Sadly, I come home to find that Health Care Reform is one special election (ironically, it is that which would replace Senator Kennedy) from being derailed. The story is all over the news, but here’s this from Talking Points Memo:
The new survey of Massachusetts by Public Policy Polling (D) sends a very alarming message to Democrats: Due to a fall in interest by Democratic voters, the race for the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat is a toss-up, and Republican Scott Brown even has a one-point edge over Democrat Martha Coakley.
The numbers: Brown 48%, Coakley 47%, with a ±3.6% margin of error. The election will be held on January 19. Independent candidate Joe Kennedy, a libertarian who is not related to the famous Kennedy family, was not included in the poll. If Brown were to pick up this seat in Democratic Massachusetts, it would surely spell the end of the health care bill — Brown has made it very clear that he would use his power as the 41st Republican Senator to stop the bill.
In addition, the New York Times did a recent profile on the pro-life democrat Bart Stupak in which he claims, including himself, to have 11-12 votes against Health Care Reform in the House unless it has his abortion-language. And if the health bill doesn’t pass (given that it only passed by three votes in the first place, it is looking less and less likely given that several other pro-abortion rights dems have said they won’t vote for reform if it has such language), he said:
“It’s not the end of the world if it goes down,” he said over dinner. He did not sound downbeat about the prospect of being blamed for blocking the long-sought goal of President Obama and a chain of presidents and legislators before him. “Then you get the message,” he continued. “Fix the abortion language and bring the bill back.”
Alarmingly, it is looking more and more like health care reform failure is a real possibility. Being unwilling to substantially (and magently) compromise with the opposing party (even on common sense things like tort reform and buying of private insurance across state lines)–or even one’s own pro-life democrats–has a real chance of killing the whole thing.
And if it does, the red/blue-state wars will have claimed another 30-some-million victims.