Here are a few thoughts, post-health care vote:
In the head-scratcher department, Brett Michael Dykes, a journalist for Yahoo! News, had the audacity to point out that Republicans are having internal struggles. Okay, let that soak in…a day after Democrats had difficulty scrounging up enough votes to pass their own legislation…a day after nearly 40 Democrats broke ranks with their party’s leadership and joined Republicans to vote against the party line…a day after the abortion debate was flashing with huge neon lights in Democratic circles…the big news is (according to Yahoo! News) that Republicans have a unity problem. Right. Okay.
From the Kool-Aid department: Some may wonder why Democrats decided to push forward with an unpopular, partisan bill that may cause them to lose Congress this fall, perhaps make President Obama a one-termer, and send them into the political wilderness for a generation. (Jimmy Carter’s own pollster called the Democrats’ vote a “political Jonestown” and a “Kool-Aid party.”) If the Democrats were concerned about staying afloat in the short term, then yes, they committed political suicide. But if they became martyrs for a greater cause by enacting a new, unrepealable entitlement, then they were successful. Although it may not work out this way, they are gambling that the new act will become like Medicare and Social Security, two sacrosanct institutions that are permanent, if financially unsustainable; Dana Milbank makes his case that Obamacare will never be fully repealed. I am skeptical that it will work like that, because the current bill, which lacks even a catchy name (except Obamacare, a derisive term), lacks the simple, elegant nature of Social Security and Medicare.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch this slow-motion train wreck in the coming days, weeks, and months. Stay tuned for more…