The 60th vote regrets

Now a couple of those Senators are expressing regrets about those votes after the fact. In our pages last week, former Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh rehearsed the looming economic damage from ObamaCare’s medical-device tax. He described, as some of us predicted in 2009 during the debate, how the tax is sending jobs and investment overseas in an industry where the U.S. still leads the world. Mr. Bayh, who retired after 2010, provided the 60th vote for ObamaCare to pass. …

A second irony is that Democrats only had those 60 Senate votes because of a series of improbable and corrupt events. Mr. Webb won his race by a hair in 2006 after incumbent George Allen stupidly uttered the word “macaca,” and the media portrayed him as racist. Alaska’s Ted Stevens lost his seat in 2008 by 3,724 votes after he was convicted eight days before the election in a trial in which the Justice Department withheld crucial evidence. He was later exonerated. And Al Franken, who was trailing on Election Day, managed to steal the Minnesota recount in 2008 by 312 votes from a hapless Norm Coleman.

Add the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback and the other special deals that President Obama used to buy Senate Democratic votes for ObamaCare, and you have the first major new entitlement in history that passed along strictly partisan lines and is as unpopular today as it was on the day it passed.