March 21, 2010

Do they have the votes? Don't you think the MSM would be more doubt-crushingly optimistic if they did?

Democrats late Saturday night said the 216 votes needed to pass the bill were nearly within their reach, but acknowledged that the margin of victory would likely be razor thin even under their most optimistic scenario. Republicans said they still held out hope of derailing the legislation.
House leaders were working to secure their votes late Saturday...

Senior Democrats predicted a cliffhanger when the House is expected to vote Sunday night, saying they are likely to clear the 216-vote threshold for final passage by the narrowest of margins. Democratic leaders huddled in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late into the evening, reviewing the final list of commitments.
Former President Bill Clinton made several phone calls Saturday to lobby wavering Democrats to sign on to the health care reform bill, Democratic sources told CNN.

Clinton made phone calls to an unspecified number of House Democrats on Saturday as leaders tried to round up the 216 necessary votes to pass the bill.
According to CNN's latest count, 33 House Democrats plan to vote against the legislation. Thirty-eight Democratic "no" votes are needed to kill the bill....
UPDATE: CNN is reporting some statements from the Sunday morning shows:
"This is a historic day and we are happy warriors," Rep. John Larson, D- Connecticut, told CNN's "State of the Union." He added, "We've got the votes."
Oh? You've got the 216 votes?
But the chief deputy whip in the House, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, cautioned, "We don't have a hard 216 right now." Schultz made the statement to "Fox News Sunday" just as Larson was speaking to CNN.

Wasserman Schultz added, "I firmly believe we will have 216."
I watched that show and noticed how Wasserman Schultz was careful not to claim to have the votes. And she was really trying to put a happy face on the Democrats' struggle — which was pretty hard to do in the presence of Paul Ryan (the other guest) and Chris Wallace. At one point, when Ryan was talking dollar amounts, she accused him of being "in the weeds" and changed the subject to breast cancer and rushed to a punchline about how she's tired of the way insurance companies act like being a woman is a pre-existing condition. It seemed really desperate — like she'd gone into automatic mode. Or maybe she thought the guys — Chris and Paul — were irritating so she'd use her time to rope in the female viewers who must be out there.


Deborah M. said...

I believe that if they had the votes, they would have voted before minds could be changed. What does it say that they were still working on getting the votes "late into the night?" And that they called in the big guns?

vet66 said...

Not only are they still working to secure the necessary votes, plus one, they are worrying about those who may change their mind at the time of the vote.

I wonder who would welcome the historical place of dishonor as the one who cast vote number 216? These cowards need the cover of vote 217 to provide cover to the weak characters who succumbed to the arm-twisting.

wv: plaeque- what clogs the arteries of congress rendering them unable to remember who they represent.

knox said...

Hm. Sure hope that's the case.

But I'd be shocked, shocked! if it didn't pass.

1775OGG said...

Wonder what bag of parliamentary tricks will be pulled out of Pelosi's House bag before this day is done?

Aw, I'll check back in after coming back from a wonderful cup of Mickie D's coffee; it's cheap too.

Jason (the commenter) said...

knox, save some shock for when the Senate doesn't pass the House "fix" bill.

Anonymous said...

They have the votes, or Pelosi would still be in coup-planning mode and DemonPass would still be on the table.

This will pass the House, but reconciliation will not pass the Senate and the stage is set for a total sweep out of all politicians (Republicans and Democrats) in Washington, D.C. on November 2.

Republicans are just as much to blame for this fucking mess. Lots of them were forced to retire after accepting bribes (Duke Cunningham) or trying to suck people's cocks in airport bathrooms (Larry Craig) or text-molesting House pages (Mark Foley) or stripping us of our free speech rights to criticize these very politicians (John McCain).

Don't forget that how we got here is that Republicans fucked up.

Nancy Pelosi was made Speaker of the House by George W. Bush's insistence that Republicans cut Social Security.

How's that working out?

mesquito said...

Nancy Pelosi was made Speaker of the House because Mark Foley sent naughty texts to pages.

Peter V. Bella said...

They may have the votes. But do they have the votes in November? Clinton making phone calls? What could he offer anyone? A bigger target than the President?

