Senator Ben Nelson’s announcement that he won’t run for his Senate seat again is a testament to the enduring unpopularity of Obamacare.

It was mildly amusing that Nelson actually used ye olde “spend more time with my family” line, which has pretty much become the punch line of a joke.

But everybody knows why Nelson is retiring: he wasn't likely to win this time. The reason for his unpopularity is Obamacare. Nelson not only voted for the the bill but, in playing hard-to-get, extracted a promise that Nebraska would not have to pay the extra costs the legislation would impose on the other states; the federal government (us!) would pay Nebraska's share.

The Cornhusker Kickback, as the deal is known, was, in the words of John Hineraker of Powerline, “one of a number of acts of outright corruption on which Obamacare was based.” Nelson apparently believed that, since he was getting the kickback for his constituents, they would be pleased with the selling of his vote.  

But, as Hinderaker notes, some people don't like any corrupt deal that comes down the pike:

To Nelson’s surprise, perhaps, the kickback didn’t entirely placate his Cornhusker constituents. What is wrong with those people? Don’t they know a good payoff when they see one? Maybe Thomas Frank needs to write a new book called What’s the Matter With Nebraska?

During the fight to ram Obamacare through the Congress, I was repeatedly amazed that the members, cocooned in marble halls, seemed to be more afraid of then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi than of their constituents (not that our Nancy can’t be scary). Nelson’s decision to retire shows that he should have tried to do, not the bidding of Pelosi, but of those who sent him to Washington.

There is a huge lesson in Nelson’s downfall for those of us who believe that Obamacare is harmful to the nation.

The lesson is that, if we keep talking about Obamacare, we have a good shot at getting a second chance to reform the nation’s health system. Contrary to Nancy "Nostradamus" Pelosi's prediction that we'd come to love Obamacare, the public still hates it.

The president is trying to talk about anything but Obamacare. The House GOP inadvertently provided him with a diversionary issue: the payroll tax holiday (yes, President Obama located the one tax cut that is actually questionable and used it to dance circles around the befuddled GOP).

Ben Nelson's outbreak of homebodiness shows why Obamacare supporters are hoping voters will come down with severe amnesia.