For now call it purely symbolic. See the failed efforts if you’re skeptical.

Photo of Taylor in Miss Missouri pagaent

But the mandate without the public option is a loser and always has been, as I’ve been writing from the start. That the Show Me state, where I was born, was the first to weigh in and say so doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’ve been talking to Missourians for some time, mostly via email, though I also hear from many via Facebook, so I wish I would have made a bet in Vegas.

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the St. Louis home town paper.

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, rebuking President Barack Obama’s administration and giving Republicans their first political victory in a national campaign to overturn the controversial health care law passed by Congress in March.

“The citizens of the Show-Me State don’t want Washington involved in their health care decisions,” said Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, one of the sponsors of the legislation that put Proposition C on the August ballot. She credited a grass-roots campaign involving Tea Party and patriot groups with building support for the anti-Washington proposition.

[…]Missouri was the first of four states to seek to opt out of the insurance purchase mandate portion of the health care law that had been pushed by Obama. And while many legal scholars question whether the vote will be binding, the overwhelming approval gives the national GOP momentum as Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma hold similar votes during midterm elections in November.

The courts will likely have the last say, so who knows the practical impact of the almost 70% vote in Missouri against the healthcare mandate. So, call it a symbolic up yours to Washington Democrats.

It does bring back the impractical arrogance of Pres. Obama and Democrats who wouldn’t back a public option. Thinking that forcing people into a monopolized system is going to go down easily was the biggest political miscalculation of the health care debate. Movement progressives worked hard to keep Democrats from making this costly mistake. I watched as they made the case, many of you part of that work, but the Democratic establishment in Washington refused to listen. It’s come back to bite elite Democrats in the first I Told You So moment of the election season, which is also a warning shot to Obama’s re-election bid in 2012, though there is still no evidence yet anyone of the right can take him down.

Prop C in Missouri was also directed pointedly at Pres. Obama.

Whether the vote last night ends up meaning anything or not, it is a real shot in the arm to Tea Party Republicans for the midterms, while not doing much for the enthusiasm gap that’s been widening for months.

The mandate without a public option was always a loser. Missouri just confirmed it in case anyone’s still doubting, with discovery on the Virginia lawsuit certainly to be interesting to watch.