Health Care Reform
Ashes, Ashes, Republicans All Fall Down
So much for gridlock in Washington, D.C. President Obama and the Democrats forged ahead with what they were elected to do: bring change. Like what they have brought or not, change has come.
When passage of health care reform seemed to be tottering on the brink of failure (with the election of a Republican in Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate), liberals put up rather than shut up. And now the Republicans have been shut out. They took a calculated risk to oppose health care reform en masse, just as many Democrats have taken a risk to support measurable change. And for now, they have nothing to show for their opposition.
Why did they take that risk? Why were Republicans desperate to derail health care reform? Because they thought that doing so would help them regain power, while doing anything to bring about reform would only help Democrats hold onto power.
To that end, the Republicans were reduced to arguing that the Democrats were using tricks to avoid a vote on health care, while simultaneously claiming that the vote for health care had to be defeated.
To that end, Republicans argued that Obama and the Democrats were rejecting the will of the people, while also maintaining – at the same time – that health care reform would hand Obama a victory that could save his presidency.
For now, Republicans who have tried to have it both ways now have nothing but ashes in their mouths, and they have only themselves to blame, at least until the mid-term elections. For if Democrats are indeed turned out of office, in part because of their stand on health care reform, Republican obstructionism may turn out to have been worth the risk. I wouldn't bet on that, though.