Monday, October 05, 2009

To Urge Courage on 14 Democratic Senators

There stand 14 centrist Democratic senators in the way of what, by one estimate, 67% of Americans desire (and by another estimate 77%). 14 Democratic senators who continue to defy the command of a majority of Americans in preference to the will of corporate lobbyists of the healthcare industry, lobbyists who have lined the pockets of many of these senators with campaign contributions.

There stand 14 centrist Democratic senators who still oppose the public option in any rendition of healthcare reform bills currently under consideration in congress.

Someone or something needs to inspire these senators to be greater than themselves. Something to inspire these senators to do the right thing.

And the Fort Bend Democrats stood up to take on this challenge.

After all, our two senators are so hopelessly bought up by healthcare lobbyists, and are so captivated by the notion of handing Barack Obama a defeat – despite the fact that Texans are second to last in the nation in having health insurance coverage - that our call for personal courage will definitely fall on deaf ears with those two.

So the Fort Bend Democrats voted to send 14 tokens of inspirations of courage to these 14 senators.

Voted to send 14 copies of John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer prize-winning book Profiles in Courage.

It is an especially apt gift. While he was laid up after having his back surgery between 1954 and 1955, Kennedy penned 8 biographical accounts of unparalleled courage exhibited by United States Senators who resisted the easy way out and did the right thing.

They voted their consciences, not for the flavor of the day, and certainly not for personal gain. Many of these senators suffered personal or political setbacks as a result of their decisions of conscience.

Knowing that sending these copies by mail would have gotten the books to their recipients by, say, Valentine’s Day, the Fort Bend Democrats enlisted the help of a DC resident who accepted the mission to personally hand-deliver these books to the 14 targeted senators. Her ordeal can be read about here from an email from our collaborator.

Each text was accompanied by a handwritten note to the senators; the one addressed to Senator Evan Bayh appears below.
Now who knows what effect this stunt, and some will call it a stunt, will have on these senators. My hope is that some will take this as seriously as the Fort Bend Democrats mean it to be.

Failure to achieve meaningful healthcare reform is not an option.

Maybe these senators need to be reminded about personal sacrifice, and courage to do the right thing. Perhaps this gift to each of them will provide a means to that end.

No comments: