In the film version of Edwin O’Connor’s book The Last Hurrah, Spencer Tracy, playing Mayor Curley of Boston, exits the booth after voting for his own re-election and meets the WASP banker who is spearheading the reform opposition who is entering the voting area. In his best Irish brogue, Tracy says “I just nullified your vote.”
That’s who we feel after Utica, New York’s Congressman Mike Arcuri, who backed Obamacare last time, announced his conversion to the opposition, nullifying Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s switch from no to yes after his Air Force One pep talk from President Obama.
Not at all coincidentally, Arcuri has been the target of three weeks of heavy advertising by the League of American Voters in his Utica district. Your donations have helped us to fund $60,000 of ads aimed at switching his vote – and they worked!
The next few days will be filled with yeses turning into noes and noes turning into yeses. How it will settle, nobody knows. We suspect that Pelosi and Obama have a few conversions up their sleeves to announce in the hopes of showing momentum for passage of the health care bill. But, it is equally likely that there are several Congressmen who are planning to vote no who have been persuaded to hold up any public announcement so as not to interfere with the Speaker’s efforts to show momentum toward passage.
But we need not be passive spectators in this process! We can directly influence the results by phoning Congressmen who are on the fence and by donating to run ads in their districts. Please, if you have not done so already, log onto dickmorris.com and copy down the names of the swing Congressmen and pick up the phone. And, help us intensify the ads we are running. As Arcuri demonstrates, they are working!
Symptomatic of the difficulty Pelosi is having in finding the votes for passage, she is floating the idea of avoiding a direct vote in the House and merely “deeming” that the bill has passed when the House adopts a rule allowing it to vote on the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill in the same package.
Her implicit assumption is that we are all idiots! We won’t realize that a yes vote on the rule is really a vote for the health care bill!
But more seriously, it is very unlikely that the Senate will pass the reconciliation measures the House wants it to enact. It is all well and good for 51 Senators to promise to do so. But what will happen when a Senator like Barbara Boxer of California or Debbie Stabenow of Michigan introduces a Senate amendment to the reconciliation bill to delete the anti-abortion language? Then, faced with an up or down vote on abortion rights, will the Democrats be able to muster 51 votes to sustain a pro-life position? Not very likely!
All still hangs in the balance. Be not downhearted! Hit the phones. Send in the donations! Keep on fighting!!!!!
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