On Stupak, Demobilization, and the Failure of Conciliation

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(from here)

Needless to say, I'm disgusted by the amendment introduced by Democratic Congressvermin Bart Stupak which would effectively make most abortions not covered by health insurance, even though many are now. Given the tremendous numbers of women who have had an abortion, it's not like he's going to put a dent in the 'problem'--women will still become pregnant, still want to become unpregnant, and still have abortions. It's just some will have to go into debt. So I suggest, if you can afford it, hopping on over to Planet Parenthood, and making a donation in honor of Bart Stupak (Tbogg has the details).

But, once again, the Democrats have managed to demobilize their rank and file. Do they really think that the Democrats and independents who busted their asses for them wanted to restrict access to abortion? Really? Do they think that enacting the other party's agenda will lead to electoral success? Because this seems to be the strategy. And it's not working: recent polling data indicates that Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Deeds got clobbered because people who voted for Obama in 2008 didn't vote for Deeds in 2009. Why?

Because he wasn't progressive enough.

More important than the politics, however, is the policy. Ian Welsh:

Americans may self identify however they want, but on more key issues than not, whatever their delusional self identification may be, they agree with progressive policy positions more than they do with conservative ones.

More to the point, if Obama does not do effective policy, which is to say liberal policy, because reality is much closer to how liberals describe it than how "conservatives" describe it, his policies will be ineffective. No one is going to care whether he followed moderate, conservative or liberal policies if they're unemployed or poorer than they were when he took office.

Conversely, if he followed actual liberal policies, and they worked, and everyone was prosperous, he'd get reelected. Especially since no matter what he does, he's going to be smeared as the biggest liberal since Carter (who, of course, was not very liberal.)...

Reality is liberal. "Conservative" policies do not work. If tjxfh is right (I don't think he is, but if he is) then the US is screwed, blued and tattooed, because what Obama is doing will not work (yes, there will be a short term bounce, as I predicted last year, but so what, Bush had bounces too). Obama's policies lead directly to the next crisis. They cause it.

What too many Democratic politicians seem to have forgotten is that the bills they pass actually have to work. If it's bad legislation, voters won't care.

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I think the best I can really say about this is that I'm definitely NOT proud to be an American if most of them are so stupid and illogical as to NOT vote for the lesser of two evils if those are the only choices they have.

By Katharine (not verified) on 08 Nov 2009 #permalink

I am not in Michele Bachmann's district, but I am right next to it and on the exec committee of the local DFL Party Machine. We have two strong candidates to run against the crazy lady in the next election, and when they have come around asking for support the focus of one is "I am a moderate democrat. I can talk to the people in the 6th district and convince them that Democrats really aren't so socialist after all." The other has focused on the fact that she has never hid that she is a liberal and that as a state representative she has been able to get things done (and she has, and she is in a conservative district and they like her because she delivers on what she promises.) Guess who I will be supporting? Yep.

It doesn't matter whether or not someone says they are a moderate in a race against a super-conservative incumbent. The challenger is always going to be painted as "Way too liberal for us." So, just fess up, liberals, and then when we elect you, follow up.

Democrats are a mixed bag, and these democrats who voted for the amendment are afraid of the power of the Bishops.

While this is a big deal for all the reasons mentioned above, I'd like to know what the practical effect is? How many plans cover abortions?

I've pretty much only had insurance provided by religious organizations or the federal employees health benefits plan, so I have no frame of reference.

By katydid13 (not verified) on 09 Nov 2009 #permalink

And it's not working: recent polling data indicates that Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Deeds got clobbered because people who voted for Obama in 2008 didn't vote for Deeds in 2009.

And for 15 straight years, most of the Democratic leadership has been interpreting polling data like this to mean that they should "triangulate", or become more conservative.
This continues to be one of the more worrisome aspects of the Obama administration; it comes primarily from the more conservative portions of the Democratic party.