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More Musings On 2010

Kim Strassel has a great piece in the Wall Street Journal about the dilemma moderate Democrats find themselves in. As an example of how precarious and unpredictable circumstances have become for moderates in Washington during this term, she uses the experiences of Walt Minnick, a "freshman" Representative from Idaho:

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were looking ahead--to the endgame on health care, and the election beyond--she'd be thinking hard on Walt Minnick. That she isn't explains the Democratic Party's growing woes. Rep. Minnick is one of Mrs. Pelosi's "majority makers," and a bit of a miracle at that. This is a guy who last year ousted an Idaho GOP incumbent by 4,000 votes. His district--rural, with a pinch of Boise--went 67% for George W. Bush in 2004, and 61% for John McCain. The last time Idaho sent a Democrat to Washington was the early 1990s. The time before that preceded color TV.

Political wonder though he may be, Mr. Minnick is these days being taken for granted. He's a supercharged example of the mess Mrs. Pelosi has created for dozens of conservative and freshman Democrats with her liberal health-care legislation.

The eye catching number in that quote is the 61% margin by which John McCain carried Representative Minnick's district in 2008. The 2010 mid terms will not experience the massive turnout that greeted the Obama candidacy in 2008.While Minnick has worked hard to distance himself from Obama/Pelosi policy debacles, he is already under attack in his district and the greatest threat to his reelection may not be the thrusts from his opponent but rather his own party:

Mrs. Pelosi and the White House surely realize the risk, too, though they may think sacrificing a dozen conservative Democrats on the altar of a sweeping health-care reform is worth it. But that doesn't bode well for the Democratic Party's attempts to recruit candidates for conservative districts, a project responsible for its current majority.

Much of the anxiety that grips the political lives of moderate Democrats in current debates is that they are concerned that they will find themselves being used as human shields in what is coming to resemble a Obama/Pelosi suicide mission.

Similarly, Daniel Henninger highlights another constituency that previously favored Obama but is now having second thoughts: the middle class and the rich.

...many of Mr. Obama's supporters in the upper brackets of politics, who were expected to bear the burden of his "sacrifice" by meekly mailing in higher federal tax payments, are shocked at how high their top marginal rates could go.

This is especially true in high-tax Democratic utopias such as New York City, the famous ATM of Clinton-era fundraising, where the top marginal rate for all taxes could hit 60% if the health surtax is imposed. Mayor Mike Bloomberg is competing with Mr. Obama to pull tax revenue out of the same base of taxpayers, and Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to tap them for campaign contributions. Ask these two politicians what they're hearing from this high-value swath of the Democratic base. Even the fattest cats in time discover the fairness issue.

.. The newly arrived inhabitants of the Obama White House, who this week floated the possibility of middle-class taxes to pay for their deficit, talk as if the states don't exist. Factoring in the "millionaire" health surtax, the Tax Foundation's recent analysis puts the top marginal rate over 50% in 39 states. This is nuts.

Yes, it's nuts. And it's the product of a political amatuer hour that the nation hasn't witnessed in decades. In a mere six months this President and this Congress are attempting to force on an electorate changes in policy that were forged over decades. Dan Riehl has some very interesting comments on this:

That Obama fancies himself the one man in the universe with some new grand and golden vision is ridiculously grandiose. A great many others actually do understand it at least as well, if not better than he, they've simply rejected it for competing ideas. Obama either can't see that out of arrogance, or he doesn't care about it based upon a stubborn ignorance. And he doesn't intend to let it get in his way. That single thing may go down as the biggest and worst mistake by a POTUS in contemporary times. And one can't even predict the consequences of the confrontation Obama is fostering through his preening impatience.

The Obama/Pelosi zeal may, in the end, be defining characteristic of their political demise.


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Comments (14)

You report that there are m... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

You report that there are moderate Democrats. I have never come across one. Like unicorns, it is impossible to state that there is no possibility that something like them exists, but no one to my knowledge has ever produced one.

Democrats fall into three groups:
1. Liberal Democrats
2. Extremely liberal Democrats
3. Democrats with no known philosophy, whose only consistent belief is reelection.

What the press describes as moderate Democrats are slightly to the right of Ted Kennedy. And "conservative" Democrats are slightly to the right of Steny Hoyer. Mr Minnick is a liberal Democrat who tries very hard to sound moderate, and who is allowed to vote in opposition whenever Pelosi doesn't need his vote.

I to am astounded at the ar... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I to am astounded at the arrogance of Madame Pelosi and The One. I guess 'sacrifice' applies only when being made by others. We'll have to wait and see if political survival trumps party loyalty. If ObamaCare should come about, the repercussions will be devastating to the Democratic Party. The Obamassiah has already painted himself into a corner as far as taxing those who make less than $250k. To of his underlings floated the idea the last week to see what would happen. Evidently Axelrod didn't like the poll numbers as Gibbs was quick to say that they'd 'misspoke'. Those 'moderates' you spoke of will be facing a lot of pressure from Rahm to stay in line, and if need be, fall on their swords for The One.

