Alaska Senator Mark Begich, once again, when realistically confronted with the compromise "public option" which most Alaska Democrats feel to be a sorry retreat from what the plurality of the people who worked, donated and volunteered for him in 2008 want - universal American health care, simply designed for the 21st century - came short of an answer that in any way will convince us that he is OUR Senator.
Thursday morning, after Wednesday's presidential speech on health care reform, Obama met with some of the "conservative" 16 Democrats who Obama doesn't feel have signed on to whatever he has planned in this regard. This evening, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called on our junior senator to represent that bunch on the meeting:
Mark claimed the meeting was "an opportunity" to "be blunt with the president," but didn't articulate what the so-called "bluntness" might have been about. Apparently, it had to do with money.
Begich claims that the president convinced him the latter's proposal is somehow convincingly "deficit-neutral," in the long term.
However, when Maddow brought up Begich's congruency with the president's supposed goals and Begich's fairly progressive 2008 campaign health care stands, Mark went into his "small business stance" and "Alaska issues" spiel. He then declared that he will not let "the issue stand or fall" on the public option.
Begich next seemingly forgot he had been convinced by Obama in this morning's meeting, that the President's postion is fiscally neutral, as he ended the MSNBC session, contradicting himself.
The next election Alaska Senator Mark Begich faces is more than five years away. The single biggest contributor to his 2008 campaign was ActBlue/BlueAmerica. They raised over $50,000 for Sen. Begich over the course of his campaign. PA helped get Sen. Begich on their list. PA helped take Mark off their list, when Sen. Begich announced, early in 2009, that he intended to flirt with and often caucus with the Bush agenda-supporting "Blue Dogs" in our Party.
Thursday, in a matter of a few hours, ActBlue/BlueAmerica raised almost half of the nearly half million dollars collected on the web for Rob Miller, who will be running against Congressman Joe Wilson in 2010. Wilson is the guy who invited a court martial and U.S. House censure for yelling "You Lie!!!" at President Obama Wednesday night.
Depending on how Mark votes on health care, when his October PAC disclosures come out, if he has recently raised more than ActBlue/BlueAmerica raised for him in 2008, from the so-called health care industry for that PAC, you can depend on Progressive Alaska encouraging an early Democratic Party challenger to Mark's 2014 bid. That isn't just PA's opinion. It's my own responsibility.
That being said, I do hope Mark finally steps up and represents the people who elected him, when this comes down to the nitty-gritty.