Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can this Possibly Be True? Or, If True, of Whom is It True?

According to Huff Po the Dems are finally figuring out that the battle for Health Care is entirely on their side of the Aisle and the push for Cloture has begun in earnest. However the party still seems to be under the impression that there is some real world electoral reason why their most intransigent, right wing, members are refusing to simply commit both to cloture and to voting for a popular and important party priority--ie the actual bill. Tad Devine explains to us that "people" lose seats over "procedural votes."

"People have lost seats on procedural votes," said Tad Devine, a long-time Democratic strategist. "That is what happened in the 1994 election, when President Clinton's economic package went into law and a number of Democrats in the House lost their seats... But if you are talking about one or two people who are well established, they can oppose legislation on the merits but allow it to come to a vote and I don't think that's enough to cost them a seat."

I just find that impossible to believe. For one thing, as usual, it assumes a static world in which Republican propaganda is naturally let to fly free and the Dems can't even marshall enough gumption to stand up and proclaim the value of what they are doing. Certainly if the Party as a whole doesn't publicly back its initiatives and brag about their value and demonstrate their value to the voters people who merely stand on the sidelines and spit may not pay a price for that intransigence and people who vote with the party won't reap the benefits electorally. But that is merely to say that the Dems must be prepared to actually, you know, run on their record instead of running away from it.

But, more to the point, I find that impossible to believe of the people--like Landrieu, Lieberman, Conrad, Nelson, etc...who are in question. These are simply not liminal people politically. Or, if they are, voting *for* cloture and *no* on the actual bill just seems to be a recipe for suicide by some other means. Anyone know the actual history of the '94 lost seats? Way, way, way, more was going on than could be captured in "procedural votes."

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