Tonight on his MSNBC program Countdown, Keith Olbermann took aim at the Democrats who are in the pockets of the healthcare sector that are blocking healthcare reform. He warned, “You were elected to serve the people, and if you fail to pass or support this legislation the full wrath of the progressive and the moderate movements in this country will come down on your heads.”
Here is the video:
Olbermann said, “We do not need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs that one word, dogs is perfectly sufficient, but let me speak to them collectively anyway. I warn you all. You were not elected to create a Democratic majority. You were elected to restore this country. You were not elected to serve the corporations and the trusts who the government has enabled for these last 8 years. You were elected to serve the people, and if you fail to pass or support this legislation the full wrath of the progressive and the moderate movements in this country will come down on your heads.”
He continued, “Explain yourselves not to me, but to them. They elected you, and in the blink of an eye they will replace you. If you will behave as if you are Republicans, as if you are the prostitutes of our system, you will be judged as such and you will lose not merely our respect you will lose your jobs. Every poll, every analysis, every vote, every region of this country supports healthcare reform, and the essential great leveling agent of government funded alternative to the unchecked duopoly of profiteering private insurance corporations. Cross us all at your peril.”
Olbermann is pulling a trick straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook. He has the most watched liberal/progressive program on television, so he named names in the hopes of shaming these bought and paid for Democrats. This could work if Olbermann keeps the pressure on the Blue Dogs. However, if he musters his indignant rage for one night and never discusses it again, it won’t matter.
Olbermann does overlook the fact that many of these Blue Dogs don’t have to worry about liberals and moderates because they are mostly Democrats representing Red States. The people blocking healthcare reform are more worried about losing Republican votes than Democratic support. These are members of Congress that don’t want to appear liberal.
I am always in favor of anything that exposes the connection between money and politics, but the truth is that the only way true democracy will return to our system is if elections are publicly funded. Money rules in politics, so it is no surprise that members of Congress are more interested in pleasing donors instead of constituents. Olbermann can be enraged, but it won’t matter unless those who support healthcare reform show the members of Congress that there will be a price to be paid on Election Day if they choose to follow the money.