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Obama will, of course, veto any budget that contains this language, and the 1995-1996 government shutdown will be back with us over new issues with new antagonists.
But the centrality of the health care issue in this coming debate assures Republican success. Obama can butt his head against the stone wall of public determination to rid our country of this terrible law. But all he will be doing is to assure that his party loses in 2012 any seats they might have happened to hang onto in 2010 and that he returns to the private sector.
Through the mechanism of the pledge and the dynamics of the efforts to defund the health care changes, the authorization debate of 2010 will now play out in the appropriation debate of 2011, with results equally disastrous for the standing of the Democratic Party with the voters.
Ultimately, the Democrats of 2010 are paying the price of their arrogance in ignoring public opinion and substituting their own ideas and opinions for the views of their electorates. When voters have been as well informed as they were during the health care debate, they expect their opinions to be heard and heeded.
But when Sen. Blanche Lincoln ignored the overwhelming opposition of her voters to health care changes and voted yes, despite the opposition of almost 70 percent of her state, she was indulging in the sin of pride — and her punishment is coming, massively, next week.
But the casualties of Obama’s arrogance are only just beginning to be felt. The repeal effort will gather steam as the 2011-2012 cycle unfolds. Obama’s health care law will serve as a big drain on Democratic fortunes for years to come.
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