It’s pretty rare to see the Democrat actually out-smart the GOP in strategy, but it looks like they pulled it off by letting them block the vote on the financial reform bill.
Here’s how it works: the Republicans filibuster the bill, the cloture vote fails, and now the Democrats get to portray the GOP as the party of Wall Street. The GOP will then realize that they blew it, they’ll negotiate a compromise and pass a bill that has in it what the Democrats wanted in the first place, and the DNC can crank out the campaign ads that accuse the GOP of being the Party of No while still getting the bill passed. Win-win. An ABC poll shows that two-thirds of Americans want stricter controls on Wall Street and they trust the Democrats more than the Republicans to do it.
This is the up-side of the healthcare debate and its ultimate passage: the GOP may all move in a pack and vote as one, but that can come in handy both in terms of framing legislation and making a campaign pitch. This also works with other bills, too; immigration reform, climate change, and reflecting back on healthcare, it means that the Democrats could have come out with a far more progressive bill, even starting with single payer and 100% coverage, then worked their way down to still having the public option in the final bill.
And I think the Democrats are finally getting it. They’re becoming — dare I say it — emboldened to call out the GOP when they mislead and obstruct.