Kensington said...

NewHam, I'm all for heaping well-deserved scorn, ridicule and contempt upon the GOP in general, but, please, don't lose sight: this is the Democrats' fault, first and foremost.

"How we got here" is mainly by way of the Democrat Party morphing into the Fascist Party.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton Phone Appeal:

"A year ago, Barack Obama have been fetching us coffee."

I'm Full of Soup said...

The bill will pass definitely is my prediction. And it will be repealed within 36 months.

Anonymous said...

"How we got here" is mainly by way of the Democrat Party morphing into the Fascist Party."

Well, I don't know that they've morphed into the Fascist Party. Democrats have always been the fascist Party, but they haven't had the votes to enact their beliefs.

Now they have them, largely because Republicans seem too eager to "reach across the aisle" and help them.

That shit has to stop and the best way to get there is to remind Republicans (such as Mitt "Hussein" Romney) that there is a price to be paid for consorting with the enemy.

AllenS said...

NewHam said...
"...Democrats have always been the fascist Party"

I don't know how old you are, but I remember when most of the Democrats were just ordinary politicians, just like Republicans.

Anonymous said...

I am heartened by the NY Times' take on this.

If you read between the lines, you can get the real story.

When the Times says that there are 216 votes "within their reach" that means they don't have them yet. The fact that the NY Times would even talk to a Republican means there may yet be a glimmer of hope.

You could easily rewrite their lead paragraph this way and it would still be accurate:

"House Republicans appear to have the momentum going into Sunday's vote against Barack Obama's health insurance tax increase as Democrats today admitted they still do not have the 216 votes required for passage and party bigwigs say they expect that the vote margin to be razor thin."

It's all in which narrative you want to be presented.

The NY Times writes the story from their preferred narrative, but the facts speak for themselves.

Unknown said...

Liberals, progressives, Democrats, socialists are all fascist. They have an infinite faith in the goodness and intelligence of politicians and bureaucrats. They are willing to empower government taking freedom away from individuals. Socialist? Fascist? Some combination of both, but unquestionably statists.

Anonymous said...

More domestic terrorists committing acts of racism.

They're cleverly camouflaged as mere elderly voters - but don't be fooled.

They're al Queda Qlanners out to destroy Barack Obama's presidency.

Unknown said...

85% chance of passing according to Intrade. That means they have the votes. The only question is if somebody renegs at the last minute. I give that, oh, a 15% chance of happening.

Unknown said...

So the majority party may squeak out a one vote margin on the most major legislation of the last 40 years against strong bipartisan opposition. What a triumph for Obama.

Unknown said...

Actually eve, I suspect that they have about a 5 vote margin. But it will probably pass by 1 vote, as they will let the other 4 (from the toughest districts) vote no in order to help their election prospects.

It doesn't matter how the majority is. If it passes - it is the law of the land.

hawkeyedjb said...

So the marginal price of a Congressperson has not yet been determined; big deal. The bidding will continue until it is. There is, on the demand side of the equation, an unlimited amount of Other People's Money, while the supply side has smart people with a For Sale sign and an as-yet unrevealed asking price. When your wallet starts to feel empty, you will know the two curves have intersected.

Scott said...

This bill will pass.

Saul Alinsky predicted in Rules for Radicals that when the left took over, we would complain but do nothing.

If we love this country, this grand experiment in liberty, we have to work relentlessly to prove the Alinsky left wrong by defeating the Uglycrats at every turn.

chickelit said...

Oh look DTL showed up to gloat.

I'll bet there's better than an 85% chance that he turns nasty and starts calling people names.

themightypuck said...

It would be nice that if the Dems pass this and concede the House in November they could do some uselful stuff in the meantime like tackling Social Security and Medicare. If you are already going to lose why not take a whack at the third rail.

Anonymous said...

Where are the Republicans?

Why has it been the grassroots Tea Party that has made the effective case against this bill, and not the opposition party that is, ya' know, actually in office?

I'll tell you why:

Because the Republicans spent the last decade wallowing in corruption, tossing out the doublespeak bullshit, spending money like there was no tomorrow, and exhibiting a complete lack of principles themselves!

