I have come to the belief that much of the grumbling over the past year in US politics is due to the fact that the Republicans are sore losers. That's right, they are LOSERS. They lost the election, and now they lost a major policy battle. The strange thing is that over the course of time, folks of a certain persuasion have felt entitled to rule and to win. But rule number one of democracy is that sometimes you lose and you have to accept it.
Democrats are good losers. Hell, we are great losers. We are used to losing elections and getting tossed out of power, losing major policy battles and moving on. Despite the fact that the Democrats dominated Congress for much of the postwar period, Republicans, perhaps due to 12 years of rule from Reagan to Bush I, have become used to ruling. The entire Clinton administration seemed to be one big hissy fit because the GOP candidate came in 2nd. Hey, at least, Bush and then Dole didn't finish third.
So, now we have some death threats, minor actors of violence and so on in the aftermath of the health care vote. What these Americans forget is that the Revolution's key slogan was No Taxation Without Representation, not We Must Always Get What We Want. What the founding folks wanted was Taxation with Representation. Representation does not mean winning--it means that your views are represented, that folks you vote for are involved in the decision-making process. Now, if your representatives acted like gamblers and pushed all-in, thinking that they had a winning hand and that the other guy was bluffing and were wrong on both counts, well, either you chose the wrong representatives or they served your poorly. But the system worked like it was supposed to--there was much discussion, debate and deliberation (the three d's of disapparation) and then a series of votes. The majority won, pushing forward a bill that actually reflected some very significant compromises. So much so that a significant hunk of the public's opposition comes from the left.
So, I just have one message for the opponents of health care reform: suck it up You lost. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Dwelling on the loss will do no one any good (wow, I should learn from my own advice, huh?). Fighting to repeal is a huge waste of political capital and will surely alienate much of the public even if it pleases a significant hunk of your base. But if you want to live in loser-ville, then so be it. You cannot win every time. This was a huge loss, but you will not be able to recover without accepting it.