The whole purpose of the Stupak amendment was to give Democrats in close districts the ability to point to their health care vote and say “see, I know it’s a giant bailout for Aetna and PhRMA, but it pisses off liberals and it’s a huge setback for abortion rights.” And that’s exactly what Steve Driehaus did after his November vote:
It didn’t take 48 hours after Steve Driehaus, D-West Price Hill, voted for a health-care reform bill in the House of Representatives on Saturday night for political opponents to use the vote against him in what’s expected to be a tough November 2010 re-election bid.
“I had drawn a line in the sand early on about not spending federal dollars on abortions,” he added. “Look, this is a competitive district. It will remain a competitive district. I think the voters will face a choice. Do they want to go back to where we were or do they want to move forward?”
They thought they could take a page from the Republican playbook: rip off the country while they keep the base happy by throwing them red meat on social issues. The trouble is, Driehaus is a Democrat. It was the wrong base.
No, Jane, it wasn't. The only political base the New Democrat party is interested in attracting is the section of the GOP base that isn't crazy, a section that has been somewhat disappointed in the capture of its old party by the whackos and right-wing populists and is looking around, maybe, for new representation. The New Democrats would like to be that representation.
Almost every word of this post betrays Hamsher's lack of understanding despite the evidence that's right under her nose, evidence she's writing about, fer dawg's sake. I mean, Dreihaus gives the damn game away and Jane doesn't see it.
Polling in Vic Snyder’s district (AR-02) and Steve Driehaus’s district (OH-01) should have shown that they were close. Both districts were rated “tossups” by Cook’s Political report. Instead, polls by SurveyUSA for FDL showed both Driehaus and Snyder trailing 17 points to their Republican opponents. Snyder and Driehaus voted for the Stupak amendment. It didn’t seem to provide much insulation from the prevailing tide of sentiment in their districts against the the health care bill.
This weekend, on the day after the poll was released, Driehaus decided to double down on Stupak and hand control of his vote over to the Catholic bishops:
“I would certainly hope the (abortion) language adopted would also allow the Catholic Bishops to support the legislation as well,” Driehaus said.
For the life of me, I can’t understand how this is Driehaus’s takeaway.
Jane isn't stupid. The only reason she can't see it is that, like most politically savvy observers, she still thinks the Democratic party exists. The answer is simple: Dreihaus, a New Democrat -slash-Old Republican, is going after the moderate conservative constituency he wants to bring in to the New Democrat/Old GOP party. He doesn't care about Old Democrats or FDR Liberals or even what the polls are telling him about the leftward swing by voters. The Democrats are going to vote for him, that's assumed, because - as David Plouffe said several times during the campaign and since - "Where else have they got to go?" so there's no reason whatever to woo them.
But beyond that, the ND/OGOP's like Dreihaus that Rahm Emanuel has been recruiting really despise liberal Democratic goals. The object is to move the party to the right until it is fully acceptable to corporatists and religious conservatives. Every vestige of Liberal policies are to be gradually removed until nothing is left but the ND/OGOP, business-friendly, worker-hostile agenda. Oh, they'll leave a few FDR Dem programs in place so they'll have something to chip away at and they'll spend a good deal of kabuki-time making believe - as they have done so obtusely with healthcare "reform" - that they care about the average guy. But when all the yakkety-yak is finished and the bills come to the floor, we will lose and lose and lose again no matter how much of the public is on our side, and the bills will be pretty much exactly what the rich and powerful want them to be.
Jane? A word in your shell-like.
You used to brag with some pride - and accuracy - that you were part of the "reality-based community". We need you to give up your denial and become that again. Look at what's really there and not what used to be there or what you think ought to be there.
The underlying assumption that Driehaus is embracing is that Democrats will be so invested in his reelection that he can woo Republicans who will never vote for anyone with a “D” next to their name by demagoguing the abortion issue, and that Democrats will just show up for him no matter what. But this is just not going to be an “abortion” election. According to a National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll, that isn’t what voters care about right now....
You got the first half right but that's the easy and least relevant part of the analysis. The less comfortable but more important part is that Dreihaus doesn't give a shit about the Democratic voters and if he could win as a Pub - iow, if the GOP of today was the Old pre-Reagan GOP, he wouldn't be a Democrat at all.
I have to admit I have the jump on you, having seen all this before in Massachusetts. The Mass Republican Party is so disorganized and so full of dingbats (and has been since the 70's) that hardly anybody from the GOP can get elected for anything except Gov, which for some reason we keep wanting a Pub for. When that change happened, moderate conservative Pubs switched parties and became moderate conservative Dems, though their views didn't change one tiny little bit. As a result, they spent ZERO time wooing Democratic voters, instead carving out for themselves as big a slice as possible of moderate conservative Pubs who shared their views and winning their votes.
The one big difference between the national Dem party and the Mass Dems is that the Blue Dog ND's in Mass never captured the party leadership, which is - or was 2 years ago - still largely liberal. (Coakley's candidacy and Barney Frank's surprising 180 to become the Bankers' BFF this past year make me think something may have changed since I've been gone.) At the national level, the Bill Clinton/Al From "Third Way" ND/OGOPs have been running the show since the Dukakis loss of the late 80's. They have been gradually turning the Party of the People into the Corporatist Party and the Liberal agenda into a Gingrich agenda without the slimy parts.
This is just plain blind:
With a poll of likely voters showing Driehaus 17 points down to his Republican opponent, there appears to be a more important takeaway: the Democrats have 10 months before the 2010 election to stand up to the banks, insurance and pharmaceutical companies and show that they really can be the party of reform. If he wants to save his seat, Driehaus should get in front of that parade and insist that the mandate and penalties come out of the bill — something 70% of the people in his district think is “unfair.”
See that bolded part? That's the last thing tha ND/OGOP hacks like Dreihaus want. They'd rather lose. And they will. We need to convince the real Democrats left in the party - and they exist - to take their party back, not waste time trying to talk conservative DINO's into becoming something they'd rather die than become. First, of course, the real Dems - like you, oddly - have to come out of denial and realize that the New Democrats aren't Democrats at all and are about to lead the entire party down the same bleak road the movement conservatives took the New GOP down if they aren't stopped.
IOW, we need y'all to, like, OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES.