As of this writing, every single state except Hawai’i has finalized its vote totals for the 2012 House elections, and Democrats currently lead Republicans by 1,362,351 votes in the overall popular vote total. Democratic House candidates earned 49.15 percent of the popular vote, while Republicans earned only 48.03 percent — meaning that the American people preferred a unified Democratic Congress over the divided Congress it actually got by more than a full percentage point. Nevertheless, thanks largely to partisan gerrymandering, Republicans have a solid House majority in the incoming 113th Congress.
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: This is the major reason why pushing Obamacare (ACA) in 2009 was a terrible political mistake. Despite the potential long-term benefits to the nation’s economy and healthcare system, it triggered a populist backlash that probably gave the GOP control of the House of Representative until at least 2020, and resulted in extremist moves in several states against collective bargaining, abortion rights, and the free exercise of democracy.
The size of the Democrat’s deficit is hard to fathom. Do you really think the populist backlash to Obamacare was perfectly predictable? It sure seemed to me at the time to be worth the risk.
On a related note, I just did an analysis of the ideological shifts of the incoming Congress, and I’d love to hear what you think: http://politymaking.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/ideology-in-the-113th-congress/
Thanks, Trevor. On another social media site, I – for one – did predict the populist backlash to Obamacare, and was quite vocal about it. My friends on the left weren’t too happy with me at the time. I supported Alan Grayson’s Medicare-For-All plan which would have cost virtually nothing, and would have provided real competition to the private insurance industry. Even though it didn’t have enough votes to pass, it would have put great pressure on the GOP to eventually support a compromise alternative – perhaps one even better than the ACA bill that did pass. I believe this would’ve been a more effective, but longer term strategy.
I’ll check out your article soon.
Yes, I would have preferred medicare-for-all as well. I’m not convinced, though, that we could have gotten that (or even a compromise alternative) through Congress (unless perhaps we had first eliminated the filibuster). Time will tell, but perhaps it’s not out of the question, yet!