, please define "just barely"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

As in [emphasis added]:

Congress may be gone for several weeks enjoying a winter holiday, but Republicans have vowed to keep up the pressure on Democrats who succeeded in getting their Senate health insurance overhaul bill passed before Christmas -- if just barely.

Final U.S. Senate vote for passage of health care reform: 60-39.

UPDATED: Some readers have suggested that the "just barely" above refers to Democrats getting health care legislation passed before Christmas, and not to the margin of the vote. And I think that's a fair point. But I continue to be struck by how so many journalists describe the final health care vote as being so suspenseful, "bitter" and "bruising".

But was it? Every GOP member of the senate opposed the bill and in the end 39 voted against it. i.e. Health care passed with what was approaching a 2/3 majority vote. That doesn't seem so "bruising" to me. Although I assume the GOP is happy the press describes it that way.

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