The Republicans thought that health-care reform would be Barack Obama's Waterloo, but as the British might say, what the GOP got is water in the loo and their party is now circling the drain.
Under other circumstances, this would merely be a crushing legislative defeat. But being on the wrong side of history on HCR is the other shoe dropping, the first being Obama's victory in 2008, and this one will have devastating consequences for a party that 16 months after the Democrats retook the White House and Congress seems bent on irrelevance as it wanders around in the electoral wilderness bereft of ideas and leadership.
The Republicans' post-HCR passage strategy of "repeal and replace" is dead on arrival. So is fighting on the state level to have HCR declared as being unconstitutional. And so is the idea of its candidates campaigning in the fall on the promise of repealing certain provisions of a centrist plan that, in fact, closely mirrors plans put forward by the few Republicans who offered alternatives.
So caught up was the GOP in scratching the tummy of its shrinking base and scoring points with Fox News by demonizing Obama and describing HCR in apocalyptic terms that any walkback will be greeted with derision because the party never paused to consider that reform affects real people across the political spectrum and not just the 32 million people who will now be insured, the underinsured, and those denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
And addresses the yawning income disparity between rich and poor that is substantially a result of the GOP's addiction to coddling the wealthiest Americans while under regulating the institutions that have widened the gulf between Wall Street and Main Street.
To the surprise of no one who doesn't live under a bridge or in a cave, public opinion polls show a healthy bounce in HCR approval since it passed the House on Sunday, while many people not only approve of it but view this apocalypse as a first step to further reforms.
Now that the Democrats have looked between their legs and found that they do indeed have balls, they need to stay on the offensive until November and portray the opposition for what it is -- a flash mob of hysterical, hypocritical and bigoted faux Christians whose mission over the past year has been not to serve the public interest but to try to destroy it.TOP IMAGE:
"The Battle of Waterloo" by Clément-Auguste Andrieux