Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lessons From the Health Care Battle

Elections have consequences.

Landslides have greater consequences.

Political power is power.

Overwhelming control of both Houses of Congress and the Presidency is power.

Never underestimate the power of your base, nor turn them off, especially the large contributors.

Profiles in Courage awards should go to those who vote against their President, political leaders, and their base when their vote makes a difference.

Both parties give passes to members whose votes are no longer necessary.

One who wins office by 3,000 votes, or 200 votes, has the same vote in the House or Senate as one who wins by 50,000 votes or 500,000.

A win is a win.

The ends justify the means in politics.

An immediate political victory trumps an election 8, 38, or 58 months in the future. Eight months is an eternity in politics. Anything, including miracles, can happen in the interim.

Primary campaigns have more urgency than general elections.

Politicians often live in a cocoon.

To coop or neutralize potential opponents early in the process is basic politics.

Bipartisanship is greatly overrated.

Legislators are not guided by economics, history, legal or constitutional questions, but love fig leaves and cover.

Members of Congress usually don’t read the bills they vote on, much less a 2,700 page bill with 72 hours notice.

A Congress cannot always overturn an enactment.

These precepts apply to both parties.

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