Death Panels?

Perhaps you’ve heard of Donald Berwick. Berwick is the man that Barack Obama appointed to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. I guess you could say that he is the chief operating officer for Medicare and Medicaid. The truth is, this man was so bad that Obama knew he could not possibly make it through any Senate hearings and confirmation process. That’s why The Community Organizer had to name Berwick to his very important job as a recess appointment.

Are you aware that under Obama carried Medicare recipients get what is called a “wellness visit” to the doctor every year? A “wellness visit” – imagine that. What’s more, this wellness visit is purported to be free. Now we all know there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, so obviously somebody is going to be paying for it: and that somebody is the American taxpayers.

The New York Times is now telling us that Berwick has established a little Medicare policy that pays doctors for what is called end-of-life care counseling as a part of your annual wellness visit. Now George W. Bush did have a similar provision, but the end of life counseling was simply a one-time thing as part of your orientation into the Medicare program. Under Berwick’s proposal, the counseling happens every single year for Medicare patients.

The interesting thing here is that Berwick and Obama administration officials have been trying very hard to prevent this little change in policy under Obama care from being noticed by the media. According to Townhall magazine, the New York Times has discovered a nifty little e-mail from Oregon Democrat Congressman Earl Blumenauer to some of his Beltway colleagues who helped come up with this end-of-life counseling scheme. There are some parts of the e-mail but you might find just a bit interesting:

“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are supporters. E-mails can too easily be forwarded. Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

Townhall tells us that Blumenauer told the Times reporter that he just didn’t want the information about the end-of-life counseling to be made public because somebody would certainly come along and misrepresent it.

Perhaps the real shocking thing here is that this was reported in the New York Times.

Get ready to lose your insurance under Obamacare

By: David Freddoso

We’ve been warning you about this problem for nearly a year, but today’s Politico gives the lie to President Obama’s promise that his health care bill will let you keep the coverage you have.

If you have a low premium, low cost insurance plan, you are going to lose your coverage and be forced into a much higher-cost plan. The Politico piece specifically finds this problem in the mini-med market, where as many as 1 million people will lose their coverage under Obamacare.

Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.This market’s limited-benefit plans, also called mini-med plans, are priced low because they can, among other things, restrict the number of covered doctor visits or impose a maximum on insurance payouts in a year. The plans are commonly offered by retail or restaurant companies to low-wage workers who cannot afford more expensive, comprehensive coverage.

Depending on how strictly the administration implements the provision, the ban could in effect outlaw the plans or make them so restrictive that insurance companies would raise rates to the point they become unaffordable.

Mini-meds aren’t the only ones in danger. People with low-cost high-deductible plans (including myself) will probably also be forced into high-cost plans. It’s impossible to know how bad the damage will be because the Obamacare law gives so much discretion over the changes to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Feds Ask Va. Health Reform Lawsuit Be Dismissed

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — President Barack Obama’s administration on Monday asked a federal judge in Virginia to dismiss the state’s lawsuit alleging Congress overstepped its constitutional bounds with the new health care reform law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued in a motion filed hours before a midnight deadline that the law is well within the scope of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

Virginia’s Republican attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond less than eight hours after Congress enacted the law. It argues that requiring people to buy health coverage or pay a fee exceeds federal powers limited by the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.

More than a dozen state attorneys general have sued over the legislation on broadly similar grounds in cases that are likely be determined by the Supreme Court.

The conservative attorney general sued in defense of a Virginia law enacted this winter that exempts state residents from being required to have health coverage.

Sebelius argues in her dismissal motion, however, that Virginia lacks the standing to sue.

“A state cannot … manufacture its own standing to challenge a federal law by simple expedient of passing a statute purporting to nullify it,” read the motion. “Otherwise, a state could import almost any political or policy dispute into federal court by enacting its side of the argument into state law.”

Sebelius also contends that the new law, passed solely by the ruling Democrats in Congress and signed by a Democratic president, is constitutional.

