Seven months ago the Speaker of the House, Her Highness Nancy Pelosi, was busy rounding up votes to win approval in the House of the version of the ObamaCare Bill which had passed in the Senate. Not an easy task, to say the least.
Democratic representatives who had voted no in November had to be convinced to switch their vote to yes in March. She also had to persuade Democrats who had refused to vote for the bill in November, because it hadn’t contained an anti-abortion amendment, to vote for the bill in March which lacked the same language.
She quite boldly scheduled the vote for Saturday to keep besieged Democratic representatives from returning home to their districts. She didn’t want the resolve of her members waning because they would have been attacked by those vicious Obamacare opponents. You remember, she said they were violent, anti-American astroturf.
She was, of course, referring to tea party patriots, but we can just call them voters, for now. Those opponents, according to polls at that time, included most American voters. But Pelosi, Obama and Bill Clinton all predicted the bill would become more popular after it was passed. Pelosi added, at the time, that people would like it better after they had a chance to read it and find out what was in it. She was including all of the House and Senate in the group who would like it more after reading it.
Based on the level of enthusiasm behind the throw the bastards out movement, the voters haven’t yet come around to her way of thinking. All of the national polls agree that the voters are still very much opposed to ObamaCare.
And what, do you suppose, will become of those spineless Congressmen who voted for the bill, but who are from districts very much opposed to the ObamaCare legislation? They cast the votes which made ObamaCare the law of the land. Those bastions of integrity are in their home districts, right now, campaigning for re-election. Certainly they must be extolling the virtues of ObamaCare from every soapbox in the land, winning over the hearts and minds of the voters by discussing the merits of the legislation.
What about those idiot Congressmen who cast the key votes that made Obamacare law? Democrats, one and all, each with a significant interest in convincing the astroturf that ObamaCare is a good thing, and that’s why they voted for it. How do you think they are doing? Not well, at all, is the answer.
Take Betsy Markey of Colorado who in 2008 beat a Republican fixated on the same-sex marriage issue. Markey cast a late no vote November, then publicly switched to yes a week before the March vote. She’s currently trailing Republican opponent Cory Gardiner by an average of 44 to 39 percent in three polls. She isn’t talking about the legislation at all except for a link on her website, which links to a video saying she had "the honor" to vote for the bill. Otherwise, she and her website are silent on the issue.
Or consider John Boccieri of Ohio, who switched from no to yes during a television press conference in which he said the bill would do great things for his constituents. His constituents had voted Republican for 58 straight years until electing him. They’ll be voting Republican again in just a couple of weeks, as Republican challenger Jim Renacci is leading by 10 points in the polls. Boccieri’s website courageously provides a video of the Congressman defending Obamacare and challenging opponents to say which provisions they’d give up.
Then there is Suzanne Kosmas, a longtime real estate agent who beat a Republican with an ethics issue in 2008. She announced her switch from no to yes late in the week before the vote. She’s now running behind her Republican opponent Sandy Adams by an average of 7 percent in recent polls.
To put these numbers in perspective, incumbent Representatives almost never trail a challenger in any poll, nor do they ever run significantly below 50 percent. But these three Democrats, to sample but a few, are running between 5 and 10 points behind Republican challengers, and none of them polls above 40 percent.
Those three are doing well, insomuch as they are at least running, trying to get themselves reelected, which is more than can be said for Bart Stupak of Michigan. You must remember Bart. He was the chief sponsor of the anti-abortion amendment that he forced into the House version of the bill in November. Bart was on television just hours before the roll call vote, dripping with integrity, telling all of America that he was not going to vote for the legislation. Hours later, he did just that, placated as he was, with an executive order. An executive order, which he was assured Barack Obama would sign, that would have the same effect as actually drafting antiabortion language into the bill.
Legal experts and abortion opponents disagreed. But, Bart Stupak cast a critical vote for the bill, as did five other Democrats who were widely referred to as "the Stupak five," all of whom flanked him at his press conference, that fateful day. If these six votes had gone the other way, Obama would have been defeated.
Bart’s prospects of reelection were so grim, he’s not even running. In fact, Urban Dictionary now defines s Stupak as follows:
stu·pak /stooˈpak/,-paked, -pak·ing (noun). A person who comes up with lame ideas; is really dumb, moronic, asinine, idiotic or has shit for brains. Origin: the US Congress 2010.
In Stupak’s home district, Republican Dan Benishek, who is running against Stupak’s Democratic replacement, is leading in the polls by 17 points, with the Democratic candidate garnering a whopping 27 percent.
Two of the Stupak five, Steve Driehaus of Ohio and Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, are each being beaten like a drum. In his Cincinnati-area district, Driehaus trails 51 to 41, while Dahlkemper trails by a margin of 45 to 37 percent in her Erie Pennsylvania area seat.
Another one of Stupak’s group, Alan Mollohan, from West Virginia, was elected for the first time in 1982, but lost his bid for the candidacy in the May primary. Only one of the group, Nick Joe Rahall, first elected in 1976, won his primary and seems well ahead for November. But for him, the Stupak Five would have met with extinction.
Circumstances are the same with these races and dozens of others: the fateful vote which was cast by many Democrats in favor of ObamaCare is proving to be a career ender.