Ted Kennedy’s own actions may have killed Obama’s national takeover of the entire health care and insurance industries. After being diagnosed with cancer, Kennedy got the Massachusetts legislature to reverse the very succession law he himself had wanted, to keep then Governor Mitt Romney from being able to choose Kennedy’s own replacement. Kennedy figured that he’d die soon and Harry Reid would need current Gov. Patrick Duvall (d-MA) to appoint another democrat, to maintain his 60 vote filibuster-proof majority, in time for an August ’09 vote on ObamaCare.
Despite Kennedy’s blatant manipulation of the established appointment process; Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Blue Dog democrats, Senate Republicans and Joe Lieberman ran out the legislative clock on Duvall’s temporary appointee. Now, at the very moment when democrats were about to emerge from behind closed doors, triumphantly waving their reconciled bill, Scott Brown’s election put the opposition Filibuster back on the table.
Following Obama’s defeat in the Massachusetts special election, liberal analysts wondered out loud weather democrats would have been better off with only a 59 or 58 seat Senate majority from the on-set of this debate. Such a reduced majority would have required minimal bi-partisanship and would have insured victory and a more popular bill. Instead, Obama, Pelosi and Reid were emboldened to ram home their liberal wish list that became more and more unpopular; with average Americans, the more details they learned.
Kennedy’s back room dealing was only one of many times that democrats rigged the electoral system towards securing their “holy grail” of a veto-proof majority; Obama pressured the Illinois State Legislature to remove Rod Blagojevich quickly and avoid a special election that might have resulted in a Republican winning (his) former Senate seat. The democrats wheeled Tim Johnson back from his hospice suite, despite having suffered a brain hemorrhage, to stretch their numerical advantage. Al Franken contested Norm Coleman’s re-election in the friendly Minnesota courts until he dug up enough votes to secure that seat. Harry Reid bribed Arlen Specter into forsaking his Republican electorate with promises of continued seniority and committee chairmanships. And, let us not forget all the really close elections back in November of ’08 where ACORN, SEIU and the Black Panthers registered fictitious and dead democrat voters, stuffed ballot boxes and intimidated white people at polling places.
Despite all their unseemly and (possibly) illegal efforts to stack the Senate, it now appears that the democrats’ chickens have come home to roost; One year down the road, these “masters of the universe” are so beholden to their left-wing, single-payer, national healthcare base that they dare not start over in a true bi-partisan effort, Pelosi cannot get the Senate bill passed through the House and Harry Reid will be lucky to get re-elected himself, much less regain his now elusive 60th vote.
In Obama’s ‘all-or-nothing’ world, it looks like his dream of nationalizing the entire American health care system will have to remain just that, a dream. And in the end, it can be said that it was Kennedy’s own hubris that made ObamaCare a “Bill Too Far.”