The Democrats passed Health Care Reform. They passed Financial Services Reform. And though they’ll likely not get credit for it for some time they passed the admittedly inadequate Stimulus Bill that prevented another Great Depression.
If the Democrats get clobbered in November, those accomplishments won’t disappear. They’re banked. And they were worth doing. They are the sorts of things it’s worth contesting and winning elections for. In 2011 and 2012, they won’t be going anywhere because of President Obama’s veto pen. And even if the Republicans continued on a roll in 2012 and 2014, which I find doubtful, I think these reforms, like so many before them, would prove difficult to dislodge. By the end of the decade Michael Steele will be explaining how Health Care Reform was really passed on Republican votes.
I am generally loath to post this kind of Pollyanna “even if we lose…” junk. That said, his larger point — that Democrats have accomplished notable victories since 2010, and that those accomplishments will survive regardless of how the midterm elections go — is valid not as forest-for-the-trees affirmation for Democrats, but as a rebuttal from Democrats to any candidate who suggests that he or she would “repeal Obamacare” if elected.
Simply put, no you will not.
As Marshall noted, President Obama will have veto power in 2011 and 2012 over any legislation that would attempt to undercut the HCR bill. While it is true that a veto can be overridden, raise your hand if you think that Republicans, even in this political climate, are going to suddenly have 290 votes in the House (they currently hold 178 seats) and 67 votes in the Senate. (If you have your hand up, please reconsider any plans to procreate.)
Given this general state of things, it baffles me that someone on the Democrat side hasn’t pointed this out, loudly, and used it to demonstrate how clueless and/or disingenuous the “I will repeal” crowd really is. Timmy! Griffin, for example, has already managed to cast his campaign as being as much against the spectre of Nancy Pelosi as against Joyce Elliott; it would be nice if Elliott would at least hammer him on ridiculously empty promises.