No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed.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?Republicans losses are America's gains, and we need to hold them to their promise of running on a repeal.
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?
There is no question that the Democrats will lose seats in the November election (Reagan never recovered the 26 House seats he lost in the 82 midterms). And there is also no question that the lack of leadership in Congress and from the White House in the last year will be reflected in these losses. But passing the Health Care bill will shore up Democratic majorities in both Houses and hopefully taught some much needed lessons in leadership to all involved.