After 15 months of focus on process and procedures, on incremental steps toward a monumental goal, how will passage of health reform play a few days and weeks from now?
Once the dust settles and the adrenaline subsides, will we rediscover the narrative of the “transformational president?” Will the story line be again, that President Obama was elected to bring about historic achievements evocative of the New Deal and the Great Society -- as Newt Gingrich might say, a paradigm shift. That Barack Obama, in partnership with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, now has the momentum, the political and legislative chops, to enact other major pieces of their legislative agenda?
Will the coverage focus on the shards of glass and shrapnel littering the political landscape. Constitutional challenges and an ongoing theme in the perpetual campaign that sometimes seems to have superceded governance? I’m not sure that health care split the country; health care may have illustrated the country’s split. The vitriotic partisanship. The breakdown of comity. The distrust of government. The chasm where the center used to be. Repeal, baby, repeal.
Or, in this age of 24/7 coverage and a collective national attention deficit, are we already on to the next big thing. Immigration anyone?