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Searching for 60: How Voinovich Could Screw the Nation [UPDATE: Voinovich Still a NO on ObamaCare; Call His Office to Thank Him]

Sen. Susan Collins, left, and Sen. Olympia Snowe, right (R-ME)

I was never worried that either of Maine’s Republican senators, Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, would turn out to be the 60th vote for ObamaCare. Sure, Snowe and Collins are more liberal than your average Republican senator and the Pine Tree State is more liberal than most states that send Republicans to Capitol Hill. But at the end of the day one simple fact remains: ObamaCare isn’t popular much of anywhere, and both Snowe and Collins will eventually be seeking reelection. Neither wants to be branded “the senator who brought you ObamaCare” when she comes up for reelection.

Sen. George "Crybaby" Voinovich (R?-OH)

Enter the Buckeye State’s senior Republican (?) senator, George “Crybaby” Voinovich — now infamous for choking up on the Senate floor while opposing John Bolton’s nomination for United Nations ambassador. And that’s just one of the many times that Voinovich has screwed over his constituents (not to mention his base).

Voinovich isn’t seeking reelection to the Senate this year, which makes him perhaps the most dangerous Republican in the Senate given his proclivity for stabbing his party in the back sorry, crossing the aisle. RedState’s Erick Erickson tweeted yesterday that Voinovich is reportedly meeting with President Obama today, and Weapons of Mass Discussion also reports that Democrats are going to target Voinovich to become their 60th vote for ObamaCare should Scott Brown be elected in Massachusetts.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. Because Voinovich isn’t seeking reelection, he is — unlike Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — exceedingly likely to turn traitor on ObamaCare. He is vulnerable to the politics of legacy, to being persuaded that an act of bipartisanship would let him go down in history as the man who made history. Would it really be that surprising to see Voinovich hit the Senate floor, fight back those crocodile tears, and say that he is voting for ObamaCare because he’s “worried about [his] kids and [his] grandchildren” — just like he did when he opposed Bolton’s nomination?

Voinovich isn’t in the strict sense accountable to his constituents anymore. The only way to prevent him from turning traitor and becoming the only Republican senator to vote for ObamaCare is to make him fear that such a vote will, in fact, destroy his legacy. We have to convince him that ObamaCare will be a disastrous failure and that if he votes for it, that failure will be his only legacy.

How do we do that? First of all, prominent Ohio Republicans need to get out there early and often to condemn ObamaCare and to demand that both of Ohio’s senators vote against the final reconciled bill.

I want to see Rob Portman, John Kasich, and Mary Taylor on the news talking about what a disaster ObamaCare would be for Ohioans and how they’re certain, just absolutely positive, that a good man like Voinovich would never betray his constituents so grievously. Mike DeWine wants conservative votes for Ohio Attorney General? Then he needs to haul his happy RINO ass out in front of those cameras and publicly urge his longtime Senate colleague to vote against this unconstitutional monstrosity. If he won’t, I’m sure Dave Yost would be happy to do it for him.

The second component to stopping Voinovich from becoming Obama’s 60th vote is to pick up your phone or open up a new e-mail. Obviously the White House doesn’t think it’s too early to lobby Voinovich for his vote; we shouldn’t either. And here, for starters, is a great talking point:

Dear Sen. Voinovich, I just wanted to call and let you know that I don’t think fifteen Ohio University College Republicans drove all the way to Massachusetts over the weekend to fight to elect Scott Brown the 41st vote against ObamaCare just to see their Republican senator become the 60th vote for ObamaCare. K thanks bye.

That’s what I’ll be saying when I call Voinovich’s office today. What you say is up to you, but do give the man a ring or drop him an e-mail. If you’re near one of his offices, drop on in and tell his staffers that he better stand up for Ohio and vote against ObamaCare.

Washington, D.C. Office:
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Main: (202) 224-3353

Cleveland, OH Office:
1240 East 9th Street
Room 3061
Cleveland, OH 44199
Main: (216) 522-7095
Fax: (216) 522-7097

Southeast, OH Office:
78 West Washington Street
P.O. Box 57
Nelsonville, OH 45764
Main: (740) 441-6410
Fax: (740) 753-3551

Cincinnati, OH Office:
36 East 7th Street
Room 2615
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Main: (513) 684-3265
Fax: (513) 684-3269

Northeast, OH Office:
1240 East 9th Street
Room 3061
Cleveland, OH 44199
Main: (216) 522-7095
Fax: (216) 522-7097

Toledo, OH Office:
420 Madison Avenue
Room 1210
Toledo, OH 43604
Main: (419) 259-3895
Fax: (419) 259-3899

Dayton, OH Office:
(Based out of Cincinnati)
36 East 7th Street, Room 2615
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Main: (513) 684-3265
Fax: (513) 684-3269

Central, OH Office:
37 West Broad Street
Room 310
Columbus, OH 43215
Main: (614) 469-6697
Fax: (614) 469-7733

We are on the verge of killing ObamaCare when it looked very likely that it would pass. If Scott Brown wins today, he is the 41st vote for an ObamaCare filibuster — but only if another Republican doesn’t turn traitor and vote to make history. President Obama clearly believes George Voinovich might be that traitor, and given his record you should believe it, too. It’s up to us, especially those of us who live in Ohio, to make sure Voinovich sticks with his party and filibusters this bill.

State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), soon to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare

Let’s get to work.

UPDATE: Back at my computer for the first time today, and I see that Sen. Voinovich is stating in no uncertain terms that he will NOT vote for ObamaCare. Voinovich Press Secretary Garrette Silverman has said that Voinovich’s “stance has not changed,” and Third Base Politics (among others) reports that Voinovich’s meeting with Obama was apparently not about ObamaCare.

Given Voinovich’s record, I don’t think it was a bad idea for me to send up a red flag into the conservative blogosphere. I also don’t think it’s a bad idea for Ohioans to continue reminding the senator by phone, e-mail, and office visits exactly how we feel about ObamaCare. What could it hurt?

UPDATE II: Welcome Michelle Malkin, Memeorandum, Weapons of Mass Discussion, A Small Corner of Sanity, and Underground Conservative readers.

UPDATE III: Liberally Conservative, too!

UPDATE IV: On second thought, let’s take Sen. Voinovich at his word. He voted against ObamaCare the first time around and he says he’ll do it again. So instead of calling his office and beating a dead horse, why not call in and thank him for standing with us? Sends the same message without punishing good behavior.

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