Thursday, January 21, 2010

Despair, Disarray and Secret Relief - Oh My!

Josh Marshsall at TPM posted an email he received from a Senate staffer, anonymous natch, who laments the odd sense of relief amidst the despair at the sudden realization of their fate come November. Here's the highlight:
The worst is that I can't help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. Now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done. While I always thought we had the better ideas but the weaker messaging, it feels like somewhere along the line Members internalized a belief that we actually have weaker ideas. They're afraid to actually implement them and face the judgement of the voters. That's the scariest dynamic and what makes me think this will all come crashing down around us in November.

If they only had a brain they would have been listening to their constituents who have been screaming at the top of their lungs enough already. Instead they lined up to cast their votes for the horrific health care legislation that grew increasingly more unpopular every day. Still, I have to believe the likes of Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh and Ben Nelson would secretly be quite relieved to know they might have an out instead of casting another fateful vote for the dreaded bill.

Lincoln and Nelson have seen their job approval numbers tumble in recent days.  Lincoln currently "enjoys" a 38% job approval with 34% favorability.  Nelson has been booed in restaurants and other public events.  Others, including Barney Frank were so stunned by the results they all but declared the health care bill dead.  Ding Dong!  Ironically one of the districts that voted heavily for Brown was the same one where Frank must seek reelection, how sad.  After a good stiff drink of Dem Kool Aid, however, Frank walked back his strong remarks..  Here's the walk back:
In an interview with TPMDC this evening, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) reversed course--apologizing for a harsh statement he released last night in the wake of the Massachusetts special election, and saying, explicitly, that if he's assured the bill will be fixed down the line, he'd vote for the Senate health care bill.

"I'm easy. I'm strongly inclined to vote for the thing, even though I don't like the health care tax thing," Frank told me. "But you know, I was ready to vote for the bill when I had people on the left yelling at me not to vote for it. So you know I'll vote for any of it... to try and move the process along."
He's easy.  That must be some Kool Aid they serve in the Democrat's canteen.

The rest of the staffer's email is a rather long history of the failures of the Democrats to pass legislation the staffer knew to be far better than Republican alternatives.  It appears the current group may be following the same path despite the fact they enjoyed unprecedented majorities.   The staffer seems to believe they dragged their feet and now they despair:
It was disheartening when it seemed that Reid was allowing McConnell's disingenuous narrative of "it's always taken 60 votes to get anything done" to take hold, but we were later even saved from that when Specter switched. But it seems we've spent the entire year moving our own goalposts farther away. Things have gotten so bad that in roaming the halls today it feels exactly as if we lost the Majority last night.
Could it be they didn't have enough confidence in their own policies to even entertain the notion they could convince Repulicans to come aboard?  While that is possible, we certainly saw an awful lot of hubris over the past year, particularly in the House.  Now they know they face certain losses in November, some Democrats in denial may have convinced themselves voters will forget between now and then.  I certainly wouldn't bet on that but plunging ahead to pass policies some Democrats seem to doubt is certain suicide.  Should be an interesting 10 months or so watching them wait it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Web Analytics