Friday, March 19, 2010

They're Still Short on Votes

AoSHQ has a very good whip count I have been following, along with one on the left at Firedoglake.  I have spent literally hours going over these in hopes of finding some sense of where the Democratic leadership truly is in lining up their votes.  It all comes down to these maybes (from AoSHQ):
That leaves the maybes. There are now fifteen who voted "yes" the first time, but have refused to commit to voting the same way this time:
Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Tim Bishop (NY-1), Mike Capuano (MA-8 ), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8 ), Bill Foster (IL-14), Baron Hill (IN-9), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Alan Mollohan (WV-1), Bill Owens (NY-23), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Earl Pomeroy (ND-All), Nick Rahall (WV-3), Zack Space (OH-18 ), John Tierney (MA-6), Dina Titus (NV-3).

And there are thirteen left who voted "no" the first time who could be victims of Rahm-in-the-lockerroom-with-the-lead-pipe bullying or Cornhusker Compromise bribery because they haven't declared yet what they plan to do:
Jason Altmire (PA-4), Brian Baird (WA-3), John Barrow (GA-12), John Boccieri (OH-16), Rick Boucher (VA-9), Allen Boyd (FL-2), Lincoln Davis (TN-4), Jim Matheson (UT-2), Scott Murphy (NY-20), Glenn Nye (VA-2), Heath Shuler (NC-11), John Tanner (TN-8 ), Harry Teague (NM-2).
So Pelosi needs 24 out of 28 maybes to break her way.
My take, for what that is worth, they still have a job on their hands getting their final votes.  Ace has the current no votes at 211 while Firedoglake has 210.  They're both close but I think AoSHQ has Chris Carney (PA-10) as a no whereas FDL does not.  Senator Coburn was shrewd when he threatened to hang up confirmations for future Federal jobs for any of those switching from no to yes.  It is among this group where you will find those final votes and those that vote will almost certainly lose their election.  In addition, there are egos to consider.   While the White House may argue that Rep. A doesn't want to be the one to kill health care, Rep A is likely thinking but what about me.  Now if Rep. A were someone like, oh say, Altmire, he isn't likely to take the plunge off that plank willingly.   This is merely a hunch on my part but after watching him for a few days I am willing to bet he isn't the most likely person to put Obama's needs over his own.   

Though there are a few who can be easily flipped to yes here, primarily because their re-elections might be a bit less difficult than others, most on that list of 28 are pretty vulnerable.    After those easier to flip votes are secured, we're likely to see a bit of a stalemate as each waits until someone else offers to walk the plank.  Anyone egotistical enough to think they might survive the plank walking is going to want assurances they won't have to vote on this again.  There is absolutely no way anyone can give that assurance.    I am going to go out on a limb and guess that Sunday voting is a long shot.  If your Congressman/ Congresswoman  is on that list today is the perfect day to get on the phone and tell him or her not to jump.  

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