The continued focus on ObamaCare came directly from the Democrats’ insistence on changing the Massachusetts law so that Patrick could appoint Kirk to the seat. Without that, the seat would have remained vacant — and Reid and Obama would have been forced to put ObamaCare aside and start working on the economy, especially in November, after the House finally passed its version. It would have given Reid and Obama an excuse to suspend the effort, and make the special election a referendum on health-care reform as a concept, rather than the specifics of the proposal that came out of the Senate.
The decision to press the Massachusetts state legislature for that blatantly self-serving change may have ironically enabled the Democrats to badly overreach — creating the impulse that is lifting Scott Brown over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, and Republicans over Democrats nationwide. And Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for it.