What color is the sky on Marc Armbinder’s world?
Marc Armbinder –
At the beginning of the month, I predicted that August might turn out be a bloodbath for Democrats. At the time, the Democratic self-containment on health care had dissolved, cranks were taking over constituent meetings, and that real anxiety about Obama had found a channel and political opponents of health care had an edge. And it was a bloodbath. No question: the White House was taken aback by the ferocity of the health care debate, the media was confused, activists were alarmed, and Republican enthusiasm shot up. But a funny thing happened on the way to the morgue…
The worst thing that could have happened to Democrats — and the one thing that needed to happen in order to kill health reform — did not happen. The Democrats held together. Moderates were not intimidated. Don’t confuse their constituent meeting pander with changed minds.
The Hill’s Mike Soraghan and Michael M. Gleeson report:
At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.
If Republicans offer the blanket opposition they’ve promised, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose only 38 members of her 256-member caucus and still pass the bill.
Hill reporter Michael O’Brien adds another Democrat to the list — Arkansas’s Mike Ross, who says he’ll oppose any bill with a public insurance plan.
One more opponent is Jim Cooper of Tennessee, who wrote in a July op-ed that he would vote “no” on the bill.
Also, 19 Democratic members of Congress wrote in June that “we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health plan.” Twelve of these 19 congressmen aren’t already on The Hill’s list of “no” votes:
Getting a bill through the Senate remains a big challenge, but even there, the Obama administration has a reasonable chance of corralling the 60 votes it would need to pass legislation more or less on its terms.
Reasonable if they can flip a GOP Senator, Snowe and Collins are always wild cards but so far he GOP has hung together.
Mr. Obama still clearly has not closed the deal, which is a major reason he will be making his case directly to the American people and their elected representatives on Wednesday night. The CBS poll found that 6 in 10 Americans say Mr. Obama has not clearly explained what his plans for health reform would mean.
That is a problem for the White House, though it also presents the president with an opportunity to reframe the debate on his own terms. In his address on Wednesday, Mr. Obama has promised to outline what he wants to see in a bill; Republican leaders say the message from August is that Democrats and the president need to start over.
“At this point, there really should be no doubt where the American people stand: the status quo is not acceptable, but neither are any of the proposals we’ve seen from the White House or Democrats in Congress,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said in a statement, adding: “It should be clear by now that the problem isn’t the sales pitch. The problem is what they’re selling.”
The two visions presented don’t seem to match. I have the feeling Mr. Armbinder has been toking a bit and reading a little too much T. Coddington van Vorhees VII in the National Topsider.
That post makes me laugh so hard everytime I read it I almost wet myself. The only thing funnier this week is the People of Walmart
Update – Bruce McQuain at Q and O also questions Armbinder’s accuracy.