Health Care Reform Victory, Not Defeat, for Liberals

Progressives actually provided most of the votes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2009 1:03 PM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, answers questions outside of the Senate chambers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 24, 2009, after the Senate passed the health care reform bill.   (AP Photo/Mannul Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Lately the left has been taking its lumps, courtesy of the conventional wisdom that health care reform passed over liberals’ objections. That’s just plain incorrect, writes Tom Schaller for FiveThirtyEight. A lingering narrative holds that liberals can’t govern because the left is so unmanageable. But progressives provided most of the votes for health care. “They were its progenitors and protectors.”

“Let’s remember how President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Harry Reid obtained their power,” writes Schaller, “Namely, through a surge in support from liberals.” Obama has disappointed that base, but no more than Hillary Clinton probably would have. Democrats may suffer in 2010, but they’ve accomplished something and have proved they can govern and forge policy consensus. “This was a liberal victory. A perfect, pure victory? Nope. But a liberal defeat? No way.”

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