Daily Archives: March 16, 2010
Just kidding. Actually, the headline is:
Pelosi Calls All Female Democratic Members Into Meeting
Naturally, if my headline had been the real one, back when Hastert was speaker, the media would have done their best to hound him out of his office for being a misogynist.
I’m guessing that the media won’t really have much to say about Pelosi’s meeting, though.
Personally, I don’t care what kind of meetings they have as long as they don’t try to pass bills without voting for them, don’t pass unconstitutional individual mandates to buy health insurance, and avoid similar shenanigans. It’s just the pervasive double standard of the left-leaning media that gets on my nerves.
I’m sure everyone remembers the left’s constant trumpeting of negative presidential popularity polls during the Bush administration. Understandably, now that the shoe is on the other foot, they’re not quite so keen on those polls anymore. However there is an interesting point to be drawn from them. Take this week’s Rasmussen poll on job approval numbers:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18
Now the overall poll, including the “slightly approve” and “slightly disapprove” categories, show overall approval at 45% and disapproval at 54%. That’s obviously bad news for the President. However the most significant numbers are found in the strongly approve v disapprove categories, because those are people – voters – who’ve pretty much made up their minds about the guy. Essentially those Obama has left “strongly approving” of his job performance is his base. And his base isn’t enough to get him anywhere near an election win. Meanwhile, a motivated 43% (by motivated, I mean they’ll most likely vote because the do “strongly disapprove”) don’t like this guy’s job performance at all.
That’s not necessarily good news for Republicans as with the rise of the Tea Party, they don’t have an automatic in as in past years.
In a three-way generic ballot test, it’s Democrats 34%, Republicans 27%, and the Tea Party at 21%. However, most Tea Party supporters would vote for the Republican if the GOP candidate was the only one with a chance to win.
Message to GOP? You’d better figure out the “Tea Party” issues quickly, co-opt them (i.e. adopt them) and deliver on them or be prepared to see a TP candidate in 2 years again (the reason it is so hard for a 3rd party to establish itself in the US is the 2 major parties have a tendency to co-opt their ideas depending upon which side of the political spectrum the 3rd party falls.). That shouldn’t be a particularly difficult job. However, the TP will provide an option for disaffected voters whether they choose to exercise it or not (it’s easy to claim you’ll vote TP if the GOP candidate isn’t what you want, until you realize the Dem is even worse). Hopefully that threat will be enough to scare Republicans back to their principles and keep them there.
Anyway, back to Obama’s poll numbers – they indicate a real problem for his re-election. I’ve found that in polls like that, the strongly approve or disapprove numbers best reflect the real job approval feeling within the country. A +18 would be formidable. But a -18 says “vulnerable”.
Lots of time between now and Nov. 2012, but Obama isn’t doing himself any favors with the path he’s stubbornly taken. My guess is that disapproval number will actually get worse before the next presidential election. Will it ever reach “Bush country”. I think it is possible. And if it does, you may see a Ted Kennedy like insurgency that finds Obama with a Democratic challenger. That would be fun.
David Dayden at FDL has it as 190 “yes”, 205 “no” (with leaners 202- 207). That down one from the last whip count on the “yes” side and puts Obama and Pelosi about 14 short with leaners. Democrat Bart Stupak thinks they’re 16 votes short.
Republican Representative David Dreier puts it at slighly less needed on the yes side:
In a press conference on Capitol Hill today, Rep. David Dreier (R., Calif.), ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, said the word around the House is that Democrats are still about 10 votes away from securing the 216 they will need to pass changes to the health-care bill. Dreier added that that number might be moving in the wrong direction for Democrats.
It’s possible (see FDL count) it’s moving in the wrong direction, but, as always the disclaimer that these numbers are quite fluid and could literally change in a second or in accordance with how hard a particular arm is being twisted or how much of the moon they’re being promised for their vote. I’d say they’re in the 10-12 vote short neighborhood given the reports above.
Be that as it may, Pelosi and company are exploring all the contingencies:
The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the health-care bill to be passed.
The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.
“It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know,” the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”
This is Pelosi’s fix for the kamakazi role she’s asked many of the members of Congress to take on the HCR package. But, according to the article cited in the WaPo this would apply to the package of fixes they want the Senate to undertake when and if she’s able to push the Senate bill through the House. The article then hints it may be used on the full Senate bill as well. The use of the rule only makes sense (if the intent is to hide who voted for it) if it is used on the full Senate version now pending in the House. It is that bill which promises problems for Democrats in November if passed with their names attached.
Democrats have convinced themselves that the American people aren’t intrested in “process”. That is, they don’t care how they get it done, they just want to see it done. We’ve heard Obama echo this point as well as both Reid and Pelosi. But we’ve also heard them whine about an “up or down” vote, as in “American’s deserve an up or down vote”. Apparently not so much any more.
As for hiding the vote, it seems to be contrary to the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 7):
But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.
The argument, of course, is the House has the power to write it’s own procedural rules, but it doesn’t have the power to set aside the procedural rules the Constitution imposes. This would seem to be a blatant attempt to do just that.
But more than anything, it signals that the House leadership may be reaching the conclusion that trying to get 216 votes is a bridge too far. Pelosi wants this done this week. If you see it show up on the floor and this procedure introduced, you’ll know they don’t have the votes. You’ll also know that “America” is not going to get the “up or down vote” that Obama and Pelosi called for either.