If Scott Brown wins today, it doesn’t automatically mean that the health care bill is dead, but it certainly makes passage more difficult. The prospect of the House passing the Senate version of the legislation without changes remains the simplist option, but it would be hard to secure the needed 218 votes. That’s why, according to Brian Beutler, Democrats may be taking another look at an additional option that’s been talked about — rushing a vote on the health care bill while delaying the seating of Brown in the Senate. Rep. Anthony Weiner, inexplicably, publicly touted the idea as “a hurry-up-and-stall” strategy. But pulling of a stunt like this — even if it were theoretically doable — would be so politically radioactive, that it’s hard to believe Democrats would actually attempt it.
The idea that in the wake of the Gov. Rod Blagojevich scandal, Democrats would delay the seating of a democratically elected Senate candidate so they can enable a gubernatorially-appointed placeholder to cast the deciding vote on a major piece of legislation that’s hugely unpopular, is unconscionable. Pulling off such a move would force at least 218 of their House members, and their entire Senate caucus to go along with a heinous attack on the will of voters.
And as Amanda Carpenter noted yesterday, “Sen. Teddy Kennedy and Rep. Nikki Tsongas, both Bay State Democrats, were sworn in within days of winning their special elections.”
While some Democrats would be tempted to compare the situation to the delayed seating of Al Franken, that would only be a relevant comparison if the outcome in Massachusetts ends up being decided by a mere few hundred votes.