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It’s All Over But the Crying and Shouting

March 22, 2010

Of course, the crying and shouting will all be done by the winning side.  Just you watch.

So I said a couple times I wouldn’t be focused all that much on healthcare, and I found some other stuff to talk about until there was real news.  Now that the House vote has had the crowbar taken to democracy, I think it’s worth looking back at the strategic intent/strategy of all (yes, all) the sides.

Democrats: They had a simple strategy.  Win this at all costs.  It was pretty clear following the news in the last couple weeks that they would twist arms, promise the moon, threaten the sewer, and whatever to make things happen.  Let’s talk about that moon thing… some of the promises that were made clearly won’t matter (Mr. Stupak and friends…), but they were made to make it seem like everyone was getting along.  And check that final vote.  A few unsecure people were allowed to swing votes near the end.  This was orchestrated by an unassailable majority from the beginning.

So what now?  Well, some of those moons won’t come to earth, and there will still be some backlash.  If the Democrats are strategic (and I’m not convinced of this), then they’ll run far from healthcare and try to pass something/anything else before November.  This is going to leave a bitter taste in the voters’ mouths, and they’ll need to distract.

Republicans: They let the Democrats drive the agenda, hoping they’d implode.  It’s always a bad strategy to assume that your competition will fail.  That said, they had no choice.  They didn’t have any real way to block it.  Now they’re already measuring the drapes for future leadership. And trying to lay blame elsewhere.  Um, that’s assuming your competition will fail.  At this point, Republicans would do well to block anything the Dems try to do for the rest of the term, and focus on how bad the healthcare legislation is.  If this is a one-issue election, they’ll win.  If they let the people get distracted, they’ll lose.  Simple.

Press: Where was the press in all of this?  They were at best a cheering section for the DemocratsAt worst, they were… nothing.  Who in the press really dug into the bill?  Who looked at the deals?  The strategy was to be benign.  And you wonder why you don’t read the papers anymore?

Blogs: Way to go, friends of the blogosphere.  On either side, you could find people who would actually dig in.  The downside is that the blogosphere is polarized, so it was easy to find one side of the argument, but harder to find both unless you looked.  We need to grow that way.

The people: Well, the folks did what they could.  The switchboard in the capitol won’t recover soon, and the people were pretty clear that they had strong opinions both ways.  Those that want healthcare will likely now settle back and try to keep the ball rolling… but the fatigue will set in.  On the con(servative) side?  Well, I think they’re just getting started.

Updating with links through the day.  Thanks to Hot Air, Cassy Fiano, Doc Zero, Daily Caller, NRO, Pirate’s Cove … for inspiration.  Also, check Lynn’s post (if you haven’t already)… we’re a small blog, and the comments are coming in.  People are p’d off on this.  And I’m glad.

Updated: Victor Davis Hanson:

 I think the die is now cast and the message for both parties is: Get a president and a 51 percent congressional vote, and you can remake America in the most radical fashion, damning the polls, the opposition, and the traditional processes of government itself. It’s a new arena and apparently the ends will now justify any means necessary. Good luck to that.

One more update, and then I’m going to go read my Brad Thor novel.  Cassy Fiano (go read her stuff, she’s A+) found the kicker for Mr. Stupak… money for local airports.  Oh, and he really always wanted the bill, and the publicity.  Well, publicity is good and bad, I hope he can live it down… with that high-paying lobbyist job I’m sure he’ll get.

And the Dems will wonder at some point why everyone seems so upset… I end where I started.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 3:59 pm

    Richard, no argument that America got what it elected, both in the White House and in Congress. I’d argue with your term “undramatic.” The CBO scored this at a cost of nearly one trillion dollars over the first ten years, which is relatively dramatic given that — in my life and likely yours — our total debt was less than that.

    As to the social contract, I believe you’re over-reaching the limits of generosity. While nobody but my family ever took care of any of my education (barring kindergarden, there you have me), I’m fine with supporting others, and I personally invest tax dollars as well as time to ensure that others are educated. Is it now my role to ensure that everyone goes to college, even if they don’t have the skills or desire to graduate at that level?

    I already pay for others’ health care through Medicare/Medicaid, and I’ll make my own decisions on whether to give out a kidney, thanks.

  2. March 22, 2010 3:47 pm

    You can indeed compel and enforce – that is what democracy is all about, actually. We elected a leader who told us in no certain terms that healthcare reform was one of hos top priorities. And the majority of Americans elected him. This is a modest, undramatic bill and most of us will see very little change, except for those who were without insurance or refused due to pre-existing conditions. This is part of living in a society. That comes with obligations, like paying for education of society’s children even if you don’t partake of it yourself. It’s called The Social Contract, and it’s a good thing. If the bill is bad, under the same democratic system we can tweak it or throw it out. That’s the beauty of democracy. So quit whining and give the president the credit he deserves for doing what he said and for not backing down.

  3. March 22, 2010 8:59 am

    Actually, I think it was a great day for America… either way. If you wanted healthcare, then you got it. We’ll figure out what IT is later.

    If you didn’t want it, then you’re unhappy and it’ll galvanize you. Either way, a great day.

  4. March 22, 2010 8:37 am

    whether or not it was a great day for America depends greatly on your desired end state/end goal. My personal goal is not to bring an enforced “utopia” that amounts to little more than the Roman Catholic idea of “Christendom” minus the God…or perhaps, the government IS ‘god?’ You cannot compel or enforce without raising the spectre of the cry for ‘freedom’ – free to choose, free to live, free to make $, or not….but taking away that right to choose is hardly a ‘great day’ for people who are accustomed to that freedom

  5. March 22, 2010 8:31 am

    It was a great day for America.

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