“Even if Virginia could surmount this jurisdictional barrier, its claim still would fail because Congress, in adopting the minimum coverage provision, acted well within its authority under the Commerce Clause,” the motion says.

The mandate for most U.S. residents to carry health insurance starting in 2014 is at the heart of the federal law’s goal of medical coverage for all. Without it, the Justice Department explains in the filing, the new law — and its efforts to contain costs — becomes moot.

“When accidents or illnesses inevitably occur, the uninsured still receive medical assistance, even if they cannot pay. As Congress documented, such uncompensated health care costs — $43 billion in 2008 — are passed on to the other participants in the health care market: the federal government, state and local governments, health care providers, insurers, and the insured population,” the motion says.

But the “minimum coverage provision,” more than any other act of Obama and the Democratic Congress, has stoked the angriest reactions, particularly by conservative tea party groups across the nation. For the federal government to tell individuals and families what they must purchase tramples a basic liberty, they argue.

SEIU Thugs Becoming Terrorists?

by Liberty Chick

By now, you’ve probably seen the mob-scene that developed on the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America. This was planned for some time by the SEIU as part of a larger national event, their Showdown on K Street, which was shared with National People’s Action and thousands of other activists from MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups.

Prior to the main event on K Street in Washington DC, SEIU and company made a little pit stop. According to Fortune magazine Washington editor Nina Easton, 14 busloads of riled up protesters unloaded on Baer’s private property and stormed up to his doorstep, while his teenage son was home alone. Easton is a neighbor of Baer’s and had called to check on her neighbor’s son when she heard and saw all the commotion outside. Easton writes,

“Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.

“Excuse me,” Baer told his accusers, “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.”

Imagine what you would have done if your child were inside that house and that mob was on your front lawn as you tried to reach him.

Amazingly, the SEIU has actually taken aim at Easton for reporting on this incident. Their defense? Easton’s husband is a Republican strategist and has a lobbyist as a client – oh, the horror! (Especially considering that the SEIU itself is also a lobbyist). In their post “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort,” SEIU’s crack Googlers researchers break the case wide open:

“The really interesting question here is: why is Ms. Easton so angry? And why has she decided to use her position as a member of the media to air her own personal rant at the people who showed up to share their foreclosure stories?

Nina Easton’s husband’s firm has Business Roundtable as a client, a special interest group that counts giant banks like Bank of America as members.

One Google search clears it up pretty quickly. Her husband is Russell Schriefer, Republican strategist and consultant to several big corporate interest groups. In fact, her husband’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a special interest group that counts Bank of America and other Wall Street banks among its members.

Ms. Easton’s husband used to be a corporate lobbyist himself, before he started his own consulting firm for Republican politicians and corporate interest groups like the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce. Now, according to his website, he helps garner positive media for “a wide range of corporate clients including Fortune 500 companies and national associations.”

Wow. Amazing. That kind of muckraking puts my time working at LexisNexis to shame. Perhaps I should take SEIU’s employment recruiters up on one of their recent job offers sitting in my email inbox. (really, they are hiring, and they did email…can you imagine that job interview?)

But what’s even more interesting, to use SEIU’s phrase, is the labor union’s odd relationship with its own business and advocacy partners. They specifically mention above their disdain for Business Roundtable, for their part as what they term as a Republican corporate interest group. But, just like Bank of America – which is a lender to SEIU, mortgage partner to ACORN, and is also the leading lending partner to SEIU advocacy partner, Center for Responsible Lending – one of SEIU’s own partners is also Business Roundtable.

“Today, three of the nation’s leading consumer, business and labor organizations announced that they will work together to urge action from political leaders in a partnership called Divided We Fail. AARP, Business Roundtable and SEIU will use the influence of their over 50 million combined memberships to amplify the message that attaining health and long-term financial security is vital for all Americans and these issues must be included in the national political debate.

Divided We Fail is a national effort designed to engage the American people, elected officials and the business community to find broad-based, bi-partisan solutions to the most compelling domestic issues facing the nation – health care and the long-term financial security of Americans.”

