Neil McCabe

It has been precious to see the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) manipulate the Senate rules to whittle the filibuster to twig, while decrying how conservatives have abused the same rules to assert their rights in the upper Chamber, and it signals that the Democrats must win now.

In this latest maneuver, Reid, like President Barack Obama with health care, channeled Hall of Fame NFL coach George H. Allen, who traded away draft picks and promising players for his “Over the Hill Gang” teams. When reporters asked Allen: What about the future? Allen always replied: “The future is now.”

Back in the days when the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was still in question, Rahm Emanuel, then-White House chief of staff, urged the president to dial back health care reform, so as not to threaten the Democratic House majority Emanuel has personally crafted leading the House Democratic campaign in for the 2006 cycle.

Obama demurred. Instead of working with Republicans on mutually agreed upon reforms or worrying about vulnerable Democrats, the president jammed through his signature law, flaws and all in March 2010—and seven months later, his House majority was gone.

Political scientists could argue that Obama’s disregard for the future was a political mistake, but it was not. Obama won and kept winning.

Despite Republican control of the House for the last three years, and meaningless show-votes, the president’s health care reform has been fully funded and supported by the GOP leadership. In fact, any delays in the president’s health care regime have been what the English call “own goals.”

Certainly, Obama has nothing to fear from Speaker John A. Boehner (R.-Ohio), who declared Obamacare “settled law” in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s loss to Obama in the 2012 election.

As Democrats practice their win-now, Republicans continue to mutter on about winning later.

How many times were conservatives told to keep quiet about values and principles, so as not to upset voters? One leader put it as a meeting I attended: “Once Romney wins the White House, and the Republicans have the House and Senate, he will just sign whatever bills Congress sends him.”

Alas, President Romney we hardly knew ye! Where are you now when we need you?

How many times in the 2011-2012 “Tea Party” session did Team Boehner assure conservatives: Yes, we are giving the president everything he wants this time, but on the next continuing resolution or debt ceiling, we are going to fight?

Neil McCabe

Neil W. McCabe is a journalist working in Washington. He was a senior reporter for the Human Events newspaper and for many years a reporter for The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. In 2009, he deployed to Iraq with the Army as a combat historian for 15 months.