Rep. Jim Matheson's Saturday vote against the health-care reform bill (he said it's too expensive and doesn't do enough to cover the uninsured) has a lot of Utah Democrats reconsidering their support of the conservative congressman.
After all, why waste energy backing a blue-dog who spends half his time voting with the Republicans? --- Matheson has made a career of alienating the liberal base. Granted, he cannot be blamed for the legislative gerrymandering that has rendered Utah's congressional districts nearly impossible territory for Democrats. This is traditionally how we've written off his infuriating conservatism -- even his votes for the Patriot Act in 2001 and 2006. But maybe Matheson should remember to throw a bone to us lefties from time to time.
On Sunday, following the health-care vote, state Sen. Scott McCoy floated this tentative but interesting idea on his Facebook page:
So is it time for me to form an exploratory "McCoy for Congress" committee given Jim Matheson's vote against the healthcare reform bill?
It received dozens of enthusiastic responses. Later in the discussion thread, McCoy followed up with this:
I'm for healthcare that works for everyone . . . no matter who--government or private--ends up being the financing agent.
Meanwhile, QSaltLake's Facebook page asked "What Democrat do YOU think should run against Jim Matheson next year?" -- responses ran about 15-to-1 in favor of McCoy. (Other nominees included Ross Romero, Nikki Boyer, Josie Valdez and even QSL publisher Michael Aaron himself.)
Granted, Facebook wall posts are often made in the spirit of jocularity, so we should caution against reading McCoy's question as an official bid. Still, it raises a tantalizing possibility.
Personally, I think McCoy is such a valuable asset to the state Senate, I'd be reluctant to give him up to Washington -- unless we could ensure his replacement would be an equally dedicated champion of environmental, educational and human-rights issues.