A strong majority leader in the Senate manages to cut deals in the Democrat controlled body and gets unpopular legislation passed. The new law overturns 34 years of legislative precedent, and changes the face of the United States for the rest of history. That Senator goes on to win reelection against his Republican opponent, and then wins the Democrat nomination for President 6 years later. He loses the Presidential election to the same Republican opponent that he defeated in the polls just two years earlier.
Am I talking about Reid and the Healthcare reform bill? No, I am talking about the Senate Majority leader in 1854, Stephen Douglas. His Republican challenger is none other that the first REpublican President, Abraham Lincoln. The unpopular law that was passed was the The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which overturned the Missouri compromise, and set the stage for the civil war and essentially created the anti-slavery Republican party that was to oppose the pro-slavery Democratic party.
The parallels are obvious. Asking that one man spend a portion of his life carrying out labor to the benefit of another amounts to involuntary servitude, slavery, if you will. I sit here wondering if we have not set the stage for the Second American Civil War. If that is so, it is my fervent hope that the second one will be less bloody than the first, and (to borrow a phrase) that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Alas, I fear it already has.