If you follow the conservative and libertarian blogs and FoxNews, you’re familiar with the inordinate amount of Americans protesting the Democrat’s health care overhaul. You’d think Washington, D.C. Democrats would have gotten the message when voters in three states that went for Obama in 2008, including one state considered the most liberal of jurisdictions, elected Republicans to state-wide office, while the the Republican tallies increased in counties surrounding New York City, where voters who, a year earlier, delivered majorities to Obama, tossed out incumbent Democratic county executives.
Rob Kleine, an Instapundit reader, wrote in to Glenn Reynolds: “All the focus on the anti-Obamacare protests has me wondering: Are there any pro-Obamacare protesters? Or is the Emperor truly w/o clothes?”
The grassroots energy is entirely among opponents to this bill. The energy for passage comes from the White House, the Democratic leadership and their allied special interests. And like King Pyrrhus of Epirus so focused defeating the Romans in at Heraclea, they have put all their energy into winning this one battle, losing sight of the much broader contest. For Pyrrhus, it was a war which he eventually lost. For the Democrats, it’s the battle to remain the majority party.
The Democrats and the White House are lost in a legislative “fog of war” right now. They are focused on twisting enough arms, offering jobs and negotiating specific “deals” (bribes) to get them to 216 votes. Their attention and energy is focused exclusively on a final vote in the House tonight. No one is looking even one minute beyond that horizon. They are like a general who pours all his reserves into taking a symbolic bridge, never realizing that his lines have already collapsed and his flanks have been turned. They may take the bridge and get to 216 votes. (I’ve learned to never bet against Congressional leadership and an Administration united for a single legislative victory. ) But, they have already lost the war.
Via Instapundit. Democrats have pushed this legislation for a vast overhaul of our nation’s health care system without achieving a popular consensus, without a House-Senate conference committee to work out a compromise of the two chambers’ competing bills, with deals forged in back rooms and with payoffs to wavering legislators.
In the course of the lengthy debate, the Democrats have lost the people and roused the opposition to an extent hardly imagined 14 months ago.
Let us hope this bill is defeated in the next few hours. If it is, this divisive debate ends, at least until the next Congress convenes. If it passes, the debate over health care legislation will become the defining domestic policy issue of the next few years. And could well mean the doom of the Democratic majorities elected in 2006 and 2008.