Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Judean People's Front Crack Suicide Squad

Nancy Pelosi is receiving lots of love from liberal bloggers today, and rightly so. I'll modestly credit....hmmm...myself for calling this one back in early August, when I said that "in comparing 1993 with 2009, I think the best thing the Democrats have going for them is Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker's chair."

At the same time, liberals continue to be furious with Harry Reid -- furious enough to run ads against him in Nevada, where he stands an excellent chance of losing next November even if he can retain support of liberals. (Some) liberals think that's OK -- here's Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher, on how she'll feel if the Democrats don't get a public option (not health care -- a public option) through the Senate:

The Republicans terrorized the Democrats in the Senate in 2004 by taking out the Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle. It’s a good model. If that’s what it takes to wake the Democrats up, with Reid’s numbers — and the ensuing outpouring of rage at the destruction of the public option — it shouldn’t be that hard to do.

I don’t care if we have to recruit a Democratic primary challenger...And I sure don’t fucking care if Danny Tarkanian becomes the next Senator from Nevada, because at that point 60 votes don’t mean anything anyway.

As the Judean People's Front said, "That'll show 'em."

Where to start...

OK, first. The difference between Pelosi and Reid is not their ideological differences or their strength; it is their jobs, and the rules and context of the House and Senate. Simply put, in the House liberals have the votes to do more or less what they want to do; in the Senate, they do not. It's also the case that party leadership in the House has far more influence over the votes of individual Members than party leadership in the Senate has over individual Senators, thanks to the rules and incentives of the different institutions. If Pelosi and Reid changed places tomorrow, it would, I guess, soon be Pelosi who was under fire as a sell-out, and liberals would be building monuments to the boxer from Nevada.

Second, there's an enormous difference between trying to find a way to keep Olympia Snowe on board and what Jon Walker is calling "the absolute reign of Empress Olympia Snowe." Yes, the marginal votes (Snowe, Ben know the names) seem to have a massive influence at this stage -- but the basic agenda isn't their agenda; it's the agenda that Obama, Pelosi, and, yes, Harry Reid ran on.

Third point. Even if one believes that Harry Reid is cutting bad deals here and will wind up with a worse bill than, say, a Majority Leader Schumer might get -- isn't the proper solution to that problem an effort to oust him as Majority Leader, not to replace him with a Republican? Hamsher thinks she's emulating Republicans if she attacks Reid. Republicans, however, didn't target Bill Frist when Democrats obstructed them; they targeted, well, a Democrat! Mitch McConnell isn't up in 2010, but many Republicans are. The correct lesson from the difficulty in winning with 60 votes isn't to say that 59 or 58 votes would be just as good (and yes, that's what some are saying), but to keep working until you get 62 or 63 votes.

(BTW...I guess I'll have to update Monday's movie item now. Hadn't thought of this one at that point).

1 comment:

  1. I am totally mystified how Democrats going after Reid is the equivalent of Republicans trying to unseat Daschle. I am sorry but that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Pete Campbell has a great line in this season's Mad Men premiere, "Why can't I get what I want when I want it?". I think of that a lot when I read the liberal blogs out there.


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