Michael Barone

A second point is that Obamacare -- unlike Social Security, Medicare and Part D -- wasn't consistently supported in public opinion polls. Quite the contrary.

Please don't pass this bill, the public pleaded, speaking in January 2010 through the unlikely medium of the voters of the commonwealth of Massachusetts when they elected Republican Scott Brown to the Senate as the 41st vote against Obamacare.

Democrats went ahead anyway, at the urging of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and with the approval of President Barack Obama. They made that decision knowing that, without a 60th vote in the Senate, the only legislative path forward was for the House to pass a bill identical to the one the Senate passed in December 2009.

No one had intended that to be the final version. Democrats expected to hold a conference committee to comb the glitches out of the Senate bill and the version the House passed in November.

Voters had done all they could do to signal that they wanted not a Democratic version of Obamacare but a bipartisan compromise or no legislation at all. Obama and Pelosi ignored that demand.

Under those circumstances, it's not surprising that Republicans -- politicians and voters -- regard the passage of the law as illegitimate. And that they believe they are morally justified in seeking repeal and replacement of legislation they consider gravely harmful to the nation.

You may or may not agree with those judgments. But it shouldn't be hard to see why Republicans feel that way.

Those feelings have been intensified as glitch after glitch in Obamacare come to light -- and as the president indicates, contrary to his constitutional duty, that he will not faithfully execute parts of the law.

When they passed Obamacare, Democrats thought they were achieving a triumph free of any cost. Now, as Obamacare founders, they are paying the price.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM