A thousand thanks to every one of you who phoned, faxed and visited your Reps in person. Each of you made a difference. Brian Baird, a conservative Democrat, will retire this year and has nothing to lose. Baird changed his vote to ‘Yes’ today, well in advance of Stupak.
Rep. Brian Baird is switching his vote from opposing health care last fall to voting “yes” today, his office announced. Baird, retiring this year, was a prime target for Democrats to switch. (See everyone in play here.)
Baird (D-WA) said in a statement he’s changed his mind because “the status quo cannot be sustained.” I did a piece earlier this week detailing the stunning number of phone calls that have been flooding switchboards on Capitol Hill and in district offices across the country. Baird’s office told me yesterday that on Friday, Baird’s district office received 3,018 calls. They’d stopped keeping track in the D.C. office because “the phones were constantly ringing,” spokesman Adam Hudson said.
Of the calls coming from voters within the district, 57 percent were for the bill and 43 percent were against. The out of district calls – 52 percent of the total – had 87 percent against health care and 13 percent for the bill.
Particular thanks to mcc, who maintained the B-J whip count for free and personally met with Pelosi’s staff at key points in the process. You are all rock stars.
Take the poll. [Embarrassingly late update] This is a multiple choice poll, so please click every box that applies.
And that’s it.
You know what?
Let’s say that this actually is a loser for the Democrats, somehow. Let’s say we do lose in the 2010 elections. Let’s say Obama is a one-term president.
It was worth it.
No, no, no. Thank *you*.
I have a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side. Will that be covered under Health Care Reform?
Thanks to everyone. This “shit sandwich” never tasted so sweet.
carlos the dwarf
To be clear, “met with Pelosi’s staff at key points in the process” means “spoke with the receptionist once” (though she did say the papers I gave her were being forwarded to the policy office in DC!). But thank you Tim :)
Sadly, Culberson is my Rep. I called once, for what it is worth.
Mostly what I did is every time the DSCC or DCCC called and asked for my usual $50 donation, I told them that until HCR passed, they were not going to get a penny, but once it passed, I would give them $250.
Looks like it’s time to dust of my credit card.
Why are we talking about abortion now
All I hear from the Elmer Fudds speaking right now: Kill da baaaaaabies kill da baaaaaaabies!
Mmm lets yell about abortion some more.
Did that dipshit from PA really just say that the HCR bill just passed represents the largest pro abortion legislation since Roe v. Wade??? Does that jackass not know that RvW wasn’t legislation? Where do they find these people? Uggh. I think I need a drink.
When does the universe implode?
Before my credit card payment is due, I hope.
Apparently, this bill requires every woman to get an abortion paid for by federal funds at least once a year.
Prediction: the Republicans will set a world record for hyperbole and outright dishonesty in the next twenty-four hours.
Not over yet. We got two more votes tonight!!!
Tim, I know I made calls because of your reminders. Thank YOU.
Stupak to counter Republican abortion BS? Interesting.
Closing credits from Portal?
Well played, sir, well played.
@mcc: Last-gasp effort, I suspect. Thank YOU and especially Tim F. for all the hard work you’ve done.
Tim F., you should get the BJ Medal of Freedom or something.
Thank you Tim for being the chief Balloon Juice Whip. I never would have done anything besides grumble about the stupid Dems if you hadn’t encouraged us to call. It’s been great feeling like I’ve made a difference. I’ll keep doing it, too. Guess you’re responsible for turning me into an activist. LOL.
Did they just trick the Dems or am I misunderstanding the whole thing.
You know it’s an important moment when they all actually show up for work.
Sad, but true.
Well! That was easy, wasn’t it?
Who’s up for immigration, climate change, financial regulation, withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, job recovery, infrastructure, campaign finance, AIDS prevention, global poverty reduction, and nuclear arms reduction?
. . .
@mcc: Election ammo, small caliber, teflon coated.
Let’s all go have an abortion right now that Obamacare has passed!!!! Whee!!!!!
That seems to be the reaction these idiots expect from all us lowly wimmens.
I called because you asked, Tim.
Thank you. :-)
I’ve hated him for a while but Stupak came through at the end there, calling out the Republicans for only caring about the unborn.
Stupak’s been an ass and an idiot, but he came through right there for once.
I hope his meaningless executive order was worth all the drama.
One Republican voted nay for a minute but took it back.
No I mean seriously why are they talking about abortion during the MTR debate
Is it a motion to recommit with instructions to add anti-abortion language or something
@Violet: TimF, you’ve done a great job. You are a fabolous motivator.
P.S. was that Supack arguing against the motion?
I’m gonna go have one right now, and I’m not even female!
lost in GA
If they screw this one up I’m gonna choke . . .
Never thought I’d be “happy” to hear a chorus of Nos or Bart Stupak
And never thought I’d see the day Democrats would actually seize the moment and win one for the little guys.
And fuck you Republicans for lying, cheating, scheming and otherwise being such assholes that you’d rather see the country go down in flames than consider voting for legislation that your political opponents proposed.
And a special fuck you to the mainstream media for enabling the GOP’s transparent bullshit with their faux objectivity and horse-race obsession. I will not cry when your businesses fail and you are all out of work.
@Anya: No trick. Dems will vote no on this and it will fail. Then the Reconcilation vote will happen. A certain amount of this is theatre.
Okay got it.
Thanks Tim for whipping this so often and so well. And thanks to everyone who called Congress. This is our victory. As someone prominent once said, “You have the power!”
I echo all the others thanking you for the repeated Balloon Juice Whip posts. Every time I saw the “guide for first-timers here” line I stood up from my desk and went and made the call.
It was to Matheson – who I assume voted no anyway – but still. I wouldn’t have done it without this blog.
Only if you live on Cybertron.
Sock Puppet of the Great Satsn
Awesome. Great job Madame Speaker: let’s hear it for San Francisco values.
The second pro-HCR caller was awesome.
And this is very good news for John McCain.
This is so awesome. I really feel like we’re watching history being made. What a great feeling.
You did a great job, Tim, motivating us to do the work!
Time to fundraise for an upgraded server, me thinks.
BJ not holding up well.
What the hell kind of Democrats are voting yea on recommitting the bill? I mean, seriously!
very reverend crimson fire of compassion
@SGEW: I’m in.
So… did we just get cake?
Tim, YOU are the rock star right there with mcc. And all the front pagers. And of course, our evil sockalist overlord, Mr. Cole, who suspiciously and spectacularly injured himself so as to demonstrate to all that disaster can strike at any time. I think Cole gave his all, really. And you know what, we BJers may bicker amongst ourselves but we seem to get it done in the end.
Three cheers for Tim F.!
Thank you, Tim. Your posts motivated me to call, and call, and call again. I feel involved in the successful passage of this bill.
From Red State:
Thanks so much mcc and to others involved with this whole effort… :-)
I can’t breathe. I know there’s a hell of a lot wrong with this bill, and a lot needs to be fixed–like having a public option for all Americans–but this is such an important first step. Hell yeah, we did it.
Will all three of these votes be the same? Or, will some Dems jump on the bandwagon?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again, but:
TIM F. THANK YOU – You, my friend are the rock star. You and everyone at Balloon Juice.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for inspiring us all to act on the fact that we actually have a part to play in this democracy, and that each of us has to play that part.
I called him a few times and this makes me feel good. makes it seem like participation in this fucked up democracy might make a difference sometimes.. who knew?
america. fuck yea.
The Grand Panjandrum
Here’s the roll vote.
Perfect song choice. And may I just say to Boner and the Republican Party,
Hope I can get to sleep soon. I am so worked up, and it went on all day.
The kind of Democrats we need to send to the unemployment line in November.
block quote fail. :(
Lol — Yes this.
Baird is my Rep and this makes me feel great about being persistent about getting through (it wasn’t easy, and some days I didn’t), and then about being polite and firm about my position when I did so. I have to say it felt futile, knowing there was no real leverage to hold over him, but sometimes things just break the right way. Or something. Anyway, happy about this.
@jcricket: Absofuckinglutley. Thank god we got something meaningful, if imperfect, done. Many, many people will be better off for it.
And fuck you Republicans for pretending this was an assault on the Constitution. Ignorant, lying sacks of shit.
@Omnes Omnibus: Thanks! I somehow knew that but I am a nervous wreck.
I know I am biased but the yes callers are making sense while the no callers are just crazy or selfish, specially that nurse. I am yet to see someone making sense. Why aren’t the firebaggers calling.
@JGabriel: I hope not because the cake is a lie!
What’s the last vote?
Bubba Dave, if you can’t manage it, just donate to Acorn, as they are single-handedly going to be responsible for organizing car rides for women to get them courtesy of the government. I’m pretty sure I heard that on Fox news…
Brick Oven Bill
Congratulations. You now own it.
Wow, laggy tonight. Not surprising, but… :-P
@SGEW: … can I take a nap first…?
I welcome our sockailizt leaders (finally could cram my way to the bar!)
ok, the stupidity of the “against” and “undecided” callers-in iz harshin my mellow. Mute button, where art thou?
Finally, a huge POLICY win for the good guys. Maybe the biggest of my lifetime.
lost in GA
When the guy on CSPAN said “according to Politico the next step is . . . I lose faith. This guy is supposed to be the expert. Sheesh.
Joining the chorus- thanks, Tim. You got me phoning and faxing.
Fallows makes a very good point.
Love that description. It’s so much better than “Sure, it’s a crappy bill, but pass it anyway!”
I’m watching C-Span and I feel like I’m watching the moon landing or something, history-wise.
First Death Panel meeting on Wednesday.
Coffee and Donuts provided by Papa Axelrod.
The callers on C-SPAN are idiots!
thank you, tim f
thank you, mistermix
thank you, doug j
thank you, anne laurie
thank you, john cole
esp. you, john, for turning your blog into whip central. you did good.
and the fucking democrats did not let you down this time. keep that in mind next time you’re tempted to give up on the wretched party. yeah, they’re still whiners and wimps, but they came through.
which leads me to: thank you, nancy pelosi.
most of all:
thank you obama. thank you for your vision, persistence, courage, and compassion.
Hope Boehner et al enjoy this shit taco and I hope the Democrats make it a weekly special on the menu just for Republicans.
I am glad they gave Dingell a good part.
@mandarama: Me too. I knew John Lewis was a yes. But you prompted me to call anyway. (Forgive me, but no way I would call Saxby).
@asiangrrlMN: Last vote should be for the reconciliation package to send to the Senate. Should just be a formality really.
Seriously, Tim, THANK YOU. It’s because I read this blog that I was more active in calling Mitchell, McCain and Kyl, than I would have been otherwise. And maybe it helped.
Right now, I’m so goddamn happy and proud and excited. I’m proud to be a Democrat, a Progressive, and an American.
In other news, Costa Rice is working on emergency immigration reform.
Thank you Tim F. Everyone here rocks. I love BJ for this reason and many more.
“The callers on C-SPAN are idiots!”
Obama is gonna tell me when I can sleep!
@RinaX: Sorry but you are an ass.. Right now if you work for a large company you can get an abortion paid for by your insurance and guess what tomorrow you can do the same thing. Most folks pay out of pocket though. The abortion rules were set with the Hyde amendment and use your resources to overturn that then just making up shit.
That was nice. It’s good the Republicans were unified, so that we don’t have to draw any complex moral distinctions when history (and maybe the federal courts, if we get real lucky) pass verdict on them.
Now bring on single payer.
And while we’re at it, cap & trade, and comprehensive immigration reform. And could we consider stopping killing teh brown peepulz?
Lookin like all the republicans are really for the shit they have been deriding all day. I wish just one would have the balls to vote for this reconciliation.
232 votes aborts the abortion proposal, 16 Dems switched votes, are these the public option protesters? Will they vote no on the Reconciliation Bill?
