Now that Stupak has apparently caved, everyone, right and left, seems to be assuming that Obama’s health care monstrosity will pass the House in the next couple of hours. Are we so sure? What if there really are enough Democrats opposed to it to kill it? They would have a strong incentive to pretend otherwise. If they all tell Pelosi the truth about how they plan to vote, she will delay the vote and keep on pressuring and nagging and harassing and threatening and attempting to bribe them for days or weeks or months, and so will the demonstrators on the other side (but without the bribes), making their lives a living Hell. The only way to end the ordeal is to convince Pelosi she’ll win so she holds the vote tonight. I won’t say it’s probable, but it’s certainly possible that a few anti-HCR Democrats are lying to Pelosi, or slyly misleading her, so they can finally get the voting over with and kill the bill tonight. They could always claim afterwards that they were quite sincere ‘yes’ votes the last time they talked to her but their wives or grandmothers or bishops – maybe even their constituents! – changed their minds between then and when they actually cast their votes. They could even plausibly claim that the horror of the whole degrading spectacle finally got to them and they suddenly asked themselves “What the Hell am I doing voting for this evil monstrosity?” (the bill, I mean, not Pelosi).
We can always hope. Polls have been wrong before.
Update: (11:00 pm)
Well, so much for slim hopes. The monstrous bill passed 219-212. Now it’s time to think about minimizing the damage and planning how to repair it. I wonder if Bart Stupak knows that he will be listed in history books in the same class as Smoot and Hawley? Or perhaps in a worse class, since as far as I know they were well-intentioned but ignorant and incompetent, whereas he must surely know that what he just did was profoundly evil as well as stupid.