GOP Senate Whip Jon Kyl was a guest on my show Thursday and reported that Congressional Democrats have indeed decided to use reconciliation to resurrect the remains of Obamacare, despite Massachusetts, despite the public's continuing and still growing dislike of the bill, and despite the jam-down ultra-partisanship such a naked power play and perversion of Senate rules that such an approach entails. The transcript of our conversation is here.
The only reaction to such a stunt should be an instant and amazing level of political activism, beginning with donations to ReverseTheVote.org --the NRCC fund committed to defeating the 24 most vulnerable House Democrats who supported Obamacare. Even if Harry Reid can find 50 senators on his side of the aisle to, along with Vice President Biden, vote to overrule the American public's considered opinion about Obamacare, it would still have to make it through the House, where Nancy Pelosi's very fragile coalition faces the prospect of a wipe out in 39 weeks if this passes.
Prior to Massachusetts Obamacare was just a terrible bill with disastrous consequences for the American health care system, especially for seniors.
If passed after Massachusetts, Obamacare would become the single most contemptuous act by a Congress towards voters in American history.
The groups and efforts like Tea Party Patriots , Docs4PatientCare.org and AMAC's TearUpYourCard.com that may have dialed back their activism since Scott Brown's win now know they have to double and redouble their efforts. In recent weeks some of the attention of the powerful anti-Democrat grass root organizing has passed over to expressions of concern over out-of-control spending. Now the groups must return their attention to the mess that is Obamacare, however that Frankenstein monster of a bill gets reassembled through the reconciliation process.
There's another development that may come into play as well as Democrats pursue collective political suicide. America's health care businesses --from insurance companies to medical care device manufacturers to hospitals and Big Pharma-- are now free under the decision in Citizens United to enter the fray directly. And they should. Quickly. The impact of just a few ads in a few states targeting a few Democratic senators and Congressmen would be profound. A very effective ad could be made featuring the CEO of any such business, staring straight into the camera and announcing that Obamacare threatens jobs in the states where the company operates and appealing to the incumbent Democrat to please stop making the job of providing health care more difficult.
Harry Reid may well have given up serious hope of being re-elected in Nevada and is thus willing to go over the cliff with President Obama. The defeat of Nancy Pelosi is less likely than any of the Supreme Soviet losing one of their contests during the '70s. Others like Barbara Boxer may not be aware a vote occurred in Massachusetts, so out of touch with public opinion have they grown through long years of beltway privilege.
But even the modest assessments of the undertow threatening Democrats puts the loss of seats in the House nearing takeover land of 40, and as many as nine Senate seats now in play. Imagine if the political anger in the land were to grow, or even double? Democrats think there is a limit to their losses, but what if they have fundamentally misjudged the American political center and the American political temperament?
That's what House Democrats especially have to be wondering this weekend as they hear that their leadership has committed them to defending the health care fiasco for another few weeks which will become months. Unemployment stays in the stratosphere, the president gives bad speech after bad speech as the prompter jokes grow, and the polls slide further and further away from the Democrats.
Sounds like a political plan every bit the equal of Obamacare on the merits.