The election is over and the result that no rational person could have predicted three weeks has happened. Republican Scott Brown is the new Senator from Massachusetts. Many conservatives will tell you that health care and the rest of the Obama agenda is now dead. Many Liberals will tell you that the election mean nothing outside of the Bay State. They are both right and they are both wrong. The election of Scott Brown has implications way beyond Massachusetts, its ripple effects will severely wound the Obama agenda, but progressiveness is alive and well and living in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.
The magical 60 votes is now 59, making it much harder to get the bill through the Senate. But if you think the progressives are going to come this close to just lie down and play dead, you don’t understand how important this is to the progressive movement. And the desperation to get it passed, was reflected in Steny Hoyer’s rousing endorsement today, “I think the Senate bill is clearly better than nothing,” he said.
Look for things to get very ugly in Washington. The Progressives led by the President are going to dig in their heals and if you think their attack on anyone who disagrees with the agenda were bad before, “you aint seen nothing yet.” The left wing is going to pick up the Populist mantle and anyone that disagrees with their agenda will be cast as the tool of the big bad Corporations and Banks. In the end that will be the true change that Obama had wrought. Before he became president the United States reached out to big business waged war against terrorism, now things seem reversed.
Even though they now have the extra vote in the senate, it will not be the republicans that the progressives will be fighting with, it will be fellow Democrats. Both the President and the Speaker of the House are ideologues, as so they will not moderate their positions. Because they are so sure their Ideology is correct, it is hard for the Progressive Leadership to “get it.” They do not understand that America does not want their agenda. For progressives the bad polls simply reflect biased news coverage and lies told by their opponents.
Senator Evan Bayh warns:
Even before the votes are counted, Senator Evan Bayh is warning fellow Democrats that ignoring the lessons of the Massachusetts Senate race will “lead to even further catastrophe” for their party. “There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”
On the other hand, the blue dogs know that the progressive agenda has put their political careers on life support. They were told over and over by Pelosi, Reid and Obama that the best way to get elected is to support the radical agenda. Now they see Massachusetts electing a Republican, Harry Reid in big trouble in Nevada, and even Barbara Boxer within striking range in California. The blue dogs are very scared and are ready to bolt the program, but the Democratic Party leadership will not stand for it. Look for the real battle to take place between blue dogs and progressives. In fact its already started. Politico is reporting that some democrats are already abandoning ship while other are saying the “show must go on:”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said it “would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Brown is seated.”
Still, Democrats are floating the idea of a two-step process – passing the Senate bill in the House in step one, then passing a second “clean-up” bill to fix the things in the Senate bill that House members don’t like. The Senate then would have to pass the clean-up bill in a reconciliation process – meaning it would only need 51 votes.
But the deep resistance to the Senate bill among many House members shows that even this legislative tactic would be difficult to pull off.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) was skeptical of the two-step scenario. “I’ve heard that theory but I don’t know if it works,” he said. “The problem is this we are spending almost a trillion dollars and folks are telling me I should vote yes and we will fix it later. You wouldn’t buy a car for a trillion dollars and say yeah, it doesn’t run but we will fix it later.”
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) said, “We were fully expecting to go some kind of conference committee and work out those differences [with the Senate]. And there are still differences to work out. I cannot imagine, from one person, one member from Indiana, that this House would accept the Senate bill as is.”
It wasn’t just the House. Two moderate senators, Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana and Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, separately raised concerns Tuesday about the direction of the Democrats’ agenda, with Bayh saying he feared the Democrats’ policy plans had gone too far to the left.
“It’s why moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message,” he told ABC News. “They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”
There will also be new “Louisiana Purchases.” Only the bribes will be bigger and more frequent. Progressives will try to bribe the blue dogs to get with the program and the blue dogs will have to choose between short-term gains and a long term career, whether they will fight for their careers or give in to their leadership. For those who will fight the battle for the soul of the Democratic party is about to get very nasty. And the future of America depends on who wins.