Support Bill … H.676

Bill Keating wants your money. In the last week alone I have received three or four appeals from the Democratic representative of the 9th Massachusetts Congressional District. In each is his “ask” — “support Bill.”

Well, I would send this right back at Rep. Keating:

Support Bill 676 — the Medicare for All Act.

Rep. Keating may be basically an honest and decent guy, but he is among the least progressive portion of Democratic congressmen who have not signed on to John Conyers’ proposed legislation to expand Medicare into a single-payer system.

This is hardly a surprise.

Keating may be a social liberal — and he has respectable legislative ratings from Planned Parenthood, AFSCME, and the Sierra Club, for example. But when it comes to foreign policy — and now healthcare — he is a disappointment.

The Congressman is not merely an unreliable voter on foreign policy, he is a member of both the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees and can do real damage on a national level. He has terrible grades from peace groups. Keating has a 47% rating from Massachusetts Peace Action, 50% from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and 50% from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He has been an Iran hawk and only reluctantly supported Obama’s Iran deal. He has been a consistent defender of Israeli settlements and he received a 44% rating from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Also somewhat of a “Defense” hawk, Bill Keating has been an inconsistent ally of civil liberties. In 2011, for example, he received a 50% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union.

My bottom line — I may not be inclined to shop around for another congressman quite yet, but William R. Keating isn’t going to get a dime from me until he starts acting like a progressive.

* * *

Those who have thrown themselves into political action recently are completely united in opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to deconstruct democratic America — “democratic” with a small “d.”

But the coming elections are going to expose divisions between Democrats blissfully content with representatives like Keating — and those who want the Democratic Party to really show some teeth and testicle. And principles.

Party machine Democrats are going to have to accept that the party is changing. Democrats wandered forty years in the wilderness of centrism. Well, it didn’t work — and voters didn’t want it. If the party has a future, it’s a progressive one.

But progressive Democrats (and progressive allies) are going to have to accept the fact that not every Democrat on a ballot will completely be to their political taste. We are going to have to hold our noses and vote for some of these guys.

On the other hand, until its direction is fully clear, the Democratic Party also needs to know why many of us are giving donations to Progressive political PACs, and not directly to lackluster candidates or the DNC.

If you want the voter’s money, come and earn it.