A Day Of Agony For Democrats

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Mar 21, 2010 11:17 AM
Republican Leader John Boehner vowed that "this fight is not lost yet," but at this point, the momentum seems to be that Obamacare is as good as passed. The vote is counted at 6 or 7'oclock tonight (though the timing could easily get thrown off) and every prominent Democratic source is crowing about having obtained the 216 votes for passage. 

That means today is a day of agony for Democrats who are voting for this thing, given that its political suicide. They know what's coming, all they have to do is wait for it to be over.

Interestingly, Stupak seems to think the 216 votes aren't there. Democratic leaders were meeting with him and 8 other pro-life colleagues late into the night, to try and work out a plan to win them over. It could be a bluff: last night, Pelosi was also quoted as saying that she wanted more than 216 Members on her side, so no member of her caucus would be the deciding vote. So Stupak's members could just be window dressing.

Whatever the case, Stupak also said that the Democratic leaders were close to working out a deal with him. It doesn't look good.

Obama's approval ratings are down: according to Rasmussen, 26 percent approve of his performance, while 42 percent don't. And while Democrats are fond of saying that polling on the bill is mixed, a vast plurality of the polls suggest that Obamacare is wildly unpopular. Rasmussen, again, has 41 percent of Americans in favor of the bill and 54 percent not in favor. Boehner explains why:
This bill requires 10 years of tax increases and 10 years of Medicare cuts just to pay for six years of supposed benefits, many of which don't even go into effect until 2014...That's not reform.
The tension between Pelosi and her colleagues today on the House floor must be incredible. I only hope that its the kind of tension that leads to massive political reform.