Obamacare may well lose in the House. A host of members maintain personal objections to the legislation and face unhappy constituents. Motivated by a blend of principle and self-preservation — and realizing the folly of marching to their political deaths at the command of a president whose approval rating is hovering below 50 percent – many members may well vote against it. This is especially true of those who voted for the Stupak amendment to prevent public funding for health plans covering abortions. Despite the overwhelming popularity of such a provision, the compromise bill will surely not contain it.
Constituents of those who voted for Stupak — and constituents of alleged “Blue Dogs” — should flood their offices with helpful reminders of the right way to go (remembering that the key is the quantity of letters, not the quality — since the member only hears the tallies and won’t read the prose).
I am optimistic about the House, but it’s always good to be prepared either way. So here’s a suggestion on the Senate front: Sen. Ben Nelson has long been the most conservative Democrat in the Senate (with a nearly dead-center lifetime American Conservative Union score of 47 out of 100), he apparently has sincere misgivings about Obamacare, and he is now facing a Baskin-Robbins (31-point) deficit in the Nebraska polls. He has got to be looking for a way out. Nebraska voters should give it to him.
Nebraskans could help immensely by flooding Nelson’s office with one-sentence letters pledging the following:
“I will vote for you if you vote to filibuster Obamacare if it returns to the Senate from the House, and I will vote against you if you don’t.”
Give Nelson a viable path to political redemption. The victory would be attributable to Nebraska, but the big winner would be the country.