Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the health care vote

New York Times:
The House approved the rule governing debate of the big health care legislation by a vote of 242 to 192, suggesting but not guaranteeing, that Democrats would have the votes to pass the bill itself later on Saturday.
The House adopted the rule by a vote of 242 to 192, with 15 Democrats joining all 177 Republicans in opposition.
Whether this vote on the rule portends prompt approval of the bill is a dubious suggestion. The commendably unanimous opposition of the GOP caucus ought to give Democrats pause.

Without regard to policy, the political question is simple: Whose analysis do you trust? Should Democrats in purple districts trust Nancy Pelosi's assertion that passing this bill will not have disastrous electoral consequences for Democrats in the 2010 midterms? Or should those Democrats trust their GOP rivals, who appear ready to bet that there will be no downside to a "no" vote.

These purple-district Democrats are being asked to take a gamble, and I would not want to be in their shoes. The "no" vote is the safest bet for any Democrat unsure of his re-election chances in 2010. By voting "no," the Democrat "takes the issue away" from his Republican opponent, and will be able to point to his health-care vote as evidence of his bipartisanship, thus deflecting any charge of being a rubber stamp for the "Pelosi agenda."

The willingness of House Republicans to stand unified as The Party of No is likewise a gamble, although a smaller one. As Jennifer Rubin has wisely observed, the opposition party must oppose. Given that the economy will almost certainly still be in recession next fall and that Obama's popularity will likely continue its decline, the prospect of the GOP repeating 1994 will not be diminished by opposing the Democrats' signature legislation.

Let Republicans stand courageously by their "no," and it matters not whether the bill passes. GOP challengers in 2010 can make repealing ObamaCare their No. 1 campaign promise, and any Democrat in a marginal district who votes "yes" will face a ferocious opposition next fall.


  1. "Whether this vote on the rule portends prompt approval of the bill is a dubious suggestion. The commendably unanimous opposition of the GOP caucus ought to give Democrats pause."

    That cuts both ways.

    Some Blue Dog Democrats who voted aye on the rule ("in the spirit of getting this thing to the floor for an up-or-down vote" so that at least they're not "obstructionists") may vote nay on the bill.

    On the other hand, some soft Republicans (or Republicans from soft districts) who hoped to be able to duck voting either way on the bill by pranging things at the earlier stage may, when put up against the wall, vote for the actual bill.

    I suspect that the former is more likely than the latter, but weird shit happens on Capitol Hill all the time.

  2. My Congressman is voting FOR this bill.
    His spokesperson says there has been a “miscommunication” – another way of saying don’t believe what you hear, trying to say this isn’t in there – but could NOT DENY that that section IS in the bill that my craven Congressman, Mike Thompson (D-CA) will vote for ANYWAY.
    He was going to vote for it in the VERY BEGINNING, when they were pushing to vote it through before the Recess, before the Tea Parties, before anyone could read it, before there could be any debate – he was going to vote for it without knowing what was in it. Which tells you it doesn't matter what is in it, they are going to vote for it no matter what. They have their marching orders, from the Party, not the People.

    Find out where yours stands – and CALL THEM TODAY ANYWAY – even if they are supporting it – they will say they got XYZ# of calls in favor, make sure they have MORE against. EMAIL them, that way there is also a record.

    Then, when they vote for it anyway, dedicate yourself to helping replace them next election.

    Anyone who will vote for a bill they haven’t read has to be removed from office.


  3. The House Republicans should vote AGAINST the Stupak amendment and make sure that abortion IS included in the bill. Their reason: It will be included in conference, so why make any pretense about some righteous opposition. Help the Democrats be honest.

  4. As has been pointed out by others, the borderline Democratic congressmen who might lose by voting for the Pelosi bill were faced with a Hobson's choice: if they didn't vote for it, they would lose the funding and support of the Far Left (or, "the Democratic Party and major fundraisers" if you prefer) and lose anyway.

    The bottom line was that these guys are basically leftists and, faced with losing either way opted to saddle the American economy with this montrosity. The last true "Blue Dogs" died out or sold out long ago. What's left is liberals pretending not to be to fool enough of their idiot constituents to get reelected.

    It seems to work pretty darned well, actually.

  5. Robert:

    "... any Democrat in a marginal district who votes "yes" will face a ferocious opposition next fall."

    You're kidding. Yourself, I think. Since you're so poor you're always begging, I'll give you this clue instead of making you buy it: ANY Democrat in ANY Marginal district is going to face ferocious Republican opposition next fall WHATEVER vote they cast on this bill.

    Are YOU going to go easy on some Dem in a 51/49 district because Pelosi gave them a free vote on HCR?

    I didn't think so.