An open letter to Jim Dean and DFA

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America
Burlington, VT

Hi Jim,

You might remember meeting me once or twice.  I have been a member of Democracy For America since its founding in 2004.  I interned for Gov. Howard Dean's campaign in New Hampshire in 2003-04.  I am an active member and hold a leadership position in the my local DFA group (but I do not write this letter as a representative of any group).  I was a DFA Netroots Nation scholar in 2009.

I'm writing as a rather concerned DFA member about DFA's possible involvement in Noelle (slinkerwink) and Eve's (nyceve) Facebook group to organize a million calls to Capitol Hill on February 24 and 25 demanding reconciliation in the senate first before the House passes the Senate bill.  I think there are two dangers associated with it.

First and foremost, nearly nobody calling will have a clear idea about what may or may not be included in reconciliation.  The people pushing for the calls - at least one of them - is doing so on her other Facebook group demanding "Public option now."  It is not a realistic expectation to have the public option in reconciliation at this point.  In fact, Speaker Pelosi, her legislative director, and Tom Harkin have all made crystal clear what narrow provisions can be and will be included in a reconciliation package:increase the threshold on the Cadillac tax, include more affordability credits, close the donut hole in the Medicare Part D drug benefit, and eliminate the Cornhusker Kickback.  While all good ideas, I, frankly, do not think that those alone are reason to hold the Senate bill hostage in the House.

If DFA joins this campaign for a million calls, I want DFA to be very, very clear on what people are calling for - or holding the Senate bill hostage for - and that it isn't the public option.

Thanks for all you do.

Note to my reader: This is a modified version of an email I sent to Jim Dean via the DFA web site.  I love DFA, and I am posting this as an open letter because of my affection for DFA, not in spite of it.