Now, For Some Predictions
Predictions are always a dangerous business. But, based on what I've written already, I'll make a few predictions about what will happen next in the working-out of the Obamacare scheme.
Firstly, the "pro-life" Democrats who voted in favor of Obamacare will take cover in the Executive Order that Obama will issue, and hope you won't have heard about the Constitutional issues that obviate that order from the beginning. They will claim to have won a victory for life, even as the pro-choicers in Congress gear up for the abortion funding that the bill makes inevitable.
Secondly, the pro-choice activists will hold off until sometime after the election to file the legal challenges that will bring about the collapse of the house of cards that is Obama and Pelosi's promise of non-funding of abortion through Obamacare. This is the one issue in which I differ from Professor Destro, whom I mentioned in my post of Sunday evening. Professor Destro said that "we can be virtually certain that the first lawsuit arguing that the Senate Bill requires funding for abortions under the CHC appropriation will be filed before the ink is dry on President Obama’s signature." I disagree with his opinion here: The Democrats are facing some tough electoral fights in the fall, and they won't want to provide pro-lifers and Republicans with such ready ammunition. If they can maintain some discipline in the ranks, they'll get the pro-choicers to hold off till after the election. If the Democrats manage to hold on to their majorities, they'll feel emboldened to go ahead with the demolition of the house of cards. If they lose either of their majorities, they'll want to move forward before they lose the White House, and will feel that they must set the Obamacare abortion mechanism in motion. I'd look for movement on this front by early next year.
Speaking of elections, I predict that several of the "Stu-Packers" will lose their re-election bids and have to find some other employment. In particular, I think Bart Stupak's tenure in the House will come to an end this fall. He will find himself on the receiving end of concentrated pro-life anger, and the political activism that generates. And if Rep. Stupak thought his about-face would bring him back into good graces with the Left, he will be proven mistaken. If you take a look at sites like the Huffington Post and Daily Kos, the netroots are still screaming bloody murder at Stupak. They're vowing to unseat him and are pouring money into the coffers of a Democratic primary challenger. His flip-flop gained him nothing there. I will not be surprised to find that Stupak himself ends up gaining nothing from his flip-flop.
Next, when those legal challenges are mounted and lead to courts decreeing that the Federal Health system must fund abortions, Bart Stupak and his "pro-life" bloc will take cover under their innocent trust in the assurances they had that abortion wouldn't be covered and that the Executive Order would offer additional protection. They will act as though no one could have foreseen what was happening. They will conveniently forget that they were warned, and they will hope that you weren't aware of the warnings, either.
[I will allow for the theoretical possibility that one or more of the "Stu-packers" might show signs of contrition when these events happen. However, I think it unlikely. When was the last time a politician showed public contrition, except in the face of an indictment?]
Finally, at some point when the Obamacare program really kicks in, we will see thousands more abortions, paid for by federal tax dollars. The pro-choicers will have won their golden ring.
[I also allow for the possibility of two other things: It is theoretically possible that the legal cases brought about by Obamacare will lead to a Supreme Court verdict striking down Roe v. Wade. However, I would place the real-world likelihood of that at the vanishing point. Secondly, I allow for the possibility that the Republicans may regain control of Congress and repeal Obamacare. But in order to really accomplish that, they'd need a Republican president. And a lot can happen between now and 2012. In short, I think that, with all of their efforts, the Republicans will not be able to knock Humpty-Dumpty completely off the wall.]
In particular, I'll be glad to be proven wrong about the sixth prediction. But I don't see things working out that way.