I’ve seen a somewhat common piece of bad analysis I’ve seen over the past week, and have been surprised to see people correct it. As you may know, the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill last night, 220 to 215. 39 Democrats voted against it. The fact that the Democrats couldn’t get everyone on board is being treated as a flaw in their strategy when in fact I’m sure their leadership sees it as the key. The bill passed in the House will be merged with whatever bill is passed in the Senate, and that’s the bill both the House and Senate will vote on again to be sent to the President for signature.
Every vote over the minimum necessary to secure passage represents compromises that the Democrats as a group would prefer not to make. It’s not that Nancy Pelosi was lucky to pass the bill, it’s that the Democrats wrote the strongest bill they could that would get enough votes to pass. That’s good strategy.