What would happen if you ignored multiple requests from your employer to stop wasting time on your pet project and instead concentrate on a higher priority task? You would be fired, of course. There are six U.S. Senators up for reelection tomorrow who richly deserve to lose their jobs for that very offense. Throughout 2009 and early 2010 they refused to listen when their employers — the voters — demanded that they stop meddling in health care and focus on the economy. With the voices of protest reverberating in their ears, these cynical pols voted to foist Obamacare on an unwilling electorate.
These Democrat Senators thought it was safe to disregard the protests because they would not have to face the voters until the far off date of November 4, 2014. During the interim, they believed, their benighted constituents would learn to love the absurdly titled Affordable Care Act and appreciate the wisdom of those who voted for it. But the Beltway bubble makes for a poor crystal ball. The day of reckoning finally arrives tomorrow and Senators Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, Udall, Hagan, and Shaheen will have to answer to a lot of angry voters who revile Obamacare more than ever.
And, though many “news” organizations remain in denial, the “reform” law will be far more than a side issue for most midterm voters. A recent poll from McLaughlin & Associates revealed that 60 percent of likely voters want the law repealed. In fact, some reliably liberal outlets have faced the fact that Obamacare is a serious liability for the Democrats. Politico, for example, reports that “not only did the political benefits Democrats thought the 2010 law would bring them not materialize, opposition has only grown according to an analysis of multiple polls taken between 2010 and last month.”
Nonetheless, at least two of the six have actually had the temerity to boast about their health care records. Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor ran an ad in which he claimed to have done battle with the insurance companies, but somehow neglected to mention Obamacare. That oversight has been rectified by Crossroads GPS, which ran this spot reminding Arkansas voters that Pryor disregarded their wishes when it mattered. And, if the latest public polls are accurate, he is about to become suddenly unemployed. The Real Clear Politics average has him behind his GOP challenger, Tom Cotton, by 7 points.
Alaska Senator Mark Begich, like his Arkansas accomplice, has attempted to run on his support for the President’s “most significant domestic achievement” without actually uttering any of the various names by which it is known. In this ad, for example, we watch a breast cancer survivor running up and down snowy streets as she tells us that Senator Begich courageously fought the evil insurance companies on her behalf. The ad never mentions Obamacare, of course. Nor does it appear to have fooled the voters. Most polls show Begich trailing his GOP challenger, Dan Sullivan, by 4 to 6 points.
Not all members of the Obamacare Six are as coy as Begich and Pryor. Senator Mary Landrieu, whose Obamacare vote was bought via the infamous “Louisiana Purchase,” continues to defend her vote for “reform” and blames the resultant political fallout on southern racism and misogyny. This insult to her constituents probably won’t help her reach 50 percent of the vote in tomorrow’s Louisiana primary, which means she’ll face a runoff in December, probably against Republican congressman Bill Cassidy. The polls suggest that Rep. Cassidy will defeat Senator Landrieu in that contest.
Another of the six whose Obamacare troubles go beyond merely ignoring his constituents is Senator Mark Udall of Colorado. The Denver Post reports, “Udall staffers attempted to bully Jo Donlin, the director of external affairs for the Colorado Insurance Division, after her office reported that health insurance policies of 250,000 Coloradans had been canceled because of coverage mandates under the Affordable Care Act.” Udall’s staff was exonerated by a faux investigation, but the voters haven’t bought it. The polls show him consistently trailing his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner.
Unfortunately, two of these six Senators may get away with their dismissal of the voters. North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, for example, has managed to stay slightly ahead of her GOP challenger, Thom Tillis. This is passing strange in a state where registered voters disapprove of her 44 to 37 percent and who not only disapprove of Obamacare but rank health care as the most important issue facing their state. Part of Hagan’s ability to defy gravity may be due to the presence in the race of ostensible Independent Sean Haugh, most of whose meager support has probably been drained from Tillis.
The only member of the Obamacare Six who is virtually certain to get away with her arrogance is New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen. She has held a consistent if small lead over GOP challenger Scott Brown through most of the campaign. This is almost certainly due to the perception that Brown is a carpetbagger. Ironically it was Brown’s election to a vacant Massachusetts Senate seat in 2010 that forced the Democrats to engage in much of the parliamentary skullduggery that has since tainted Obamacare in the eyes of most voters. But he probably won’t win this time.
Still, Shaheen richly deserves the same fate that has already befallen many of the Senators who voted for Obamacare. She and her five accomplices belong among the 18 Democrat Senators who have been fired by the voters since 2010, or retired in order to avoid that fate. All of these people ignored the will of the voters and passed what one of the now-retired authors of the law later called a “train wreck.” Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, Udall, Hagan, and Shaheen should receive their pink slips tomorrow.