About a half hour ago, I took part in an Organizing for America conference call. It was for people who had worked to get the health care bill passed. I am very proud that I played a small part in reforming the health care system. I am also thrilled that I was on a phone call with President Obama.
President Obama said that he “hoped everyone on the phone is savoring this and that this is your victory. You did this despite being counted out time and time again. You were steadfast. You bucked up some weak knees. You made a difference. Stand strong. Enjoy the victory but our work is not done.”
He was asked what we have learned from this process. He replied, “We learned that the legislative process is painfully long and confusing. I wish I could change it – nothing is going to be as complicated as health care – went on forever. Because of filibuster, anything we do is going to go through some contortions. Important to remember this and be patient and don’t get discouraged.
If we just have persistence and don’t lose sight of ultimate goal, the daily twists and turns are not as important. It requires some fortitude.
He also said, “I learned that it is important to boil down message to two or three talking points. I learned change is possible – if something is not exactly perfect, important to stay focused. In the big picture history of social change – if you get a basic framework then refinement will happen to move in the direction of progress.”
“Stay hopeful, positive, focused on big picture, stay with it, and be dogged. The reason I don’t quit is because you don’t quit. I draw inspiration from you.”