Mr. President: MoveOn Says It's Time to Call Senator Burris: I Hope You Got the E-mail, Too

12/04/2009 05:27 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An e-mail alert from MoveOn just landed on my desk. Here's the headline: "Will Roland Burris save the public option?"

The alert goes on to say: "Right now, Senate Democrats are locked in round-the-clock negotiations that could decide the fate of the public health insurance option. A deal could come within days.

"But while a handful of conservatives are making headlines with proposals to gut the public option, just one or two senators could upset the balance of power by refusing to give up on it...."

"Your senator, [however painful that may be, he's your home-state Senator, too, Mr. President], Roland Burris, has been a vocal supporter of the public option, and he could be the health care hero we need to win this fight."

Earlier today, the blogs quoted Senator Durbin, Illinois' senior Senator, and the second-most important Senator in the land, as saying:

"It's [the public option] one of the two, I think, really critical issues remaining, with the issue of abortion," Senator Durbin">said.

Mr. President, two weeks ago I pointed out in these same pages that since Senator Burris has nothing to lose and desperately wants to be a hero, he could do the right thing for all of America and refuse to budge on the public option.

At the same time, I suggested that he could be a hero for the ages to American women by declaring that his support of the public option is inextricabably tied to a simultaneous commitment not to include a Stupak-like amendment in the Senate's healthcare legislation.

Well, as you well know, today is D-Day on both these matters.

So, please do the right thing: join us MoveOn members. Call Senator Burris. Better yet, why don't you and Senator Durbin tag-team him? Ask him to stand fast for the public option. Ask him to stand fast for American women against Stupak. Tell him that, if he does, he'll have your gratitude and respect--because if he does, he'll deserve it.

Knowing Senator Burris, I think that's a plan. A tombstone inscription awaits.