Republicans Dodge a Bullet. I Think.

Fifty Republican senators voted today to begin debate on an Obamacare repeal and replacement bill. Vice President Mike Pence cast the 51st vote to allow the legislation to move forward. The two Republicans who voted No were Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

It remains to be seen whether any Obamacare repeal bill will actually pass the Senate. All 48 Democrats will vote No, regardless of the bill’s specifics. Amendments will be offered, and Mitch McConnell reportedly has agreed with Rand Paul that there will be a vote on a straight-up Obamacare repeal. Will any bill ultimately get the 50 votes required to pass? The conventional wisdom is No, but I am not so sure. Republicans on both ends of the spectrum have been bargaining hard, but today’s vote suggests that they realize that after seven years of campaign pledges, they have no choice but to deliver some kind of repeal-and-replace legislation, no matter how unhappy many will be with any particular bill.

I hope that happens, anyway. Meanwhile, President Trump can vastly improve, and largely repeal, Obamacare through administrative action, as my colleague Peter Nelson has explained.

The Republicans’ relative success today has the Democrats in a fundraising frenzy. An hour and a half ago, Nancy Pelosi emailed the party’s faithful:

This is the angriest I’ve ever been — and I’m asking for $1 to kick every Republican out of office.

Moments ago, Republicans in the Senate voted to advance their vicious health care repeal.

Got that? The Republicans are repealing health care. Apparently health care was nonexistent until 2010. And Pelosi doesn’t mention the millions who had health insurance, but lost it because of Obamacare.

I’m absolutely disgusted. And I know the tens of millions of Americans who will lose care are terrified.

The claim that tens of millions will “lose care” is ridiculous, of course. A certain number will choose not to buy individual health insurance once it is no longer legally required, just as they did before Obamacare’s passage.

I want to make these cowardly Republicans forever regret trading American lives for a political victory against President Obama.

The Democrats constantly claim that large numbers of people will die if Obamacare is repealed. This is truly contemptible: did the mortality rate decline after 2010, on account of the ACA? No. Actually, it rose, although presumably not because of Obamacare.

If there was ever a time for you to join the fight — it’s now.

Before midnight, I need 3,387 grassroots Democrats to stand with me.

Can I count on you to rush $1 to defeat every last Republican?

The Democrats are crazed, certainly, but they are crazed on purpose. What we see is a strategy–in large part, a fundraising strategy–not a loss of self-control.