Democrats, independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington, who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable, who understand that, if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there is no problem we cannot solve, there is no destiny that we cannot fulfill. Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring doctors and patients, workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together, and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that, while they get a seat at the table, they don’t get to buy every chair, not this time, not now.
So how many seats can they buy Senator Obama?Ã‚Â Am I being picky?Ã‚Â I mean, why does he chose the word buy rather than give?Ã‚Â The American people should not have to “buy” a seat at the table, should they?Ã‚Â This struck me as an important word to pay attention too (pun intended).
Is it a slip?Ã‚Â I mean, was it on purpose or was he just not thinking?Ã‚Â Haven’t we had enough of big corporations buying their seats at the table?Ã‚Â And aren’t they buying their seats with our money?Ã‚Â Nataline had health insurance and she was refused treatment, where does that money go?Ã‚Â Is that to “buy” a seat at the table?
According to Miles Mogulescu at the Huffington Post, this is a common phrasing for Obama.Ã‚Â
Obama’s political strategy is quite consistent with such financial backers. One of his big applause lines is “The insurance and drug companies can have a seat at the table…they just can’t buy all the chairs.”
John Edwards responds that “some people argue that we’re going to sit at the table with these people and they’re going to voluntarily give their power away. I think it’s a complete fantasy; it will never happen.” If Obama thinks the way to bring change to Washington is for a bunch of insiders to sit around the table with the corporate special interests, he is dreaming. These special interests are all about using their money and power to manipulate the government to increase their bottom lines. Insurance companies and drug companies are not interested in universal health care for all Americans. Big energy companies are not interested in developing alternative fuels, capping greenhouse gases, or ending America’s reliance on oil. Hedge fund managers are not interested in having their billion dollar incomes taxed at a marginal rate of 28% like the wage income of the companies they invest in, instead of at the special rate of 15%. Edwards will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to mobilize the American people to take on these special interests in the name of the public good. He is the most progressive major party candidate since Bobby Kennedy, perhaps since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Obama does receive money from insurance companies, right?Ã‚Â We’ve seen these graphs before and I know none of the candidates are pure, it’s just not possible.Ã‚Â But I want to know how to buy a seat and much it costs.Ã‚Â I think Obama supporters bring up a very valid point and it was unfair to use donations to the campaign (This is from the Daily Kos where I cross posted).Ã‚Â My main point is about the usage of the word buy. Maybe it’s time that no one should have to “buy” a seat at the table at all.
Many of us just can’t afford to pay anymore than we already are, in our taxes, our insurance premiums, gas prices and falling wages.Ã‚Â John Edwards understands that so many have already paid the price for these corporations seats at the table.Ã‚Â How many go without health care?Ã‚Â How many have died with health care?Ã‚Â And how many of us already believe we’ve paid enough that we should get our own seats?
As Edwards has said, “Will these people voluntarily give their power away?” (HT to NCD Amy at the Daily Kos).
No.Ã‚Â So why should we give them, let alone let them “buy” a seat at the table when they leave no room for the millions of Americans with out health insurance, millions of American who have to chose to either pay for heating oil or food and the millions of Americans who have to chose if living is more expensive than dying.Ã‚Â John Edwards knows that letting these people buy seats at the table has gotten us no where except politicians who now rely on this corporate money to keep their political careers afloat.
And I want to know, how much does my daughter have to pay to get a seat at the table?Ã‚Â Because how much is it going to cost us in negotiating with these people?Ã‚Â I think John Edwards would agree that Americans have already paid enough.Ã‚Â It’s time to fight and it’s time we had a President who wants to fight on our behalf, to fight for those who have not been heard and who have paid the highest price of all.
John Edwards is asked to describe one of his greatest Senate accomplishments – the Patients’ Bill of Rights. He goes on to talk about the personal nature of his lifelong work, fighting against powerful insurance companies and special interests. “We need a president who believes deeply in this battle.” Recorded during the Democratic Debate sponsored by ABC News, WMUR, and Facebook on Saturday, January 5, 2008.