Both state and national Democrats are violating one of the most important rules of leadership; lead from the front.
There are 255 elected Democrats in the US Congress (53 Dems in the Senate plus 2 independents that caucus with the Democrats, and 200 Dems in the House). Unless there is a major media story that I missed, there are exactly 0 Democrat members of Congress who have signed up for health care coverage through Healthcare.gov.
There are 112 elected Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature (39 DFL Senators and 73 DFL House members). Again, unless there is a story I’ve missed, not one DFL member of the legislature has signed up for health care coverage through MNSure.
To put this in context, consider the SNAP challenge. Democrat politicians who want more funding for food stamps very publicly go on a one week challenge to see if they can feed themselves on the amount food stamps gives to an individual. Last summer, over two dozen Democrat members of the House took the SNAP challenge, sucking every last morsel of free media they could from the week. Taking the SNAP challenge, free publicity aside, is an excellent way to lead from the front and show people that you as a leader are able to understand them.
But with Obamacare, not one Democrat politician has the courage to take one for the team and forgo their current health plan to lead the way into Obamacare or MNSure. Imagine the effect that it would have on the media if Rep Tim Walz or Sen Al Franken held a press conference to announce they were dropping their current coverage and invite the cameras to follow them through the process of signing up? Imagine the amount of credibility they would have to talk about health care reform if they were themselves using the program?
Leading from the front is a time honored method of leadership that garners trust for a leader, because those following him/her know that they are at least willing to go through the same adversity as they are being asked to endure. The fact that the Democrats can’t even find one member of Congress willing to sign up for Obamacare, that the MN DFL can’t even persuade one legislator to take Paul Bunyan’s advice and get covered by MNSure, shows you how little the Democrats actually think of their own idea.
Comments welcome at Foreign and Domestic. Opinions are my own.