Jon Walker sends this along today, regarding the money you gave to the 65 candidates who have drawn a line in the sand over the public option:
For a comparison I went to opensecrets.org to see how much money the HMOs and private health insurance companies have given to the federal candidates this year. According to Opensecrets.org, if Firedoglake.com’s effort to save the public option was a health insurance company, it would be the single largest donor in terms of candidate donations for the 2010 election cycle. It raised barely less than the total donations from all the different 45 chapters of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, which donated a total of $524,606 to federal canidates for 2010. All health service/HMOs companies have given a total of $1,781,080 to federal canidates so far this cycle.*
Now, money is only a piece of the equation, as Jon notes. You defined early what it was you wanted, you lobbied the offices of members of Congress and reported back what their position was, ran a rapid response operation and got people into the field to counter the teabaggers, you took part in a publicity campaign that generated national media and then delivered it to the district level, and as David Sirota says this morning, you’ve made a difference:
A month ago, all of these forces might have made the "roll the progressives, sell out the public option" strategy a legislatively successful one, even as it would produce a bill that would likely be terrible public policy. I say that because let’s be honest: the bloc of congressional progressives who the White House would be hoping to steamroll, while fighting the good fight in the lead up to key votes, has nonetheless capitulated on nearly every single do-or-die final-passage vote in recent memory (and I say that sadly, having served as an aide to Progressive Caucus leader – and dear friend – Bernie Sanders).
[A]fter the fantastic organizing/whipping/fundraising being done by Firedoglake, OpenLeft and Moveon and after the strong progressive media pressure on radio, TV and in newspapers, I believe the dynamic – and therefore the White House political calculus – could change.
And so all you uninsured and underinsured lobbyists, pat yourself on the back. Cigars and smoke filled back rooms for everyone!