Enough journalists are still willing to act as shills for this administration (even if their submission is not quite as abject as Paul Waldman and Tim Noah would like) that the “meeting” of the “deadline” generated a spate of positive stories. That allowed congressional Democrats–or at least House Democrats from safe districts–to declare themselves “back on offense,” as National Journal reported.
Of course those weren’t the Democrats anyone expected to defect. Rather, the ones to watch are the ones in the Senate, especially those up for re-election next year, and especially those from states Mitt Romney carried. We did a Google News search for “ObamaCare” with the name of each of the four senators who meet all those criteria–Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina–and it appears mum’s the word for all four.
Why? For the same reason each of them cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare. Because while supporting a monstrous and unpopular policy is politically risky, so is dissenting from the party line. By defining down its deadline and taking advantage of the still-servile subset of the press corps, Obama heightened the immediate risks of dissent and made assent seem the safer course.
For the moment. There are more deadlines to come, and, in both senses, ObamaCare is going nowhere.