March 21, 2010, will mark the high-water mark of the American left — if the Republican Party, the conservative movement generally and Tea Party participants specifically, keep the public’s eye on the key scorecard for the past year and a half.
The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC.org) should post a list of the 50 to 75 most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, along with data on five votes, then leave it to the activists to self-organize and execute independent campaigns against those candidates.
The momentum of the moment cannot be shelved and won’t be directed from Washington, D.C.
This is the information that needs to accompany every November target list:
Did the incumbent vote for Nancy Pelosi for House speaker?
Did the incumbent vote for the stimulus package?
Did the incumbent vote for cap-and-tax?
Did the incumbent vote for Obamacare?
Did the incumbent vote to protect the assault on the Constitution known as the “deem scheme” or “Slaughter Solution” when it was first challenged by Rep. Parker Griffith?
This last measure is one that will not fade from voters’ minds, anymore than the other votes will regardless of how often President Barack Obama and Pelosi assure us that “process doesn’t matter.”
The past week’s shenanigans have branded congressional Democrats as a toxic combination of far-left San Francisco ideology and thuggish Chicago-style tactics. The “deem scheme” made this the Kangaroo Congress of 2010, and that record will follow all of them through November.
The Senate will take up “reconciliation” and thus face its own withering week or weeks of public scrutiny. The forces of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are going to engage in another series of jam-down votes.
Individual senators like the doomed-in-November Blanche Lincoln will do her best to distance herself from this fiasco, but her vote — and the vote of every other Democrat — in December to push Obamacare forward saddled the country with this procedural outrage and this substantive fiasco. Every Senate Democrat is responsible for where we are because every Senate Democrat could have prevented it.
November will be an exercise in accountability — and of renewal. Democrats have forced the country into hard-left action after hard-left action, and the country gets a chance to say stop — again — in seven short months.
Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at www.hughhewitt.com.