Last week’s Senate vote to reject the repeal of Obamacare offered stark evidence that the so-called moderate Democrats in the Senate will be forced to walk the plank and vote for Obama’s liberal positions in the 2011-2012 legislative session, guaranteeing that many don’t return. Every single Democrat stood up and voted against repeal (except for one absentee and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut).
Harry Reid and Obama might well have let them off the hook. They could easily have let the likes of Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., save their seats and vote for repeal. Then, either the remaining Senate Democrats could block a vote, or more likely, Obama would veto the repeal legislation and no override would be possible. Such a posture would have gone a long way toward saving the Senate Democratic majority.
But Obama and Reid would have none of it. Like Captain Ahab accepting no excuses for not killing the white whale, they are determined to sacrifice the cream of their Senate majority in order not to repeal a law that the courts are going to throw out as unconstitutional anyway.
And the “moderate” Democrats in question lacked the guts and integrity to stand up to their leaders and vote to repeal this massively unpopular law. So much for their supposed “moderation.”
Now the Republicans must trumpet their votes in their home states with ads that will assure their defeat in 2012. Remember, Blanche Lincoln, lately defeated for re-election in Arkansas, did not lose her seat in the fall of 2010. She fell hopelessly behind in the spring of that year, when she voted to pass Obamacare despite the pleading, importuning and outright begging of a majority of her constituents.
By the time the fall election had begun in earnest, she opened the race more than 30 points behind.
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