Peggy Noonan in 2004, in a horribly condescending article in WSJ: “
I do not know what the Democratic Party spent, in toto, on the 2004 election, but what they seem to have gotten for it is Barack Obama. Let us savor.”
After I stopped laughing about it, it occurred to me she and all the other neo-cons underestimated Mr. Obama then, and they continue to do so now, even after he got to add CIC to his list of accomplishments. (I stumbled upon Noonan’s quote in the comments section of David Frum’s rather frank article lamenting the GOP’s failure to reign in the crazies after betting the ranch on killing HCR.) Almost from the beginning, it was obvious that this protracted and prolonged “debate” over the bill was pure theater. Didn’t DeMint tip his hand last July with his whole “Waterloo” analogy and claims that a defeat of this bill would “break” him (President Obama)? That is what they wanted. That is all they wanted.
I don’t want to judge that. I don’t understand it, but I know that the Party I vote with can also be myopic and petty and vindictive, and politics at that level (maybe every level these days) is brutal. But dear God if you intend to derail a piece of legislation that most Americans want and need…you had better hitch your effort to people other than DeMint, Bachman, and Palin, especially against a guy who has proven he can out-maneuver you at crunch time. Maybe, though, they had no choice. The GOP has, for so long, sat back and allowed the whores of talk-radio and Fox News whip it’s listener’s (and their constituents) into a frothing frenzy at every turn, and well, that beast must now be fed, it seems.
You just can’t allow protesters to mock a disabled person by throwing money at him without distancing yourself as quickly and as publicly as possible. If I was at a rally and heard someone on my side hurling racial slurs at a Congressman my sign would be wedged up their fat ass in a heartbeat. Then I would put out a press release demanding my so called supporters behave like human beings. Instead, they did this.
Where is the Republican Leadership?
Don’t get me wrong, I am appalled by my own Party’s feckless response to bullies. I supported the idea of “reaching out” and efforting bi-partisanship to a point, but I long ago stopped caring if they even let this current crop of Republicans into the House Chamber. Nancy, bar the door. In 2000 a handful of khaki-clad thugs intimidated us so badly we still get the shakes if someone raises their voice to us, it seems. Regardless, we proved that we can, when led by a resolute leader, out-fox our opponents. And make no mistake, Mr. Obama is a closer.
Well, my guess is their next strategy will be a legal challenge. That, however, carries a bit more risk than meets the eye, and I have to wonder if there is truly a political upside to prevailing in the court. For now, we have a bill, and while I am not celebrating it’s contents, rest assured I’m celebrating it’s passage.
Pardon me, I’ve a little savoring to do.
UPDATE: Oh! I almost forgot to answer Ms. Noonan’s question. 478.5 million dollars. Quite a bargain, if you ask me.