Doubling Down

Doubling Down

by digby

For all the talk about David Frum's declaration of GOP Waterloo, the Republicans are having none of it:

The debate over how the Republican Party should handle the passage of health care legislation has, indeed, been a relatively one-sided affair in the hours since the House voted 219 to 212 on Sunday to put the Senate's version of reform into law. From the halls of Congress to the airwaves of cable news, the GOP has spun a narrative in which they emerge as the big beneficiaries of the Democrats' victory. Even as the debate was happening, members of the Republican Party were placing fliers on the seats of Democratic lawmakers, warning them that they'd be booted from office in 2010. Once the tally became clear, the unwillingness to compromise seemed cemented even further.

"I completely disagree that we played this wrong," Rep. John Campbell (R-Cali.) told the Huffington Post. "What they proposed was just directionally opposite of where we want to go. If you think you ought to go south... and someone is dragging you north, going halfway north instead of all the way north doesn't get you where you need to go."

Instead of self-reflection, the Republican conversation immediately turned to just how forcefully they would and should push for repeal of the bill. A seemingly distraught Frum took to the pages of to ask: "What the hell do we Republicans do now?... Do Republicans write a one-sentence bill declaring that the whole thing is repealed?"

That's exactly what Michele Bachman proposes.

I have no doubt that the midterms will be seen as the determining factor on this. If the Republicans take control of one or both houses, the CW will immediately hold that health care was a mistake and they'll start trying to dismantle it. The Democrats think there are too many booby traps to do that and so the GOP will find themselves tied up in knots trying to keep the popular stuff while getting rid of the unpopular.

I don't think this radical GOP will have any trouble passing this stuff if they are in the majority, but Obama obviously won't sign it and it's unlikely they can find enough votes to override. (That's not a guaranteed, however....) So, their real weapon will be to harrass, investigate, interrogate and otherwise blow smoke through 2012.

And don't think they aren't good at doing that because they are. It's going to be quite a show if they win. Let's hope this emerging vacuous CW that Obama wants to lose his majority so that he will be re-elected, is wrong. It won't help him.