One year ago today Massachusetts elected Scott Brown…

Posted: January 19, 2011 in congress, economy, opinion/news, politics
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…in an attempt to stop Obamacare. In a broadcast by 73wire with Stacy McCain and Ali Akbar (Brown’s new media guy) we talked about the healthcare bill and there was an interesting exchange. I stressed how important this election was because it was necessary to stop obamacare BEFORE it was passed prompting the following:

Ali: “And if it does pass, we will repeal it!”

DaTechGuy: “No we won’t.”

It was very telling that Ali (who is a really smart young man) didn’t argue the point with me and changed the subject.

Well Scott won, but the democrats realizing that the only chance to get the bill passed now was for the house to pass the version that had already gone through the senate did so avoiding both a conference and the chance of a filibuster.

So the repeal bill is now coming up and we will find out who was right. I think Ali knows the its very hard to repeal a law once passed. He knows businesses and government have already adjusted their plans based on it. A lot of favors were done for a lot of people in that bill and those lobbyists who had those favors inserted want them preserved. Most importantly as a rule it’s easier to stop something than to do something in congress. A determined minority and frustrate the majority every time.

Yet there are real reasons to think he might be right. The left and the media are declaring that effort dead and phony but are doing their best to discourage this vote. If my original thought was right why would they bother? After all the senate is still a majority democratic institution. Very little chance on any change there is there?

The dirty little secret is until the house passes this bill the senate doesn’t have to even pretend to care, but once it IS passed than it is before the Senate. There are quite a few democratic senators who are in a tough spot. They either ran against Obamacare (WV) live in states where it is unpopular (MO) or face uphill reelection fights (Va). The retirement announcement of Kent Conrad in ND actually hurts the repeal effort because he can now vote to preserve it while the democrat who does run in his state can claim opposition.

However there is another factor involved. Every single democratic senator was the deciding vote to the passage of Obamacare this means that every vulnerable senator on the democratic side has that vote hanging around their neck. Those senators desperate to retain their seats and the power and privileges thereof will not want to run on Obamacare. A repeal vote would give them a chance to vote against it saying they’ve “reconsidered”.

Harry Reid might, in order to increase the chance of holding his senate majority allow a vote. If a democrat filibuster blocks it then vulnerable dems can clam they voted against said filibuster and if he allows it to reach the floor he can either “Fishbait Miller” the vote (let the three most vulnerable dems vote against it) or allow it to pass and let the president veto it.

This is the position that the White House least wants to be in. The president casting a very prominent vote to preserve a law that he pushed for against popular opinion. This would be a great gift to Republicans going into 2012 and represents (along with the rising price of gas and oil and high unemployment) the best chance for this president to lose re-election.

This is the importance of the house vote. It turns 2012 into a referendum on Obamacare. The closer these actions come to election day 2012 the worse the situation gets for democrats. The second best move for them would be to allow a Senate vote ASAP and get this whole thing over with early. The best option for democrats? That I’m not saying until the day after the presidential election.

Obamacare will not be repealed before the 2012 election but this vote might be the first step to insuring its repeal with a new person in the White House.

Comments
  1. dahospitalityguy says:

    Its very simple. All the Democratic senators need to do is filibuster the bill, under the premise that no vote on repeal shall occur until a replacement bill is passed by the House first. Since the Republicans ran on ‘repeal and replace’, I don’t see that as being detrimental to the democratic strategy. It calls out the republicans to actually come up with a health care bill.
    When you refinance a house, you don’t tear up your old mortgage before you have a new one in place first. If you stop making the mortage payments the bank takes away your house!

  2. Roxeanne de Luca says:

    And one year ago today, I met Robert Stacy McCain, who introduced me to you, Ace, and Dan Collins!