For almost a year and a half Republicans have been nurturing a dream that they could turn Barack Obama into Jimmy Carter by stopping the passage of health care reform, but with the House passage of the health care bill by a vote of 219-212, Republicans have not only seen their dream of turning Obama into a one termer shatter, but their dream is dead, and Obama remains strong.
Remember Jim DeMint’s dream of breaking Obama:
DeMint said, “‘If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him,'” House Republicans continued to meander along with the talking points that worked so well for them during the summer town hall meeting. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) claimed that the health care bill was historic because, “unprecedented and unconstitutional mandates on our states.” Rep. David Nunes (R-CA) claimed that the bill was, “the cornerstone of [a] Socialist utopia.” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) summed up the GOP position as the Republicans, “decided apparently that they benefit from virulence, hatred, disruption.”
In comparison to the insane ramblings of gloom and doom coming from the Republican side, Democrats seemed sane. Throughout the hours of debate, it was as if the two sides were not even debating the same issue. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) said, “Amidst angry and at times even hateful rhetoric, amidst the misinformation and scare tactics, there exists one simple truth, and that truth is that the current system is unsustainable.” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said, “This may be the most important vote that we cast as members of this body. We have a moral obligation today, tonight to make health care a right and not a privilege.”
The entire GOP strategy for turning Barack Obama into a one termer centered on stopping health care reform, and giving him his defining defeat. They wanted to make Obama look like another weak Democrat. They risked everything on health care, and tonight they lost big. The Republican Party had a glimmer of hope and relevancy, but it was extinguished tonight. Democrats should pray every night that the Republicans ignore the economy this fall and run on the decided issue of health care reform. By doing so, they will be playing into the Democrats hands.
Even worse for the GOP, Obama and the Democrats are now free to focus on the economy and jobs for the next 8 months until the mid-term elections, and Obama now can add an historic piece of legislation to his stellar resume. The Republican hopes of defeating Barack Obama in 2012 hinged on stopping health care reform. They tried to turn Superman back into Clark Kent, and now all they have left is white rage, a pile of tea bags, and 18 months of doing nothing for the American people.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association