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It remains to be seen if the House Democrats were prescient and justified in doing this as the Republicans lined up to vote for passage of the American Health Care Act.

Josh Marshall explained the full significance of the chant:

This is both an homage and a literal repetition of what Republicans did when the Clinton tax bill passed in the House in 1993. Same singing, same song. The bill paved the way for budget balancing over the course of the decade and (more arguably) played a role in creating the prosperity of that decade. It also came little more than a year before Democratic majorities in both Houses were annihilated in the 1994 midterm.

It’s an inside joke unless you have good recall of something that happened a quarter century ago during the first year of the Clinton presidency, so it’s kind of cool to see. But it presumes that history will repeat itself in other ways–that’s the annihilation part of the story.

For more on that, you should peruse the roll call to see who just put their neck under the guillotine. On the whole, though, the House just did what they needed to do, which is get this issue off their plate and put it in the lap of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is probably gritting his teeth in anguish right about now.

If the bill dies in the Senate, the House members should be grateful. They’ll have kept their promise to the base without having to face the consequences of actually killing a large number of people. That’s the best they could hope for under the circumstances. If it passes the Senate, though, they’ll likely find that the people who voted no are the first to lose, and not because they voted no. It’s just that most of them are somewhat politically vulnerable, and the voters won’t really care too much how they voted compared to how much they care about which party they serve.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com