[O]ff a cliff is exactly where the Democrat party is going. In 1994, the party lost 54 seats in the House, losing control for the first time in 40 years. 54 seats is my opening bid for November 2010. They will lose that amount if ObamaCare somehow fails tonight. If it passes, their losses will be much worse in the House (hell, I’d take odds on a 100 seat loss) and they likely will lose the Senate as well. Worse for the parties future, they will be decimated in state house races, which is critical to the future of they party. The winners of these races will draw new legislative districts next year. A GOP rout in statehouses could doom the Democrats for a decade.
So, looking to tonight’s vote, I am torn. The policy wonk in me desperately wants the bill to fail. There are simply far too many provisions with sweeping consequences that we can’t fully imagine. There is too much damage that could be done and I don’t fully trust that the GOP will repeal every last provision. Clearly, the Democrats are betting that they won’t. They believe that, even if they have to lose their majority, enough of ObamaCare will remain that health care dominates our political discourse forever and they will always be able to outbid the GOP on the issue.
That said, the political animal in me is hoping they find 216 votes. A victory for ObamaCare tonight, It will spark a public revolt that will wipe clean the progressive agenda for at least a generation. In battle, it is critically important to have clarity; to understand the fight you are in. If the Democrats pass ObamaCare tonight no one will have any doubts about the battle ahead. So, my political instincts say, “Bring it On. Let’s sort this out once and for all.”
Tonight, if the Democrats get 216 votes, every one of those “yes” votes will be the deciding vote on ObamaCare. It will also be the deciding vote on the Democrats’ political oblivion.