November 09, 2009

are close votes a feature or a bug?

I’m not quite certain that this is completely sound polisci – public optics and the news cycle has to play a role in the political calculus of massively important president-led bills like health care reform – but Rafe Colburn makes an interesting point about the 220-215 vote in the House yesterday.

Every vote over the minimum necessary to secure passage represents compromises that the Democrats as a group would prefer not to make. It’s not that Nancy Pelosi was lucky to pass the bill, it’s that the Democrats wrote the strongest bill they could that would get enough votes to pass. That’s good strategy.