The U.S. Congress did not pass the bill realigning the health care system: the Democratic caucus did.
Never in modern memory has a major piece of legislation passed without a single Republican vote. Even President Lyndon B. Johnson got just shy of half of Republicans in the House to vote for Medicare in 1965, a piece of legislation that was denounced with many of the same words used to oppose this one. That may be the true measure of how much has changed in Washington in the ensuing 45 years, and how Mr. Obama’s own strategy is changing with the discovery that the approach to governing he had in mind simply will not work.
Partisanship is today the only game in town, but this is not at all surprising. We are a deeply polarized nation of opposed echo chambers diving deeper into ideological extremes, with little dialogue that advances compromise, cvility, or balanced policy. Our politicians are downstream from this cultural crisis, using it and feeding it, rather than providing moderation and statemanship.