Not since the explosive years of the civil rights movement and the hard-fought debut of government-supported health care for the elderly and poor have so many big things – love them or hate them – been done so quickly.
Gridlock? It may feel that way. But that’s not the story of the 111th Congress – not the story that history will remember.
Democrats are dearly hoping history won’t repeat itself. In 1966, after Democrats created Medicare and Medicaid and passed civil rights laws, they got hammered in the election, losing 48 seats in the House and four in the Senate. They maintained their majorities in both at the time, but an identical result next month would turn the House over to Republicans.