by Max Brantley
The Republican primary race for Senate is expected to grow to nine today with the addition of a Fayetteville teabagger. More on that later.
They all want to talk about incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln. They seem to forget they have a primary first.
Democratic Party operatives have been trying to stir up a little action by noting that some true-blue teabaggers -- Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich -- are demanding pledges from other Republicans to vote for repeal of whatever health legislation passes Congress. Some Republicans, while perfectly happy to try to block health legislation, aren't so anxious to sign a pledge that they'd REPEAL legislation that expands health care coverage, prevents some of the worst practices of insurance companies and otherwise makes a significant, if highly imperfect, step toward more health coverage for Americans.
Today's challenge for the Mudville, Ark., Nine. Would you vote for outright repeal or not?
Curtis Coleman has already risen to the challenge. From his news release:
In a press release brimming with desperation, inaccuracies, and exaggerations – the DPA challenged Republican U.S. Senate candidates to pledge to repeal a bill that would constitute the government’s takeover of every Arkansans’ personal healthcare decisions. Like so much of their statement, their challenge badly missed one essential fact: there is no bill to repeal.
However, I gladly accept the real challenge. Today, I’m pledging to continue to fight with and for an overwhelming majority of Arkansans who clearly do not want this atrocious bureaucratic intrusion into the most personal and private parts of their lives. Together, we’ll continue the battle to stop this bill from ever becoming law and to prevent this horrific government takeover of 1/6th of the entire U.S. economy.
Sen. Baker and Co.? Would you repeal legislation that prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people with existing health conditions? Repal expansion of Medicaid for the poor? Baker has said, for example, he'd have voted against the bill. That's not the same as saying he'd vote to repeal. Maybe someone will ask at his "major announcement" tomorrow.