This was the scene last night as we watched the vote count on C-SPAN -- the moment that House approval of the Senate health care bill received the 216 votes required for passage (the Democrats eventually added three more). Not one Republican vote.
All over America, there were sighs of relief today as people began to understand some of the immediate benefits of health care reform. A lot of that anti-health care rhetoric of the Republican right is going to start looking really stupid really fast. To me, the Republicans -- by adopting the talk radio wingnut approach to health care reform -- looked a lot like lemmings rushing off the cliff into the sea.
T pointed me to a David Frum post that employed a different metaphor. He called it the Republican Waterloo.
No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?There's another metaphor that applies. You could say the Republicans out-Foxed themselves. And seriously underestimated Barack Obama.
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.