50 Votes

by digby

So the AMA came out in oppositione to a public plan. Anyone who is surprised by that hasn't been paying attention. They were always going to fight any effort to control costs because one of the main costs is them. (The AMA has always been mostly a bunch of rich conservatives. There are other, newer physician groups who are far less reflexively ideological.)

Meanwhile, we have the Dean with yet another onanistic paean to bipartisanship:

The goal of the Obama White House is to come up with a health-care plan that can attract bipartisan support. The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85 percent of what he wants rather than a 100 percent satisfactory bill that passes 52 to 48.
There is good reason for that preference. When you are changing the way one-sixth of the American economy is organized and altering life for patients, doctors, hospitals and insurers, you need that kind of a strong launch if the result is to survive the inevitable vagaries of the shakedown period.

Right-o. Hardly worth doing if it isn't bipartisan. Except everything he says is total bs.

Here's Howie Klein with a little reminder of how this actually works:

In 1932 when FDR and the New Dealers rolled up their sleeves and set about to rescue the country from a Great Depression caused by decades of unfettered corporate excesses and grotesque Republican misrule, the Republicans went on an orgy of obstructionism. When Social Security came up for a vote in the House, not a single Republican voted in favor-- not one. Instead, it was seared into the minds of voters that the GOP was the Party of Sore Losers. While FDR was busy rescuing and rebuilding, the Republican Party decided to re-brand the Democrats... as socialists. And how did that work out for them? When Hoover won the presidency in 1928, on the eve of the Depression, 270 Republicans were elected to the House and the Senate had a 56-35 seat GOP majority. Republicans with a world view identical to that of John Boehner, Miss McConnell, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh put together their multi-cycle obstructionism/rebranding strategy which resulted in a loss of nearly 200 House seats by 1936. That's right; the GOP sank from 270 seats to just 88 in the House. And their healthy majority in the Senate? After the 1936 election their 56 seats dwindled down to just 17 impotent, barking chihuahuas.

The Democrats only need 50 votes to pass health care reform and the country will be grateful for it for a long time to come. This idea that everyone has to sign on is just utter and complete nonsense --- a foolish beltway truism born of some fantasy about 'Ole Tip and Ronnie throwing down martinis after work. People do not care how many senators voted for something. They desperately need health security --- this problem is metaphorically killing the economy and literally killing the citizens. Just pass the damn bill.

Correction: The voting numbers above are incorrect at least as pertains to the final passage, according to the Social Security web site, here. Republicans did vote for the final bill.

But their demagoguing of the bill was not forgotten by the American people and they did suffer a huge loss in the mid-terms.