schmue dog: their sh*t stinks.

I'd be willing, even eager, to make an exception for any Democratic official who calls for and helps secure permits and facilities for a tent city of supporters camped out on the grass of the Mall, from the Capitol to the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial--tents and people as far as the eye can see, sharing peace and music, beginning after Labor Day and continuing until the reconciliation process ends. As recently as a few month's ago, i would have bet that our recently Inaugurated Organizer-in-Chief would have called for just such action. President Obama hasn't; so someone has to do it. Make my day, Senator Brown and Representative Kilroy: issue this call. I'd be there.

Robert A. Letcher, PhD (Cornell, 1994)
Columbus, Ohio