House Democrats Go Turtle

Via The Hill comes this remarkable piece indicating that Nancy Pelosi is throwing up the white flag in a last-ditch effort to save the Democrat Majority from summary pummeling in 2010:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has privately told her politically vulnerable Democratic members that they will not vote on controversial bills in 2010 unless the Senate acts first.
After a year of bruising legislative victories that some political analysts believe have done more to jeopardize her majority than to entrench it, Pelosi is shifting gears for the 2010 election.

The Speaker recently assured her freshman lawmakers and other vulnerable members of her caucus that a vote on immigration reform is not looming despite a renewed push from the White House and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The House will not move on the issue until the upper chamber passes a bill, Pelosi told the members.

But according to Democrats who have spoken to Pelosi, the Speaker has expanded that promise beyond immigration, informing Democratic lawmakers that the Senate will have to move first on a host of controversial issues before she brings them to the House floor.

“The Speaker has told members in meetings that we’ve done our jobs,” a Democratic leadership aide said. “And that next year the Senate’s going to have to prove what it can accomplish before we go sticking our necks out any further.”

For those who aren’t keeping track, given the total failure of the Senate to accomplish anything on Obama’s legislative agenda other than throw tons of money in the direction of Wall Street Bankers, Pelosi’s decision here comes as a complete surrender of any hope of advancing the liberal agenda.  Unlike the netrooters who keep insisting that the House is unpopular because they’re not passing MORE leftist bills, Pelosi can actually read polls and therefore has concluded that she’s not going to sacrifice any more of her pawns unless legislative gains will result.

The Democrats are in a difficult position, here: If they fold up on their legislative agenda, they will have to go back to the voters in 2010 with the message that they accomplished nothing enriching the Wall Street “fat cats” (to borrow a term from President Obama).  This won’t please their voting base or even independents who genuinely (if naively) thought the Democrats would do something to fix the economy, end the war, cut the deficit, etc.  However, the polling is clearly indicating that the things they would actually like to do would make them more unpopular than they already are.  It’s a pickle, no two ways about it.

I feel terrible for Nancy Pelosi, being stuck in this position. I really do.

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