The New York Times is reporting that:
"With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them."
The Democrats' last-ditch effort to save ObamaCare by ramming it through using parliamentary gimmicks has collapsed, prompting Harry Reid to say "“We’re not on health care now... There is no rush".
I'm no political pundit, but I read the Dems' sudden go-slow approach as meaning there will be no health care legislation until after the election ... if at all.
This is an incredible turn of events.
The danger now is the Republicans. Will they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
Despite being vastly outnumbered in congress, they are in the driver's seat. This is more by accident than by design. The defeat of ObamaCare was entirely a grassroots, Tea Party affair. Still, they have the incredibly powerful tailwind of overwhelming public opposition to the Democrats and their attempted hostile government takeover of American medicine behind them. What will they do with it?
The danger is that they will compromise with the Democrats in the "spirit of bipartisonship", giving us ObamaCare light. This is the failed approach that will continue the decades-long trend of incremental socialism. If this happens, the Democrats will have won.
My hope is that somewhere within the GOP, leadership will emerge with the guts to lead the party into the 2010 midterm elections not by catering to the so-called "middle", but by laying out a true pro-capitalist, pro-individual alternative to ObamaCare. Most Americans have no real idea what that means. But the Tea Party Movement, though fractured philosophically, has the undercurrent suited to that approach. That undercurrent can best be summed up with the phrase: "Don't tread on me!"
In short, the political raw material is there. Will the Republicans seize the moment?