For several months, I had this fantasy about the Democrats getting a second midterm shellacking and then just ignoring it.
It was going to be like the Nancy Mitford novel in which a new ambassador is sent to Paris but the old ambassador’s wife simply ignores orders to vacate the embassy. She stays on.
In my Washington circa 2014 fantasy, Senator Harry Reid uses some arcane political maneuver to remain Majority Leader. An ebullient Debbie Wasserman Schultz proclaims victory, even though the ballots say otherwise. Mark Udall and Mark Pryor padlock their offices against unwelcome intruders from the boonies who claim to have won elections.
Okay, it was a a fantasy. But it looks like the Democrats have come up with an alternative: the meme of the Democratic establishment/punditocracy is that the 2014 election is “an election about nothing.” Losing an election about nothing is hardly worth a worry.
If the Democrats hold onto the Senate, there will be some quick Meme Revision.But if the GOP wins, they'll be peddling the line that the election didn't mean anything.
But it means a great deal. If the electorate ratifies what has happened in the last six years–in particular the way ObamaCare was passed–we will see more of the same. And why not? If the Democrats in Congress didn’t listen to the voters about ObamaCare–which was vastly unpopular before it was passed and remains so now–and the voters didn’t rebuke them, why change now? But Democrats are behaving as if they sense that a rebuke is on the horizon.
Some of the stage-setting by Democrats involves the bizarre claim that ObamaCare isn't a factor in 2014. Baloney.
Jeffrey Anderson observes that it is “becoming increasingly clear how important it is to liberals to try to insulate Obamacare from what is shaping up as another ‘shellacking.’’ The New York Times, for example, has reported that, while Republicans attacked the president’s signature health law in the early days of the campaign, they ceased to do so.
This is not true. As Anderson reports, in GOP Senate races alone for the week of October 13-9, there were nearly 12,000 ads attacking ObamaCare. ObamaCare was number one in the top five issues on which Republicans campaigned. Anderson quotes a Des Moines Register poll that offers evidence of the centrality of ObamaCare and adds:
In a state that was to the left of the nation as a whole during each of the past three presidential elections, the Register finds that Republican Joni Ernst is leading Democrat Bruce Braley by 51 to 44 percent. The #1 reason why Ernst supporters said they are voting for her is “to get one step closer to repealing Obamacare” — 30 percent gave that answer. In contrast, the desire “to elect a person who will support Obamacare, while working to make it better” was only the #5 reason why Braley supporters said they are voting for him — only 13 percent gave that answer.
It should be clear that voters still care about ObamaCare.