Today, Dave Weigel reads Olympia Snowe's upcoming memoir so we don't have to. In particular, he highlights just how hard President Obama worked to win her support for Obamacare:
As woe-is-the-Republic texts by retired moderates go, it's got nothing on 2012's Arlen Specter offering....But it does tell us just how hard the president flop-sweated to bring Snowe into the cloture vote for health care. Snowe recounts a conversation with POTUS after she approved of the Baucus version of reform in committee....Obama kept calling, reaching Snowe "more than a dozen times," meeting with her in person eight times. The final meeting occured five days before the Senate's cloture vote, in 2009.
That's more than 20 meetings with Snowe! And she was a famous moderate. But she voted against the bill anyway.
Is this because Obama didn't twist her arm hard enough? Wasn't willing to cut a deal with her? Or because he just sucks at persuading people? Maybe. But you wilfully ignore Occam's razor at your own risk. The more likely answer, if you want to avoid being cut to ribbons, is simply that no Republican was ever going to vote for Obamacare, full stop. No amount of sweet talking, not from Obama, not from Joe Biden, not from Harry Reid, and not from anyone else, was ever going to change that. It explains everything that happened in the simplest and most persuasive manner possible.
Rinse and repeat for nearly every other piece of significant legislation of the past four years. And now, grasshopper, at last you understand.