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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

‘Money, Boots on the Ground, and the Passion to Win’

Yesterday, J.P. Green concluded his post on health care reform politics with a warning to fellow Dems to get their act together to confront the coming ‘tidal wave’ of propaganda from health care providers. Bernie Horn reports in his post “We’ll Win Health Care in 2009 with a Strong, Coordinated, Progressive Movement” at the Campaign for America’s Future ‘Blog for Our Future’ that progressives are doing just that. As Horn notes,

This year, progressive organizations are ready to fight. They have the money, boots on the ground, and the passion to win.
First, the money: Progressive groups are poised to spend more than $82 million this year to enact legislation guaranteeing quality, affordable health care for all. This includes campaign funding that has been committed by Health Care for America Now; the two main labor federations, AFL-CIO and Change To Win; and mobilization groups such as MoveOn.org and Democracy for America. For progressives, that’s an unprecedented financial effort.
Second, the organizing: The Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition started last year with a bit more than 100 organizations. Today, it includes 1,000 groups that collectively represent over 30 million members. HCAN’s national campaign manager, Richard Kirsch, emphasizes that “the heart of this campaign is not inside the Beltway.” HCAN now has more than 140 paid organizers in 40 states working exclusively to build support for federal health care reform while other organizations, such as SEIU and CWA, have hundreds more organizers in the field.

Horn, Senior Fellow at Campaign for America’s Future and author of the book, “Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People,” also quotes Eli Pariser, president of MoveOn.org:

The Bush years have taught progressives how to do political campaigns in a different way. It’s not enough to state your argument and hope for the best. You have to get out into the country and build constituencies in key districts and have the apparatus and enforce discipline.

Horn’s concluding cri du coeur:

Enough is enough! We will not allow the health care crisis to continue. We will not stand by as thousands or even millions of Americans inevitably die because they can’t afford health insurance. We will not calmly watch our friends and neighbors, and sometimes our families, be bankrupted by health care costs. We will not say it’s okay for private health insurance companies to enrich themselves at the expense of our wellbeing and our lives. We lost in 1994, but will not lose again.
This is our time. This is our chance.

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