I think that the fight for the 9/11 first responders, more than any other issue that went through this lame duck period, is instructive. I hope that the millions of Americans who were simply mystified by how legislation to help with the health care costs of these folks, folks that the GOP has been exploiting for nearly a decade for their legitimate heroism, could come so close not to becoming law see congressional Republicans for what they are (but I won't hold my breath).
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, and Shep Smith of Fox News (strange to see, isn't it?) deserve credit for being righteously indignant at Republican actions in the Senate that threatened to kill the bill altogether. I wasn't even familiar with the extent of the problems that these folks were experiencing, and it was jarring to hear one of the responders on The Daily Show mention that a responder in need passed away the week before their appearance on the show. I wasn't aware that some in the GOP were calling this a "New York" bill, which is a slap in the face to the people from around the nation who arrived in Lower Manhattan to help as they could.
Look at what it took to get those 9/11 responders help that they needed. Look at what the GOP really fought for, and fought doggedly for, during this lame duck session (and it was not for the middle, working or lower classes, nor will it ever be). The fact that people seem to miss this boggles my mind, but then again, Sarah Palin still remains seen as presidential timber. Perhaps that says all that I need to know about too many of my fellow Americans.