by Locker Room contributor
National Review‘s Rich Lowry points to this “breaking news” story from The New York Times:
The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, are preparing to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill, which would send the measure directly to President Obama for his signature.
The administration and congressional Democrats are hellbent on shoving through Congress on a party-line vote sweeping social and economic legislation that is cratering in the polls (last week’s CBS News poll found ObamaCare had 36-percent public approval). As quickly as possible before skittish House Democrats have second thoughts.
The original House bill passed with only 219 Democratic and one Republican vote. (Thirty-nine Democrats voted against it.) And the lone Republican, Joseph Cao of Louisiana, has one chance to be re-elected: Vote no this time.
Moreover, Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii ? a yes vote ? resigned his seat to run for governor. So the Pelosi/Reid/Obama triumvirate has a mere 218 votes for passage, and no room for further defections.
Some Dems who voted for the bill the first time may have cause to reconsider if Scott Brown wins the Massachusetts Senate seat, particularly if the race isn’t close. Martha Coakley may be a lousy candidate. But Massachusetts is overwhelmingly a Democratic state. And a good deal of Brown’s support has come from independents and Democrats who are sick of the high-handed tactics deployed by the administration and its minions to gin up support for Coakley.
(Dissing Brown for driving a pickup and shaking hands at Fenway Park — not to mention calling Curt Schilling a Yankee fan — is no way to win over the blue-collar vote in Red Sox Nation.)
Independents are fleeing the Democrats’ agenda in droves. They haven’t necessarily embraced the Republicans. But the administration’s politcal base is a lot smaller than it was even a few weeks ago. And if the Obamites insist on bullying their way to health-care victory, don’t be surprised if at least a few wavering congresspeople refuse to play along.