I used to cover the Congress some. I don't miss it all that often, but I'd love to have been there this past Sunday. History was being made. Some stink bombs were being thrown too, of course. Anti-health care demonstrators spotted Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who was for the bill, and yelled a racial insult--it begins with "n"--at him; they spotted Barney Frank, an openly gay member from Massachusetts--and shouted a sexual insult--it begins with an "f." Well, maybe you can't make history without a little of the worst of us oozing out but it was worth it. But then the arms started getting twisted. Ceci Connolly has a wonderful account in today's Washington Post. There was Dennis Kucinich, the one-time Boy Mayor of Cleveland, switching. I wonder if he creaked. But my favorite was Democrat Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania. According to the Post he announced his "no" vote Sunday afternoon. A few hours later his phone rang. It was Obama. "I want to give you something to think about before the vote," the President said. "Picture yourself on Monday morning. You wake up and look at the paper. It's the greatest thing Congress has done in fifty years. And you were on the wrong team." Altmire voted aye. The bill passed. It's easy to make fun of Congress. We all sometimes do. But every once in a while they get a big one right. And when that happens, it's pretty sweet.
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