An Intriguing Long Shot: Could Massachusetts Save Us From Obamacare?

by William Kristol
The Weekly Standard
December 22, 2009

A TWS reader e-mails:

“Hey Mr. Kristol, is there some supersecret plot to ignore the Massachusetts Senatorial election scheduled for JANUARY 19, where an actual REPUBLICAN has a chance to become the 41ST member of the Republican caucus, which might find it in its interest to…persuade a certain Senatorial election committee to pay attention to the race or send money or have actual prominent Republican types come to the state to campaign for the very telegenic State Sen. Scott Brown, who’s running against an undistinguished mouse of a Dem Party apparatchick who’s so pro-abortion she’s almost promising to do the procedure herself and doesn’t carry the last name of Kennedy?

Just askin’!”

He signs himself, “Perhaps Inordinately Hopefully Yours.”

He is perhaps inordinately hopeful. But he’s right: the health care bill wouldn’t come back to the Senate from the House (if a new version passes the House—which as I argued earlier, isn’t a laydown) until after January 19th. So a 41st Republican senator could stop Obamacare.

Now, of course the Democrat Martha Coakley is the overwhelming favorite. But someone might want to commission a poll in Massachusetts to see what might happen if the Senate race could be made a referendum on Obamacare. Brown and Coakley debated last night, and they clashed on the health care bill. But so far as I can tell, Brown didn’t emphasize that by electing him, the voters of Massachusetts have a chance to save the country from Obamacare. What if there were a massive independent expenditure that made that point? I bet Obamacare isn’t popular even in Massachusetts. And it would be novelistically satisfying if the Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s seat on the issue of government-run health care, thereby dooming…government-run health care.

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