The old white Republicans in office care more about maintaining their position and continuing their corruption than doing what's best for the country. After this bill passes, the old fogies ought to RESIGN - all of them! - and make way for untainted new folks like Scott Brown.

Tomorrow you should blame your disappointment primarily on the failure of Republicans to be an opposition party. The Democrats are acting like Democrats here. What else did you think would happen?!

Scott said...

"The old white Republicans..."

Leave it to you to inject race into the issue.

Zachary Sire said...

Duh, the media is making this--like they make everything--a horse race in order to retain an audience. The more drama, the better.

Whether or not they have the votes, and I believe they do, is irrelevant.

PatCA said...

"...reviewing the final list of commitments." You mean, the final list of bribes?

Unknown said...

I think this hideous mess of a bill will pass, and I am pissed. I'm pissed at myself for not paying attention; I'm pissed at my fellow voters for the same reason, and I'm most definitely pissed at the schmucks in Congress on both sides of the aisle. We've let them lie and steal for too long, but that still makes them liars and thieves. I have at least two lessons learned. CBO estimates are a joke, and the filthy bastards in the House had the audacity to even pretend that they might pass a bill without voting on it. Of course, they haven't read it, so what's the difference? America, we've got a lot of cleaning up to do.

Automatic_Wing said...

Yes, the passage of the health bill will be entirely the fault of all the people who voted against it. Makes perfect sense.

SFC B said...

I really dislike when elected officials assume the language of combat to describe their actions in the pursuit of their political agenda. Seeing a congressperson say they're like a "warrior" offends me on a very personal level.

Peter V. Bella said...

Because the Republicans spent the last decade wallowing in corruption, tossing out the doublespeak bullshit, spending money like there was no tomorrow, and exhibiting a complete lack of principles themselves!
The Democrats had their forty year reign to rape, pillage, plunder, lie, steal, cheat, and salt the earth behind them.

It will stake another forty years to unod their damage.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

The democrat shtick is way past tired. They can't even answer a question without going into pre-recorded mode.

Bob Ellison said...

They have the votes. They probably had them on Thursday, when they said the vote would be Sunday. That's the whole point of this timing: they don't want to go back on the 72-hour posting promise. Yesterday, they dropped the Slaughter plan, showing even more confidence that a simple vote will do it.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

The bag of tricks now:
Fool the Stupak group with some sort of "Executive order/promise" from Obama all while making sure not to piss-off the pro-abortion votes. At the same time!

It will all be meaningless. But the objective is to provide political cover, and little else.

Integrity, character and principle are not part of this vote today.

Chip Ahoy said...

Bitch, bitch, bitch. That's all you idiots ever do.



I guess we'll never see on Althouse how to produce lemon meringue cookies. Not here. I guess Althouse just doesn't care about tasty light cookies. I wonder why that is. Here, look at this:,1-0,lemon_meringue_cookie,FF.html


Apologies ↑, I feel mischievous right now. As to the subject of the post, I do believe this first portion will pass. They won't vote until that moment they're confident it will pass with a few safety votes. Pelosi may be the unbearable dim-wit we've learned her to be, completely 100% of out of touch with the nation outside her own unique taught rarified circle, but she's a positive savant when it comes to House machinations. She'll deliver. My heart will glee and fill with renewed warmth if we're shown otherwise, but my spidey-senses along with being bludgeoned bloody for a full year inform me that is not to be. Just yet.

You know what astounds me presently? Two things. 1) For all the axiomatic 'learn from history or repeat it' and all the historical instruction that Socialism is fail, how resolute the Left declares itself to repeat that lesson. They will not be satisfied until the whole nation is dragged through that dreadful destructive debilitating mess, then in the end when the inevitable lesson is re-learned, the blame for the clearly visible catastrophic fail will be projected off themselves. That's the pattern. 2) Straight up associating Socialism with civilization. You hear that all the time, "every other civilized nation provides healthcare for its citizens." As if those other systems were themselves flawless, and fealty to State an improvement over life in the United States.

Do not question patriotism. Oh, no. These people do love their country alright, insofar as they can wrench it into something wildly different by 'progressing' straight into overweening government.

