Michael Barone, writing in The Washington Examiner, pointed out that this is not the first time a political party forced an unpopular bill through Congress by a narrow margin. While he was at it, he described the consequences of the battle.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was pushed through Congress by the Democratic Party without a single vote from the opposition Whig party. Stephen A. Douglas, of the Lincoln — Douglass Debates, in his eighth year as senator from Illinois, led the battle. The Democratic Party had control of Congress and the presidency. They won the previous presidential election by 254 electoral votes for Franklin Pierce to only 42 for Winfield Scott.
The Kansas-Nebraska act overturned the Missouri Compromise that had limited the extension of slavery in the northwest territory leaving the newly created states to decide for themselves if they would accept the “peculiar institution.”
Opponents of the action responded by killing off the Whig party and launching a totally new “Republican” party. A bloody political campaign between the supporters and opponents of slavery in the Kansas territory resulting in the slogan of “Bleeding Kansas.” Eventually, this power play by the Democrats led to the election of Abraham Lincoln as president by the new party, which was the final straw forcing the Southern states to feel they had no choice but to secede from the union, which in turn lead to the outbreak of the War for Southern Independence.
Now I do not think the action by the Democrats to ram an unwanted health bill down the throats of Americans will lead to a civil war. But it stands a chance of causing a major political upheaval that once again may lead to a new political party and likely damage the Democratic Party so severely that they are at risk of being in the minority for years to come.
A recent poll listed a large number of people who wish George Bush were still president. A generic poll showed the Republicans with an eight-point lead over the Democrats. The Tea Party movement is making noises about organizing a new party and the idea polls well among the voters.
President Obama’s approval ratings are the lowest of any recent president after one year in office. The voters are restless and very unhappy about the way the country is going under his leadership.
History may be about to repeat itself again. The national Democratic Party is forcing an unwanted bill through Congress on a totally partisan basis, and the majority of Americans do not like it. Many of them are “mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.”
It is normal for the party in power to lose seats in Congress during the mid term elections. But the Democrats are at risk of losing much more than that. They might lose control of both houses of the legislature, and I do not think that President Obama has the political skills to deal with an opposition congress.
2010 will be a very interesting year, and 2012 may well bring the upheaval that the physics are predicting.
Put on your helmets and strap up your seatbelts. I think we are in for a very bumpy ride.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is email@example.com. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.
That means 60% are happy George Bush is not still president.
And health care is hardly unpopular. Polls show an overwhelming majority favor health care reform. The only thing people are upset about this bill is that 75% of Americans support a govt. operated public option and those Americans are upset that the public option may not make it into the bill.
What part of the overwhelming number of Americans CHOICE of Obama and Democrats over the Republicans who crashed our economy and ran our deficit through the roof do some fringe teabagging nutjobs not understand?
George Bush increased our deficit and national debt more than any President in the history of the United States. Think about that. More than any tax and spend liberal President EVER. More than Jimmy Carter. More than Lyndon Johnson. More than FDR. A republican. Conservative? Yeah, right.
At least with health care we will get something for our money and it won't all go to republican pals in Halliburton, Blackwater, and Bush's Saudi Arabian and Texas oil pals.