Right now, we hear talk that Democrats are coming up with plans to push through health care even if Scott Brown wins the Senate race in Massachusetts tomorrow. According to the New York Times, “Plan B would be to try to persuade House Democrats to approve the health care bill that the Senate adopted on Christmas Eve, obviating the need for an additional Senate vote and sending the measure directly to President Obama for his signature.” Or they will try passing the bill before Brown is seated, it is said, or they will try passing health care through the budget reconciliation process, which requires only 51 Senate votes.
Democrats, I think, are deluding themselves.
All this talk fails to account for the magnitude of a Democratic loss in Massachusetts. That would, by itself, set off a terrifically powerful political chain reaction. The notion that Democrats would simply need a new tactic, as if the only thing to have changed were a single seat in the U.S. Senate, is silly.
Why? Because we will wake up to an entirely different political world on Wednesday if Scott Brown defeats Martha Coakley tomorrow. It is hard to overstate the panic (and recriminations) that will ensue among Democrats. It will be massive. The entire political and legislative dynamic will change. And the warning many of us have long been sending to Democrats will finally have broken through: passing ObamaCare is worse than passing nothing at all.
If the current polls hold up, and Scott Brown wins — which is likely at this point — ObamaCare may well die as a result of the massive wound inflicted by voters in the Bay State. Now wouldn’t that be an irony?