The rally was organized by Organizing for America, President Obama’s group. I wasn’t too excited about going, and at first it was dispiriting. The signs by the organizers said nothing about a Public Option, let alone a robust public option, let alone single payer. We came with single payer signs, and were happy to find that many other people also had single payer or public option signs. But in general, we felt like people were being softened up for a big cave-in on Wednesday.
Then came the speeches. Representatives Tierney and Capuano, both of whom are among the 65 Democratic health care heroes who have pledged not to support any bill that does not contain a robust public option, gave outstanding speeches, strongly supporting a public option. Representative Capuano also supported single payer in his speech. Both were enthusiastically cheered. Then came Representative Lynch, who has been singularly unenthusiastic about public option. He started talking vaguely about “universal care”. Suddenly, the crowd came to life. These very proper Bostonians, median age probably somewhere between 50 and 60, started chanting “public option” over and over again. Nobody there could doubt why all those people had come out on a beautiful Labor Day when we all would rather have been doing something else. Representative Lynch cut his speech short.
I am writing this diary just to underscore how strong, deep and serious the support for public option is around the country – undoubtedly for single payer as well. Make no mistake – if President Obama comes through for us on Wednesday there will be a groundswell of enthusiasm that will lead to the passage of a good health care bill. This enthusiasm will then generate demand for all the other things we want – green energy, the return of our civil liberties, employee free choice act and the right to organize unions, an end to fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the use of diplomacy rather than war to handle international disputes. We will gain, not lose, seats in the House and Senate in the 2010 elections. We will have a future we all can look forward to.