I continue to try, for myse... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I continue to try, for myself, to make some sense out of Obama's behavior. I don't buy the "evil genius, destroying all systems so he can remake the U.S.A. as a socialist state" idea, I don't see that level of intelligence in him or his people. Currently I find myself leaning toward it being a combination of arrogance and ignorance.

He has no training in economic, no business experience, no management experience. But he has an idea, and he's bullishly moving toward his goals regardless of any circumstances that occur (remember how he kept referring to things that came up during his campaign as "distractions"? That's reflective of his mindset).

I think he does not understand the destructiveness of his plans and actions. All he sees in what he has done, is doing and plans to do in the future are huge sources of revenue (power) flowing into the central government. He figures he can afford to do anything because he is establishing a never ending, never limited source of income.

Maybe one of his books should have been called The Audacity of Ignorance.

Re 1Ken, I'm sure ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Re 1

Ken, I'm sure that that's been said before, but it is succinct and accurate.

Pelosi DOESNT CARE about ot... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Pelosi DOESNT CARE about other democrats. She knows that she will get reelected even if she were found having sex with a 10 year on the White House steps.

Obama doesnt care because he figures he can cram his agenda down our throats in 2 years and then it doesnt matter what will happen.

If (should I say WHEN) the 2010 elections go bad even after ACORN, the census and all the vote stuffing they can do then I am sure that the Dems in the Senate will simply add 2 more judges to the Supreme Court to consolidate their hold on power. By that time they have passed most of their agenda and can simply legislate the rest.

Upset Old GuyI think... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Upset Old Guy
I think the arrogance/ignorance combo is probably close to the truth. Team Obama really does believe in a Socialist-type America, but they didn't think they would be able to take it this far this fast.

The 'lucky' confluence of Bush fatigue, a historic tanking economy, total Dem control of Congress and a MSM even more sycophantic than usual is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
They can't believe their luck and are giddily scrambling to push through as much as they can as fast as they can.

As for "I think he does not understand the destructiveness of his plans and actions.", I dunno. I think it's even odds that he does understand the destructiveness. What a horrible thought.

Obama is in a win-win situa... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Obama is in a win-win situation here.

If he accomplishes his goals, Democrats win in 2010.

If Republicans successfully thwart Obama's goals, Democrats win in 2010.

Vic

How's it going, Les (sorry,... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

How's it going, Les (sorry, had to say that)

I agree totally about the guy being a socialist, and his intentions to push us that way. I just can't see any of them being bright enough to figure this was the perfect moment to do that by destroying everything so they could step in and remake us as the socialist utopia.

To me it looks more like he came in a his unspoken agenda and from day one they have just been trying to ram through as much of it as they can, as quickly as they could. That's because they knew that at some point they would be recognized for what they are and at that moment what they'd got would all they were going to get.

Can't believe their luck and giddy... you betcha'. Except for San-Fran-Nan, she's on an arrogant power trip. Those executive jets were her biggest "let them eat cake" moment so far.

As far as not knowing how destructive, that's based on his never having considering it, because he doesn't care if it is. He has his plan. He has his goals. There will be no distractions for him. And there better not be any distractions for anyone that works for him. That's a pretty horrible thought, too! Sorry.

Just a word on Walt Minnick... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Just a word on Walt Minnick's election.

He defeated Bill Salley who was a disaster. His personal finances were a shambles and he bumbled and stumbled along. Any repub candidate with his sh*t together would have beat Minnick. It was a "lesser of two evils" scenario.

I've seen anger at politici... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

I've seen anger at politicians before like in 80 against Carter and in 1994 when Clinton assured the Democrat party's minority status by passing 1994 AWB bill.

The Democrat party is not going to know what hit them in 2010 due to voter anger with their behavior and outrage at their policies. Blue dog Democrats will become an extinct species.

I've never seen voters of EITHER party this outraged at politicians nationwide.

Polling places during the 2... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Polling places during the 2010 election will be OVERRUN with thugs--Black Panthers, union criminals, ACORN hoodlums and every sort of intimidating, club-carrying force you can imagine. Obama and the radical, criminal left have NO INTENTION of allowing whites/conservatives to upset his plan for rule in the US. In order to WIN seats back in 2010, conservatives will have to be prepared for banana-republic tactics from the democrat party. Make no mistake--these people have power and NO INTENTION of permitting it to be taken from them. This will be ugly, unprecedented in its criminality and only those willing to fight for their liberty will survive it.

Lets see a conservative rev... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Lets see a conservative revolution in 2010 lets see a whole bunch of irritating liberals reomved from office and sent to the retierment

I'll pay good money to see ... (Below threshold)
Kathy:

I'll pay good money to see it - providing Obama lets me keep any...

"[Blue Dog Dems] find thems... (Below threshold)
Texan99:

"[Blue Dog Dems] find themselves being used as human shields in what is coming to resemble a Obama/Pelosi suicide mission."

BINGO




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