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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

Don't back off

by: Jay Stevens

Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 23:44:33 PM MST

Read this post, especially if you are a Democratic politician hesitant to cast a vote for fear of blowback from Republicans:

Democrats can be assured that Republicans will attack them, regardless of what they do.  Democrats could eliminate the estate tax permanently, slash the capital gains tax, repeal the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, invade Iran, and pass a Constitutional Amendment outlawing abortion, and Republicans would still attack them -- with exactly the same vehemence and vigor that Republicans have now.  That's politics.  It's how partisan politics is played...

My advice to Democrats unsure about what to do is this: think about the actual bill, and what its effects would be if it became law.  If in your judgment those effects would be bad for your constituents, then odds are they will dislike it, blame you for it, and you'll be in trouble.  If those effects would be good for your constituents, then vote for it.  Then figure out how you're going to sell the thing and yourself, based on that vote.  But don't back off of it because you think it will open you up to attacks; you're wide open right now, and you'll remain wide open regardless of what you do.

Jay Stevens :: Don't back off
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Don't back off | 6 comments
First of all (0.00 / 0)
don't saddle candidates with running on/defending an unpopular health care reform bill....


Um, yeah (0.00 / 0)
I take Bernstein's statement about health care reform that "it [health care reform legislation] will be just part of the partisan background noise" as a little naive. I think that the HCR debacle will be front and center, no matter what happens to the bill, pass or not, in pieces, amended or not.

I think that advice to just pass the damn thing, coming from Bernstein, Klein, Krugman, et al., is just very dangerous politics. My take is that if the dems believe that their "hard sell" that is going to be necessary to make people like the bill will be enough to salvage their electability in the fall, well, then they're delusional.

Doing the unpopular, then falling back on a hard sell is politics designed to fail. If there needed to be a hard sell, then it should have been done up front. But as it is, a hard sell will only sound tone deaf, give republicans a battering ram,  and guarantee massive dem losses in the fall.

When I buy a lemon, I don't take it back to the car dealer, only to let him sweet talk me into how good of a deal it really is, and then turn around a drive it home again. I ask for my money back, and then go shopping for what I need. And what this nation does not need is another dead-end cat's cradle.  

JC (0.00 / 0)
I think we can safely say that the damage to the Democrats is already done.  If that is the case, then they have win back some level of confidence from the voters.  Doing nothing doesn't do that.  You're right that the hard sell "should" have been up front, but that isn't where the Dem pols are at now.  They've already embraced failure, so they really only have three choices.  1)  Do nothing except try and convince their base that that was really for the best. 2) Do nothing and find someone else to blame, probably concurrently with number 1.  3)  Pass the Senate bill and work like hell to make it better (which means trusting the clown circus to perform.)  Not of lot of pretty choices there for our Representatives; in fact, they all might lead to massive Democratic losses in the fall.  But of all those choices, only one actually offers the hope of an improved public opinion and that would be number 3.  But it has to be both parts; pass the bill and then fix the damned thing.  

Do nothing except attempt a reboot may be popular with FDL folks, but they haven't been paying attention to the Republican attacks.  Those aren't sophisticated in the least and they are equal parts "Obamacare gonna kill us all" and "Democrats can't accomplish ANYTHING!".  Disregard whether those are contradictory; the fact is, they're working.

Personally, I think the only House Dems who aren't totally screwed at this point are the ones in overwhelmingly Democratic districts who will be more than happy to sacrifice their more threatened brethren on the altar of 'principle'.  That's their way of picking option 2.  But the end result for us will be the same, no health care and Republicans soon back in control.  

Sure, the damage is done (0.00 / 0)
And I'm not advocating a do nothing approach. And I think the CW on what alternatives there are all lead to a bad things for dems in the fall. I think the only salvation the dems have is to blow up the system, and do the right thing.

So, what is the right thing? For the House, they should: 1) disengage from current backroom negotiations (which have curiously been nonexistent in the media of late...); 2) move to the ping pong approach; 3) amend the Senate bill to their caucus support; 3) send it back to the senate.

The House needs to put this bill back into the Senate's hands

The Senate then needs to; 1) disengage from the current backroom dealings; 2) take the House bill and either accept it, or further amend it under current rules. If they can't accept it (and most likely they wouldn't) they need to pull the nuclear option and vote it on a straight up majority vote. Or they need to pull the nuclear option and amend it and send it back to the house, and round and round it will go.

The Senate needs to convince the country that majority rule on health care reform is more important than mob rule (tyranny of the minority). And if the senate can pull the nuclear option, then they may find the cajones to do something really extraordinary like add a public option.

I think that for the House to maintain its integrity--or what integrity it has left--it needs to not be viewed as bowing down to the Senate. The precedent it would set here is horrible, and smacks of unicameralism.

You know, the House could just turn the table here and demand that the Henate pass the house bill. There are two bills on the table. Why is it that the demands are being made of the House? Why has the debate been framed as one of an abusive relationship where only the abuser can demand concessions? The Senate has an out. They can revert to majority rule. Which in the eyes of the public would be the correct thing to do.

In what other country would the headlines read: Health care reform loses 59-41. That's 59 votes for and 41 votes against.

Pressure should be brought on the Senate to change, instead of for the House to capitulate.  In that lies the salvation of the Democrat party. They could once again be "Democratic."

Just my opinion. But the only way I see for dems to turn a lose-lose situation into a positive one.

[ Parent ]
An instructive video (0.00 / 0)
Anyone interested in this topic should go to Youtube.com and check out "Balls Beer for Health Care Reform."  It should be required viewing for elected Democrats.

I'm orderin' a case for baucus! (0.00 / 0)
Simple,isn't it?  It really is.


[ Parent ]
Don't back off | 6 comments

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Purely Hypothetical, of course, but - The best candidate for the Republicans for US Senate is:
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Dennis Rehberg
Marc Racicot
Champ Edmunds
Steve Daines
Harris Himes
Kreyton Kerns


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