Ouch, talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

The current circumstances are also rather interesting because recently, Tea Party and 912 Project groups have been protesting Bank of America, too. For SUPPORTING the financial regulatory reform bill currently in Congress. You know, the one that Big Labor is supporting with Democrats – the one that proposes the big banks and government spy on your bank accounts and report your loan info to a big government database for all to see? Yeah, that bill. Bank of America lobbyists have been busy lobbying Democrats and donating money to Democrats.

I think the folks at SEIU may be a bit confused over there – first they storm private property and intimidate a teenage child, then they bite the hands that feed them, and they overlook all the money flowing into the Democratic coffers on this bill and selectively go after only seemingly Republican targets. Only, their targets aren’t Republican at all. This one in particular – definitely not a Republican, as Easton describes Baer:

“Instead, a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union’s leftist base. The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.

Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He’s not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.”

Just imagine if the union of We the People mobilized its own protests to put a stop to the tactics of domestic terrorism of today’s leftist unions.

——–

Also be sure to catch this related post from LaborUnionReport titled “The SEIU, the NPA & Organized, Premeditated Intimidation“.
The really interesting question here is: why is Ms. Easton so angry? And why has she decided to use her position as a member of the media to air her own personal rant at the people who showed up to share their foreclosure stories?
bizroundtableb.jpg

Nina Easton’s husband’s firm has Business Roundtable as a client, a special interest group that counts giant banks like Bank of America as members.

One Google search clears it up pretty quickly. Her husband is Russell Schriefer, Republican strategist and consultant to several big corporate interest groups. In fact, her husband’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a special interest group that counts Bank of America and other Wall Street banks among its members.

Ms. Easton’s husband used to be a corporate lobbyist himself, before he started his own consulting firm for Republican politicians and corporate interest groups like the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce. Now, according to his website, he helps garner positive media for “a wide range of corporate clients including Fortune 500 companies and national associations.”

Junk Science, the NRDC, the EPA and Eco-Terrorists

by Robert James Bidinotto

In 1989, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a major environmental group, launched a nationwide panic over the presence on apples of alar, a chemical growth agent. On TV shows such as “60 Minutes” and “Donahue,” and in major women’s magazines, NRDC (with the aid of its expert consulting toxicologist, actress Meryl Streep) claimed that alar “might” eventually cause thousands of lifetime cancer cases due to apple consumption by preschoolers.

This carefully choreographed publicity stunt terrified parents, cost alar’s manufacturer millions, caused over $100 million in losses to apple growers—all while creating a fundraising bonanza for the NRDC.

The scare campaign was based on junk science—on experiments on laboratory rodents in which dose levels were so absurdly high that the animals were dying of simple poisoning. These tests were so shoddy that an independent panel of scientists convened by the EPA—called a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP)—dismissed the findings as scientifically worthless.

Under political pressure to find something, however, the EPA ordered new tests on mice at dose levels that, again, were so outrageously high that 80 percent of the animals were poisoned to death. Not surprisingly, this overdosing produced the tumors the agency was looking for, and gave it the excuse to ban all use of the chemical.

I spent six months investigating this scam for a special report that appeared in the October 1990 Reader’s Digest. After its publication, many people—echoing the rock group The Who—concluded that “we won’t be fooled again” by environmentalist fear-mongers.

But now a new pesticide panic is underway. Once again, it is being incited by the NRDC, with additional litigation pressure from trial lawyers. Once again, the scare campaign rests on studies that amount to little more than “junk science.” This time, though, the target is an herbicide that plays a far more significant role in agriculture: atrazine.

Atrazine is a valuable weed-killer used to protect corn, sugar cane, and other crops. The EPA has estimated that farming without atrazine would cost corn farmers $28 an acre—the difference between getting by and going bankrupt for thousands of farms across the Midwest—and would cause sugar-cane crop losses from 10 to 40 percent. The overall cost to U.S. farmers would top $2 billion dollars annually.

Not only is atrazine effective, it is safe. The chemical has been on the market for half a century, during which time its safety has been tested to death—some 6,000 studies, here and abroad, including reviews by the World Health Organization and other international bodies.

Following a dozen years of exhaustive examination of scientific evidence about claims of possible health problems stemming from the chemical, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs reported to Congress on February 16, 2005: “After a very careful assessment, EPA’s current view is that the available studies do not adequately demonstrate such effects. A panel of independent, external experts, the SAP, supports EPA’s position.” Concluding that cumulative risks posed “no harm that would result to the general U.S. population, infant, children or other . . . consumers,” the EPA re-registered atrazine for use in 2006.

But that was then; this is now:

* The NRDC is beating the drum to ban this critical herbicide. Last September, it released another of its junk-science reports, Atrazine: Poisoning the Well, declaring that the chemical was “linked” to all sorts of “potential” health problems and raising the specter of unsafe concentrations in ground water. This, despite the fact that the EPA safety margin, which limits atrazine concentrations in drinking water to no more than three parts per billion, is set more than one thousand times below the threshold of any health concerns. Just as it did in engineering its alar hoax, NRDC is enlisting green sympathizers in the media to help terrorize the public. For example, it supplied material to a New York Times reporter for an article under the panic-provoking title, “Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass.”

* One month after NRDC released its report, the EPA ordered that atrazine—re-registered in 2006—become subject to re-re-registration. They specifically cited the NRDC report and New York Times scare piece as their reason for doing so. This, too, echoes the case of alar, when EPA, lacking any sound evidence to ban its targeted chemical, kept demanding new tests and reviews until it finally manufactured some lame excuse to do so.

* In addition to this chemophobic cadre, personal-injury trial lawyers, led by the notorious Texas law firm of Baron & Budd, have jumped in to cash in. Attorney Stephen Tillery, operating in the litigation paradise of Madison County, Illinois, is engineering class-action lawsuits against atrazine’s manufacturer and various users. Their claims of atrazine’s “harm” rest on junk-science rodent studies already rejected by the EPA’s expert Scientific Advisory Panel.

All this has left atrazine’s beleaguered manufacturer, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., fighting to defend its product and reputation on multiple fronts. The prospect of a ban has also left struggling farmers, who rely on this herbicide to spare their crops, worried about their financial survival. If it occurs, then an economy deep in recession would take an additional hit from crop failures and soaring food prices.

But, bad as the immediate economic costs would be, the long-term regulatory ramifications would be much worse.

To institute their green fantasies of organic agriculture and returning farmland to “nature,” the NRDC and its allies aim to make toxicology safety thresholds so stringent that no agrochemicals could past legal muster. That’s precisely why they’ve singled out atrazine. As the Wall Street Journal noted recently, “The environmental lobby also figures that if it can take down atrazine with its long record of clean health, it can get the EPA to prohibit anything.”

Seen from this perspective, the alar scare was just the opening salvo in the environmentalist barrage against man-made chemicals. Today’s atrazine scare—as Yogi Berra might put it—is “déjà vu all over again.” And Yogi might also ask those of us burdened by this unending regulatory onslaught: “How do ya like them apples?”

What is a Right?

by Michael Zak

Civil rights. Inalienable rights. Human rights. Animal rights. Individual rights. Group rights. God-given rights. Sacred rights. Natural rights. Positive rights. Negative rights. Children’s rights. Parent’s rights. Patient’s rights. Property rights. Personal rights. Basics rights. Fundamental rights.

Just what is a right? Can some rights be more basics or fundamental than others? Which is more important, a basic right or a fundamental right? Do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few? Are rights absolute? One could assert whole new kinds of rights and then argue about where they fit in among all the other rights. How about essential rights, or core rights, or perhaps preeminent rights?

Definitions of the nature and origin of rights vary widely – from a gift from God, to one of Thomas Jefferson or James Madison’s tenets, all the way down to “a good thing” – but these disputes can be left to theologians and historians and scatterbrains. Let constitutional scholars debate the fine points of original intent or understanding (of each delegate? or the drafter of a particular clause? or the Convention as a whole? or Congress? or the ratifying state conventions?). What really matters is how rights function within our constitutional system.

