Will the cloture vote drama sink Obamacare?
Did Congress pass Obamacare at 1:00 a.m. this morning? One could be forgiven for thinking so. But one would be wrong. Today’s vote was only a cloture vote to shut off debate. But months of vigorous opposition by the American people and a civil war in the Democrat Party has raised the profile of the legislation to unprecedented heights in the public eye. The cloture vote was widely reported to be ‘the’ vote. To ‘Kerry’ something is no longer a safe hiding place. If a Senator tries to Kerry this thing by telling his constituents that he ‘voted for it before he voted against it,’ people will just chuckle and tell him he isn’t fooling anyone.
So the cloture vote was a vote for Obamacare.
Senator Nelson, we see you.
We know that some Democrats like Jim Webb (D-Va), crowed about bravely bucking their party by voting with Republicans to reinstate Medicare cuts, and then, less than a week later, made a craven, duplicitous, and disingenuous vote in favor of cloture.
Senator Webb, we see you.
Then there were those five Democrat Senators, Evan Bayh, Maria Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson, who voted for Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) amendment to send the bill back to Committee to certify that individuals making less than $200,000.00 and families making less than $250,000.00 per year would not have their taxes raised, per President Obama’s campaign pledge. Their votes were an attempt to make them look honest and fiscally responsible to the voters back home. Their cloture votes today expose them as utter frauds.
Senators Bayh, Cantwell, Klobuchar, Lincoln, and (again) Nelson, we see you.
The polls show that a majority of Americans oppose the bill by a 14 point margin. Scott Rasmussen’s Approval Index poll measures the difference between those who strongly approve of the president’s performance versus those who strongly dissaprove. This morning, Obama was at 43% disapproval, the highest of his presidency.
The point is that the health care debate is not over. The final votes have not been cast. The Senate needs to pass its final bill. Then the vastly different House and Senate bills will have to go to conference to be cobbled into one bill. There will then be a final vote in the House and another cloture vote in the Senate before we get to a bill Obama can sign.
The most significant thing about the Senate cloture vote this morning was not that it passed. It was that it showed how low the Democrats were willing to go to pass it. It showed the American people that Senators like Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, et al., actually have no principles and can be bought. It showed that the bill has no bipartisan support and was rammed through in the middle of the night on Christmas week.
The vote will not strengthen the bill. Support will continue to erode. Polls will continue to plunge. Obama’s approval rating will hit new lows. And then will come the final votes. If the Democrats decide to stick with the bill even in that environment, we will know they do not care about the American people. And they will be treated accordingly at the polls in 10 months.
Members of the House and Senate: We see you.
Photo credit: Look into my Eyes