Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why Democrats Must Go It Alone

It has become abundantly clear that no progress is possible as long as Democrats try to include Republicans in their plans.  The reason they keep trying is they fear that they will lose votes, if the public perceives them as partisan.  A recent poll belies that fear.
polling The vast majority of opposition to health care and allowing gays to serve openly in the military is coming from people who already say there's no chance they'll vote Democratic this fall. That's an indication of minimal fallout for Congressional Democrats by acting on these issues.
37% of Americans say they will definitely not vote Democratic for Congress this year. 34% say they definitely will and that leaves roughly 30% of the country up for grabs.
Right now 50% of voters say they oppose President Obama's health care plan to just 39% in support. Digging a little deeper on those numbers though 64% of respondents planning or open to voting Democratic this fall support it with only 22% opposed. The overall numbers are negative only because of 94/1 opposition among folks who have said there is no way they'll vote Democratic this fall.
It's a similar story when it comes to the prospect of repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Over 54% of voters support it with 37% opposed. But among the voters Democrats need to make happy- the ones planning to or considering voting for them this year- there is 72/24 support for letting gays and lesbians serve openly in the military. The total numbers are brought down only because of 59/25 opposition with folks who will never vote for them anyway…
...Full results here. [PDF] [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Public Policy Polling>
Regular readers probably know that, before I became disabled, I worked in opinion research.  I examined the poll and found the questions worded and ordered in such a way as to be non-biased.  The only bias I found was in the demographics of the sample, as slight more self-identified ‘conservatives’ were included than liberals.  If the results are at all skewed, the actual situation is better than reported.
What Democrats should learn from this poll is that the people they would turn off by going it alone are people who weren’t going to vote for them anyway.
Rachel Maddow discussed the attempt by progressive Senators to pass the public option through reconciliation, which I reported yesterday, and also discussed reconciliation with Bernie Sanders.
She raises an excellent point.  It’s impossible to negotiate an agreement with someone who changes their policy every time you agree to their policy.  The bottom line here is that the GOP has only one policy: to disagree on everything.
Let reconciliation roll!


the walking man said...

I am opposed absolutely to the health care plan as it left the Senate. But I don't identify that plan as the presidents plan.

The problem with health care as it now stands is the great conciliator attempted to have no real voice in the legislative process until it was to late.

In a way that is a correct approach seeing as how administration and legislative are two separate and distinct arms but who was the last president who actively did not try to ram rod the agenda he was elected to present, through to law?

If the public option at the very least does not go back on the table...preferably a single payer which never even made it to the the table...then I will not vote for this president in 2012 because though the legislation is not his, the lack of leadership is.

A lot of dogs can bark between now and November and between now and 2012 but I want to see which ones can bite.

If I thought he could pull it off I would encourage Sherrod Brown of Ohio to go for it in a primary against Barak Obama.

Infidel753 said...

they fear that they will lose votes, if the public perceives them as partisan.

Uh, so they think the reason we the people gave them huge majorities in both Houses was so they could sit around and do nothing unless the party we voted into the doghouse agreed?

In evolutionary history, the development of the backbone was a milestone in the progress of life. Let's hope the same milestone is soon seen in the progress of Congressional Democrats.

If they act boldly, they might not get re-elected. If they don't act boldly, they definitely won't get re-elected, since they'll have given the doubters no reason to vote for them.

Walking Man: I want to see the public option put back in via reconciliation too (I link to a petition to that effect on my blog). But even if the best they can do is pass the current Senate bill, it can be improved later.

A serious challenge to Obama from the left in 2012, or large numbers of liberal voters staying home, will either (a) have no effect, or (b) elect a Republican. There's no third possibility.

Holte Ender said...

They have to move on this, I am sick at the lack of action from the Democrats, now is the time to be bold (if doing what you were elected for could be called bold), if it fails I will be very disappointed, if they don't even try I will be extremely angry.

Teeluck said...

I'm all for passing it quickly now and fixing it later.

TomCat said...

Mark, I agree. The Senatre bill should not be passed in the absence of a done deal to pass massive repair to it through reconciliation. I also agree that Obama made a major mistake deferring to the Senate. As much as I understand your reservations, if it came down to a choice between Obama and a Republican, I'd vote against the Republican.

Infidel said If they act boldly, they might not get re-elected. If they don't act boldly, they definitely won't get re-elected, since they'll have given the doubters no reason to vote for them. Bingo.

Holte, I fully agree. Their inaction is the worst possible choice.

Sue said...

TC, I posted about this last night then put the video up this morning. It was great to hear what Sanders was saying, and I believe if dems do this their numbers will soar. Why do you think rethugs are running scared, they know they have nothing to offer the people and dems do. Everything progressives are fighting for should go the reconciliation route. I always thought it would come down to this. Obama wanted to put it out there first that he and dems tried their absolute best to get rethugs on board but this is our only and last chance to do the will of the people.

Stimpson said...

Time for the Dems to stop being such goddamn fucking wimps. Nuff said.

Stimpson said...

Oh ... one more thing: Dem inaction on health care would mean countless more Americans dying for lack of health care. There are consequences, great big huge consequences.

TOM said...

I won't fault Obama for trying bipartisanship. I do question his intelligence to have not figured out it was a lost cause 9 months ago, and I'm upset that he gave away so much on legislation, to continue to try and get Republican votes he was never going to get.
I won't vote Republican. I will vote. I will also start slamming Obama for being a poor leader.
As I see it, his job is to lead through the Congressional BS. I'm all for a 51 vote majority to get things done.

TRUTH 101 said...

Slowly but surely everyone is admitting the republicans are nothing but a hindrance to everything. Shutting them out and reminding America of George W. Bush is a sound strategy that should keep Dems in power for the next ten years.

Tom Harper said...

I don't know why Obama and Congressional Democrats are still trying for bipartisanship. It seemed like a good idea a year ago. But by now it's painfully obvious to everyone that the Republicans' sole mission is to block and derail everything Obama tries to do.

Reconciliation, executive orders, recess appointments -- whatever the Democrats need to do, the Democrats need to start doing it yesterday.

Jolly Roger said...

I doubt that the dems have a sufficient number, and I doubt they ever did have, if you add in the DINOs.

TomCat said...

Teeluck, that would worry me. Were the Senate bill to pass with no immediate fix to its many problems, democrats would be blamed for it.

Sue, to an extent I agree. Reconciliation has pitfalls of its own, but we have no other alternative now, except do nothing.

Amen, Stimpson.

Tom, I agree. This is moving much too late.

Truth, only id the Dems have the spine to follow through.

Right on, Tom H.

JR, that remains to be seen. I have no doubt stat some, pockets stuffed with corporate cash, kept quiet while more vocal DINOs helped the GOP. Now lets make them commit.