The plus side of being a C-SPAN loser is that you get to hear all these cranks call in.
very reverend crimson fire of compassion
@Tenzil Kem: 4 Tim F: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
@JPK: ditto. :)
I’m looking forward to seeing Wolfe Blitzer, John King and Bolger(?) cry in a few minutes.
Absolutely — Tim F…. leading is WORK. You did that and helped bring us to focus on the right activities.
Thanks so much…
@zzyzx: Well of course they only care about the unborn. Life begins at conception, and ends at birth. Always a winner of an issue.
Thanks Tim for getting me to call and fax Jane Harman!
Motion to recommit fails.
Now voting on the reconciliation fix.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Thanks! Quite happy to own it.
Good luck to you with your plans to run in the fall on a platform of (a) revoking the $250 checks to seniors to fix the donut hole in Medicare D, (b) kicking 25-year-old kids off their parents’ health insurance, and (c) saddling children with the pre-existing condition label once again. That’s sure to be a real winner for you all.
ok… part three in progress
Bad Horse's Filly
and mcc, too. You motivated us and kept on us. I’m not sure what kind of difference it made, but ripples in the pond, ripples in the pond.
Now on to….hmmm, climate change? No wait, jobs, that’s it. Oh, hang on, what about those two wars?
I am so happy about this vote. The night isn’t over yet so I am not getting TOO excited, but it’s looking good.
I want to give props to Tim F., Steve Benen and others who coordinated efforts to call our congresscritters. It feels good to be a part of something that will help so many people.
@Josh: I can’t make it then; I am scheduled to be forcing abortions on people all day. Can we reschedule?
The cool thing is that Obama’s response to all that would be “Bring it on.”
I’m feeling teary. So happy. Democrats did find their balls finally. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi.
@demo woman: need to amend because I missed read her/his comment.. sorry
Polish the Guillotines
I pretty much dropped back into lurking mode when all the teabaggers, firebaggers, and dime-store Randroids all concentrated their fire on Obama. Fucking stupid and frustrating and ill-informed and counter-productive. I really felt a level of doom and depression I hadn’t since GWB decided to go nation building in Babylon.
But I have to say, Balloon-Juice remained an oasis of sanity as DKos melted-down into a worthless pie-fight Thunderdome, FDL went fucking psycho, and on and &tc.
And even though my rep was always a solid “yes” on HCR, I called anyway out of respect for Tim F and his earnest, pragmatic whip-rallies.
That’s my testimony, faithfully submitted, 21 March, 2010, Polish the Guillontines.
Sniff. I love you guys.
When will the reconciliation vote happen in the Senate?
(God, I almost put a hash tag on this. It’s been a long day on Twitter.)
@demo woman: Read the whole thing. She was ragging on the ‘baggers.
@Yutsano: But what does that mean, exactly? I just want this shit to be done.
I had given up, really, and was so discouraged.I put myself on a news blackout. Fortunately, I did occasionally click on BJ out of habit, and that’s how I learned there was still hope. My rep is Slaughter, but Tim got to me and I phoned all the undecideds and a few of the idiot naysayers,too.
And here we are. I can hardly believe it. THANK YOU to John and Tim and DougJ and everyone.
very reverend crimson fire of compassion
@kid bitzer: FTW.
Sniff. God, I love you people.
Huge thanks to Tim and mcc and all the BJers who made this happen. I couldn’t do a damn thing, being a Canuckistani, but I was thrilled to see this happening.
And I just so happened to have some lovely cake tonight. No lie.
Thank you EVERYONE. And although I can’t know how how much difference this one little corner of the internet made, I am really, really glad Balloon Juice was willing to stand up and do the hard legwork for the bill that a lot of blogs and organizations supposedly created for that kind of purpose weren’t.
There it goes. Now the the Senate.
BTW, now Stupak is a baby killer? Aren’t Thuglicans watering down the meaning just a tad? A smidge? Little drama queenish perhaps? I think an honorary “baby killer” shout should precede all government meetings just to cover bases. Wouldn’t want to do business without that being clear.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Thank you! We’ve got a display case ready and a little button for Republicans to press that goes ‘HA HA!’ at them.
