Back in Nov. 10, at OpenLeft I wrote
Frankly, I believe that if the Republicans had any brains, they’d tell one or two of their members in the Senate to help break any filibuster attempt, so as to let the healthcare ‘reform’ become law ASAP. If the reform is as bad, overall, as some of us believe (even while simultaneously having some very good reform elements), then the Republicans could use this issue to rout the Democrats in 2010. But only if they ‘help’ the Democrats achieve their mandate-laden ‘reform’ legislation soon enough.
Well, well, check out this HuffPo article by Lawrence O’Donnell Will Scott Brown Ruin Republicans’ (Secret) Plan to Pass Obamacare?
It is now a given that if he wins a Massachusetts Senate seat on Tuesday, Scott Brown will destroy the Democrats’ plan to pass health care reform. But he will also destroy the Republicans’ not-so-secret plan to pass health care reform.
In Washington, where everyone is desperate to know what’s happening behind closed doors, all you have to do to keep something secret is do it out in the open, preferably on C-Span. Mitch McConnell did exactly that when he entered a unanimous consent agreement with Harry Reid about how to proceed on the health care bill. McConnell knew that agreement was going to make it impossible for Republicans to amend the bill and would put it on a fast track toward passage.
There are no columnists or pundits who understand Senate parliamentary procedure. There are actually very few senators who do. McConnell knows that. He knew everyone would fall for the silly stunts that looked obstructionist while he was surrendering all his power to Reid.
And now the strategy becomes clear: Repeal it! That is the Republican Party battle cry for the 2010 election. Repealing Obamacare is going to be the centerpiece of their campaign to take back the House and Senate. But how can you repeal it if they don’t pass it. Hence, Mitch McConnell’s enabling.
President Obama threatening to violate a campaign pledge by taxing workers’ health care plans is one thing, but actually doing it is a dream come true for Republicans. They know the health care reform bill has a handful of taxes like that, none of which were mentioned by any Democrat in the last campaign. They can’t wait to campaign to repeal those taxes. The internal Republican strategy debate now is should we repeal the whole bill or maybe leave some of the more popular sounding bits alone? But how can they run on any kind of repeal if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts and steps into the Senate just in time to kill Obamacare?