The Coming Defeat of Obamacare Repeal

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 5 2011 8:25 AM

The Coming Defeat of Obamacare Repeal

Krissah Thompson talks to FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity about their plans for pushing health care repeal through the Senate after it passes the House.

[M]embers of the tea party movement, emboldened by their successes in the 2010 midterm elections , will call their Congress members to ask them to support repeal, said Brendan Steinhauser, director of state and federal campaigns for FreedomWorks .

"This is going to happen fast in terms of the vote, and we're going to get everything we can done," he said. "It's going to pass easily, and we're going to start putting in the plan to focus on the Senate. That's when you'll see more rallies and protests, and then the targeting will start to come."

... Both FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity , which ran the boisterous "Hands Off My Health Care" campaign, are keying in on Nebraska, Virginia and Florida - states where Democratic senators will be up for reelection in 2012 and have to contend with the tea party's growing influence.

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Thompson is too polite, too free of bias, to point out that this makes no sense. Flip three Democratic senators over to the anti-Obamacare side and you have... 50 votes for repeal. You need 60. Get Joe Manchin on board, and you have 51. You need 60. Get Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill, both in tough re-election races. You have 53 votes. You need 60. And how easy will it be to get these votes when Tester or Bill Nelson know full well that 1) their 2009 Obamacare votes will always be used against them and 2) voting with Michele Bachmann on health care is a one-way ticket to union and base abandonment?

I could have made this post even shorter. You want to know how far the House GOP's big victories will go in the Senate? Not quite as far as the House Democrats' victories did from 2009 to 2010.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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