Diary

The Eight Defectors a Few Short Months Ago

It was only a few short months ago that Republicans were jubilant with Republicans in the House. All 178 House Republicans voted against Obama’s stimulus plan despite Obama’s popularity in many Republican districts and a sense among the populace that something needed to be done. 178 out of 178 held the line.

They should have been jubilant. In this great, big, diverse country, obtaining party unanimity is extremely difficult.

But still there were some defectors in the Senate, so there was a massive uprising to rid the party of Specter, Snowe and Collins.

Now, we had another important vote in the House. This time 170 of 178 Republicans held the line. So there is a desire to purge those eight defectors as well, even though they were hailed as heroes just a few short months ago.

Of 356 key House votes, there have been exactly eight defectors, mostly from Blue districts that voted for Obama. Um, okay. I’ll take those odds. Obsessing over a handful of defectors after every key vote is a self-destructive exercise in futility.

Are we supposed to believe that we do not stand for anything; that we have no principles; that we present no alternative vision; that we are Democrat-lite because four percent of our party represents districts loaded with sappy Greens?

Politicians represent people. There are plenty of conservative-minded people out there in middle America yearning for political leadership. Political activists should focus there; Arkansas; North Dakota; Virginia; Colorado; Montana…

If you want to change the ideology of the politician, sometimes you have to change the hearts and minds of the people first. That is a long term project for deep Blue areas. That is a culture war for culture warriors. Little is going to change that in the next 18 months. People have to learn to deal.

… On to cap and trade in the Senate.