Meanwhile, both the House and Senate versions of the public option would have premiums higher than price-gouging premiums of private insurers, while a handful of conservative Democrats threaten to defeat the healthcare bill because even that paltry, pathetic remnant of the public option is too much for them.

I'd sure like to be an insurer under these bills. They force 30 to 40 million people to buy their overpriced policies. They impose punishment on those who don’t. They offer subsidies to hard-hit Americans to pay the overpriced premiums, which is actually hard-hit taxpayers subsidizing overcharging insurers so hard-hit consumers can overpay for the policies. And we are now debating between no public option or a public option that applies to virtually nobody and would cost more than the gouging premiums of private insurers.

Here are the facts after a year of President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaButtigieg tweeted support for 'Medicare for All' in 2018 Brent Budowsky: To Bush and Obama — speak out on Trump Graham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq MORE, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (who should be removed) and a Democratic Congress (which should be ashamed), do-nothing Republican obstructionists and their conservative Democratic allies:

The real jobless rate is 17.5 percent plus husbands, wives, sons and daughters of the jobless while the real foreclosure rate is the highest ever recorded with another 1.9 million mortgages more than three months delinquent and next on the foreclosure line.

The Republicans, who try to exploit this while proposing nothing and opposing anything that would help, are disgraceful, but this is no excuse for the Democrats, who tolerate or support conditions that used to be reserved for Republican administrations.

The president should push hard, for the first time, for banks to lower rates for customers and act before the jobs summit. If they don’t, bring back the usury laws. Geithner should be replaced. A total freeze on foreclosures should be announced or imposed before the jobs summit. At least $200 billion set aside for banks, which remains unspent, should be used to finance small business, support for consumers and job-creating building of roads, bridges and infrastructure. This is only the beginning.

Above all, Democrats should act like Democrats, talk like Democrats and take their case to the country, as Democrats used to do. The president should lead the way Democratic presidents used to lead. He should appoint a Treasury secretary who does not continue the failed policies of a Republican president. And enough of the Democratic strategists and so-called pundits who don’t care about the Grapes of Wrath, don’t care about the jobless, don’t care about the foreclosure wave and do not represent either the ideals or true interests of real Democrats.

Right now there is not even a national debate, because one side, the true Democratic side, is not even represented and does not have either leadership, policies or a voice in the media because those who represent them usually fail to advocate what true Democrats stand for.

It is time, belatedly, for real change, and it is time for Democrats to remember who we are, what we stand for, why we are here and who we are fighting for.