Republicans took the last symbolic step on one of the Tea Party's big-ticket items.
Republicans took the last symbolic step on one of the Tea Party's big-ticket items.
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Feb. 3 2011 12:00 PM

The Don't-Tread-on-Meter

Obamacare, we hardly knew ye.

Don't-Tread-on-Meter: Feb. 3, 2011:35

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

Congratulations, Tea Party! The Senate held a vote on the full repeal of the Job-Killing Health Care Law! They said it couldn't be done, and by "they," we mean Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

"If Harry Reid is so confident that the repeal vote should die in the Senate," said House Majority leader Eric Cantor last month, "then he should bring it up for a vote, if he's so confident he's got the votes."

Reid's hand was forced; Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., got a vote last night on an amendment that would have repealed all of health care reform. The amendment failed, with no Democrat voting for repeal. It was a long road from March 2010, when repeal was a glimmer in one of Michele Bachmann's off-camera-looking eyes, to a vote like this. But the vote made it even clearer that repeal won't happen, and that Democrats won't bend on it, until at the very earliest 2013.

There was a minor, bipartisan victory on health care anyway, when most of the Senate rolled back a hated provision requiring business owners to fill out more forms. And the battlefield is set for a more winnable fight—well, potentially more winnable—to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Based on all of this, the meter rises to 35.

What Is the Don't-Tread-on-Meter?
It will track the progress (or lack thereof) of the Republican House of Representatives, and the Republican conference in the Senate, in fulfilling the promises they made to Tea Party activists. The meter will hit 100 if and when the GOP does absolutely everything it promised.

You can now add the Don't-Tread-on-Meter to your blog or site. Just click the button in the lower right of the widget to get the code.