Beating people is what they do best.

The Democrats can’t afford to let this thing get to the recess without a vote — the risk of another round of angry townhalls is too great — so every last stop will be pulled out over the next week. This is just the beginning.

Dem Rep Mike McMahon of New York met yesterday with a top SEIU official and told him he’s likely to vote No, the official tells me. The official: Mike Fishman, president of SEIU 32bj, the largest property workers union in the country, with 120,000 members in eight states…

“He let us know he’s not supportive of the health care plan,” Fishman says. “We’ve let him know that we can’t support somebody who doesn’t support it.”

“We are going to begin talking to other unions about finding someone else for that seat,” Fishman continued.

The reply from McMahon, formerly a union favorite: “The people of Staten Island and Brooklyn respect the Congressman because he is an independent voice, not because his is a rubber stamp for special interest politics.” His district leans slightly Republican (SI is a rare GOP stronghold in NYC), so good luck to SEIU in getting an ObamaCare-supporting liberal elected there in November. That’s assuming, of course, that they’re serious about this threat, which they probably aren’t. You’ve all likely read the Pat Caddell/Doug Schoen warning to Democrats in WaPo this morning that they’re staring at an unholy beating in November, one that’s apt to become even more unholy if they go ahead and take the plunge on this travesty. But as Mark Steyn’s argued all along, why should they care? At this point they’re going to be spanked no matter what they do, in which case why not achieve a long-term victory by acting now to foster a dependency culture that Republicans will never be able to roll back? They’re one House floor vote away from setting America on an inevitable path to European-style statism, and still you have Democrats like McMahon ready to walk away to save their own asses. That’s an amazing testament to the value incumbents place on their own political preservation.

I’ve been skeptical until now but I’m starting to think Pelosi will get there. The fact that House Democrats don’t want to talk about their votes augurs badly, not well; given the degree of public opposition, the ones who are ready to cave have a greater incentive to lie low. Between the purple people-beaters leaning on people and Madam Speaker sweetening the pot for recalcitrant Dems by incorporating the student-loan bill — Philip Klein notes that 34 Democrats who voted against ObamaCare voted yes for that one — there are plenty of sticks and carrots to go with the long-term strategic ambition. And if all else fails, just think of how disappointed the Lamb of God will be if it fails. Exit quotation via Newsbusters: You’ve got to get this for him.