Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wait. It Passed?

I've been wrong before. But never this wrong. That's a big miss on my part. I did not think Pelosi could get the votes to make this thing work.

Not that I think Reid and the Senate will let this stand. And then there are also all the court challenges sure to arise. And that this bill doesn't really solve enough of our problems. But that's another conversation.

My money was on this thing failing in the House. I was wrong, and I have to own that.

I didn't think they had the stones to pass the Senate bill + reconciliation. They sure hadn't given me a lot of evidence that they would find 216 folks in their caucus to agree on coffee and pastries for tomorrow's continental breakfast, much less on health care. But they did. They may lose every seat in November, but you can't say they didn't go down swinging.

Now that I've admitted my failings, can we talk about the GOP and the right-wing for a moment? You mean to tell me that an issue they've successfully blocked since the Truman administration just got finished by Pelosi and Reid? All the Kennedys, LBJ's, Clintons, O'Neils, and Democratic heavyweights (and many notable Republicans, to be inclusive) failed whenever they sniffed health care.

And Pelosi and Reid got this thing hammered out? The GOP lost to them? Really? I don't know if I'm willing to admit that. Maybe Obama really is some sort of chosen one? I'll have to reexamine that, too.

What, exactly, is the GOP excuse tomorrow morning? Because this is epic fail on their part, and if their rhetoric is to be believed, the very universe was at stake on this legislation. The (white, right-wing) American people had spoken (during the last two elections) and they wanted their country back (from us crazy folk who cast votes for this President and majority)! How could they have let this happen? It is the End of the World!

I just walked outside, and no, the sky is not falling. It is kinda chilly, but what can one expect after 24 months that has seen the election of a black President, a New Orleans Saints Superbowl Win, and Democrats finally passing Health Care.

In Hell, ice in the new FIYAH, baby.

Could this flip the script? Will Republican and conservative voters now turn on their party's representatives for failing to block this bill? After my big failure to accurately predict this outcome, I'll have to wait and see.

I'll admit, it will be fun to watch the GOP & right wing's hyperbolic reactions over the next 48 hours, because they were politically all in on this with much more apocalyptic rhetoric. I mean, there's only so much credit we can give to boys crying wolf and Chicken-Little's sky-is-falling-every-issue memes. Where do you go from here?

Eventually, all the "this is the end of America" talk wears out. They've gone to that well since at least 2001, and probably aren't done with it, but at some point, you've got to accept that apocalyptic rhetoric and overexaggerated hyperbole are going to become political liabilities.

It goes like this: they backed the Dems into a corner with this one. First of all, the Dems are a fairly fractious bunch (as a registered Democrat, I disagree politically with about 48% of other registered Democrats), and the GOP has long depended on that disunity. But with all their end-of-the-known-omniverse-all-that-is-good-and-apple-pie clownery, they built a Democratic bunker that even the Democrats couldn't ignore.

Dems had two options. One: pass the bill and try to survive as the GOP throws everything at them in November. And with all the current GOP and right-wing rhetoric focued on the apocalypse, I fail to see how they can ratchet that up any more than they already have. Or, Two: abandon the bill and .... try to survive as the GOP throws everything at them in November. And with all the current GOP and right-wing get the idea.

The only possible way out was to pass the bill. That is their ONLY chance at surviving November's elections. Because, while I could never cast my vote for a sky-is-falling Republican, I might stay at home if I thought I'd just be voting for another well-the-GOP-doesn't-like-it-so-we-can't-pass-it Democrat.

Oh well. Interesting times. On to the next one.



Dante said...

You may have never been this wrong, but I've been this right. At the end of the day, disunity or not, Democrats push their agenda. Stupak and company were going to cave, especially given they had a single issue with the bill. They weren't opposing. They were just posturing.

And keep in mind the "+ reconciliation" part of the plan relies on a Senate that already has exactly what it wants. I'll go ahead and predict that isn't happening. Foaming at the mouth Republican Senators plus apathetic Democratic Senators just won't get reconciliation done. The President will shed some crocodile tears over the loss of reconciliation while high-fiving everyone not in the House of Representatives for the win.

The GOP lost to a 60 seat majority in the Senate and a similar major disadvantage in the House. That Reid and Pelosi were at the helm had as much to do with victory as Barry Switzer's coaching the Cowboys to a Super Bowl win (or a run-heavy football coach taking the best college football player ever, ever, ever who happens to be a RB and winning a national title with him but I imagine that scenario will meet more contention on this board).

I think the Republicans have what they want for now. They get 4 years to rail against a plan that the government is immediately going to start collecting taxes for. They'll never undo this beast but they'll score some political wins from it.

S.A.W.B. said...

No Republican in the house voted for the measure. Ergo, they will be safe come November, at least with regard to attempting to block this bill.

Agree with Dante on the Switzer comparison. Pelosi/Reid/et al just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Also, the cake is a lie, especially when the cake is the so-called deficit reduction - Just looky here

Dante said...

For further football analogies, keep in mind that both Trent Dilfer and Chris Chandler are Super Bowl quarterbacks. Hell, Dilfer even brought home a trophy. I like that analogy better because I can see Pelosi and Reid as Dilfer and Chandler, respectively.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

To take the football analogies as far as possible, the Dems have been frustrating to watch, because so often they play like Reggie Bush in the pros.

Some spectacular moments sprinkled between backwards yardage, trick plays and dropped passes. Gain 100+ all purpose yards per game including a touchdown, but you're thinking about the fumble on the reverse play called on a third and short in the second quarter.

Last night was their playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals. Even down to the picture of Reggie Bush holding a baseball bat, and Nancy Pelosi holding an oversized gavel.

S.A.W.B. said...

So, extending that analogy, Pat, Bob Stupak, et al, must be Brett Favre throwing a brainlock interception to piss the game away?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Nope. You see, unlike Favre, Stupak was on the winning team. Or, at least, the "team" that ended up passing this legislation.

S.A.W.B. said...

Why don't we hold off on winners and losers until the reconciliation passes the senate, and this abomination passes muster with both houses, and the presidential rubber stamp, eh?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Hence the hedge in my last comment.

But make no mistake, win or lose in November, this is a huge legislative loss to the GOP.

They have pretty much gotten their way on any issue of their choosing since 1994. They were all in on this, like Frum said, and despite all their efforts, the legislation still passed.