I watched the House of Representatives pass the Senate amendments to the health care bill. It's hard to put into words exactly how I feel. When I think of the fact that FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton tried and failed to get any meaningful health care reform passed, I stand in awe of the Democratic leadership and the current President of the United States. I have, at times, been extremely critical of the Democrats and the President over the past year because of there perceived lack of commitment to reform. I berated them for throwing single payer overboard before the fight had even begun. I berated them for trying to find some compromise with the Republicans. I berated them for giving up the public option when they were only fighting against themselves. I berated my fellow bloggers for losing faith. There have been times when I was sure that nothing was ever going to get done. There have been times when I have lost faith in the White House. There have been times when the thought of health care reform seemed an unreachable goal. I stand humbled today. Government can indeed work for the people. Government can indeed make a positive difference in the lives of its citizens. Sometimes I think we lose sight of that fact. This bill is of course not everything we wanted, but as with Civil Rights, once the ball starts rolling, it is very hard to stop. One step will inevitably lead to another and then another. The first one is always the hardest. And now 75 years after FDR first tried to get universal health coverage for all Americans, we have finally taken our first steps toward that lofty goal.
Thank you Nancy Pelosi. Thank you Harry Reid. And thank you Mr. President. This is what leadership looks like. Let's not forget that the next time the Republicans decide to take up arms against the public good. Let's not forget what it feels like to be able to tell the American people that their government actually works for them. And remember, never stop fighting until the fight is done. Here endeth the lesson.
Now let's do something about the absolutely criminal condition of our public schools. I have no idea how this country can perpetuate a system that arms only those children who are fortunate enough to live in wealthy districts with the tools needed to compete in a global economy. How do we allow a de facto "separate but equal" policy in education to exist? Something needs to be done now!