(Update) The One Year War
Update: According to The Plum Line, 41 liberal congressmen will oppose any amendment in the final bill that bans abortion funding. Debbie Wasserman-Schulz vows that the Stupak amendment will NOT be in the final bill.
Ed Morrissey beautifully illustrates the task ahead here.
As we all know, the House passed the Pelosi/Obamacare abomination late last night. The lynch pin that Pelosi used to get this passed was the Stupak Amendment which succeeded with 60+ Democratic congressmen voting for it. This amendment was obviously a way to give Blue Frauds Dogs some cover and political capital for their re-election chances. There has been a lot of dissent and grumbling this morning among some conservative blogs that the GOP should have let the amendment fail so the chances of killing the bill would improve. Initially, I agreed with this strategy. I am strongly pro-life but saw that this was a ploy by Pelosi to get a bill passed and save their liberal voting base from abandoning them in 2010. Looking back in retrospect, this had to be a very difficult decision for Boehner and the GOP House leadership to make. I believed strongly at the time that the GOP should have ensured the failure of the amendment. However, if you go with the risky strategy where it may or may not kill the Democratic bill, it is reasonable to think that this would have strengthened the Blue Dogs’ cover by a substantial degree. On top of that, this would have fractured support among pro-life voters and left the GOP congressmen who would have voted present in an awkward situation to explain this to their constituencies. It very well could have conceivably weakened the GOP. I thought this wouldn’t be too difficult to explain but at the same time, when you are truly in a no-win situation, always choose principle. It keeps everyone united and emboldens the voter base to win the future battles that are sure to come now to November 2010. Remember how the way Reagan handled himself in a very tight loss to Gerald Ford in the 1976 GOP presidential primary.
I commend John Boehner. I thought Boehner put on a stellar performance last night and I think he will make an excellent speaker. His cross-examination of Charlie Rangel, getting the Democratic leaders to admit there would be no guarantee that the Stupak Amendment would make it out of conference (should a bill pass the Senate) was top notch. Smoking out gutter tricks and politics of the Democrats is going to be something the GOP is going to have to engage in. The Democrats are going for broke. They know they are going to get massacred in 2010 and their chances look even worse in 2012. Aside from passing legislation that the majority of public opinion is against, every action of (deliberate?) incompetence on how free economies work, running the greatest economy in the world into the ground, and growing government to control more aspects of an individual’s life is going to have its consequences.
The Democrats realize that their window of opportunity is very, very small. The Obama White House is desperately trying to get something passed out of the Senate by Christmas. Why? When a bill does get passed in the Senate, it has to go to conference so the House and Senate versions of the legislation can be merged into one final bill for both the House and the Senate to vote on. This process takes months. The longer this takes, the more public scrutiny this terrible House Bill is going to get and minority support for Obamacare will drop even further. The day after Harry Reid announced legislation might not be passed until early next year, Rahm Emanuel paid Reid a visit. I have no doubt that Rahm made it perfectly clear that something must be passed by the end of the year. When Tom Coburn announced that he is considering (he is going to) to have the entire bill read in the Senate, senior Democratic aides were outraged. It’s perfectly understandable why. This one parliamentary maneuver alone would likely delay any hopeful passage until the spring at the earliest.
Thus, the scrutiny on the bill increases and the likely negative opinion worsens the prospects of something getting done. Their window grows smaller each day. Reid’s best bet is to get 60 votes to overcome the GOP filabuster. However, with a great deal of red state Democratic senators up for relection next year or 2012, no political cover from the GOP, and Joe Lieberman for the time being adamantly opposed to anything right now for fiscal reasons, this is going to be next to impossible. Reconciliation at this point would be such a long, drawn out process and the GOP is likely prepared to use every parliamentary procedure and trick in the book to grind the Senate to a halt. On top of that, the House Bill would likely be hacked to shreds in reconciliation as well. Tom Coburn and Judd Gregg have strongly indicated they are going to do this. Other GOP senators like Jim DeMint are likely to pitch in as well.
Regardless what colassal pressure the joker Rahm Emanuel brings from the White House to get something done, it is highly unlikely a bill can be passed. The GOP Senate caucus’ objective will be to prevent any passage of a bill in 2010. If they are successful, America will have narrowly missed being fatally pierced and individual liberty will not be further marginalized for the time being. Nancy Pelosi’s victory will transform into a Waterloo and the Blue Frauds Dogs in the House will be hung out to dry. What can we do? Keep the pressure and the calls on the red state Dem Senators. Keep the calls of support coming to Joe Lieberman and his current position. Inform your neighbors, friends, and anyone else who will listen of the enormous peril that now faces this country. Doing so and making people aware will improve our chances. Donate to conservative candidates in the House and the Senate who will challenge Democrats in 2010. Until the next Congress is sworn in, be vigilant and disciplined every day. The right to live in freedom must always be fought for and last night’s vote should be a huge wake-up call to this truth. Godspeed GOP Senators and Joe Lieberman. We stand behind you.