I called my rep only because Tim F. was so persistent. My rep was a safe yes, but I wanted to show my support. Also, it was a lot of fun listening to the intern on the phone be polite when I told him it would be OK with me if the rep punched Bart Stupack in the neck.
@mr. whipple: I know, that shit was maddening.
Hearing these calls makes a case for Education Reform
very reverend crimson fire of compassion
@Polish the Guillotines: Dooooooooood! Great minds think alike, or fools seldom differ?
AGGGH, PEOPLE! The true genius of TimF is revealed in his choice of YouTubes! It’s the perfect metaphor for the troglodytes on the right:
“We do what we must
Because we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are dead…”
And to my Republican friends, I’m sorry we broke your heart. And killed you. And tore you to pieces. And threw every piece into a fire.
I’m so happy for you.
(I’m being so sincere right now).
Tim, thanks for putting those posts right in my face every day, to the point that I finally told myself, “Oh, gawd, just call already and stop feeling guilty.”
This night belongs to people like you more than anyone, IMO.
Victory! I want to welcome our Republican friends to our glorious socialist paradise.
GOLAZO OTRA VEZ!
I truly like the “Stop Obama Care” advertisement at the top. It’s nice to know that John’s blog is supported by failed right wing attempts in so many ways.
@Omnes Omnibus: I could juggle things and handle the death panel, so long as you can push grandma onto the ice floe later in the day. Deal?
ok… back to the Senate
Who was the one person who switched No->Yes between bill and reconciliation?
@demo woman: I should read all the comments before responding. Sorry!
@scav: I could fit that in around 3:00pm.
And still every. single. Republican. voting against it. Let us pray the Dems have the stones to hammer the GOP into oblivion with this.
I have generally refrained from punching hippies during the debate over HCR, but I have to say that reading the comments at FDL tonight was a lot like reading the comments at Inside Carolina the night we beat them by 32 points.
Now, I apologize for my appalling behavior. Can we all get over ourselves and get back to working together on an American agenda?
I will not deny that I can be an ass, but neither of my posts should be taken seriously in any way.
YES WE CAN ! ! ! ! !
Tee hee. If only there were a place out there that WOULD take him.
OH OH OH – and the shout out to Teddy Kennedy! That was just beautiful.
Man, I wish he could have been here.
I still can’t believe this passed.
Obligatory Portal/Jonathan Coulton quote from the song since no one else has done so:
“I’m making a note here – huge success! It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction!”
It’s pretty hard to believe this is finally happening given the long, protracted history (both this last year and beyond). I think this bill and its process will have intangible benefits that extend long outside of the health care sector; we all know the importance of engaging and taking an active role in our government to affect the results and policies for which we voted. May we remember these lessons and apply them as necessary (and they will be necessary) to give our elected officials the support they need in the years ahead.
@Zuzu’s Petals: Yup. Yuo, indeed!
To all, I really do not believe that Acorn will be helping to provide government-funded abortions. To me it seemed a crazy enough thing to say to not be taken seriously, but that fails to take into account that ‘baggers do indeed believe and say shit this crazy. My bad, my excitement over the vote caused me to come out of lurking and forget that my dark humor could be misread.
very reverend crimson fire of compassion
@Zuzu’s Petals: Yes, We Did!
March 21, 2010
The Death of Freedom: RIP
Apparently, “Freedom” requires the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year and the bankruptcies of hundreds of thousands of Americans annually.
I remember that really bad week after the MA election — I was very negative, had never been so low…
Reading the comments and posts, I felt reeled back to a foundations from which I could operate — and take action (calling my rep and senators). I read the posts from many informed commenters, and even when there were concerns, the facts and rationality always won out — so deeply appreciated by me. I cant tell you. It helped me anchor myself and I think anchor this HUGE and difficult undertaking….
