In a nutshell, the Republican Party chose the low road. What would the debate have been like if they had chosen to debate the substance of the bill rather than simply repeating and embellishing the Frank Luntz talking points endlessly? Laurence O'Donnell made this point on Morning Joe this morning. What if the Republicans had spent more time talking about the financing of the bill and how it will need to be paid for? Believe it or not, there were some telling points they could have made on policy, but chose to ignore them. Social Security and Medicare still have to be paid for, just as this massive health care program will have to be paid for.
This was a huge victory for President Obama and the Democratic Party. They worked the margins, they shored up the middle, they kept their corporate ties intact, in short, they played the political game brilliantly. This is a generational event to be savored. An era will be defined as before and after health care reform.
This is a legendary example of the "base support" strategy and it's obvious failings. True, the base must be kept in the fold, but to play to the base exclusively? That's just letting your freak flag fly.... a losing strategy. The Democrats played to their base, but not exclusively so. I told a good friend early last summer as President Obama began his leadership on this issue, "Just watch. He'll be a success if he keeps everyone a little pissed off. Liberals, Conservatives and the Middle will all be ticked. THAT'S what a Centrist IS! That's LEADERSHIP!"