[UPDATED] David Waldman on Process And Lessons Learned Fighting for Health Care

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    cross-posted from Sum of Change

    Today we were fortunate to be joined by David Waldman, a Contributing Editor at Daily Kos and the Editor-in-Chief of Congress Matters. This interview was recorded live, starting at 2:45pm (EST). We spoke about the legislative process and lessons learned from fighting for health care reform.

    David Waldman’s analysis of process during the fight for reform was among the most substantial analysis coming out of the netroots. Bloggers like myself relied heavily on his insight to help better understand where we were and the road ahead. And this recent fight forced us to examine a multitude of congressional processes in ways we have not for a very long time. We we are very excited to hear what Mr. Waldman has to say about the lessons we learned.

    UPDATE: I wanted to highlight a few of the lessons learned that David shared with us, especially for the video-impaired amongst us. These are not direct quotes, just my observations:


    1) There is a role that the netroots needs to grow into that moves us beyond our traditional model of advocacy by sheer numbers alone.

    2) One of the things that worked, to a certain extent, was the development of whip counts and the use of highly targeted advocacy, focusing in on very specific pressure points.

    3) You need to understand the process in order to effectively lobby your legislator. Specific asks provide more powerful commitments.

    4) On purely a legislative level, starting from a spot of compromise was likely a bad idea that in no way softened the opposition.

    5) We have a new model for dealing with merging two different bills. In future fights, when we see legislation moving along the “health care model,” we already know where to put pressure with advocacy.

    6) Almost no major legislation has passed and not been improved upon. Changes will be made. Changes should be made.