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A Defining Weekend for Democrats

Friday, March 19, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

As President Obama’s approval numbers hit their lowest levels yet and the Congress dives even lower in the public’s esteem, House Democrats are facing a choice this weekend of jumping off the political cliff and taking American health care with them, or of saying no to the Chicago-San Francisco machine.

This is a dramatic moment in American politics, because if Obamacare passes the House, the Democratic Party is defining itself for a generation and probably two as the agent of American decline. It may be that the 1.6 trillion dollar deficit and the “stimulus”-that-wasn’t has already done so, but Democrats could always blame the panic of 2008 for those incredibly harmful interventions.

Not so with Obamacare and the assault on the Constitution required to get even this far. They are breaking the American health care system and using extraordinary levels of taxation to cripple the economy at the same time. They are assaulting seniors and they are funding abortion directly with tax dollars. the president and the Speaker have redefined the party to the far left in 15 short months. The country’s reaction will be entered in six more. Then the repair of the damage will have to begin.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides a glimpse of what House back benchers are feeling in terms of political pressure. Good. They all know that what they are being urged to do is profoundly against the will of their voters. When they are turned out in massive numbers in the fall, they will have no one to blame but themselves. The Boccieris and the Spaces and the Altmires should never have been elected in the first place and they are simply signalling their constituents their inability to genuinely represent them as opposed to the coastal elites and Chicago operators in charge of the party.

The toll on President Obama and the media elites who loved him has already been high. As Mark Steyn said on the show yesterday “whatever emerges from this, the Obama cool, the post-partisan healer, the whole shtick he ran on, that’s dead and gone forever.”

“There’s a price that he’s paid for doing this” Steyn continued, “and I guess from his point of view, it’s worth it. It’s worth canceling all these overseas visits to Indonesia and Australia, it’s worth offending even more allies than he normally offends in the course of a week. But I guess from his point of view, it’s worth it, but it’s changed the nature of the man and his character as it’s understood by the American people.”

The staggering political cost being paid already by Democrats will rise sharply in the months ahead if the bill passes, as the lawsuits fly and the American health care system stumbles forward into an era of uncertainty and dashed expectations. Republicans’ agenda for the campaign ahead will be very simple: Repeal the Deal, Topple Pelosi and the Constitution Shredders, and Bring Balance Back to the Senate.

Individual Democrats would significantly improve their defenses by voting “no” this weekend, and enough of them might break for cover that, combined with the handful of genuinely pro-life Democratic House members, the bill might not be brought to the floor for fear of losing. So please make one or two more runs at the Members listed below. Send some dollars to their opponents and let the members know that as well. This CNN list is a glimpse of what sort of scorecard will be permanent after the vote. I will add names through the day if any additional wobblers are added to the list:

Rep. Bob Etheridge
D.C. Office: (202) 225-4531
Raleigh: 1-888-262-6202 (BOB-NC02)

Jason Altmire:
D.C.: 202-225-2565
Aliquippa: 724-378-0928
Natrona Heights: 724-226-1304
Opponent: Mary Beth Buchanan

Rep. John Boccieri
D.C. Phone: (202) 225-3876
Canton: (330) 489-4414
Opponent: Jim Renacci

Rep. Dennis Cardoza
D.C. Phone: (202) 225-6131; 800-356-6424
Merced: (209) 383-4455
Stockton: (209) 946-0361
Modesto: (209) 527-1914
Opponent: Mike Berryhill

Rep. Jim Costa
D.C. Phone: 202-225-3341
Bakersfield: 661-869-1620
Fresno: 559-495-1620
Opponent: Andy Vidak

Rep. Zack Space
DC Phone: (202) 225-6265
Dover (330) 364-4300;
Zanesville (740) 452-6338;
Chillicothe (740) 779-1636
Link to E-mail

Rep. John Barrow:
D.C. (202) 225-2823
Augusta: (706)722-4494
Savannah: (912) 354-7282

Rep. John Adler
D.C.: (202) 225-4765
Toms River: (732) 608-7235

Rep. Dan Maffei:
D.C.: (202) 225-3701
Syracuse: (315) 423-5657

Rep. Michael Arcuri:
D.C.: 202-225-3665
Utica: 315-793-8146/8147

Michael McMahon:
D.C.: (202) 225-3371
Staten Island: (718) 351-1062
Brooklyn: (718) 630-5277
E-mail (Use zip code 10306).

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