Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pelosi's Pet Blue Dogs

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Roll over. Play dead. Good boy!

By now, you know that Obamacare, in all its dreadful glory, has passed the House of Representatives. The vote was close, 215-210, and there is some talk about how "brave" or "courageous" the Blue Dogs were in standing up to Pelosi to try to defeat this very unpopular government take over of the heath care system.

But it ain't necessarily so. One of the dirty little secrets in Congress, is that, if a vote on any particular bill might make a member's re-election more difficult (especially during an election year), Congressional leaders, in this case the Speaker of the House, will allow certain members to vote against the party line, so long as there are enough votes to pass that bill.
Thus, a liberal can stand up in a conservative leaning district and say "I voted against such and such", even though the reality is that they might actually favor the vote or know that they would have indeed voted for it had the bill been in any danger of not passing.

So, before we jump to the conclusion that the list of "Blue Dogs" who voted "no" are all "courageous, conservative Democrats who vote principle over party", consider that they may simply be Pelosi's pet Democrats, whom she did not want to see go down to defeat over a bill where she had enough votes in her pocket for it to pass.

Had there been enough "Blue Dogs" to actually defeat the bill, then their vote might have some meaning. As it stands, it could just be window dressing.

Cross posted at Say Anything

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