Why Obama Fails to Get Republican Votes, Part Infinity

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Today, Dave Weigel reads Olympia Snowe’s upcoming memoir so we don’t have to. In particular, he highlights just how hard President Obama worked to win her support for Obamacare:

As woe-is-the-Republic texts by retired moderates go, it’s got nothing on 2012’s Arlen Specter offering….But it does tell us just how hard the president flop-sweated to bring Snowe into the cloture vote for health care. Snowe recounts a conversation with POTUS after she approved of the Baucus version of reform in committee….Obama kept calling, reaching Snowe “more than a dozen times,” meeting with her in person eight times. The final meeting occured five days before the Senate’s cloture vote, in 2009.

That’s more than 20 meetings with Snowe! And she was a famous moderate. But she voted against the bill anyway.

Is this because Obama didn’t twist her arm hard enough? Wasn’t willing to cut a deal with her? Or because he just sucks at persuading people? Maybe. But you wilfully ignore Occam’s razor at your own risk. The more likely answer, if you want to avoid being cut to ribbons, is simply that no Republican was ever going to vote for Obamacare, full stop. No amount of sweet talking, not from Obama, not from Joe Biden, not from Harry Reid, and not from anyone else, was ever going to change that. It explains everything that happened in the simplest and most persuasive manner possible.

Rinse and repeat for nearly every other piece of significant legislation of the past four years. And now, grasshopper, at last you understand.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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