In a preview of the political landscape to come should Republican Scott Brown win the Massachusetts special senate election, GOP Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared on Sunday that the vote is actually a referendum on health care.
"[Democrats] have arrogantly ignored American public opinion all the way to this point, and they're continuing to try to get their members to ignore public opinion one more time," the Kentucky Republican said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
"Regardless of the outcome Tuesday, we know that in the most liberal state in America, you're going to have a close election to the United States Senate because the people of Massachusetts don't want this health-care bill passed... I think the politics [of health care] are toxic for the Democrats either way... You've got this widespread public revulsion with this [Democratic legislative] program."
The vilification of Democratic-authored health care reform is standard practice for McConnell. What stands out, however, is what his most recent remarks portend for the health care debate going forward.
Democratic Party leaders have, for weeks, demanded that Republicans say whether they would campaign on a platform to repeal health care reform should it become law.
The response has been mixed, with some Republicans calling for a full repeal and others saying bits and pieces should be thrown out. Should Brown win on Tuesday, the GOP's trashing of the legislation appears likely to grow louder -- regardless of whether the bill becomes law.
"Either way, whether it passes or it fails, it will be huge issue, not just in 2010, but in 2012," McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday." "This is a unique issue. Everybody is interested in health care, all 300 million Americans. This issue isn't going away, whether [Democrats] pass it or they don't. The American people are telling us, 'Please don't pass this bill.'"