I’d like to use Yuval’s post as a jumping-off point. He points out, I think correctly, that the House vote makes it even harder for the Senate to pass anything. However, it also makes more problems for the Democrats.
This was clearly an unpopular vote… that’s the clear meaning of all the rallies and town halls, including 9/12 and the rally on the steps of the Capitol last Thursday. Let’s also remember that not all voters read blogs or research things online. Top that with anger at the Democrat Party as a whole, and you’ve got the perfect set-up for large numbers of people saying, “To heck with the whole party. I don’t care if my Democrat Representative did vote against it, we need to take the majority away from them and the Speakership away from Pelosi, so I am voting against him/her.” Thus, it’s highly likely that Pelosi has won a battle, but in such a way that she’s set herself up to lose the overall war.
It was also unnecessary. Not only is it unlikely to pass in the Senate, even without the House vote (Reid had said before the vote that it was likely the vote in the Sente would be pushed back into 2010, where it will be even harder to get it passed because of the election that year), but if Pelosi had even the slightest concept of good politics, she could have gone about it completely differently and probably succeeded.
Consider: If Pelosi had backed off of this takeover of the health-care system by the government for just a little while, put her ideology in a desk drawer somewhere, and gone on to policies that actually encourage job creation, it would have changed the playing field drastically. People would have been reassured about the Democrats (falsely reassured, but remember most people don’t pay the kind of attention to politics that bloggers and blog-readers do), and feeling better about the economy, so they might not have been so scared about this massive government power-grab.
Now, I admit, it’s a small chance, but a small chance is better than what Pelosi has now, which is practically no chance of it getting through the Senate, and an equally minuscule chance of a Democrat majority surviving to try again after 2010. People have made much of the Democrats’ willingness to sacrifice their House seats to enact statist health-care, but what about sacrificing for a maneuver that makes it all but impossible for it to be passed?
By pushing too hard, Her Speakerness has essentially buried the prospects for socialized medicine in this nation for the near future.