Several entirely unexpected things happened today: the sun rose, the Earth continued spinning on its axis, the Globetrotters beat the Generals, and Dennis Kucinich submitted to the demands of his party superiors and personal ambition:
I joined with the Progressive Caucus saying that I would not support the bill unless it had a strong public option and unless it protected the right of people to pursue single payer at a state level. It did not. [...] I have decided to cast a vote in favor of the legislation.
Now, I like Kucinich. Really I do. But the only question with the guy isn't if he's going to fold, but when (and will it be a crane, or a fish, or a frog? Hey, cool, a panda this time!). As with the Iraq war platform plank sellout in 2004, so with the health care vote now.
Congressional Progressive Caucus members like Kucinich achieve nothing because their threats are empty, and everyone knows it. They achieve nothing because they're willing to risk nothing. They're taken for granted because they are in fact granted.
As with Progressive Democrats, so with progressives who vote for Democrats. Yes, they're angry about Iraq and Afghanistan and civil liberties and bailouts and drone strikes and health care and every other atrocity the Democrats sponsor or support, but it doesn't make a damn bit of difference, because everyone knows that no matter what happens they'll still dutifully vote for those same Democrats. And until the day comes when they finally decide there is some shit they will not eat, they'll continue to lose.
ADDING: In order to spare the jellyfish from Ohio further embarrassment I omitted his claim that "I kept my pledge and voted against the bill"—meaning the original bill, that is. What a kidder! For reference, Kucinich's pledge said that in order to win his support, "any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the President’s signature, MUST contain a public option" (my bold, their caps). But "any" there was just one tiny little word in a big long letter, so you can see how he might not feel that it invalidates his claim.