Jonathan Teller-Elsberg  @  ChelseaGreen

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HCR Avatar analogy—and "pass HCR" contingency fund

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 at 1:18 pm by Jonathan Teller-Elsberg

Maybe lots of other people are making Avatar analogies, but I haven't happened to see them myself. So I'll just throw this out there. (Spoiler alert for people who haven't seen the movie and don't want to know the storyline: avoid this diary entry.)

Scott Brown's election is the point in the story where Hometree topples over and the Omaticaya are scrambling for their lives in fear.

The boneheaded cowardice of Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House is the point in the story where the Omaticaya retreat to the Tree of Souls praying for rescue. (This is a little bit of an insult to the Omaticaya since they weren't being foolish or cowardly in going to the Tree of Souls, but bear with me.) Instead of going to the source of life and wisdom, these Democrats are praying to that unholy mythical deity, the independent voter who won't know the difference between Republican and Repbulican-lite.

How does this story end?

So does anyone tame the toruk and rally all the tribes of Na'vi to join together in defense of the heart and soul of their world? No, I'm not talking about Obama being our savior. For Democrats, the way to tame the toruk is to pass healthcare reform. It would be the sign of power in the face of adversity that gives democratic voters a reason to believe that they can stand together for what they believe–and actually achieve it.

Okay, so analogy over.

Now for a humble proposition. Maybe the Democrats in Washington can have their spines stiffened with a sufficiently large carrot. Can the Daily Kos* higher ups start an ActBlue page that collects a contingency fund for the DCCC and DSCC? What I'm thinking is a fund that collects contributions, but the money is not distributed to the DCCC and DSCC unless and until healthcare reform passes and is signed into law. If no law passes by the end of some predetermined date, say February 14 (happy Valentine's Day! We love you America!) then all the money is refunded to the contributors. (Possibly with some small fraction retained by ActBlue to cover administrative costs.)

Wikipedia's slightly outdated page on the Democratic Party says there were 72 million registered Dems as of 2004. That probably went up what with the 2008 elections. So let's say there are 75 million registered Dems. How much would it take to tempt Congress to overcome cowardice and do the right thing? $20 million, $35 million, $75 million? Those break down, respectively, to a mere 27 cents, 47 cents, and one dollar per registered Dem.

Would you donate a quarter or a dollar to ensure that healthcare reform passes? Remember, you'd get it refunded back if HCR fails. Let's make this into a survey!

*Cross-posted on Daily Kos, where there's a poll so you can vote on whether this is a good idea.


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