ObamaCare's Latest CasualtyIt must be said that Ben Nelson isn't very bright. Had he not made such an issue over Obama's Obomination and just voted for it - as our own Senator Mark Warner did - he, like Warner, would have high approval ratings amongst their constituencies, constituencies that overwhelmingly despise the legislation both supported. Slick ploy if you can get away with it, eh, Mark?
Wall Street Journal
The Senate's staggered elections mean that voters could not return Ben Nelson to private life in 2010, as they did with so many House Democrats. But the two-term Nebraska Senator's announcement yesterday that he'll retire next year still amounts to the moral equivalent of an election defeat.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $1 million—big money in the Cornhusker State—this year in a TV-advertising blitz to drive up Mr. Nelson's approval rating and convince him to run for re-election. But the roll of bad votes he had to take in the Pelosi-Obama ascendancy of 2009 and 2010 is so long that the self-styled moderate Democrat would have faced a difficult and probably losing campaign in the right-of-center state.
The Senator's political character—the Full Nelson—was drawn into particular high relief in the ObamaCare debate. Mr. Nelson played the hardest to get among the Senate holdouts, raising concerns over the bill's spending, its expansion of federal power and abortion coverage—no doubt with one eye on the two-thirds of Nebraskans who opposed the bill.
His posturing won no substantive concessions, though he did secure a payoff that would have federal taxpayers pick up all of Nebraska's new Medicaid costs forever and other gratuities like special regulatory exemptions for Nebraska-based insurers like Mutual of Omaha. But this only made him look less principled.
Mr. Nelson ultimately provided the 60th and final Senate vote to pass ObamaCare at 1 a.m. two Christmas eves ago. He then disavowed his own kickbacks and voted against the final version of the legislation in March 2010 that only needed a simple majority of 51 Senators. By then his "opposition" was irrelevant. [link]
So Nelson is leaving. Good riddance. One less scoundrel to have to deal with.
Now, let's talk about Warner ...
* Another reason to celebrate: Virginia Senator James Webb, an ObamaCare supporter himself, is also retiring. Two down, fifty-one to go.