Assuming something very close to the Senate health care reform bill is enacted, wouldn't it be great if the self-proclaimed progressive elected representatives boycotted Obama's signing ceremony? They could even stage a simultaneous press conference outlining all that is bad in the bill and announce the immediate introduction of a reform-the-reform bill. They could return in 2010 and responsibly work on other important legislation, but they could urge action on the reform-the-reform bill at every opportunity.
I give Obama credit for making health care reform such a priority. We have made a lot of progress in educating ourselves about the scope of the problem and possible solutions. Despite the handwringing over Joe Lieberman's phony claims that some on the left being positive about the Medicare buy-in caused him to flip flop on it, I think it's a good thing that so many people are talking openly about the superiority of the Medicare-for-all or single-payer option.
All that progress can be undone, however, if we allow Obama to crow about how wonderful his achievement was, and how we can forget about health care reform and move on to the next big thing. There's absolutely no reason to think that a climate change bill presented to Obama to sign into law wouldn't be as horribly compromised and deflating as the Senate's health care reform bill,
we do everything we can to discourage Obama from overstating his accomplishments and continuing to make promises he can't keep.
We don't need Obama to be a hero. We just need him to level with us about the magnitude of our problems and the length of time he thinks it'll take to turn things around. He can then challenge us by saying that, if we don't want to wait that long, it's up to us to speak up, challenge the status quo, and, yes, even criticize him when we think he's being captured by the special interests.