THE ELECTIONS AND YOUR HEALTH - AT 2:27 P.M. ET: It appears that the first impact of last night's elections will be felt in congressional attitudes toward Obamacare, the mammoth, 2,000-page health "reform" bill now sitting in the House. Dick Morris believes the elections may mark the end for Obamacare:
...Virginia results are the most important. More than 80 Democratic congressmen and twenty senators come from states that John McCain carried in 2008. For them, the sudden switch in Virginia, a swing state that Obama actually carried, heralds tough political times ahead.
Until last night, Democratic moderates, the so-called blue dogs, could bask in the light of their candidate’s success in 2008. But now they must hear hoof beats behind them. The party discipline on which Obama depends to pass a health-care program that Americans reject by 42 percent for, 55 percent against (Rasmussen again) will only work if beleaguered Democratic incumbents can wrap themselves in Obama’s cloak and tough out the popular criticism. But the limits of Obama’s drawing power are readily apparent in the Republicans’ 20-point victory in Virginia and the race in New Jersey.
In the coming weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be asking their troops to cast potentially career-ending votes for health-care changes, Medicare cuts, higher taxes, and fines on the uninsured. Whether they take that risk depends on their faith in Obama’s drawing power.
But the votes in Virginia, in particular, show the limits of Obama’s appeal. The winner, Bob McDonnell, won the attorney general’s race in the last election by a few tenths of a percent over the same opponent. That he coasted to so huge a victory in the swing state of Virginia now has to send a message to red-state Democratic congressmen: Obama may be able to survive in the deep water into which he is leading his party, but you can’t.
COMMENT: In the past, the so-called Blue Dog Democrats have caved in to leadership pressure, facing a bit of heat back home. But asking a Blue Dog to commit political suicide may just be too much for most of them. Very interesting few months ahead as the Dem leaders, who'd walk off the cliff as liberals, try to ram through their signature legislation on (cough) health care.
November 4, 2009