ACTIVISTS CALL ON KUCINICH TO COMPROMISE

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Over the weekend, I got a couple of invitations to join a Facebook advocacy page. Normally, I consider these something of a pain in the ass — I really don’t want to clog up my already overloaded news feed with things like “Can this dung beetle get more fans than Glenn Beck?” But these were different: They came from well-known local leftie activist folk singer Deborah Van Kleef and her husband Jim Miller (Deborah’s parents are active in progressive politics as well). And they’re looking for support of something that may be critically important.

The page is called “100,000 Clevelanders Urge Dennis, Vote for Pres. Obama's Health Care bill.”

You may recall that when the original health-care bill came up for a vote late last year, it passed the House by a hair — 219-215. And proud liberal Dennis Kucinich was one of the “no” votes, having said he will oppose anything less than a single-payer system, which just isn’t going to happen any time in the foreseeable future. It’s possible that some progressive provision had to be traded away to get some more conservative votes to counterbalance Dennis’. Now the blended Senate and House bill will be coming up for a final vote. It will probably be a nail-biter. What will Dennis do?

Here’s what the Facebook page is asking:

As Clevelanders, we urge Congressperson Dennis Kucinich to vote YES on President Obama's sweeping health care reform, the most important in the nation's history. Right now, Dennis is on record as a NO vote. We value Dennis because he stands up for ordinary people, regardless of what the powerful and rich might say or do. We know that Dennis is committed to listening to the voice of the people. We ask that he listen to our voice on this life or death issue … Both House votes are likely to be very close, since many of the couple dozen conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats are likely to vote no. Passage of health care reform may hang on Dennis's vote. If major reform fails now, it may be 20-30 years before the stars line up once more and we have this chance again. Our children and grandchildren will suffer greatly if we fail now.

Come on, Dennis. Now is not the time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. — Anastasia Pantsios

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