The House of Representatives made a partial fool out of me when they were able to pass a health care reform bill this weekend. With a vote of 220 yea v. 215 nay, the bill passed by the narrowest of margins. But it’s on to the Senate, nonetheless. After watching health-care reform fall flat on its face during the first part of the Clinton era, seeing something like this represents history of a certain kind. I highly doubt this legislation is viable enough to get the 60 votes its needs in the Senate, but I think it still spells at least a modicum of success in a highly unpopular and ineffecient Congress.
I have to admit: Nancy Pelosi – though a failure by most standards – showed she can be a pretty smark cookie when it comes to getting things passed. Allowing the Stupak Ammendment to weave its way into the bill, Speaker Pelosi gave pro-lifers the ultimate in a quip pro quo; enough, at least, to satisfy the moderate Democrats in the House. But evidenced by the single yea vote coming from the Republican side, it’s going to take a lot more to appease the Senate.
For this reason, I’m not particularly excited right now. Harry Reid is not as popular as Nancy Pelosi (which isn’t saying much for Pelosi, who as Speaker is about as unpopular as any of her predecessors), and he isn’t nearly as crafty when it comes to appealing to his opposition. So getting a two-thirds majority when Pelosi was only able to get a smidge over half of her folks is a stretch.
Winning a battle is one thing. Winning the war is another story altogether.