So I am the 60 Senator guy. I thought and still think that getting 60 Senators was immensely important because that was the only way you can anything big done in Washington. Yes you need the House and the President but really big happens with 60 Senators. And Obama gambled big with that and today he won.
Now the Alpha event was Al Franken winning the recount and the Omega event was how John Roberts crafted an argument to allow the law to pass. Neither one seems connected at first and yet they are. Yes there was a whole lot of noise in the middle. And there will continue to be a whole lot of noise going forward. But the loop is closed, the law will stick and finally we will something done about healthcare.
Al Franken was elected by 312 votes. That was the closest Senate general or primary race since Landslide Lyndon won by 87 votes back in 1948. Franken gave the Democrats the crucial 60th vote to pass the ACA. This is the legislation that Obama will be remembered by.
Roberts used amazing John Marshall-esque logic to craft a compromise today. Really, the law is a tax. I am actually glad we didn't use the Commerce Clause to justify it. We were told we needed to use Article One, the main principle from the Constitution for the Legislative branch as the basis of the Act.
The Act is far stronger because of this. Roberts may have been trying to give the Republicans a win by avoiding the Commerce Clause and many Republicans are happy that this avenue failed. But Article One is much more solid ground to stand on if you have the political nerve to stand on it.
Which sadly, even now, most Democrats don't. That may be the saddest part of today. It really is a tax, like Medicare and Social Security, two of the great Democratic corner stones of last 100 years and virtually no one had the nerve to say it.
Now we can keep this law in place. It will take 60 Republican Senators to overturn and that isn't going to happen. Obama will still get re-elected. Having Romney as the spokes-model for over-turning it will be so juicy to watch if that even happens.
So let's keep Obama in the White House. We still can get back the House. No one will get 60 votes in the Senate, so really, we won't see anything this consequential happen again until we modify the filibuster which each side will be loathe to do ESPECIALLY now.
Getting Al Franken elected opened the door to today. Without Franken, the Nebraska Compromise wouldn't have brought in Ben Nelson or that wouldn't have been enough. Neither would have anything else because the votes weren't there. Franken winning in Johnson-esque fashion without the low jinks that caused it made a vote on the ACA winnable.
Having Roberts act like a Chief Justice closed it.
Not sure having Roberts act like a stickler for the direct interpretation of the law always works in our favor but today he showed he actually can interpret the law as it says in Article 3.
So maybe another door opens as well. Time will tell.