Green Room

ObamaCare and 2010: More on suicidal Democrats

posted at 12:34 am on November 30, 2009 by

The US Senate is set to begin debate today on the Democrats’ attempted takeover of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system, and the gap between disapproval and approval of ObamaCare has never been bigger.

Nevertheless, the Left would like to jam this through in 14 working days or less, lest the debate slip into an election year and the numbers deteriorate even further. The Democratic logic — such as it is — is that Democrats need to pass a bill to keep their base from deserting them. Nate Silver is left arguing that failure is the worst of both worlds. The Daily Kos looks at its weekly tracking poll, showing that Republicans and Independents are much more energized about voting in 2010, and concludes that “passing legitimate health care reform [is] an absolute political necessity for Democrats.” Steve Benen demands the full “too much, too soon agenda” (missing only “cap and tax,” though that may have just been an oversight on his part).

None of these great thinkers addresses the probability that stomping on the gas as Dems hurtle over the cliff is likely to be most deadly to the swing votes they need to pass ObamaCare and the rest. Since they seem intent on ignoring Sean Trende’s regression analysis of the 1994 midterms, perhaps they may want to look at analysis by Brendan Nyhan (no member of the VRWC he), showing that passing major legislation has little effect on presidential approval. As Senatorial opinion on ObamaCare seems to be following presidential approval, Nyhan’s analysis ought to leave Senators — and the Left generally — asking whether passing an increasingly unpopular package of tax hikes and Medicare cuts pays any political dividends.

If they think that people will grow to love ObamaCare, they may want to look at Massachusetts, where only 32% of voters think the same basic scheme has been a success, only 20% say reform has made healthcare more affordable (31% say the opposite) and only 16% say it has improved the quality of care (24% say it has gotten worse). Any Democrats from someplace less Blue than the Bay State may want to think about how those numbers will look once the state starts rationing care in earnest, and whether they are physically fit enough to sprint away from angry mobs.

Democrats may try to shut all of that out of their minds. What they will not be able to avoid is the inevitable effects of their own debate. Unlike the House vote — or even the vote to proceed in the Senate — this debate involves actual substantive amendments (beyond the issue of abortion, which the Democrats permitted as a necessity in the House, but which they are working hard to drop now). At some point, Senate Dems have to figure out if they can find a bottom line that can be reconciled with the House bill — a difficult job in itself. But the votes on these amendments are likely to leave Senators — and the public — at least as unhappy as hey are now. There will be losers on abortion, taxes, illegal immigration, Medicare cuts, doctor payments, etc. So far, the Democratic leadership has been able to lean on moderates with the argument that their votes are just “moving the process forward.” We are now reaching the point where the illusion that these bills are going to be improved somehow vanishes. That is the point where things will really get ugly.

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The Republicans need to find any way possible to delay this vote for as long as they can. The farther they can push this into next year, the less chance it has of passing. I want Obama to fail.

PatMac on November 30, 2009 at 7:02 AM

I second that emotion!

FloridaBill on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Another outstanding post. Thanks Karl.

Jonah Goldberg was right, and the Republicans should announce that if they’re returned to a majority in 2010 they’ll repeal every single bit of DemocratCare. Burn this vote into the record of every Democrat who has to run next year.

MTF on November 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

If the Democrats can’t grab this country by the collar and drag us kicking and screaming far to the left, they never will. That’s why they have to try, even if it kills them.

NNtrancer on November 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Kamikaze Marxists

faraway on November 30, 2009 at 1:27 PM

If they think that people will grow to love ObamaCare, they may want to look at Massachusetts, where only 32% of voters think the same basic scheme has been a success

Yet, it (MassCare) still exists. It is like a kudzu weed. Once it gets started, it is impossible to kill.

Don’t let it get started.

percysunshine on November 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM

What these bastards would do if only they could!

Akzed on November 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM

These “representatives” of ours need a leader to tell them they’ve got it all FUBAR. Then he needs to direct them to the nearest meeting room, supply them with a pencil and a Big Chief tablet, instruct them to take their fingers out of their ears and quit stomping their feet, and concoct a plan that the American people will be happy with, like they were elected to do. And a leader would add that they are not to leave the room until they’ve done so, however long that takes. Unfortunately, we don’t have a leader. We have a Reid/Pelosi follower.

scalleywag on November 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

We keep picking at the edges, attacking symptoms, when none of what liberals have done has anything to do with what they’ve been claimed to be, global warming, TARP, stimulus, omnibus, DemCare, cap and trade, four trillion in unprecedented spending is about killing off wealth and wealth creation, liberalism is the disease that can only maintain a permanent domination in the same way Islam does, by forcing life in the seventh century, constructing the lowest common denominator, its the smothering pillow followed by a knife.

Nothing liberal is as it seems, its much much worse and reasoning people know, its the heart and head of the beast that must die, attacking its fingers is nearly the same as validating evil.

Expose the true face of the monster.

Speakup on November 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Even if they get it passed, it won’t last long. The economy isn’t coming back soon, they will lose their seats and then this Obamanation will be repealed. Conservatism actually works, this is the end of the line and they know it, that is why they hit the gas (Thelma and Louis style)

Osis on November 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Another outstanding post. Thanks Karl.

Jonah Goldberg was right, and the Republicans should announce that if they’re returned to a majority in 2010 they’ll repeal every single bit of DemocratCare. Burn this vote into the record of every Democrat who has to run next year.

MTF on November 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Three cheers for Jonah Goldberg- Hey Republicans in DC – Are you listening????

huskerdiva on November 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Hey, no problem!

Just one simple change in retirement rituals will save billions in health care costs. Instead of getting a gold watch, the Dems are suggesting that you receive a nice, fat suicide pill.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on November 30, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Republican (both in Congress and 2010 challengers to Democrats) need to argue that ObamaCare is a “pay now, buy later” plan–taxes start in 2010, no benefits until 2014.

Why would anyone want to pay for something they won’t receive until four years later?

Even if ObamaCare passes, Republicans could campaign by saying that they will simply repeal it in 2011 (no one would lose any benefits, since no benefits would be paid out by then), and the repeal would result in a tax cut!!!

Steve Z on November 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Another outstanding post. Thanks Karl.
Jonah Goldberg was right, and the Republicans should announce that if they’re returned to a majority in 2010 they’ll repeal every single bit of DemocratCare. Burn this vote into the record of every Democrat who has to run next year.
MTF on November 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

My thoughts, exactly.

Nalea on November 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM

We need to go back to that document called the Constitution and ask where does Congress receive this authority…and if it passes it needs to be immediately challenged on Constitutional grounds. Never has our government forced to us to buy something we do not either need or want or else go to jail!! We are arguing over the wrong thing and need to attack it Constitutionally. I cannot wait for 2010/12 soon enough!

g2825m on November 30, 2009 at 4:51 PM