Double Standard: 'Fairly Big Split' Among Liberals on Health Care Downplayed

Remember how the vocal elements among the left-wing media were all too eager to exploit disagreements between prominent conservatives?

There were comments Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele made about Rush Limbaugh earlier this year and the back-and-forth between former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former GOP vice-presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. These and other overblown instances were offered as anecdotal evidence there was a divide in the Republican Party and/or conservative movement by MSNBC personalities and sometimes by even more mainstream media types like George Stephanopoulos.

However, when the divide is on the other side, especially with the rift developing between gung-ho public option proponents like Howard Dean and the health care compromisers in Congress and in the Obama administration, it’s treated differently. On MSNBC’s Dec. 21 “Countdown,” Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of the liberal blog, the Daily Kos, admitted a split among the progressive movement as far as the blogosphere, which has driven the news cycle, on this issue (emphasis added).

I think it means improve, improve the bill,” Moulitsas said. “We're not done fighting. I have to say there is a fairly big split in the progressive online community between those who just want to take a deal, anything, and move on to the next big issue and those of us who haven't quit fighting. I have to say the reason that Obama is now talking about drug re-importation, cheaper drugs from overseas, is because we are continuing to fight.”

Moulitsas laid out his reasoning and explained there’s still ball to be played to get a bill that makes the fringe elements of the so-called progressive movement satisfied and said the left would continue to keep pushing.

“If you laid down arms, you know what – the Ben Nelsons and Joe Liebermans – they keep extracting concessions,” Moulitsas continued. “We cannot at any point lay down our guns and stop fighting. Once we have a final bill, and things are set in stone, then we can re-examine that bill. But right now things can still change and to stop fighting for that change is really patently ridiculous. Any positive change from here on out is going to be because we keep pushing from the left not because we say, ‘Good enough, let's pass it.’”

The Senate version of health care reform made it through one of the biggest hurdles late on a Sunday night and is expected to go down to the wire with a final passage vote expected on Christmas Eve in the Senate. If that version of the bill is passed, as is expected, it will still have to be synchronized with House version of health care reform passed in November in conference before a final version is sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

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