I find it really hard to get terribly emotionally invested in the ups and downs of the health care reform legislation in Washington, not because I think we don’t need reform, but primarily because I find the play-by-play, who’s-up-who’s-down BS silly and perhaps a bit ahistorical as regards how legislation is done. I mean, really: What? The president is not getting 100% of what he wants out of Congress? What? The opposition is opposed? What? Some congressman with shaky re-relection chances is making a stink that looks good to the people back at home? What? Getting it all through the legislative process is taking longer than anyone expected? I am shocked and may become vaporous.
Seriously, this is what happens with legislation; moreover, this is what’s supposed to happen. It is not, in itself, terribly remarkable. I’m interested in the process and what’s coming out of it; I’m rather less interested in following it like it’s The Most Important Sports Championship Final Game EVAR. Watching commentators running around saying OMG the Blue Dogs are delaying the vote until September OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION IS SO OVER or things of that ilk makes me want to reach for a firehose.
So: Deep breaths, everyone. When 2010 and 2012 come around, what people are going to remember is whether the health care reform package passed or didn’t, not whether there was a one-month delay in the vote. And even then whether it will KILL OBAMA is another matter entirely: HillaryCare imploding didn’t do much to keep Bill Clinton from getting re-elected in 1996, you may recall.