Wednesday, June 24, 2009

America Can't Wait For Health Care: Day One

USAIR flew about 25 Maine delegates, plus some regular passengers, to D.C. in fine style, on time, early even.

Upon landing we trooped through the beautiful Metro system to the Fairfax Embassy Row, where SEIU has billeted us. We appear to be a group various in age, from upper 60s to barely 20. After a month in Maine's June gloom, all of us fairly drank in the abundant sunshine and warmth pouring down on our heads. I realized I not only left my sunglasses in my car, I had forgotten about the existence of sunglasses.

Elaine from Scarborough, Shawna from I don't-know-where, and I are about to head out for a bite, then to the organizing meeting at the Omni.

I've already seen someone carrying a red Employee Free Choice Sign in the Metro.

Riding the subway today, I wondered whether Washington, D.C., with Obama in the White House, might, rather than the shady, wheeler-dealer, corruption capital, soon morph into the most exciting city in the world. Please forgive the gushing. It could that I am reeling from the sudden sunshine. Or maybe I'm still heartened from the West Wing episodes Stan and I watched last night.

Update, 9:50 p.m. -- Turns out Maine People's Alliance and the Small Business Coalition have also sent contingents, making a total from Maine of around 50, including organizers.

We're just back from the agenda setting lobbyist meetings at the Omni and a moderate rally at Freedom Square, right across from the National Theater, with a stunning view of the Capitol Building.

What I learned at the lobby meetings is that I am a crank. Sure I have a tale of woe and intrigue and I want easily available health care for all, but also I want some explanation why we, as constituents who have interrupted our lives to come to Washington and beg for our Senators' help, fail to get the same attention as the insurance companies.

A tall attractive young mother from Brunswick named Tamsin talked me down by reminding me that Snowe is the only Republican--let me repeat that, the only Republican--who did not sign the pact to uniformly reject the Public Option. (In case the whole Public Option thing is a mystery, here's a great diary on 'kos about it.)

Tomorrow, another rally then lobbying meetings with Snowe's and Collins' people, maybe a couple hours for some sightseeing--lugging frakking luggage may be a problem--then home to Maine on a 9 p.m.-ish flight. More later.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Ooohh...bring back some sunshine...and a real healthcare bill.