The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel writes:
President Obama flew to Pennsylvania (home to five wavering House Democrats), Missouri (three wavering), Ohio (eight), and Virginia (four) to hold rallies with small, supportive crowds. In four days, Mr. Obama held 64 meetings or calls with congressmen. The goal was to let undecideds know that the president had them in his crosshairs, that he still had pull with the base, and he’d use it against them. By Saturday the tactic had yielded yes votes from at least half the previously undecided members of those states.
As for those who needed more persuasion: California Rep. Jim Costa bragged publicly that during his meeting in the Oval Office, he’d demanded the administration increase water to his Central Valley district. On Tuesday, Interior pushed up its announcement, giving the Central Valley farmers 25% of water supplies, rather than the expected 5% allocation. Mr. Costa, who denies there was a quid pro quo, on Saturday said he’d flip to a yes.
Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (whose district is home to the Kennedy Space Center) admitted that in her own Thursday meeting with the president, she’d brought up the need for more NASA funding. On Friday she flipped to a yes. So watch the NASA budget.
Democrats inserted a new provision providing $100 million in extra Medicaid money for Tennessee. Retiring Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon flipped to a yes vote on Thursday.
Outside heavies were enlisted to warn potential no votes that unions and other Democrats would run them out of Congress. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee liberal challenging Blue Dog Florida Rep. Allen Boyd in a primary, made Mr. Boyd’s previous no vote the centerpiece of his criticism. The SEIU threatened to yank financial support for New York’s Michael McMahon. The liberal Working Families Party said it would deny him a ballot line. Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand vowed to challenge South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin if she voted no. New York’s Scott Murphy was targeted as a part of a $1.3 million union-financed ad campaign to pressure him to flip. Moveon.Org spent another $36,000 on ads in his district and promised a primary. Messrs. Boyd and Murphy caved on Friday.
Into Saturday night, Michigan’s Bart Stupak and Mrs. Pelosi wrangled over options. The stalemate? Any change that gave Mr. Stupak what he wanted in law would lose votes from pro-choice members. The solution? Remove it from Congress altogether, having the president instead sign a meaningless executive order affirming that no public money should go to pay for abortions.
The order won’t change the Senate legal language—as pro-choice Democrats publicly crowed within minutes of the Stupak deal. Executive orders can be changed or eliminated on a whim. Pro-life groups condemned the order as the vote-getting ruse it was. Nevertheless, Mr. Stupak and several of his colleagues voted yes, paving the way to Mrs. Pelosi’s final vote tally of 219.
Read it all, and weep, scream, throw something, whatever. I would understand completely. It’s just disgusting. All of it. This is the “change” promised by ObamaCo prior to the 2008 elections?
All of this is to give the President a “major accomplishment” for his first year and a half in office, to, in effect, give our government control over a sixth of the US economy. Funny they call this “health care” because this isn’t about your “health” nor do they “care” if you even have “care.” It’s a power thing. They say they don’t want to get in the middle of you and your doctor when making healthcare decisions, but we know that’s not true. It’s another in a long list of outright lies spewed by this administration and its cohorts in the House and Senate and, of course, the MSM.
Think Stupak was still tortured after all was said and done on his decision to vote yes thanks to that meaningless “anti-abortion” EO issued by BarryO? Think again:
What better way to celebrate passing history-making legislation than kicking back at a dive bar famous for its cheap beer and taxidermy-heavy décor? A large group of House Democrats defied cigar-and-champagne stereotypes by partying down until the wee hours after the health care vote at the decidedly downscale Tune Inn on Pennsylvania Avenue.
HOH spies say the gaggle of jubilant Democrats included Rep. John Larson (Conn.), who got a roar of welcome when he entered the bar; Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), who was briefly spotted standing behind the bar, handing out drinks; and Reps. John Boccieri (Ohio), Melissa Bean (Ill.), Tom Perriello (Va.) and Jerry Costello (Ill.).
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who had been the center of attention all weekend after resisting the abortion-related language in the bill but ultimately voting for the package, was among Tune Inn’s revelers. An HOH spy says Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) planted a giant kiss on Stupak’s cheek.
In the meantime, the unborn cry.
Nevertheless, the fight must continue on.