The move to repeal ObamaCare blew through the House with a far higher vote margin than the original legislation, as well as 100% fewer backroom deals and earmark bribes, not to mention 2000 fewer pages of legislation. Now it’s off to the Senate, where Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to invite it into a quiet back room, where plastic sheeting has already been laid on the floor.
“The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to vote on this bill,” said Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in the understatement of the year. “But I assure you, we will.” When Fox News asked how this promise could be kept, a McConnell spokesman said “We have ways.” Unhinged Democrat Steve Cohen is currently running around his Senate office and repeating that sound bite in a thick German accent: “Ve haff WAYYYYYS…”
Getting the repeal bill passed in the Senate would be an astonishing achievement, but squelching it without any politically damaging votes seems unlikely. A Senate chess match is under way, with the most likely finishing move being a Democrat filibuster. You’ll notice the loud liberal screams to do away with filibusters have fallen completely silent.
One way or another, this is going to end with something Republicans can portray as a “vote against repeal,” and it’s telling to note how much that prospect terrifies Democrats. If you took their bluster seriously, you’d think them eager to have the repeal bill stretched out on the floor of the Senate, so they could make a public show of driving a stake through its heart.
It’s not hard to understand why public belligerence masks Democrat fear. Whatever one’s personal opinion of ObamaCare, it’s not hard to look at the 2010 midterms, the 2012 electoral map, and public-opinion polls, and conclude a profound and deep public movement is under way against it. It might be possible for Democrats to keep their health-care reforms alive for the remainder of this Congress, but it’s hard to see how doing so would be a political bonus for them.
In the short term, the fight to preserve ObamaCare has been an absolute disaster for the President’s party. The public cannot help but notice that every defense they deploy is insanely stupid – from hysterical rhetoric that trivializes the Holocaust and the struggle for civil rights, to Representative John Lewis’ astonishing attempt to declare the “pursuit of happiness” language in the Declaration of Independence as the constitutional justification for limitless government power. When the public sees Sheila Jackson-Lee babbling incoherent nonsense about the Fifth Amendment – repealing ObamaCare would strip Americans of their right to “equal protection under the law” – they wonder why the party that rammed through a trillion-dollar bill in the dark of night can’t give simple answers to basic questions about it.
While Democrats have mounted a chilling argument that essentially boils down to “no legislation can ever be repealed,” Rep. Dave Camp has been methodically pulling ObamaCare apart in the House Ways & Means committee. He’s exposed the flim-flammery of Democrat claims that their health-care takeover will simultaneously reduce and expand Medicare, deconstructed their propaganda about pre-existing conditions, and reviewed the catastrophic effects of ObamaCare on existing health care plans. At every stage of this debate, the public has seen people like Camp calmly asking logical questions… which the Democrats answer by calling them murderous Nazis. Soon Camp will hold hearings to determine the impact of ObamaCare on employers. I guess they’ll be portrayed as Nazis too.
This is not a conflict Democrats can compromise their way out of. For example, they’re supposedly friendly to repealing the hideously expensive, wildly unpopular 1099 reporting requirements of ObamaCare. That’s nice… but if that requirement gets repealed, the accounting gimmickry used to peddle this program as “deficit-neutral” falls apart like wet tissue paper. The IRS was going to haul in twenty billion dollars with that vast net of paperwork. Every “unpopular” provision of O-care that gets rubbed out will make its already fraudulent accounting look more absurd.
The Democrats had a lot of time and incentive to prepare for this debate. The best they could come up with is the ridiculous garbage they’ve been shoveling out? Maybe they believed their own slander about knuckle-dragging Tea Party members, and they’re genuinely surprised by an electorate that won’t fall for absurd warnings that killing a trillion-dollar boondoggle will “increase the deficit.” If they’d done a better job of defending their indefensible program, perhaps they could have gotten away with murdering the repeal movement silently in committee. They didn’t, so they won’t.