Thursday, January 21, 2010

"What Will Democrats Do Now?"

That seemed to be the question I heard the most yesterday. With the election of a Republican to the blue state of Massachusetts, what will the Democrats do? Here are my thoughts on what Tuesday's election means.

No Obamacare This Year

The Senate Republicans seem to be doing a very good job of standing in the breach. With a 41st vote, the Republicans can stall any legislation as long as they want. The only way to pass Obamacare is through reconciliation or by the House adopting the Senate bill. Speaker Pelosi doesn't have the votes in the House, and reconciliation will strip the bill to the point that Reid may not even recognize it. There may still be health care reform this year. However, I think it will be very different from what we have seen so far.

"Moderate" Democrats Will look for the door.

There are two types of Democrats in the party today: Progressives and Democrats. Progressives are the true liberals of the party like Reid, Clinton, and Pelosi. "Moderate Democrats" or Democrats are the more main stream or even "blue dog" element of the party. The progressives have been telling the moderates for months now that they must pass health care reform or they won't get reelected in November. President Obama has told Democrats he will personally campaign from coast to coast for them after they pass health care. Today, moderate Democrats are looking at Massachusetts and thinking that Obama campaigned for Coakley and she lost. She lost in Massachusetts and she lost the independent voter by 3:1. They remember New Jersey and Virginia where Obama campaigned and the Democrat lost in both cases. In both cases independents voted for Republicans by a 2:1 margin. Career politicians see as job #1 getting reelected. President Obama doesn't have the shirt tails to give them the cover they need in November. Already Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) says health care reform has as much chance of passing as pigs flying out has butt. Democrats weren't talking like this before Tuesday. I think some Democrats will simply announce they aren't seeking reelection, others will start distancing themselves from Reid and Pelosi and may start voting against things like health care reform or cap and trade.

The Politicans will Begin to Listen

During the last twelve months, a number of Republicans and Democrats have participated in Tea Parties across the country. They have gone to their representatives office to complain. They have sent emails, letters, and phone calls telling the congressman or senator how to vote and what the voters thought. These people have been ignored. Many Democrats in Congress and the Senate simply believed the voters couldn't, or wouldn't, really do anything. Now Nelson has been run out of a restaurant for the first time in his political career by angry voters. A solidly blue state has elected a semi-conservative Republican who campaigned on fighting a Democratic President on his signature issue. I promise you a number of politicians are looking for ways to seem more responsive to voters. That's always a good thing.


pack04 said...

I will address your three points in turn a little later on but first I really want to say is that I think republicans really need to make sure they watch out and stay away from the just say no and Mr. Obama is wrong on everything attitude that the dems had 1.5 years ago. It is clear to see it is not a strong platform. People will quickly change. When you win an election by telling somebody to vote for you because you are not somebody else and those people still see the same problems they turn on you. The republicans need to make real changes and "NO" is not always change.

No Obamacare This Year:
I think there will be something. If it is just a piece of paper that says health care reform and nothing else, something will come. I think something should come. But it has to make sense and it has to have a chance of working. It is in the best interest of our politicans and our country if they find out if people are truly against health care reform or just against this current plan for health care reform. Again just say no might not be the best plan.

"Moderate" Democrats will look for the door:
I think they will look for a way to cover there asses. If they see they are going to get killed in the election they might retire and give somebody else a chance to run.

Politicians will begin to listen:
hopefully. If they don't start to listen than november could be very tough on them. The people that get elected because they do listen better keep on listening.

Andy D said...

I agree that Republicans need to have their own ideas. Over the last seven to eight months, Republicans have introduced a number of Health Care bills in Congress. However, Pelosi and Reid refuse to discuss any of them, and many media programs won't acknowledge them. You can go to a special site the GOP set up just to showcase each of the solutions they have come up with. It's located here. I understand many voters being unaware of these bills. However, when Democrats go on news programs and say the GOP is just the party of "NO", they are just lying to hurt their Republican opponents. In Georgia, Tom Price has been leading this debate. I saw him at a convention around August of last year discussing these issues and listing the HR #'s for the bills the GOP had introduced.

Andy D said...

This might be the best advice anywhere. From Real Clear Politics:

"If I were the president, I'd invite Republicans to the White House, lock the door, throw away the key and insist that they take some of what you want and you take some of what they want," said Doug Schoen, a moderate Democratic strategist. Schoen helped Bill Clinton recover following a difficult early presidency.

You can read the entire article here

pack04 said...

Ok let me clairfly a bit, they need to stay away from looking like the party that just says no. And more whinning about media bias just looks whimpy

Christina said...

I had heard someone say Republicans need to become the Alternative Party, instead of the Opposition Party. I bought it, as it seemed to make sense.

But the link Andy provides here, & the explanation of what's what, changes the picture. I'm always on a search for the truth, so thanks, Andy.

pack04 says "...if they find out if people are truly against health care reform or just against this current plan for health care reform. I keep hearing that the American people are so against healthcare reform, & I know that I am, but how can anyone say that this is true for the majority of Americans?
Where does this info come from? so I think pack04 makes a good point.

Andy D said...

I agree with you,Pack, to a point. Republicans have introduced a number of alternatives to the health care bill from the DNC. However, there are times when we should just say "no". For example, the card check bill would strip the secret ballot from workplaces when unions try to move in. That is a just say no time.

Christina, I think most people would agree that some reform is needed. However, the bills being purposed by the Democrats were going to go a long ways towards driving UP health care, and most Americans don't want that.

Politics for a better future said...

this was a true shame because i was greatly looking forward to cheaper and higher quality health care when i graduated college. I know it is pretty clear a public option now will not be passed, however i am hoping that laws, such as, banning insurance companies from denying people with preconditions coverage or getting rid of people/raising prices for people that develop and illness.

Christina said...

I think we should be grateful that a public option-type plan wasn't passed.

I think I've said this before, somewhere on this site, but it sticks in my mind - I once heard a radio broadcast about a computerized 'gatekeeper' for gov't. health care denying a young mother a Doctor's appointment for her baby, who had a fever. It was chilling. She had no way out.

I only heard this commercial once, it was removed from the air. Maybe it was an exaggerated position, but...who wants to take that chance? Things happen that maybe could've been prevented, perhaps this is one of the ones we prevented.