If there's one thing that's become clear over at BMG this weekend, it's that interest groups - for the most part - cannot be trusted. I've been attacked left and right for my support of gay marriage by members of an interest group trying to pass the health care amendment. Now, many readers would say, what does health care have to do with marriage equality? I've been asking myself the same question over and over again. Perhaps I'm just not enlightened enough, but I can't see anything other than minute, peripherary connections. For example, they're both constitutional amendments and they're both probably going to die horrible procedural deaths. The fact that the health care amendment comes after the marriage amendment doth not mean suddenly people opposed to the marriage amendment banning marriage equality should come under attack.
I'm a huge proponent of affordable healthcare for all. I called my state legislators as early as the summer about the first Health Care Amendment. I was outraged Congress wasn't going to pass it, so it would come for a vote. However, I accepted the fact it was killed. I accepted the fact that the legislature was within its rights to do so. If one of my elected officials voted the wrong way on Health Care, I'd have supported someone else during a primary if he or she had the right view. Luckily, my two elected officials voted the right way and didn't get my wrath.
Sadly, the health care amendment lobby seems more interested in tearing down the progressive movement instead of working together. Together we can, but interest groups have a way of only being interested in themselves. So their amendment will probably fail - and I, for one, will be slightly less upset than I would have otherwise been when that happens. It's hard to get behind a cause when the leaders of the cause make me want to vomit. And this is coming from someone about to finish college and terrified about being insured or having to pay through the teeth through the new state system - with no knowledge of the quality of care that will provide.
I'm getting tired of the divisiveness. I almost just don't even care anymore. I feel like a beaten P O W who succumbs to the conditions they're stuck in, tortured this time by the disappointment of my so-called allies in the greater progressive movement. Just a week or so removed from a profound, watershed victory - the ugly side of the Democratic Party rears itself once again. It's as if all that has proven to be a failure in the party feels renewed, as if it was them that won all the elections. As if it was them that got Deval elected and won us the US House and Senate. Here's news for the issue groups: it wasn't. It was the broader progressive movement and a fed up electorate. The interest groups fought for Lieberman and Chafee, the progressive movement fought for change and won more battles than it lost. It was strong Democratic candidates and a weak field of corrupt, vile Republicans that turned off people left and right, NARAL be damned.
Interest groups can try to kill what we've built. Sadly, just weeks away from our victory, they could be successful. Divided we fall and I'm just feeling too tired to try to unite. I want to give up, but know I can't. However, after months of caring, my energy level is down. Other people need to pick up the slack or we'll lose. We'll lose not because of our political opponents, but because the cancer in the Democratic Party hasn't been fully purged.
Today, I feel a little differently. At least there's dialogue in trying to find a mutually beneficial solution. Perhaps, some people are realizing that tearing apart the movement isn't exactly the best way to win. People comprising the movement aren't always going to agree, but there needs to be a certain amount of loyalty: mainly, that we aren't going to back stab each other. We need to focus on the real problems: the people who would kill the health care amendment outright, not the people who want to save marriage equality.