The newspapers, we're seeing a rare fleeting moment of introspection and self-doubt.

Unknown said...

I see garage/dtl/Julius are up spreading the FUD the way Kos told them.

Ann said...

"Do they have the votes? Don't you think the MSM would be more doubt-crushingly optimistic if they did?"

Deborah said...

I believe that if they had the votes, they would have voted before minds could be changed. What does it say that they were still working on getting the votes "late into the night?" And that they called in the big guns?

That's the point. They weren't like this in October two years ago. As I've said the last couple of days, if Pelosi Galore had the votes, it would only take 10 minutes or so to move it up and do the actual count. More to the point, "the big guns", as Deborah's noted, would not be needed if this were a done deal.

Especially Willie. Does anybody really think Barry wants to owe the Li'l Rock crowd anything?

Also consider the post Ann did on Barry's lame pep talk last night and the reception it got. This does not sound like a group ready to go over the top. I think the fact that The Zero wants them to throw themselves on their collective swords to save his Presidency is looking like it isn't worth it to them. It's one thing to do it for a principle, but for the vainest human being in the world not so much.

AllenS said...

NewHam said...
"...Democrats have always been the fascist Party"

I don't know how old you are, but I remember when most of the Democrats were just ordinary politicians, just like Republicans.

Good point and nicely stated. There was a time there were Democrats who believed in this country and just wanted to help people who had hit a rough patch. The Fascists have become a larger and larger factor over the last forty years.

I'm Full of Soup said...

The growing federal uniformity saps the dynamism and appeal of states that are growing econmically and offer broader cultural opportunities.

Federal uniformity will eliminate that spirit from the American way. Why move now when all the states will be similar - less free and with few opportunities?

Peter V. Bella said...

Old Dad,
Do not be pissed at your self. This atrocity would have passed anyway. They have not been listening to the voters and they do not care.

Get involved. Make sure any candidate you support in the future pledges to repeal this beast. Hold their feet to the fire. History can be made and Pelosi's legacy destroyed.

X said...

why buy health insurance? it's going to be more expensive. the fine will be much less and you can now wait until you have an existing condition before you waste money on health insurance before you need it.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that they want to create the impression that the outcome is uncertain, that the vote is a cliff-hanger for the obvious purpose of making the eventual victory that much more dramatic.

Look for (exactly) 216 ayes. Look for one of those ayes to come forward and say that he was planning to vote against the bill until yesterday's ("lackluster") appearance by Obama.

The bill itself matters less now than Obama's stature, and the process is being choreographed with the future of the Obama presidency in mind.

jvermeer51 said...

Get real people. The voted margin may be thin, just like it was choreographed the first time. But do you really think all those "No's" are real? Liberals lie. They regard the people as stupid, vicious and evil, therefore, fooling them to get elected or legislate is justified. Liberals in safe districts can be truthful, but not the ones in flyover country. Anytime the blue dogs are the last line between this country and the anti-democratic/authoritarian movement of liberalism, they'll suddenly finds all kinds of clever reasons to betray the country.

X said...

I think I'd rather pay the government a $750 or so a year fine than pool my funds with a bunch of old & sick people who'll want to use them up. No need to pay before the time comes now. It's not prudent.

Obamacare is going to work like a giant tax hike with all the fines they'll be collecting. One of those unintended consequences I'm sure, kind of like putting private insurance out of business will be too.

AlphaLiberal said...

A report from a Capitol Hill aide on the rude and disrespectful tactics of the Tea Party gang:

" [I]t was ugly up here today. A complete disrespect for the people and institutions. The well-reported racial slurs and attacks on Barney Frank's sexuality, but also the little things. At 9am some Tea Partiers were putting a paper placard above a Member's name outside his door that said "I am stupid" and taking a photo. I shook my head at the disrespect and after I turned the corner, yelled at my back was, "You don't agree? Then you are, too."

Or at lunch when my colleague was "boxed out" from the Coke machine by a group of Tea Partiers who used their bodies to keep him from buying a Coke.

Or when I left today and the Capitol grounds were littered w/ trash and discarded protest signs.

