Dick Morris: Sign the Pledge, or Walk the Plank
Democratic Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia, in a tight race for the U.S. Senate, has a TV ad in which he promises to repeal "the bad parts" of ObamaCare. Reassured?
In recent weeks, Democratic candidates have been profuse in their determination to "fix" ObamaCare. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin ran an ad saying he was going to repeal "the bad parts of ObamaCare." With such sleight-of-hand efforts to blunt the GOP's best issue, the question needs to be put to all incumbents and their challengers: Are you willing to take the pledge?
Morris is referring to IWV's Repeal ObamaCare Pledge. Unlike Joe Manchin's vaguely worded promise, IWV's pledge has no wiggle room. Candidates promise to vote for repeal and to take all the necessary intermediate actions (including defunding the bill) before full repeal. Taking the pledge is hard, Morris notes, if you don't really want to repeal and replace the administration's health care bill:
These are, of course, the 93 words no Democratic incumbent dares to utter. To do so would be risk excommunication from the high church of Obama liberalism.
The GOP will likely vote for repeal, only to have the president veto it. Thus the real battle, says Morris, will occur when the new federal budget is being drafted and voted upon. For many this evokes shades of the 1995-1996 shutdown of government that did so much to tarnish the image of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and his Republicans. It will be different this time, according to Morris:
But the centrality of the healthcare issue in this coming debate assures Republican success. Obama can butt his head against the stone wall of public determination to rid our country of this terrible law. But all he will be doing is to assure that his party loses in 2012 any seats it might have happened to hang on to in 2010, and that he returns to the private sector.
Through the mechanism of the pledge and the dynamics of the efforts to defund the healthcare changes, the authorization debate of 2010 will now play out in the appropriation debate of 2011, with results equally disastrous for the standing of the Democratic Party with the voters.
This is why we urge you to make sure your candidates sign IWV's ObamaCare Repeal Pledge.