March 6, 2010

Pass Health Care or Not, Dems Can't Win

Hey Democrats: Wrong again guys.

Whether the Democrats need to use reconciliation to pass their version of health care reform or not, it won't matter in the mid-term elections. Whether the Democrats succeed or fail in passing health care at all won't matter either. For the most part it won't matter to the GOP. Barring some major unknown between now and November, the course for the mid-terms is set.

Of course that's not to say that health care reform doesn't matter. The out-in-the-open-but-stealthy government grab of a private sector industry will have enormous impact on Americans, the economy, and the debt of current and future generations. It won't be a positive impact either.

But the Democrats feel they will be able to save themselves from an electoral drubbing by passing the legislation. There are an awful lot of liberal Democrats in that echo chamber. Yet if that's the case - why the constant rush to get it done? If passing that legislation is enough to change voters' minds then wouldn't passing it in late September count just as much as passing it on March 18th - the latest Obama deadline? Or is it just possible that they want it passed early so that it gets absorbed by voters and forgotten as a personal issue once the election rolls around? Maybe they're hoping voters will come to terms with the new reality and anger will have dissipated by election time.

But that's not going to happen. The anger and distrust and 'wrong direction' energy is palpable. And don't think for a second that the GOP are going to let voters forget about the legislation. The point is no longer whether the legislation passes or not, as far as electoral implications go. What matters is the Democrats' slavish devotion to an irrelevant agenda in a time of economic turmoil and in the face of clear and strong public opposition to the various versions of the plan. It's being pushed ruthlessly, and with a disregard for legal propriety in the face of all opposition.

There's no turning back from that. If the legislation fails, Democrats will face electoral consequences almost as strongly as if it passes. The exception might be the few Democrats who manage to turn around on the issue and help defeat it. But those impacts will be isolated. Conversely, if it passes, the Republicans can settle on a platform position to reverse the legislation if it they are elected in sufficient force.

Pass health care or not, the Democrats can't win in November. If their best hope is a complacent public, they are in big, big trouble.

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