Unfortunately I have more stories like that, but you get the idea.... I wonder if I'm watching the death throes of Movement Conservatism up close and personal.

Conservatism will never die (nor should it) and arguably the Democratic plan is conservative in the little c sense by keeping and enriching all the entrenched players.

But Movement Conservatism is definitely dying. You know the kind that thinks a .07 increase in the Medicare tax for those making over 100k ruins America's competitiveness but double-digit inflation in health care costs doesn't. Or 400Billion in tax cuts and another 300 billion investments in infrastructure is something to rally against rather than a major legislative victory.

Or the Movement Conservatism that blows a gasket because the cost of two wars are accounted for rather than being done off-budget. Or, hell, the Movement Conservatism that objects to PAY-GO legislation.

I wonder if I was watching people's worldviews breakdown before their eyes. And they had nothing left but to name call, spit and litter as a form of futile and immature protest."

Courtesy of the estimable Steve Benen.

mesquito said...

Ehat Alpha Liberal said.

Plus, "Halliburton."

Anonymous said...

Steven Benen has a history of racism and spitting on people in his background and his family were slaveowners.

Nothing that cracker writes is credible.

Anonymous said...

My God the Ku Klux Klanners (AlphaLiberal and his merry band of sheet wearers) are out in full force today.

X said...

Be patriotic, cancel your health insurance tomorrow.

The fines help reduce the public debt and the insurance will now not insure against anything bad happening because you'll be able to get it when you need it. Those are the new rules. It's cruel to deny someone insurance coverage once they are sick. So don't send your money to evil insurance companies. Send some to Washington and keep some for yourself. Win-win.

Roger J. said...

I am with AJ Lynch. The bill Will pass by a very small margin, a few dems will get cover to vote no to protect their sorry butts, but I am not sure this whole thing is over--Interesting times ahead.

vet66 said...

Alpha; so what you are saying is that when the "unwashed masses" that Harry can smell coming for a visit don't agree with your cloistered world view they are dooming their movement? It has been my experience that when someone you disagree with throws down a, say protest sign, it would be prudent to prepare for what they are planning to do next.

Life does not revolve around the echo chamber of Georgetown or wherever the alpha liberals hole up to congratulate each other on their brilliance. You are in way over your head and manage to convince us that you know how to parrot talking points and little else.

Before WWII began in earnest with Pearl Harbor many people talked like you. We called them isolationists. Imagine their surprise when people got mad and did something about it. You underestimate flyover resolve...

Anonymous said...

There is a fawning profile of Wasserman Schultz and her DC roommates, Carolyn Maloney and Melissa Bean, in the March issue of More. They were contrasted with conservative Christian congressmen who room together and cheat on their wives. Wasserman Schultz recently had breast cancer. Maybe she said that on the program.

I wish I were optimistic that the bill would be defeated.

David said...

I don't read much into these comments.

Even if they are sure they have 216 votes, they will keep up the full court press to the end. There's too much at stake not too.

The vote will be close, but they might even have votes in reserve. All the history books say that the House passed the military draft by one vote in 1940--otherwise we might not have been ready for war. When I was in grad school in history, one of my classmates wrote a paper proving beyond doubt that there were 10-15 more votes in reserve, and that the leadership let them vote no because their votes were not essential. These facts never make the history books though.

My guess is that the same will be true here. The dems simply will not let this be voted down.

michaele said...

I do not find a NO vote as acceptable cover for a blue dog Dem. to get my vote in Nov. One of the goals should be to get rid of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker so as few as possible Dems should be reelected.

Jim Howard said...

The will get the votes. There is no such thing as a conservative Democrat.

Joe M. said...

At one point, when Ryan was talking dollar amounts, she accused him of being "in the weeds" and changed the subject.

1) Weeds matter if your opponent is trying to plant a garden of them.

2) Perhaps kudzu is a more apt metaphor.

PatCA said...

I think they have the votes. I think the NYT et al. sound subdued because they know this is a massive and historic mistake and that the people clearly don't want it. After all these years of admiring leftism, they now smell the beast slouching towards their Bethlehem and they're a little scared.

Unknown said...

They got the votes!

Democracy is a wonderful thing.