December 30, 2009

Will Big Ben Chime in Again?

Hatched by Dafydd

The release of a post-ObamaCare vote Rasmussen poll showing that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE, 75%) now sits 31 points (!) behind Republican Gov. Dave Heineman in a potential matchup in 2012 raises an interesting question: Will Nelson reconsider his vote for cloture when the bill comes back from the joint conference?

Given that there will likely be changes made in the bill, however slight, he has a ready-made excuse: "Oh, sure, I vote for the previous version; but the new one is soooo much worse!"

I reckon what it boils down to is whether he thinks the 31-point gap is just a statistical anomaly, or that it will naturally close itself as Nebraskans forget all their fears about ObamaCare and happy-up again... or whether he thinks the vote will linger and fester, effectively killing his political career for all time to come... unless he moves to Massachusetts or California and starts all over again.

At the moment, he's made an expensive ad buy to be aired starting tonight, during the Holiday Bowl football game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The advert -- which sounds somewhat whiny, from the description in the Lincoln Journal-Star -- argues that ObamaCare doesn't mean a government takeover of health care; that it really, really, really does prevent any federal funds from subsidizing abortion; lowers health-insurance costs for all while mandating coverage; and (absurdly enough) that it actually does "reduce the deficit."

The problem is that nobody really believes that... not even Nelson; he relies upon the traditional Democratic catechism that voters are fools who can be led by the nose.

My guess is that the response to the ad will be vastly underwhelming; Nebraska is the Cornhusker state -- not the Cementhead state. When Nelson sees that his political sleight of hand has failed... will he then come to the obvious conclusion? Will he realize that if he is to have any hope of reelection at all, he must repudiate his cloture vote during the next bite at the apple in January or February?

I don't know. How bright is he?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 30, 2009, at the time of 1:33 PM

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The following hissed in response by: snochasr

We have two problems. One is that he doesn't think we are all that bright, and two, that he isn't bright enough to figure out how much trouble he is in. The biggest problem with our political system is just where you started out-- that if he doesn't CARE about re-election OR believes he can get re-elected anyway, there is nothing that can stop him from casting a vote that the rest of us would consider wrong for him and wrong for the country.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 30, 2009 1:55 PM

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