Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who does Scott Brown Have to Thank for His Victory?

Really. Who does Massachusetts Senator-Elect (and Teabagger) Scott Brown have to thank for giving him his victory last Tuesday?

Obama-voting Democrats, Republicans and Independents, that’s who.

But not all of them. The ones he needs to thank the most are those who are FOR a public option in a healthcare reform bill.

These are the ones he needs to thank, not Teabaggers or Republicans. These people are so irate over congress’s failure to pass a stronger healthcare bill that includes a public option that they were motivated to show up at a polling place in mid-January, in the snow, and cast their votes of protest.

A vote of protest to send a message to congress to get serious about healthcare.

A vote of protest that, ironically, practically guarantees either of two scenarios: 1) a rubberstamping of the bill passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve, or 2) no healthcare reform now or in the foreseeable future.

It’s ironic and it doesn’t make any sense at all, but I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen it happen where Democratic voters vote for a Republican because they are upset that their Democratic incumbent hasn’t been Democratic enough. I’ve seen in happen where they just stay home or withhold their vote rather than vote for the Democratic incumbent because they are upset with his less than blue votes on key issues.

I’ve seen that.

So as nonsensical as it sounds, I actually believe the Research 2000 exit poll commissioned by Democracy for America, MoveOn, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Look at the numbers here.

Isolating the numbers by listing the votes of voters who voted for Obama in ’08 and for Scott Brown in ’10, the poll is revealing.

82% of all voters who voted for Obama and Scott Brown both, “favor…the national government offering everyone the choice of a government administered health insurance plan.”

46% of Democratic voters who voted for Obama and Scott Brown both “oppose the health care reform proposal recently passed by the U.S. Senate.”

And 49% of Democrats believe that the recently passed healthcare reform bill “doesn't go far enough.”

So OK, let’s do the numbers and keep it conservative (statistics-wise).

Total votes for Brown: 1,168,107

Total votes for Coakley: 1,058,682

Total votes for the Libertarian (who cares what his name is): 22,237

Total votes cast: 2,249,026

Now according to the poll, 18% of the voters who voted for Brown voted for Obama in ’08. That means that the total number of Obama voters who voted for Brown was about 210,000 (rounding down). Of these, 82% support a public option in any healthcare reform bill.

That’s 172,000 votes (rounding down)

Had those voters not decided to cast a protest vote and vote for the candidate who could keep the debate going between the House and Senate, keeping the 60th vote, Coakley would have won the election.

Coakley: 1,230,682 (54.72%), Brown: 996,107 (44.29%)

So yes, I can understand the protest vote. I am also one who hates what the Senate gave birth to last month. I wondered, in a previous post, whether it might be a mistake to sign this into law because it was a huge gift to the insurance industry. I still wonder about that.

But this was not about healthcare. It was about maintaining a filibuster-proof senate. So if that’s what these 170,000 voters were thinking in casting their votes for a teabagging, racist, sexist homophobe to dismantle a Democratic majority, then these voters need to do a reality check.

170,000 voters decided the fate of healthcare, and all subsequent legislation for the rest of the year.

Next time you hear someone say that their vote doesn’t count, remember this tale of woe. A tale of woe that saw 170,000 voters undo what 62,704,840 voters did in 2008.

That is, 0.27% undid what 62 million voters did.

That’s some serious undoing.


Anonymous said...

I've noticed you've remained silent half over the demise of the constitution at the hands of the sup. ct this week. What you like an open bidding process for our elected officials to the corporations?

Hal said...

Do you mean I am not writing fast enough for you? Give me some time to come up with something truly unique to write about this, OK?