Digby is in DC along with C&L's David Neiwert and many other liberals---as they are hanging out at the America's Future Now conference. I went last year (when it was called "Take Back America") and it was a blast. Digby talked with the fabulous Darcy Burner, who is the new head of the American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation.
Check out the web site for more info. It's a much needed pathway for progressive thought and action from many different perspectives to come together and work in new ways with members of congress.
Darcy mentioned to me that this week is an important moment in the health care debate, in which it might be helpful for members of the netroots to weigh in with a little positive reinforcement to the progressive caucus, which has been holding the leadership's feet to the fire on the public plan option. (Everyone pretty much agrees that if that doesn't happen, health care reform will be a meaningless shell game.) I was somewhat surprised frankly (in a good way) to hear the the progressives caucus had pulled together on this one and was actually wielding some clout. They represent over 70 members of congress, which is a big bloc of votes. If they can stick together on the public plan, it will happen.
I think it's pretty clear that netroots types are all more than willing to meet our responsibility to push and criticize and basically be a thorn in the sides of politicians to "make them do it." But it's also important to let them know that we appreciate it when they follow through.
If you have time today or tomorrow to give a progressive caucus rep a call or send an email it would be helpful. They need to know that the public is paying attention and that we have their backs as this debate kicks into high gear. The health care industry is working overtime to whittle away at meaningful health care reform, most especially the public plan which scares them to death. These Congressional Progressives are the people who will ensure that they do not get their way.
The Ben Nelson Dems, Republicans and the health care industry are gearing up to water down the public option, and we need to fight them all the way. Please join in. We need you.