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  Politics and Elections
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Looking ahead in the wake of Brown's victory, part 2
Senate:  Yesterday, I took a look at the landscape in the House and what Scott Brown's victory means for the 40-seat Democratic majority there.  Clearly, control of the House is within reach for the GOP if current voter unrest persists until November.  But what about the Senate?  That's a much fiercer Lion to slay.  If we look simply at the 31% swing between President Obama's 26-point margin in 2008 and Scott Brown's 5-pointer on Tuesday, a whole bunch of senate seats come into play.  Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, North Dakota and Pennsylvania become GOP blowouts.  And California and Connecticut move into GOP territory.  So does Gillibrand's seat in New York - especially if George Pataki runs.  But the 31% tsunami would not stop there.  Seats like Oregon, Washington, even Indiana and Hawaii (if Linda Lingle runs), would be hard-pressed to stand up under that kind of movement away from the Democratic senators occupying those seats.

That's 14 seats, 4 more than the GOP needs to take back the Senate.  Yes, I know, many of these races, unlike Massachusetts, will feature incumbents who will undoubtedly outperform one Martha Coakley, but the way the voters spoke in the Bay State on Tuesday, I don't believe any of these seats can be deemed completely safe.  That said, do I think the GOP will win the Senate in November?  No ... but it is not outside the realm of possibility if everything goes right for red team.

Obamacare:  Even though Nancy Pelosi announced today that the votes aren't there in the House to pass the Senate's version of Obamacare, I don't believe Brown's 41st vote and the stinging message it brings are enough to stop the Democrats from pursuing other avenues.  In the moments following the call for Scott Brown on Tuesday night, I listened to Juan Williams on Fox News.  His opinions on the ramifications of the election result found little concurrence among the others on the panel, but I felt he was right on.

Williams believes the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate will not let the Massachusetts Miracle deter them from driving Obamacare into law at all costs.  Rather than yielding to the obvious and overwhelming will and desire of the people, he asserted that they will use every measure to get health care passed.  Fighting against protests around the table, he explained why.  The Democratic leadership will refuse to face voters in November having done essentially nothing of substance to fulfill the great promise they felt Barack Obama's presidency represented.  They will wager their collective political futures to bring home the "accomplishment" of Obamacare.

I see and agree with the point he makes.  But I'll take it a little further.  Rather than choosing Obamacare over nothing as a condemned prisoner might choose a noose over starvation, they are resolved to give salesmanship and spin another opportunity to save them.  November is still a long way off, and the American electorate has proven its short attention span many times over.  If they pass Obamacare, they and their agents in the mainstream media will have 10 months to tout that all Americans now have health insurance, 10 months to produce juiced up numbers showing how they did it without extending the national debt, 10 months to paint Republicans as ogres and monsters for wanting to "take away" health insurance from the very ones who need it the most and can afford it the least.

For sure it will be a risky play, they probably reason, but it beats the alternative.  If they reach November empty-handed, they will have conceded utter defeat, leaving dozens of congressional seats to be swallowed up in the red tsunami now well-developed across the nation.  Those are the only options they see.  Give up now and lose everything, or try a Hail Mary passage of health care hoping they can convince us to catch it in the end zone when November rolls around.  Unfortunately for them, their liberal elitist minds are blind to the best play they have - work with Republicans to reform health care in a way that will be healthy for America, for her society, her economy and her liberty.

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