A reader writes:
Oh please ... ”contempt" for the electorate”? As I recall, the bill passed with 219 votes precisely because Congress and the President were empowered by the electorate in 2008. Perhaps Megan thinks we should just dispatch with the whole notion of elections and just leave decisions up to Rasmussen and Gallup. Perhaps the pollsters could set up shop at the Capitol and the White House. What a thought! Voters don’t just vote for ideas, but for representatives, who tend to be extraordinarily useful in making reasonable decisions when unreasonable minority factions are scaring the shit out of everyone else.
Her post strikes me as a bit hysterical, and it seems as if Megan has no recollection of 2000 through 2008. As I recall there were a number of things that happened during those years that did not satisfy the will of the people. The 2003 House vote on the Medicare Modernization Act, where the GOP leadership held the vote open for hours (literally in the middle of the night), while twisting arms with some pretty craven tactics, seemed far worse than anything we have seen in the past week.
I am not sure what Megan means by "legislative innovations." Does she mean a straight up or down vote after a year of debate and negotiations? Does she mean reconciliation, a move used by Republicans and Democrats alike for years? The only "innovation" we saw this weekend was Democrats not backing down.
The will of the people was clearly expressed in November 2008 when Obama won the presidency with a clear mandate and the Democrats won overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. Health care reform was a central part of Obama's campaign as well as the campaigns of many Democratic Reps and Senators. Health care reform was not some wild surprise Obama sprung on the American people after he tricked them into electing him. I don't think polls should be totally ignored, but I think that election day is the ultimate poll.
Also, she seems only interested in Congress honoring the will of certain people. My rep, Luis Guiterrez, was threatening to vote no. I and many others called and wrote to his office to urge him to vote yes. He listened to his constituents and voted yes. He was honoring the will of the people in his district. I also wrote to my senators, Obama, and Pelosi. Why should some Tea Party protester's desires trump mine? McArdle ignores the fact that there are millions of regular citizens like me communicating with their legislators, and even more who silently wanted this legislation to pass.
Sometimes the other side just wins - it doesn't mean the end of the country as we know it, and it doesn't mean that they cheated. I have only read a few things here and there by McArdle, but that post pretty much guarantees that I won't be reading much more by her. Not because she disagrees about HCR but because of the lack of intellectual honesty displayed in that posting.