If this guy was up for reelection in November instead of 2012, he’d already be preparing for a permanent vacation a la Dodd and Dorgan. As it is, he’ll limp along for two more long years — unless he finally crumbles and decides to be the 41st “no” vote after all. Or rather, the 42nd, if/when Scott Brown wins.

Tell me again about running on ObamaCare in the midterms, champ.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and his wife were leaving dinner at a new pizza joint near their home in Omaha one night last week when a patron began complaining about Nelson’s decisive vote in favor of the Senate’s health care bill.

Other customers started booing. A woman yelled, “Get him the hell out of here!” And the Nelsons and their dining companions beat a hasty retreat.

“It was definitely a scene in there,” said Tom Lewis, a 41-year-old dentist and registered Republican who witnessed the incident. A second witness confirmed the incident to POLITICO…

“He’s kind of a man without a state,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, an influential anti-abortion group that had endorsed Nelson’s previous election bids but has “pretty much cut [its] ties” with the senator over the abortion deal in the health care bill…

Asked about the incident at the pizza joint, Thompson said: “If somebody yelled that comment, Sen. Nelson didn’t hear it, and he did hear positive comments from others in the restaurant.”

This is no freshman Democrat. He’s on his second term as senator after having served two as governor — a popular pol, until this year. Now he trails by, um, 31 points in hypothetical match-ups with Nebraska’s current governor. Good work, Ben. Exit question: Assume Brown wins and that, as predicted, Democrats on the Hill and in Massachusetts move to delay seating him until they can pass ObamaCare. Does Nelson use that as an opportunity to switch his vote and derail the whole project? Don’t forget, he caved on DeMint’s anti-earmark resolution just before New Year’s in order to buy himself some political cover as a “good government” type. If the Dems decide to obstruct Brown, maybe Bribe-taking Ben decides that he simply can’t risk any further dirtiness and does the right thing.