Friday, September 11, 2009

Baucus and Conrad surrender to right-wing nutcase Joe Wilson

What would it be like to have a Democratic Party that believes in challenging and delegitimizing extremist Republican narratives, rather than validating them every chance they get?

[T]hough Wilson's allegation was false, and the political impact has been largely negative, Democratic leaders on the Senate Finance Committee seem to think it's worth fixing the non-existent problem Wilson was complaining about.

"We really thought we'd resolved this question of people who are here illegally, but as we reflected on the President's speech last night we wanted to go back and drill down again," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), according to Time. The incident reportedly has led Finance chairman Max Baucus to insert a provision in his legislation to require participants in the health insurance exchanges to provide proof of citizenship.
If anyone needed yet another object lesson on why Democrats are perceived as weak and Republicans are perceived as strong in the minds of so many voters, look no further. Surrendering reflexively to your opponents without a fight is weakness. Refusing to stand up for yourself even when you are right is weakness. Persistently seeking compromise with people whose stated goal is your total defeat is weakness. These constant demonstrations of weakness from the Democrats serve only to demoralize their allies and embloden their enemies.

What do Baucus and Conrad think, that if they do this then Republicans will support health reform? Or, did it never occur to them that ignorning or pushing back against the GOP's anti-immigrant demagoguery is even an option?

Now, these so-called Democrats have reinforced the notion that health reform and immigration policy are linked in some way - just as the Republicans want it.