Monday, August 31, 2009

Will Rahm Emanuel Lose Congress For The Democrats?


This morning's big DC buzz was for Josh Kraushaar's top of the page Politico story on predicted double-digit losses for congressional Democrats in 2010. He cites bad polling results for Democrats-- although most of the results were how Democrats are angry at Max Baucus, who isn't up for re-election, for not supporting progressive health care legislation. Much of the slippage in polling for Democrats is, in fact, because disenchanted Democrats are unhappy with the unwillingness and inability of Democrats to push forward the real health care reform that was promised during last year's elections. Perhaps some of these voters will stay home in 2010. None will be voting for Republicans, though.

Obama and the Democrats have a big fat albatross around their collective necks: Democrats who behave like Republicans. Bill Moyers captured it beautifully Friday night when he explained Rahm Emanuel's destructive role in the Democratic Party:
The Democratic Party has become like the Republican Party-- deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who's a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama's re-election will come primarily from the health industry, the drug industry and Wall Street. He is a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won't be something in this legislation-- if we get it-- that will turn off those powerful interests.

Democrats and independents are angry about health care. Will they blame the Democratic Party and reward the Republicans? Defeats for anti-health care quasi-Democrats-- Blue Dogs like Parker Griffith (AL), Travis Childers (MS), Glenn Nye (VA), Walt Minnick (ID), Frank Kratovil (MD), Bobby Bright (AL), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) for example-- makes sense, These people vote with Democrats on crucial matters less than one-third of the time. They are, in effect, Republicans. One, Parker Griffith, has already promised teabaggers in his northern Alabama district-- a district that always elects Democratic congressmen-- that he will oppose re-electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker. Would his likely defeat count as a loss for Democrats? Why should it?

Charlie Cook, who lost track of what's going on politically almost a decade ago but is still cited as "an expert" Inside the Beltway, tells his followers that "the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and congressional Democrats... Many veteran congressional election watchers, including Democratic ones, report an eerie sense of déjà vu, with a consensus forming that the chances of Democratic losses going higher than 20 seats is just as good as the chances of Democratic losses going lower than 20 seats."

Conventional wisdom isn't wisdom. And predictions that African-Americans and young voters who turned out in droves last year to elect Obama won't bother to vote in 2010 may be premature. It depends on how Obama and the Democrats handle health care reform. If the Rahm Emanuel faction wins and health care reform turns into a corporate give-way-- like Bush's drug bill-- it will be all over for the Democrats. If Emanuel's faction gets pushed aside, Democrats could end the career once and for all of ridiculous chicken entrail readers like Cook by increasing their majorities in both houses of Congress.

If Republicans believer this kind of hogwash, maybe the NRSC and the NRCC wouldn't be having such a miserable year recruiting top tier candidates across the country and being forced into settling on 3rd and 4th rate Republicans-- sometimes teabaggers-- to run in seats where Republicans might even have a chance. Just today Peter King told the NRSC that they'll have to find someone else to run against Kirsten Gillibrand; he's not interested. Maybe they can persuade Tedisco or Pataki. two proven losers with ambition.

As the NY Times reported this morning, the unpopular bankster bailouts may get less unpopular was more voters-- Democrats and independents (the KKK voters are never going to like Obama no matter what he does and the sooner that is factored into the political calculus, the better)-- realize the bailouts actually yielded a significant profit for taxpayers, the better that will rebound on Democratic electoral hopes.
Nearly a year after the federal rescue of the nation’s biggest banks, taxpayers have begun seeing profits from the hundreds of billions of dollars in aid that many critics thought might never be seen again.

The profits, collected from eight of the biggest banks that have fully repaid their obligations to the government, come to about $4 billion, or the equivalent of about 15 percent annually, according to calculations compiled for the New York Times.

A year from now, the economy will either be rebounding or if won't. (It looks like it will.) Regardless of what Charlie Cook says now, that will be the determinant-- along with the results of the health care reform struggle-- that will decide the elections. What Democrats need to be doing now is targeting vulnerable GOP obstructionists, like Chuck Grassley, who are blatantly using partisanship to follow Rush Limbaugh's diktat about making Obama fail even if it takes the country down the drain. Voters-- other than the small, noisy teabagger base of Fox viewers-- do not like that. Our friends at PPP are doing just that. Watch their new ad running in Iowa today:

UPDATE: All Elections Are Local, But...

Governor/exorcist Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana GOP thought they had the perfect opportunity to pick up a Democratic-held seat in Cajun Country. Their strategy was to pour tens of thousands of dollars into the open state Senate seat for southern Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes (District 20) and tie the Democratic candidate, Norby Chabert, to President Obama, who the state GOP has demonized. If their strategy was successful, it backfired; Chabert won the run-off vote on Saturday 54.3- 45.7% against Jindal's candidate, Brent Callais.

“Once again, the Republican strategy of smear and fear has been soundly rejected by voters,” said Chris Whittington, chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. The third congressional district, represented by Blue Dog Charlie Melancon, encompasses the senatorial district. Obama only got 37% of the vote there last year.

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At 12:12 PM, Anonymous jacqrat said...

Now Howie, I demand that you retract that statement about Charlie Cook. It's a travesty to "ridiculous chicken entrail readers" everywhere!

At 2:13 PM, Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

Great summation. It seems every day there's another Democrat coming out in favor of "bargaining against ourselves." Great Tim Toles cartoon in the WaPo today: a truck is delivering "Spine Flu" vaccine to Congress, only to be told, "You're too late; soft money got there first."

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Howie, you know that if the Democrats lose big on the Hill they're going to endlessly spin it to avoid the facts. They don't want to be the party they were elected to be, because that would lose them the support of Corporate America.

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah - but Rahm will still get the tranny vote (oops, spilled the DNC' biggest coverup yet).


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