Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who knew Democrats in Congress would face first death panels?

The past week began (for me) on a bright note and only got better. The New York Times announced the Democrats have instituted internal death panels:

As Democrats brace for a November wave that threatens their control of the House, party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority.

In the next two weeks, Democratic leaders will review new polls and other data that show whether vulnerable incumbents have a path to victory. If not, the party is poised to redirect money to concentrate on trying to protect up to two dozen lawmakers who appear to be in the strongest position to fend off their challengers.

My friend Rick Ballard immediately pictured Democratic party leaders "breaking the fingers of those clutching the gunwales," and Nancy Pelosi called for a party redistributionist scheme in which members in safe districts were to redirect their money to vulnerable incumbents. I couldn't figure out who she was talking about because with so many members of the Congressional Black Caucus under indictment or the object of ethics inquiries, who exactly was in a safe district? