A longtime reader sends in a thoughtful question …
If you were a Democratic Congressman reading through ‘Citizens United,’ and contemplating the impending flood of corporate cash, would you rather:
(a) Postpone a vote on health care reform, perhaps indefinitely, incentivizing every corporation with a vested interest in the status quo to flood your district with negative ads, in the hope of dissuading or unseating enough Democrats to kill reform?
(b) Pass the Senate bill tomorrow, putting the issue to rest, since repeal would take a veto override - and then spend the summer on issues with a more immediate appeal to voters, while blaming any negative ads that do air on your willingness to stand up to powerful interests?
I’m not sure the implications of ‘Citizens United’ have really sunk in. But this is it for health care reform - it happens now, or not at all. And the only thing more dangerous than reforming a hugely powerful industry is coming achingly close, and then failing. How much would it be worth to the health care industry to unseat enough members to kill reform permanently? How badly do House Democrats want to find out?
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.