I’d like to thank the dumb, throwback teabagger who shouted “kill the bill, then the n–ger” at Congressman John Lewis, the 1940s era neanderthal who spat on Rep. Cleaver (and the goons who laughed about it,) plus the idiots who thought they could intimidate Jim Clyburn and Barney Frank, neither of whom seem to scare easily, with juvenile racial and sexual orientation slurs (deny it all you want, Airians, it happened.) More than anyone in this year-plus long debate, you guys have convinced me that this healthcare bill, which up to now I’ve been pretty lukewarm about, really is important civil rights legislation. It must be, because you’re against it in such a base, violent, racist way, as if the bill was bussing black children into your neighborhood, rather than providing even the likes of you with access to decent healthcare. Good job. Now live with the fact that once again, you’ve lost, and America’s better angels have won, because in the end, America — the concept of it and thankfully, often the reality — is better than you.
The bill is going to pass, probably with more than 220 votes in the House. It will be the law of the land when we wake up tomorrow morning. (And good luck saying you’re going to repeal it.) As of 5 p.m., even Bart Stupak and his is voting for it, along with his “gang of unknown size,” having gotten a presidential executive order codifying something that wasn’t going to change anyway: no federal funding of abortion. Congratulations, Democrats, and as I long suspected, the real thanks go to Nancy Pelosi, who is still the baddest, balsiest person in Washington (and possibly the most consequential House speaker since Tip O’Neill.) She should heretofore donate all of her skirts and dresses to the men on Capitol Hill. President Obama may get to take the credit by signing the bill, but make no mistake, Mother made it happen.
And over at the Corner, Mark Steyn profers this doomsday scenario:
… it’s hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is in the bill is an intermediate stage: As the graph posted earlier shows, the governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be “insurers” in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that’s clear we’ll be on the fast track to Obama’s desired destination of single payer as a fait accomplis.
And this is where he gets really dark…
If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It’s a huge transformative event in Americans’ view of themselves and of the role of government. …
… More prosaically, it’s also unaffordable. That’s why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the US is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it’s less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we’ll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America’s enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.
And he concludes by declaring “doomsday” and “the end of the Pax Americana.” Now that’s pessimism..
Meanwhile, a much less caustic conservative, David Frum, also has big bad news: healthcare is the GOP’s Waterloo. A clip:
Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.
Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.
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?
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
The Republicans should start listening to this guy, and ignoring Super Genius Mitch McConnell and “rhetoric without consequences” right wing radio and TV personalities.