We're sure to hear a lot of oratory in the coming days about yesterday's great legislative accomplishment. The administration will be thanked for its relentless pressure on wavering Democrats, as will Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants. And we'll certainly hear a great deal of praise for Bart Stupak for the outrageously low price he set for his alleged pro-life principles. But there are others who will no doubt be left out of the speeches, even though they deserve the thanks of the Democrats:
1) The Republican leadership in 2003, for meritorious service in forcing through a massively expensive prescription drug benefit for senior citizens, using every legislative trick in the book to overcome bipartisan opposition. This undoubtedly made GOP criticism of the current bill--on grounds of expense, as well the Democrats' tactics--seem partisan and hypocritical.
2) Anthem Blue Cross of California, for its invaluable assistance in making the Democrats' case for them by suddenly announcing in February that it was jacking up its premiums by a whopping 39 percent. From the White House's perspective, the timing of the rate hike couldn't have been more perfect, as the Senate bill looked to be in serious jeopardy.
3) Finally, special recognition must go to the unnamed yahoos in the crowd of protestors outside the Capitol Saturday who thought it was a good idea to hurl racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. What better time to resuscitate the old chestnut that opposition to Democrat policies equals racism? How con-VEEEN-ient, one might say....