They also point out that while the Healthcare Bill is less than the Medicare for Everybody that dirty hippies like me would like, it remains the biggest reform in the system since Medicare in 1965, and may prove to be even bigger in the long run. For the first time, insurance providers are brought under regulation with some real consumer protections in place. By the end of the decade, 95% of Americans will have health insurance under this plan.
I think what makes things hard for us Progressives is that we are so used to beautiful losers, people who cling to their agendas, die nobly on the political battlefield, and ultimately accomplish nothing. Obama is an ugly winner along the lines of LBJ (and lest we forget FDR), willing to do the ugly horse-trading necessary to get anything done in a democracy. As I've always argued, democracy is ugly. It's not saviors riding in on white horses. It's quarrelsome committees and shaky coalitions of competing claims and interests looking for a way to go forward. Meeting minutes get lost, phone calls get missed, feelings get hurt, and sometimes boneheaded mistakes are made and corruption flourishes, but what really matters is that the opposing sides feel no desperate compulsion to shoot each other. Rival political factions and ideologies can compete for power without killing each other. Not a small thing.