UPDATE, 3:10p: From The Hill: “Top Blue Dog: Slaughter solution is ‘poison.'”
And when on his show today Rush Limbaugh read the following Wall Street Journal column by Fred Barnes, I immediately thought of the 37-and-counting-year battle over Roe v. Wade:
roe v. wade picket.jpg

America will be in a constant health-care war if ObamaCare is enacted. Passage wouldn’t end the health-care debate. Rather, it would perpetuate ObamaCare as the dominant issue for decades to come, reshape politics, create an annual funding crisis in Congress, and generate a spate of angry lawsuits. Yet few in Washington seem aware of what lies ahead….

Enacting ObamaCare would be only the beginning. The controversy surrounding its passage and how it might work would preoccupy the president, Congress and millions of average Americans for the foreseeable future – and then some.

UPDATE, 1:49p: If your congressperson is supposedly undecided on his or her healthcare vote – like mine, Debbie Halvorson – but just voted “yes” to endorse the Slaughter “deem and pass” rule, I think it’s a safe bet s/he is really a “yes” on healthcare. I’m now calling mine again to how sleazy that vote was, and I know what’s really going on here.
UPDATE, 1:26p: This from David Dayen at FireDogLake.com on Lynch:

I don’t know if this is enough to make me think Lynch will vote no. But it does show the tremendous difficulties Speaker Pelosi has in getting to 216.

1:19p: This Reuters headline yesterday surprised me…
reuters, obama wins first convert.png
For all the air of inevitability portrayed by Democrats, that is all the farther they’ve gotten. The House vote in November was 220-215. Pelosi can only lose 4. At this point she has lost way more than 4, from members who don’t like the Senate version of healthcare they’re voting on next, to pro-lifers. And according to Stu-PAC member Dan Lipinski last night on Greta Van Susteren, that # of 12 is still holding:

Van Susteren: Without outing them, do you have an idea how many is in this group that feel like you, who were yes last fall and no now based on the abortion language?
Lipinski: Bart has said 12. We had a meeting yesterday morning. I’d say that’s an accurate number.

So here’s the latest whip count, from FireDogLake.com
whip count, 3-18-10.png
And I don’t think that includes MA’s David Lynch, who today announced he likely a “no” vote, particularly if leadership goes with the “deem and pass” voting maneuver – and he’s 1 of Pelosi’s whips!
Remember, whichever side gets to 216 wins.
Bottom line: Contact your congressperson NOW, even if you’ve contacted him or her 1, 2, or 3 times this week already. I’m stopping my writing to do just that after this post goes live. For the 3rd day Rush is giving out the House switchboard #. That # will likely be busy. Use this link to get the direct #. Also fax, Twitter, and email.
Obama has now canceled his Asia trip altogether, not a good sign for his side. WH spokesperson Robert Gibbs said today he expects a vote Sunday. If it is via “demon pass,” they don’t have the votes and will have opened a whole other Pandora’s Box of controversy and lawsuits.
I understand the bill has just been posted. The 72-hour clock has started ticking. Make your calls.

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