Some Unsolicited Pragmatism For The Left
Matt Hodges

I don’t understand why the author doesn’t think we can do Option 3 — to make the case for, draft, lobby for and try to vote on Single Payer — and each time that doesn’t work, try Compromising with Option 2. If Republicans can vote to repeal Obamacare 5,000 times, Democrats can take a few whacks each and every week at improving health care either a little or a lot. Keep it in the news.

As to whether anybody should “demonize” Democrats that won’t vote for the more progressive options: I don’t care for “demonization,” but I don’t see why we should shy away from contested primaries with a whole whopping variety of views. Maybe we wind up with more progressive nominees and officeholders, or maybe we fail, but either way we’re building the argument for efficient and universal healthcare, and hopefully making cultural progress on why it’s important. That’s *really* what’s holding us back from single payer and from a lot of other progressive things, it’s not filibusters and math — almost every incumbent is afraid even to *champion* the argument, so now when somebody does it, it sounds exotic and zany. Let’s claw our way back from that self-critical depression, of assuming our ideas are losers.

So why is that difficult? Why stress over some congressional votes that fail, or some Democrats taking heat from their leftist constituents? It’s all upside in the long run. Why defend not trying?

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