Politico.com’s Josh Kraushaar reports on the decision by Texas businessman Jack McDonald to drop an already-well-funded race against GOP incumbent House member Mike McCaul.
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s ReverseTheVote.org has already raised more than $190,000 in small donations in three weeks for challengers to 24 Democrats who voted for Obamacare on its first passage through the House.
As the healthcare fiasco unfolds, more and more Democrats will figure out that January will bring a defining vote in their career. Ben Nelson, long considered a “moderate, pro-life” Democrat, lost that reputation in a day. The huge Nebraska bribe Nelson took from Reid –the “Cornhusker kickback”– won’t be forgotten or applauded by voters in his state or by the pro-life organizations he has long persuaded of his support. (See Scott Johnson’s Powerline commentary on Michael Barone’s analysis, which nails this new mess as “The Missouri-Nebraska Compromise of 2009.”) Voters are hyper-focused and hyper-opposed to this bill, and all the “cover” provided by the hard-left AARP and the unrepresentative-of-doctors AMA won’t erase the electorate’s memory of how their senators and representatives vote in January.
This is particularly true on the portions of the bill dealing with abortion. The first difficult vote on the subject in 30 years, and Senator Nelson folded. Alleged pro-life Democrats in the House, led by Bart Stupak, are watching the instant blowback against Senator Nelson’s collapse and recognizing that they will simply not be able to claim “pro-life” status if they vote for this bill. Stupak is willing to meet his constituents, a very good sign for opponents of the bill generally and publicly-funded abortion specifically.
On the issue of respect for unborn human life, the bill not only falls short of the House’s standard but violates longstanding precedent in all other federal health programs. Therefore we believe the Senate should not move this bill forward at this time but continue to discuss and approve changes that could make it morally acceptable. Until these fundamental flaws are remedied the bill should be opposed.
All of the other issues such as the massive cuts in medicare and the vast new taxes are also in stark relief as the Democrats return to their districts and states. The bill is wildly unpopular, and all the special deals simply disgust voters. Seniors aren’t fooled and won’t forget. Democrats will return in 2010 to a huge dilemma: Vote for the deal and go over the electoral cliff with Obama or face the Chicago-style tactics of the president’s team plus Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? The latter are very unpleasant, but the former is career ending.
One “blue dog” Democrat opponent of Obamacare has said he believes many of the 39 Democrats who opposed Obamacare last month will sign on to the Senate bill, but such a vote will add them to the ReverseTheVote.org list and, far beyond that, to the “must defeat” list of every activist group in the U.S. The Speaker will try and keep as many vulnerable Democrats safe from the fall out of voting for the bill, but a “yes” vote in either November or January puts the member on the list of those who turned their backs on seniors.
“Repeal the Deal” will be a rallying cry across the country if the conference committee produces a bill that passes both House and Senate, and GOP candidates will work over the next 45 weeks to detail every nook and cranny of the repulsive bargains made in the course of mounting the assault on seniors. But it isn’t a done deal yet.
Which is why you should hit the “Take Further Action” button in the “Free Our Health Care” banner in the right column and use the toll-free number to send a message to your senators and Congressman. Reports of jammed voice mail boxes and hiding Congressmen underscore that Democrats know they have pushed the most unpopular bill in modern times to the brink of passage. Now they can think for two weeks about what that means on November 2, 2010.