A person saying he has the right to XYZ, for instance, is saying that regardless of what other people want, he must have XYZ and society must give it to him. To admit there is such a right is to accept that the opinion of the majority on his having XYZ is meaningless; it is to accept that your opinion on the issue is meaningless, too. As anti-democratic limitations on the scope of majority rule, rights are like provisions of the Constitution. Indeed, they are one and the same, because in a practical sense – the only sense that matters – a right is a government policy that must be so regardless of majority will.

Any constitutional provision can be seen as a right. For example, Article I, Section 9, Clause 5 – “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state.” – can as easily be: “Every person has the right to export Articles from any State without a federal Tax or Duty laid on it.” The first part of Article II, Section 2 is the equivalent of “The President has the right to be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.” One could say he has the right to veto laws and grant pardons. A Supreme Court Justice has the right to serve for life, and the Supreme Court has the right to original jurisdiction over cases involving foreign ambassadors. The residents of every state have the right to representation by two Senators. People have the right to have their federal laws enacted by a Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. There are many more such variations on the theme, but the point is that the Constitution is nothing but a long list of rights, that is, government policies that must be so regardless of majority will.

In addition to provisions limiting the ability of Congress or the President to change the general structure of the government apart from the amendment process, the Constitution contains many specific limitations on government action that are recognizable as rights. The narrow definition of treason means that a person has the right not to be convicted of treason for a crime that does not fit the definition. The privileges and immunities provision is a right, as is the jury trial guarantee. The Constitution protects creditors by prohibiting states from voiding contracts (as they had done under the Articles of Confederation). Congress may not pass a bill of attainder (a legislative pronouncement of guilt) or an ex post facto law (making an act illegal after it was committed). The habeas corpus protection against arbitrary arrest is one of the most important rights protected by the Constitution.

As Alexander Hamilton pointed out in Federalist 84, the Constitution contains these rights and more even without the amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Can the Bill of Rights protection against unreasonable searches somehow supersede the right to a jury trial spelled out in Article III? Does freedom of the press outrank freedom of speech? Is the 3rd Amendment ban on quartering soldiers in private homes more important than the 13th Amendment ban on slavery? Does the order in which they are listed matter, so that freedom of religion is more important than freedom of speech? No, to all these questions. Since the entire Constitution – every rule in the rule book – must be so regardless of majority will, every provision of the original text (where unamended), of the Bill of Rights, and of the later amendments is no more or less important than any other.

Since the entire Constitution – from “We, the people” to “shall have intervened” – is one long right and rights can only be exercised within our constitutional framework, constitutional rights are the only kind with any meaning. As determined, ultimately, by the Supreme Court, an issue is either a political question – meaning it is to be decided by majority vote – or it is a constitutional right – meaning the correct decision, as determined by the Constitution, must be imposed on the American people whether people want it or not. In the latter case, figuring out just what it was the Constitutional Convention decided for us on a particular issue may be difficult to determine, but the task does not involve balancing one provision of the document against another.

Some rules in our society’s rule book cannot outweigh other rules; they are all equally valid. Once understanding that any part of the Constitution, whether expressed as a provision or a right, is a policy that must be so, a person can see the absurdity of trying to balance one right against another. Gone are tussles between rights and responsibilities, positive rights and negative rights, the rights of the many and the rights of the few, personal rights and property rights, human rights and economic rights, group rights and individual rights, fundamental rights and not-so-fundamental rights. No constitutional right can be outweighed by some other consideration, because all constitutional rights are absolute. Either something is mandated by the Constitution or it isn’t.

This essay is adapted from Back to Basics for the Republican Party, a history of the GOP cited by Clarence Thomas in a Supreme Court decision.

The Democrats’ Civil War

By Kim Strassel

The Democratic primaries are generating nominees who are embracing, or even going beyond, the president’s unpopular agenda.

What do Joe Sestak, Bill Halter and Colleen Hanabusa have in common? The left loves them. This is yet another reason Democrats are in trouble this fall.

