Friday, November 05, 2010

Gibbs: Senate will save Obamacare

He might be right.
Though Republicans are rattling their sabers with threats to repeal the new healthcare and financial regulatory laws, the White House feels safe with its buffer in the Democratic Senate.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday he does not think repeal legislation would make it out of both houses of Congress.

“I honestly don't think it will come to that,” Gibbs said...

I'm not sure that that's true. But even if it is, tremendous benefit accrues to the Republicans for pushing it and making the Senate vote.
  • It demonstrates to the people that they are listening, and that they're doing what they were sent to do.
  • It forces Ben Nelson and Sherrod Brown and Bill Nelson and Jon Tester and Kent Conrad and Jim Webb and Bob Casey and Dianne Feinstein and all of the rest of the class of 2012 Democratic incumbents to stand up, after the American people have clearly spoken, and defy the will of the people again.
That second one is the reason that I'm far less confident than Gibbs that the Senate will prevent the President from having to veto a repeal bill. Ben Nelson's may not win re-election anyway, but he's got no chance if he votes against repeal. Herb Kohl just watched Russ Feingold go down in a Republican wave over Wisconsin. Bill Nelson just saw Marco Rubio win a massive victory in Florida. Joe Manchin is already on record as opposing Obamacare. Can Jim Webb survive another pro-Obamacare vote?

The leadership obviously won't want it to get to the floor. And they may be able to prevent it, or filibuster it. If it actually comes to a vote, I'm not certain that there are 50 anti-repeal votes in that chamber. But even if there are, forcing them to declare it can only help Republicans, so they should be pushing it. Hard. Starting on day 1, and not stopping.

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