Yesterday was big. It was one of those policy-meets-politics days when Americans know what’s happening. Like a bridge collapsing in Minnesota, people found out quickly the events of the day despite the countless news items and life matters competing for their attention.
A friend shot me a text message early this morning:
“A headline that says it all – ‘futures fall on health care vote, start down almost 200 points.'”
The Washington Times’ lead editorial today is titled:
In the harsh yet wildly optimist editorial the Times writes:
“Democrats in Congress refuse to believe the contempt with which the American people hold them. Gallup shows congressional approval ratings in the teens and headed downward. Gallup also found that “more Americans believe the new legislation will make things worse rather than better for the U.S. as a whole, as well as for them personally.”
Democrats are in much worse shape than in 1994 when they lost power, and the opposition is far more energized. Once voters have a chance to tell the most irresponsible government in American history that enough is enough, the Democrats’ brief reign will expire, and be deemed death by suicide.”
On my shelf at home is Newt Gingrich’s 1995 book “To Renew America,” which includes a chapter titled “Health Care as an Opportunity Rather Than a Problem.” It’s a short chapter, but what he outlined has been greatly expanded upon by experts and organizations since then.
In the fifteen years that have passed, Republicans held the U.S. House for twelve years and the White House for eight. Much policy drafting progress was made during that time, but almost no political progress.
Even this writer penned a column in late 2002 quoting Grace-Marie Turner from the Galen Institute summing up the challenges facing health care reformers. Turner and Galen still are two of the best sources for understanding the right way to change the system.
Why did yesterday’s votes in the U.S. House happen? Because the Democrats have the courage of their convictions and Republicans too often don’t. Despite a year of set-backs, the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts and over-whelming negative poll ratings, Democratic leaders were undeterred.
Of course the fight isn’t over. Another friend sent me a link this morning that sums up the long road still ahead for Democrats:
Yesterday’s votes in the U.S. House aren’t the end of the battle, obviously, but they are an important milestone. Mark Steyn’s fantastic post said it nicely:
For several years this website has been outlining what will have to change if the new rallying cry for Republicans is to come to fruition: “Repeal!” We invite you to stay tuned for the latest and recommend our archives for suggested steps for the constructing of a Republican Party that won’t politically waste the next fifteen years.