Rich Galen

My long experience is that regular people - not people who read MULLINGS or watch Cable news - but people who wake up every morning hoping they still have a job when they come back home; who work with their kids every night to see that their homework is done; who base the family dinner menu based upon clipped coupons and items on the grocery store shelves which are on sale they have already given up on this process.

Reports that players on both sides are preparing to spend up to $1 million a day on television advertisements for or against this bill is unlikely to produce a groundswell one way or the other.

The staffs in House and Senate offices know who the "pen pals" are and where they are likely to fall on any particular issue.

Great numbers of Americans who have not already done so, are not likely to be moved to call or send an e-mail expressing their position on health care because they are forced to sit through a gush of TV ads.

There may be a price to pay on November 2 when we go to the polls to vote. If there is a general "throw the rascals out" mood" that will help the GOP because there are more Democrat rascals available for tossing.

But, even if the GOP runs the table and takes control of the House, the leadership would be wise to look for ways - quickly - to not repeat the mistakes of the Democrats in this Congress.

On this, the Ides of March, they would be wise to remember the warning of Cassius in the same Act and the same Scene of the same play:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

They will be underlings again, if they don't learn the lesson that, in the end, it costs more to take it all, than it does to give a little to the other side.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at