You Used to Be Alright, What Happened?

Oh, Mike. Now that we’re down to the final push, you decide you’re going to stand on principle, making the rounds of the Sunday shows and writing articles for TDB about what a phony this health care bill is. Well, that’s fantastic. As one commenter asks in the linked article: where are your solutions? Do you plan to take 30 million people to Cuba?

It pains me to disparage you. I know that you’re a champion of the little guy, even as the right-wing twists your words and deeds into a caricature. You make an easy target, making money from your films while decrying the runaway capitalism that has caused this country so much heartache. You deserve accolades for many of the things you do and the spotlight you shine on the powers that be. I’d even go so far as to say that you should be recognized for your national service, such as it is. Many times, the country has been enriched by what you have to say on an issue.

This is not one of those times.

I have no doubt that you believe strongly in the words you write and say. I’m sure you see this bill as more of the same, enriching insurance industries and sticking it to working families. That may very well be true. However, I would urge you to do something about that. Rome wasn’t built in a day. With this admittedly lackluster beginning, we can work to make the system better with each successive step. The point is that we have to start somewhere. We were never going to get a single-payer system from whole cloth, though that remains the obvious final goal. We have to make incremental steps because that is how life works. Would you be where you are today if you had not started with a simple request to interview Roger Smith? You benefited from a small start in a small town and now you are a major pundit.

Well, punditry is easy. Legislating is not. Maybe you could try the latter after having so much success with the former. Perhaps then you would see that the world is not quite as cut and dried as you seem to think it is. This bill is a step in the right direction, no matter how small, and we should take it as a sign that we can never stop fighting for justice and equality. When our only action is to stand on the sidelines and criticize, then we’re no better then the Teabaggers. And who the hell wants that?

So, Mike, stop criticizing and start helping. Make a run for office so you can put your skin in the game. We would all benefit from your position as lawmaker. On the other hand, no one benefits when we can’t compromise on even a modest step forward. Just a little something to consider.

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