A central tenet of the Democratic Party is that we want every American to have access to quality, affordable health care. Period. There should be no debate about that.
As such, Democrats who are wavering on whether or not to support the most substantial health care reform in decades should expect that Democrats in their district will want to replace them with better Democrats. Period. There should be no surprise about that.
It looks like conservative Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts' 9th Congressional district wants to make himself a test case.
Rebuffing personal pleas from President Obama and Vicki Kennedy, Representative Stephen F. Lynch said yesterday that he will vote against the Democrats' health care overhaul, contending that it doesn't put enough pressure on insurance companies to reduce costs.
The move is a shift for the South Boston Democrat, who voted in favor of the original House bill along with the rest of the Massachusetts delegation in November.
Expanding coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and prohibiting pre-existing condition restrictions is progress. The anti-choice, conservative Lynch is obstructing progress. He says the bill doesn't do enough, so he'd rather scuttle health care reform for another generation rather than pass this and attempt to build on it (if, in fact, that's his real contention).
Lynch wants to obstruct reform, wants to obstruct progress, obstruct the Democratic agenda. Fine. A better Democrat is already organizing a potential primary challenge.
Harmony Wu is seriously considering a run to represent the 9th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives. Like many of us, she has become frustrated with Congressman Steve Lynch's lack of commitment to progressive issues, especially health care reform. Please help progressive democrats collect signatures for Harmony Wu's nomination papers this weekend!
For those of you who don't know her, Harmony is a Needham mother of two who took it upon herself to coordinate Needham for the Obama campaign, and shocked everyone in the state with what she was able to deliver. Since then, she has been an inspired and passionate volunteer political organizer. She has led the charge for health care organizing in Lynch's district, mobilizing hundreds of people to call and visit Lynch's office in support of reform. Out of frustration, she has decided to consider a run against him both to show that there is passionate support for health care reform, and to hopefully remove him from office if he votes No.
This effort has sprung up in just the last twenty-four hours and has already gone from 0 to 60. (HT: Dayen at FDL)
The message: wavering Democrats are on notice. Oppose health care reform, oppose a reform measure central to the heart of the Democratic Party, scuttle health care reform for another generation, and expect to be replaced via primary by a better Democrat. The notice has been issued; and, we'll know on Sunday night how many of you we'll seek to replace.