Relying On Republicans: It’s Always Darkest Before It Goes Pitch Black

I mean, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Do you have any confidence that the Republicans will fight passage of this disastrous health care bill? With 60% of America against this bill, one would think this fight would be pretty safe fight. That is, people are on your side. The Democrats are the ones controverting the will of the people. They’re the ones who should be afraid and defensive. But it might be impossible to overstate the craven nature of Republican legislators. And it might not just be cowardice. It could also be a pathological desire to intervene and “make it better” and “have a voice”.

I might just be overly pessimistic. Glumness tends to set in whenever I watch Republican Senators in action. Karl is working the odds over in the Green Room and says:

My primary quibble would be with his assessment of reconciliation as an option. Reid has currently taken reconciliation off the table. That in itself would not be a big deal, but we are also starting to hear lefties like Sen. Tom Harkin explain why reconciliation would not be a good thing for liberals. I also think that Hennessey underestimates how bad it would look politically if – after several weeks of normal debate – the Democrats tried to shift to reconciliation. Even the establishment media would be unable to avoid the narrative that Democrats were trying to ram an unpopular bill through the Senate after failing under the normal rules. Public opinion polling consistently shows very bad numbers for a “go it alone” approach. It is hard to think of anything the Democrats could do that would instantly make ObamaCare 10-20% more unpopular than to try passing it via reconciliation.

My secondary quibble would be with the notion that no bill is more likely than a minor bill. If the Democrats fail on a comprehensive bill, they will (imho) fall back to a minor bill of some sort. The reasons for this merit their own post, but we can start with the Democrats’ perception that they will be punished (at least by their base) if they fail to pass something.

My primary reason for thinking that something will pass is as follows:

1. This is about Obama’s ego. He has staked his reputation on this legislation. This is about doing what the Clintons couldn’t. This is about remaking America. He will strong-arm every fence-sitter.

2. This is about Democrat majority relevance. What is their point if they can’t change things and make history when they have a chance? That’s why so many Democrats seem to be willing to take one for the team. This is about irrevocably pushing America left and they will do it.

3. Most of all, there is momentum. At many different steps in the process, the Democrats should have lost steam. Yes they’ll have to do some gymnastics to get this thing passed, but Democrats are concerned about the bigger principle: giving Obama and the Democrat brand “a win”.

Even if the legislation is a horrible failure (and it will be), that’s not the point. The point is that Democrats care for people and they are urbane and as good as Europeans. Seriously. The Dems want to be the world’s “cool kids”. They feel ashamed for the backward, capitalistic nature of America. It’s so gauche.

And as lame as Democrats are about health care, the Republicans who don’t vociferously and vehemently fight it will be deemed worse. Because if you can’t show some spine to the whiny, appeasing kid, what are you? The Republicans need to fight and push and they also need to make clear to their own (hello Maine ladies) that there will be price paid for voting for this monstrosity. I’m not sure the Republicans have the gumption to do it.

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