I wasn’t in Pelosi’s strategy meeting that day, but I’ll tell you what I think went on in there:
I think the House Democrats planned this from the start.
I think they looked out the window, and looked at the polls, and looked at their dismal electoral prospects this November and decided to try and smear their opposition. I think they decided before they ever walked out of the Cannon Building what they were going to say to the press once they reached the Capitol, no matter what actually happened — or didn’t happen — along the way. And just in case they did manage to run across some fool saying something really stupid, they had their own cameras rolling.
The Democrats and the left in general have been trying unsuccessfully to smear and marginalize the tea party movement for over a year now. I think that in the face of a storm of opposition, they decided to try for a Hail Mary pass; they picked a charge perfectly calibrated to excite the prejudices of their allies in the media and get big coverage. In the last, at least, they were successful.
But that was simply preaching to a very willing choir. In the arena of public opinion, the “Hail Mary” failed. No such video exists. If it did, we’d all have seen it a thousand times by now. Andrew Breitbart was confident enough about the un-video to publicly bet $10,000 (since raised to $100,000) that nobody could produce one. So far, there haven’t been any takers.
What’s more, a week of polling after the alleged incidents — to say nothing of the actual House vote, ostentatious partisan celebration and media touchdown dance that followed — indicate that none of the above have made an appreciable dent in the electorate’s stubborn resistance to ObamaCare, to say nothing of the Democrats’ perilous midterm election prospects. The new health care law and the politicians who pushed it through are just as unpopular as ever, and a heavy majority considers the much-maligned tea partiers to be more in touch with reality than Congress itself.
Like most Hail Mary passes, it looks like the most recent spate of “RACIST!” charges fell harmlessly to the turf.