Don’t assume that the 38 Democrats who voted against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) extremist version of healthcare reform wouldn’t have supported it if their votes had been needed. The days before the final passage on Saturday were not filled with stirring appeals to get Democrats to back the bill so much as an auction to decide whom to let off the hook.
Knowing that the bill will likely be political suicide for any red-state Democratic congressman, particularly if he or she is a freshman, the House leadership had to negotiate with its members to assure that the 38 defectors were the ones who needed the political cover the most. That there would be 38 Democrats who would oppose the bill was pre-ordained. Who they would be was the subject of negotiations right up to the wire.
…and that’s there was another consideration involved besides political cover: seniority. As most nakedly seen by the Democrats’ decision to throw Bob Owens of NY-23 to the wolves by requiring him to break his campaign promises before 24 hours had passed since his swearing-in. Other than that, it’s pretty spot-on – which means, in other words, that I already had the same opinion as him that there’s effectively no such thing as a moderate Democratic politician anymore. Amazing how often ‘smart’ seems to get treated as being semantically identical to ‘agrees with me,’ doesn’t it?
Crossposted to Moe Lane.