Free Markets, Free People
According to Chris Cilliza of The Fix, Charlie Cook, one of the best of the Democratic Party election handicappers, isn’t high at all on the chances of House Democrats of retaining the majority. Watch the video – he immediately says the same thing I’ve been saying – there is no “communication problem” with President Obama. Instead he’s sees what has happened to Obama and the Democrats as being “fundamental and total miscalculations” on their part.
Cook also finds it hard, after discussions with what he calls the brightest of House Dems, he finds it very hard to “come up with a scenario in which the Democrats don’t loose the House”.
Interesting comparision: Bush/Iraq = Obama/Health Care. Now, I don’t know if I’m as pessimistic as Cook seems to be (and trust me Cook knows this infinitly better than I do as he’s proven election after election), but it is certainly true that I think House Democrats will loose a significant number of seats and their easy majority will become a difficult one next January where they’ll actually have to take Blue Dogs seriously since it might be that bloc that provides the swing votes necessary for either side to have their way.
Cilliza finds another respected election handicapper who disagrees slightly with Cook – not with Democratic losses, just with the amount:
Stu Rothenberg, another noted political handicapper in Washington, has pegged Democratic House losses as between 24 and 28 seats. He writes: “We currently expect Republicans to fall short of the 40 seats they would need.”
In a polarized House, the loss of between 24 and 28 (I think it could actually be a little higher than that) is significant. The health care bill passed the House by 3 votes if my memory serves me correctly. As I point out above, controversial bills would have to be toned down and take a much more conservative tone to pass the House if those gains above are realized.
But to this point, all of the above is idle speculation. In terms of an election 9 months is an eternity. What I think will help cement either Rothenberg or Cook’s prognostications, however, is if the Democrats manage, by hook or crook, to pass health care legislation – especially with no Republican votes for it. Then I think Cook has it right. I think the voter’s wrath will be such that any name on the ballot with a “D” after it will be fair game.
John McCain, under attack for his part in approving TARP, is now claiming he was “misled”:
In response to criticism from opponents seeking to defeat him in the Aug. 24 Republican primary, the four-term senator says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would focus on what was seen as the cause of the financial crisis
, the housing meltdown.
“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” McCain said in a meeting Thursday with The Republic’s Editorial Board, recounting his decision-making during the critical initial days of the fiscal crisis. “They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out (insurance giant) AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors. . . . What they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street – I guess it was trickle-down economics – that therefore Main Street would be fine.
Well one reason it wasn’t used only for the “housing meltdown” is because the law apparently didn’t specify it must be. Consequently one has to conclude it was McCain and those who wrote the law and voted for it who are responsible for what happened. They a wrote bad law. They fell for the drama. They threw almost a trillion dollars out there and are now complaining that it wasn’t used as they “thought” it would be used. Really?
If they were going to pass this travesty anyway, why wasn’t it limited to what the people who brought the problem to them (Paulson and Bernanke) said constituted the problem? How did it end up bailing out auto companies and AIG?
Bad law. And the ones responsible for writing th law include this guy trying to pass of the blame to others.
Secondly, there’s this:
McCain said Bush called him in off the campaign trail, saying a worldwide economic catastrophe was imminent and that he needed his help. “I don’t know of any American, when the president of the United States calls you and tells you something like that, who wouldn’t respond,” McCain said. “And I came back and tried to sit down and work with Republicans and say, ‘What can we do?’
Responding is one thing. But when your constituents are dead set against it, to whom should he really be responding? Well, who does he supposedly represent? What McCain is really saying is “when the president tells you he wants you to pass a bad law, you salute and do what he says”. Really? “Response” apparently means saying ok to unconstitutional spending. Not that Mr. McCain/Feingold has much use for the Constitution.
So, bad law, ignoring his constituents and now blaming others.
Sounds like a pretty typical politician who has spent way too much time inside the beltway to me – a politician well past his “incumbent expiration” date.