The motion of the ocean aside, here's a quick guide to some Democratic House members that Republicans believe are genuinely vulnerable in a year when President Obama isn't on the ballot. (Note: isn't it interesting how this formulation admits that, were Obama to be on the ballot, some of these folks wouldn't be as vulnerable?) Even though the NRCC hasn't recruited challengers in all of these districts, they've begun to target the incumbents in radio ads and through auto-dial calls in an effort to both test how vulnerable these Democrats are and begin to soften them up if they aren't. There are potentially vulnerable Dems not on this list, but I'm sticking to the races where the GOP has spent the most money (on TV, on polling, on recruitment) so far.
The typical argument for ObamaCare is that it will offer better medical care for everyone and cost less to do it, but occasionally a supporter lets the mask slip and reveals the real political motivation. So let's give credit to John Cassidy, part of the left-wing stable at the New Yorker, who wrote last week on its Web site that "it's important to be clear about what the reform amounts to."
Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. "The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment," he writes. "Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind."
One of Congress's foremost champions of abortion rights said on Monday that the Senate did not have the votes to add a more restrictive anti-abortion amendment to health care reform legislation.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that 60 votes would be needed to strip the current health care bill of its abortion-related language and replace it with a version resembling that passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. And, in an interview with the Huffington Post, the California Democrat predicted that pro-choice forces in the Senate would keep that from happening.
"If someone wants to offer this very radical amendment, which would really tear apart [a decades-long] compromise, then I think at that point they would need to have 60 votes to do it," Boxer said. "And I believe in our Senate we can hold it."
In a new USC/LA Times poll released today neither former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina or Irvine Assemblyman Chuck DeVore are known by most in the GOP.
Some key findings:
Name recognition: Boxer: 88 percent; Fiorina: 29 percent; DeVore: 19 percent. Fiorina just announced her candidacy last week but itâ€™s been known for months that sheâ€™s running.
Whoâ€™s winning in GOP primary: Neither of them. The poll shows Fiorina and DeVore tied at 27 percent each with a whopping 40 percent undecided.
Six in ten of voters, the LA Times reports, said they didnâ€™t know enough about either GOP hopeful to have an impression of them.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found his health reform efforts seriously complicated Monday by the explosive issue of abortion, as key centrist senators said they wanted to see airtight language in the bill blocking federal funding for the procedure.
Abortion threatened to derail a House health reform bill Saturday, and now itâ€™s standing in the way of Reidâ€™s attempts to get 60 votes as well, with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) saying he wants to see language as restrictive as the Houseâ€™s in the Senate bill.
If the language isnâ€™t clear in prohibiting federal funds for abortion, â€œyou could be sure I would vote against it,â€ said Nelson, who met with Reid on Monday.