Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling Better Already

Joe Biden was right the other day. The Health Bill is a big f!@#$ deal.

It is far from perfect and the process of getting it passed confirmed all your worst instincts about the American political system. But it did pass, and as a consequence the lives of real people - lots of them - will be made better. It may be early to say such things, but nonetheless: thisbill may well rank along with Social Security and Medicare as the most significant piece of social legislation in the nation's history. We have become so accustomed to the over-use of the word "historic" by an adjectivally-challenged media that we not quite recognize real "historic" when we see it. But this is the genuine article.

It is a victory and should be celebrated as such. Go ahead: cheer, fist-bump, pop a cork. As they say in sports, a win is a win.

And as with all victories, there must be losers and so let me introduce you to Team GOP - nickname "The Bund" - who threw everything they had, no matter how vile, foul, or dishonest at this bill and came up short.

Team GOP refuses to accept that they have lost (in fact, many who live in their particular flat earth refuse to admit they lost the election of 2008) and so they have simply doubled-down on their opposition, vowing to repeal the bill, or vowing to stall it forever in the Senate, or vowing to block it in the courts etc etc.

This is a losing strategy for Team GOP, though probably not for the individual members who come from safe districts and retrograde states. But the spectacle of Tea Partiers defending their Constitutional freedom to spit on Congressmen while some of the Bundies cheered them on may prove one of those "have you no decency?" moments. The polls are already showing increased support for health care package now that its specifics are being rolled out for people. Come the fall elections, Team GOP will campaign on the opposition to kids with chronic diseases and tax credits for small businesses. Doesn't sound like a winner to me.

Unless, of course, they stake their next "Waterloo" moment on defeat the banking reforms. Then they can campaign on their defense of un-regulated plutocratic bankers. That should go over well.

So Obama just won the policy battle and the political battle. Feeling better?