Friday, October 9, 2009

Health Care CHUTZPAH Moves from the House to the Senate

Last July I gave a Chutzpah of the Week award to "57 Democrats in the House of Representatives have decided to bare their progressive teeth with a letter sent to their supposed leaders indicating their intention to oppose any compromise that will ultimately undermine the course of [health care] reform." I learned about the grounds for this award through the good graces of John Nichols and his The Beat blog, which appears on the Web site for The Nation. I am happy to report that Nichols is still reporting on those who are fighting the good fight and has now shifted his attention to the Senate. Here is the lead paragraph for his latest post:

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a health care reform champion who has (along with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller) led the fight for a robust public option has gathered the signatures of thirty senators who are committed to real reform -- even if the insurance companies don't like it.

Here is the list of those thirty signatories:

Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John D. Rockefeller (D-WV); Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT); Russ Feingold (D-WI); Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI); Tom Udall (D-NM); Kristen E. Gillibrand (D-NY); Roland W. Burris (D-IL); Ron Wyden (D-OR); Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI); Michael F. Bennet (D-CO); Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Jack Reed (D-RI); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ); Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD); Al Franken (D-MN); Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA); Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD); Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI); Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE); Arlen Specter (D-PA); Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Bernard Sanders (I-VT); John F. Kerry (D-MA); Herb Kohl (D-WI); and Paul Kirk (D-MA)

There is, of course, the possibility that this list will grow; but I think that the Chutzpah of the Week award deserves to be shared by those who were first to declare their commitment in opposition to the prevailing trends imposed by their colleagues (many of whom are in leadership positions).

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