Senate Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare went down on a strict party-line vote yesterday, with every single Democrat voting against (except for independent caucus member Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, and Mark Warner of Virginia, who didn’t vote.) The result was not surprising, although the absolute uniformity on the Democrat side was interesting. It was thought that some ailing Democrats, stumbling through the halls of Congress with bleary eyes and unsightly Cornhusker Kickback lesions covering their skin, might consider voting in favor of a cure for their condition.
Republicans viewed the vote as a clarifying moment that will prove useful in the 2012 election campaign. “These are the first steps in a long road that will culminate in 2012, whereby we will expose the flaws and the weaknesses in this legislation,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas.
Democrats tried to portray the ObamaCare repeal effort as some sort of tantrum, which America needs to cry its way through, before it can get back to the important business of coping with the awful future the Party has imposed on them. Majority Leader Harry Reid called on Republicans to “set aside the battles of the past,” while White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said “we’re not going to go back and fight the battles of the last two years.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are just kicking off hearings to figure out of ObamaCare is constitutional, after a Florida judge clearly explained why it isn’t. Wouldn’t that count as re-fighting the “battles of the past?” Before they blew a trillion dollars of our money on this broken-down health care jalopy, maybe the Democrats should have asked if the padlocks on the seat belts were legal.
In its report on the vote and aftermath, the Associated Press snidely remarks, “What’s certain is that Wednesday’s vote changed nothing about the debate that consumed Congress for two years, dominated the midterm elections, and has now moved to the courts.” Really? One thing that did get repealed in the Senate yesterday was the odious 1099 reporting requirement in ObamaCare, which would have crushed businesses under an avalanche of paperwork. That requirement was supposed to bring in something like $20 billion in revenue for the IRS. Are we still pretending that repeal of ObamaCare would somehow increase the deficit?
Another thing that “changed the debate” was Judge Vinson’s ruling in Florida, which struck down the entire ObamaCare law as unconstitutional. The governor of Florida, and the attorney general of Wisconsin, have declared their intentions to halt implementation of this dead law. The lawless Democrat Party thinks it can simply ignore a court ruling it doesn’t like. That’s not going to work, so they’ll eventually have to ask Vinson for a stay, which he might not grant. It will all end up in the Supreme Court, which may very well decide to uphold Vinson’s ruling. I think that might have changed the debate just a tad.
(I use the term “lawless” for the Democrats advisedly. This is the same Party which scoffs at those who take the Constitution seriously, and thinks high-ranking politicians should be able to commit perjury with impunity. They are interested in power, not law.)
What Republicans are carrying into the 2012 election season is a lockstep vote from a Party desperately trying to defend a badly broken law that is hated by the people, unlawful in the judgment of a federal court, devastating to the economy, and beaten to the ground by the 26 states filing suit against it. It was already looking like a bad election for the Democrats, but now they have to run from the twisted monstrosity dragging itself behind them and vomiting waivers. Yesterday’s vote was much more than a symbolic act.