The politics of the battle over the Supreme Court decision that upheld some of the Democrats’ historic health care reform legislation remains as complicated as the bill at the center of the argument. You would be remiss to expect anything less of a bill with 2,733 pages that exacted blood from the turnip of the democratic process that brought it to final passage in 2010.
Democrats cautiously celebrated, as is the Democratic style. Former Speaker Pelosi threw a party, President Obama was able to walk down “I Killed Bin Laden Lane” as Jon Stewart called the hallway to the East Room, to proclaim a victory as he put away another Republican onslaught and others on the left, including the host of this show, worried about the long term effect the Court striking the Medicaid expansion will have on millions of uninsured Americans. Hey, they’re Democrats!The House Republican Majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor was so eager to lead the Republican cause that he actually anounced not one but two votes to repeal the bill in the month of July. First his office tweeted that the vote would be on July 11th, then the Majority leader announced it would be on July 9th. (Later at a press conference that was consolodated into just one vote during the week of July 9th.) With Democrats still in control the U.S. Senate the house vote will be a waste of tax dollars to air condition the house chamber in the middle of July just to show us all how much Republicans really hate this bill.
Mitt Romney beat the other Republicans to the microphone to tell the cameras he would work to repeal the bill on “day 1”. Forget that Mitt Romney’s day one is going to be the longest day in the history of the human race but what makes his statement completely farcical is that the President, no matter the party, is painfully impotent to pass or repeal legislation. (Again, remember the bleeding turnip.)
But some Republicans see the Supreme Court decision as a silver lining bigger than the cloud. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli first reacted that “ This is a dark day for the American people.” After reading the decision he changed his tune. Erick Erickson of Redstate.com and George Will however waited to write after reading the decision and found the positives for conservatives. The Medicare expansion is at the mercy of many Republican Governors and the federal government’s power over the states is not expanded under another commerce clause argument, loathsome to constructionist conservatives. George Will’s column on WashingtonPost.com actually reads “Conservatives Long Term Victory.” But its Kathleen Parker, who I never miss reading, who has the most stinging assessment of Democratic praise of the victory handed them by the Chief Justice “Liberals laud him - even though they didn’t actually win.”
Conservatives are great at this, Declaring Victory. Even if the win is muddled at best, it’s still a win. Democrats not so much. Is it any wonder that “Democrat Victory Lap” turns up such disappointing Google Search results. (Seriously… exactly one story used the word “Gleeful”) Apparently blood isn’t the only thing you can’t squeeze from turnips.