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“Endgame for Obamacare?”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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My new Townhall.com column is up.

As Arizona Senator Jon Kyl said on Tuesday’s program, the Democrats don’t have their 60 votes yet, and some Democrats still have major problems with various parts of Obamacare.

As Politico’s Mike Allen added, there is even some talk of Obamacare failing:

“The conventional wisdom, the inevitability narrative that everybody’s been buying into, is starting to crumble this week, because it’s always been real, like, thread the needle, bank shot, tough thing to sort put together the 60.” Mike stated. “But now, you can almost see more ways that it doesn’t happen than it does.”

I think odds are still great that Obamacare will get out of the Senate (and will cost Blanche Lincoln her seat for voting for cloture and possibly Evan Bayh’s his as well), but the probabilities shouldn’t stop you from hitting the “Take Further Action” button in the “Free Our Health Care” box in the column on the right.

And please call Senators Bayh, Lincoln, Ben Nelson and James Webb via 202-224-3121 and urge a “no” vote on cloture.

Finally, start setting up the debate in the House with a contribution to ReverseTheVote.org. Obamacare passed the House by a 220 to 215 vote so if three or more Democrats can be peeled away –for any reason– it will fail on the final vote. The best way to get the Democrats’ attention is to show them that a vote for Obamacare is a political liability that translates into support for their 2010 opponent. The November elections are only 46 weeks away, and if cash begins to accumulate in the accounts of the eventual GOP nominees in districts of vulnerable Democrats, those Democrats will know that and will think long and hard about voting for this incredibly unpopular bill. (See Michael Barone’s piece in today’s Washinton Examiner, especially the end warning from within the House Democratic Caucus: “You’re screwed.”)

The report in the WeeklyStandard.com blog that the president threatened Ben Nelson with the closing of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is being disputed by a spokesman for Nelson, but some pointed questions –with precise follow-ups– should be asked of the senator, the president and Rahm Emanuel the next time each of them runs into a MSMer. The questions should be the sort to avoid clever sidesteps: “Have you discussed Offutt with anyone recently? What was said? Are you aware of anyone in the White House discussing Offutt in recent days in a way that might have been understood as connecting the base’s future to the debate over health care?”

The desperation among Democrats makes the threat very plausible, just as it makes a win on an eventual cloture vote likely.

But with the president’s approval ratings plummeting and the public having turned decisively against the bill, anything is possible.

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