Streams

Health Care Politicking Coming Back to Bite Dems

Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 01:21 PM

Karol Markowicz

In a surprise to only the most die-hard Obama fans, the politicians who supported the disastrous healthcare bill boondoggle are the most likely to lose their jobs come Tuesday's election.

As Josh Kraushaar notes in The National Journal notes, "the reality that Democrats hate to discuss – and even some Republicans have been hesitant to fully embrace – is that the party’s signature health care law is what’s turning a bad election year into a disaster of potential history-making proportions."

It's unclear which Republicans, exactly, are unwilling to fully embrace that the centerpiece legislation of Barack Obama's first two years is exactly what may cause his party to lose what will hopefully be a landslide election. They wouldn't have much to worry about in mentioning it, public opinion remains strongly against the bill, as Kraushaar points out:

There’s no doubt that the health care bill is unpopular. A new Battleground Poll shows 54 percent opposed to it, 40 percent strongly. This weeks' Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center, showed voters favor repealing the law by a 10-point margin, 51 to 41 percent. Republicans have been hammering Democrats across the country over their votes for the legislation, even in solidly Democratic states and districts. Of the many Democratic lawmakers in trouble, only a brave and principled few, such as Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., and Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., have even mentioned their support for the bill – and the latest polls have both trailing in their reelection bids.

Kraushaar says ones who tried to stay strong and then caved at the last moment are in the deepest danger:

Indeed, House Democrats who gave the decisive margin at the end – the so-called Stupak bloc, who held out their support until anti-abortion language was inserted and those who flipped their votes to support the bill — read like a who’s who of the most at-risk Democrats.

Polls are finding that Obama voters are leaning Republican this time around, perhaps because they didn't get quite the change they wanted, as The New York Times reported.

In a follow-up interview, one poll respondent, Judy Berg, an independent from Morton Grove, Ill., said she voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 because she was “looking for a change,” adding, “the change that ensued was not the change I was looking for but something totally out of left field.”

Perhaps next time they won't go against the districts they're supposed to represent to support partisanship and the president's pet project. A good leader combines the wants of his constituents with what he believes to be the right course of action. A good leader does not bow to political pressure from the president to act in a way that he and his constituents believe to be wrong. Democrats should have a picture of Scott Brown, the Republican who fills Teddy Kennedy's US Senate seat, on their walls to remind them that the people come first.

 

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.

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