In the world of jurisprudence, the concept of jury nullification raises the spectre of tainted justice – of juries overlooking evidence and the facts to deliver questionable innocent verdicts. Today’s Republican party leadership appears to be working toward something more like electoral nullification – appealing to the emotions of a wary and fearful electorate to nullify the results of the elections of 2006 and 2008. The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the election of 2006, and in 2008 emerged with a clear majority in the House, and something just shy of the super-majority needed to prevail in the face of Republican filibusters. The effect of Republican tactics in the Senate since the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in 2006 has been an attempt at what amounts to electoral nullification.
The question before Democrats is how best to present the evidence to the electorate about Health Care Reform in order to prevail in this November’s mid-term Congressional elections. If they fail to pass Health Care Reform, and follow through on the promises made by Democratic candidates, they will have very little with which prosecute their case in November. The jury is still listening to the evidence Democrats! Get to work passing a progressive legislative agenda that can be used in November to remind voters that Democrats have always been the party of the people. The alternative is to allow the Republicans to appeal to the emotions of the electorate by asserting that they saved the people from a tyranny of Federal solutions. The electorate needs to hear about accomplishments in November, not the failure of the Democrats to govern.