I have no idea about the motivation of the firebaggers, or the teabaggers or whomever. There seems to be an underlying insanity right now related to fear and uncertainty. But in the face of that, a really unprecedented thing for our country to do social legislation, we did it. We did it with the corporate medicine eating up 18% of GNP —
Great sleep tonight for Nancy, Obama, and all the leaders who took major risk — and will CONTINUE to as the REpubs and the media whip up their counterattack. But we have scaled one mountain and dragged all of us up to stand on the summit.
I managed to flip between this and the MSNBC coverage of the house vote tonight. Final triumph after an incredibly long, arduous journey? Works for me. Now all we have to do is shoot
Angel EyesMitch McConnell in the senate, and that should be easy enough– we reconciled the bullets out of Tuco’sBen Nelson’s gun already.
Alright, that’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever written here, but whatever. They passed damned bill. I’m too psyched to make sense and/or not embarrass myself.
Anyway, this cake is great. It’s so delicious and moist!
Sorry, must disagree. Carbon tax. Yes, it’s regressive, but that can be dealt with by tweaking the income tax to make the overall tax burden more equitable.
Every cap-and-trade proposal I’ve seen artificially creates winners and losers, and doesn’t raise enough revenue in the initial auction of entitlements.
It is with my honor that I give you (and BoB) this.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
All that drama for nothing. I hope she’s mocked mercilessly.
“But there’s no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying til you run out of cake.”
I don’t think Obama, Pelosi, et. al. are out of cake yet.
Thank you Tim F. I don’t know about any other commenters, but you inspired me to successfully whip about 5 or 6 friends and relatives into calling our congresspeople. So your influence went beyond just the readers here.
In lieu of buying you a
casepallet of obscure but delicious beer, I will be sending a donation to the congressperson of your choice.
Holy crap. It’s like a ten-ton weight just came off and it’s time to party
Great job everyone.
That was classy Rep. Lewis.
Sometimes, apparently, the cake’s not a lie.
Oh, no, there’s a lot more cake to come.
And it really is delicious and moist!
This is good stuff. Tim F. – you are the man. I was extremely skeptical of your daily missives, I thought it was all a bunch of claptrap. I would say “hullabaloo” but then you guys would think I am maligning Digby. But anyway, turns out those calls meant something after all.
So, thanks. I don’t mean to be a little shit to John Cole (who is still my hero in a lot of ways) – but you win the day, Tim F.
Hey – who took the shit out of my shit sandwich and replaced it with Boar’s Head roast beef?
@burnspbesq: The shit sandwich is a lie
@charlequin: putting the social in social-izm, no?
Um, wow. Thanks to the folks here for finally getting me to pick up the phone and call my rep. I’ve never been any sort of activist before, and you got me to call my rep three times and send a fax on top of it.
Did Balloon Juice really just change the world? ;)
EXACTLY the laugh I was thinking of. I vote this URL be forwarded to every Republican in the nation.
Obama pulled off the impossible and got universal healthcare passed.
. . . .
Maybe, just maybe, Barack Obama is a Magic Negro.
…Daily Show tomorrow night is going to be HILARIOUS. I can’t wait to see Colbert cry, too.
No shit. 100 year’s worth of Presidents couldn’t get it done.
This guy did it in less than two years.
@RinaX: Hope you saw my note where I said I was sorry.. I’m a little jumpy tonight but that’s no excuse.
A year and two months, almost to the day.
Best president of my lifetime.
Oh, and for any Repiglicans who may be reading –
tim et al, you’ve been more than fabulous – you’ve been effective. deeps thanks for that.
and you’re way more fun then OforA.
No problem. :)
This more or less sums up my feelings, if not my literal thoughts:
@FormerSwingVoter: Certainly shamed me into taking to the streets and standing up for health care reform, even in it’s limited form, on a warm day in Arizona. Facing down the teabaggers is something I take particular pleasure in. Harry Mitchell did the right thing.
@gnomedad: You win the thread!
I can’t stand the fact that Ted isn’t here to see this. Damn it.
Your poll doesn’t have an option for “I sent John Lewis back to Congress for 20-somethingnest year running, and he did his job without the slightest need for me to ask again.”