Given the obsessive coverage of the Republican “civil war,” you may not realize Democrats are also feuding. Angry and disappointed that their president and Congress has not done more, the party’s liberal base is throwing itself into the primaries, pushing the party to the left even as the country moves right.

Ask Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who on Tuesday will fight to keep her party’s nomination against progressive Bill Halter, the state’s lieutenant governor. Also up for judgment that day is Sen. Arlen Specter. He has his new party’s full financial backing. Recent polls nonetheless show the liberal Mr. Sestak within striking distance.

Later next week Hawaii holds a special election to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for governor. His district is Democratic, but the liberal Ms. Hanabusa is siphoning support from the party’s preferred candidate, former Rep. Ed Case. Republican Charles Dijou might win.

These races follow primaries in Ohio and North Carolina where the anointed Democrat fought damaging battles against insurgent liberals. Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher prevailed over Netroots favorite Jennifer Brunner, but not before she had drained Mr. Fisher’s campaign coffers. In North Carolina, the base’s preferred pick, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, has dragged the more conservative state Sen. Cal Cunningham into a June runoff.

True, candidates like Mrs. Lincoln and Mr. Specter are struggling against today’s anti-incumbent, anti-Washington fever. But the primary challenges are also the result of mismanaged expectations. Barack Obama allowed the left to believe he was one of them. Some of his campaign promises certainly fed its hopes: He’d close Guantanamo, pass union “card check,” renegotiate Nafta, leave Iraq. Adding to the left’s exuberance was the party’s filibuster-proof Senate majority.

But Guantanamo is still open, card check is still dead, Nafta is still functioning, and troops remain in Iraq. Meanwhile, the president dangled the public option in front of his liberal supporters, only to further enrage them when he lost that fight. All this has forced Democratic congressmen to take the blame for failures like card check.

The base has interpreted the policy failures as proof that the decision to sit back while the Democratic Party elected more moderates was a mistake. The response has been for unions and grass-roots groups to throw their money and support behind more liberal candidates. Democrats are currently battling as many, if not more, ugly primary challenges than Republicans.

No one exemplifies the dynamic better than Mrs. Lincoln. Over her 12 years in the Senate, she’s been careful to project herself as a Democrat in tune with Arkansas voters and business. The party leadership’s decision to push card check and the public option (both highly unpopular with the general public and the Arkansas public) forced Mrs. Lincoln to push back, which cast her as the spoiler of liberal dreams.

Mr. Halter was the result, propelled from the start by groups such as MoveOn.org. The lieutenant governor has run far to Mrs. Lincoln’s left, and in March, his first month of campaigning, he raised more than $2 million. And the left is unleashing money against his opponent; the Service Employees International Union recently unveiled a $1 million ad campaign against Mrs. Lincoln.

Win or lose, the base’s candidates are pulling the Democratic field left. Colorado’s appointed Sen. Michael Bennet was intending to win re-election by keeping his head down, splitting the difference on tough issues. Then, last September, the grass roots fueled former Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff’s entrance into the race, who announced his support for an ObamaCare public option. Not to be outdone in a closed Democratic primary, Mr. Bennet became the Senate’s most vocal public-option supporter.

Unfortunately for both men, the winner will now be on record supporting a position few in Colorado’s general electorate share. In Pennsylvania, Mr. Specter was against the unpopular card check; thanks to Mr. Sestak he’s now for it. Mr. Fisher was ambiguous about the Democratic health bill, until, prodded by Ms. Brunner, he declared “100%” support. These are positions that can’t easily be dialed back.

This lurch toward liberal priorities coincides with polls showing that the electorate— particularly independents—has shifted significantly to the right since Mr. Obama took office. While some Republican primaries are proving bloody, most are turning out candidates largely in tune with today’s public frustration with Washington.

The Democratic primaries, by contrast, are generating nominees who are embracing, or even going beyond, the president’s unpopular agenda. This is the feud that may have the bigger consequences for this fall’s midterms.