I’ve been nervous all week, but good Lord, the Democrats did the right thing.  For once.  Despite the vindictive Republican resistance, the Democrats control both houses, so if they couldn’t do it, it would’ve been their fault.  But victory makes a lot of complaints moot.  As with the election itself, Obama’s strategy looked risky and sometimes head-shakingly improbable… only it worked.  So maybe he knows what he’s doing more than the pundits think.

The argument isn’t going to end now, so you may want to re-read Unca Zomp’s previous summaries:

And don’t forget that the health care reform was not passed with reconciliation.   The Senate passed it already.  The second bill, to adjust the bill more toward the House’s original law, was what went through reconciliation– which is just a majority vote, and something Republicans very happily used when they were in power.

We’ve probably learned a lot more in the last year than we ever wanted to about how major legislation gets passed.  It’s not a pretty process– though from what I’ve heard the bill is a lot more coherent and less porky than, say, the stimulus package (which was vitiated by bad ideas like tax cuts… whatever the good of tax cuts in general, what we needed to avoid a depression was spending, and than tax cuts aren’t the best at producing that).

What’s sad, though it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, is how much the Republicans have degenerated.  It’d be possible to make a case against health care reform.  It wouldn’t look very nice (“the uninsured should face health disasters and financial ruin”), but it could be done.  But the Republican position has been “HELL NO BIRTHER TEA PARTY BUGS ARE CRAWLING ON MY SKIN AAAAAAH CTHULHU RL’YEH FHTAGN.”  It’s worked pretty well for them up to now.

But I’d venture to say that they’re not going to accomplish much more with it.   They’ve lost their best weapon: the fact that the bill was in process.  The many versions of the bill made it hard for supporters push it; and it’s always easier to oppose something that’s not done yet.  They’re going to talk about repeal, but for that they’d need 2/3 of both houses– not the most realistic of plans.  Unfortunately, there’s no longer anything pushing Republicans away from craziness; brace yourselves for much more of it.