Saturday, November 07, 2009

President Obama is absolutely right: Voting against health-care reform won't protect Democrats from the abject viciousness of Republicans

Sam Stein at HuffPo:

In a final push to get health care reform through the House of Representatives, President Barack Obama warned lawmakers on Saturday that a vote against the legislation would not immunize them from Republican attacks.

The president, according multiple attendees, played the role of political prognosticator during his roughly 30 minute address before Democratic caucus members on Capitol Hill. Addressing, implicitly, those conservative Democrats who are worried about voting for a nearly trillion dollar health care overhaul, he insisted that they would not be safe from partisan attacks even if they opposed the bill.

Yes, yes, yes. This is a point I and many others have been making for a long time.

If you're a Democrat and you're ideologically opposed to the bill, fine, I get that.

But if you're a Democrat and you're opposed to it for personal political reasons, that is, because you're putting your political survival before all else and think that voting against reform will increase your chances of being re-elected, especially in a right-leaning district, you're just deluding yourself. Your opponent and his or her party, the GOP, will target you relentlessly and mercilessly, especially if they think they can take back a right-leaning district. You will be able to go to the voters and stress your opposition to reform, but what good will that do you? Your opponent will have been against it, too, and he or she will attack you simply for being a Democrat, linking you to the rest of your party whether you like it or not.

So why not vote for the bill? Stand to be counted with your party, and the president, as history is made.

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