I had thought to make this a very slow blogging week. I’m finishing up research on another chapter of my dissertation–and am learning what a true and utter geek I am. When I discover a good book of scholarship on the Iliad, I find myself reading the whole thing, even the chapters not entirely relevant to my project. And while a lot of the scholarship is indeed jargon, given how much there is (on that great epic), it’s easy to weed out the crap and focus on the good stuff.
But, given that this is yet another week for the Democrats’ health care endgame, a game which responsible politicians would have ended five months ago, there could be some interesting blogging ahead.
For now, I’ll make this observation: the Democrats can still win this battle legislatively, but no matter what the outcome, they’ve already lost it politically.
If they pass the bill, they will have done so, not in an open process, but through devious means, crafting the bill in secret, offering payoffs to wavering Senators to get that chamber to pass it and using procedural shenanigans to force it through the House. They’ll have exposed themselves as putting legislative victory ahead of all other considerations, even and especially the “good government” issues they ran on in 2006 and 2008.
And if they lose, well, David Freddoso says it best:
Consider: If Obama wins, he gets a very unpopular bill whose higher taxes and Medicare cuts materialize immediately, years before its benefits kick in. If he loses in the coming weeks, he doesn’t even get the satisfaction of blaming the Republicans. He’s already past the stage at which a GOP filbuster can stop this thing. Instead, he will have lost in a House vote, with members of his own party striking the death blow against his top legislative priority.