I think this morning is the first quiet time I’ve had to really sit down and think about our achievement on HCR Sunday evening. That night, I was too caught up in the thrill of victory to think about how we got there. Monday night I was out of town chaperoning my kid brother at an eardrum-shattering post-hardcore concert, and afterward, I spent most of Tuesday grappling with the epiphany that I feel much older in the wake of being amidst all those rowdy, loud, carefree kids than I’ve ever felt before… So it wasn’t until this morning that I got a chance to really sit in my home in solitude and quiet and mull over the process and the implications of this accomplishment. I am awash with emotions, and the only thing to which I can liken this feeling is the way I felt in the days and weeks following the 2008 elections. Yet in some ways, for me, this is a more stunning triumph still — I have, after all, been an advocate of health care reform for far longer than I’ve been a supporter of Barack Obama.
But as my mind wanders, the feeling I keep coming back to is gratitude. There are a lot of people to thank — a lot of people who had a hand in the passage of HCR. But the name that stands out foremost is Nancy Pelosi.
I could follow my usual pattern here and spend the next few paragraphs rambling at length about the process and the obstacles Speaker Pelosi faced. Instead, I’ll just get on with it and say the one thing I really want to say:
Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.
When everyone else was fumbling, she kept it together. When everyone else faltered, she held fast to the promise of comprehensive health care reform. This bill may not have been all that we wanted — the victory may be bittersweet — but I believe that in time we will find that it was enough. A start — a foundation — which, once the debate got underway, was really all we could hope for. And we would not have that foundation upon which to build without Speaker Pelosi. I know it’s the presidents who get most of the credit for legislative achievements during their terms, but I hope history remembers the significance of what Pelosi has done. Whether the books remember it or not, though, we will.
There have been some good pieces written the last couple of days about Pelosi’s contribution and the importance of the work she’s done, and I’m sure many more will be written in the coming weeks. Here are a couple:
As an aside, Friday is Pelosi’s 70th birthday. Brainwrap over on dKos has started a campaign to have a bunch of roses delivered to her that day. It’s just $10 to send three roses, and the details of how to do so are in this diary. Looks to be pretty simple and would be a nice way to show our gratitude. At the moment, the economy and job market are such that even $10 is beyond my means. That diary also includes a brief list of other ways to thank her:
Other ways to say thanks:
Join the facebook group wishing Speaker Pelosi a happy birthday and thanking her for healthcare reform. (Must log in after following link.)
Write her a thank you note.
Donate money to the Speaker.
Donate to other candidates that supported HCR. If you’re not sure who needs support this diary will help.
Since I am broke and happen to think that facebook is the spawn of satan (figuratively speaking, of course), I will just be writing. A paltry thing maybe, but I think we should show our gratitude in whatever ways we can.
Thank you, Madam Speaker — for all your work — and for keeping your word to the American people:
“We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people, for their own personal health and economic security, and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”
– Nancy Pelosi, January 28, 2010