Sunday, March 21, 2010

608. Yes We Can 219-212

March 21, 2010 - about an hour ago.

Someday a generation or two from now, this will be one of those dates that that one smart kid in Social Studies class will remember. The question, in 10th grade Social Studies, will be posed "When did the United States pass its Healthcare Reform legislation?" It'll be a question like "When did the United States pass Civil Rights reforms?" or "When did the United States create the Social Security program?" Most of us can usually answer that "such-and-such" a program was created when "so-and-so" was president. Actually the list of presidents pushing and enacting progressive legislation is pretty limited. Once you get past FDR and LBJ, there is a second tier with names like Taft, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and the other Roosevelt. A new name got added tonight - Obama.

President Obama delivered on Healthcare. With the help of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many others, the United States House of Representatives passed Healthcare Reform tonight by a vote of 219-212. The measure, supported solely by Democrats, was pushed across the threshold of 216 votes by anti-abortion Democrat Bart Stupak, congressman from Michigan's First District (northern Michigan and the UP) since 1993. It was a sort of Nixon-goes-to-China moment - the progressive legislation only happening because someone who wasn't expected to be there when it counted was. Thank you Congressman Stupak. (As a note, Stupak's legislative record is moderately progressive outside of the issue of abortion).

Here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 the measure, which will add 32,000,000 people to the ranks of the insured nationwide, was supported by 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky as well as Eighth District Congressman Brad Ellsworth of Indiana and Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill, also of Indiana. Ellsworth is a candidate for the United States Senate this fall. The balance of Kentucky's congressional delegation made up of four Republicans and one Democrat, Ben Chandler of Versailles, all voted No. In Indiana, the vote was on partisan lines with all Democrats voting Yes and all Republicans voting No. No "Chandlerites" among the Hoosier Democrats.

It took more than a year, along with a black Democratic president from Hawaii with a funny name and a female Speaker of the House from San Francisco, to get the job done. If it wasn't before, it is now crystal clear that one political party is interested in the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness by the American people - the Democratic Party. And one party isn't - the Republican Party. Republican Leader John Boehner, in a marked lack of civility on the House floor reiterated the Republican Party mantra not only on this subject but on almost every subject when he took the podium with the repeated chants of "Hell, no; Hell, no."

To that we the Democrats have a three word response - Yes We Can !

But back to that school kid who always has the answers. When the 10th grade Social Studies teacher asks that question "When did the United States pass its Healthcare Reform legislation?" she or he is going to say March 21, 2010.

Thanks Be To God.

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.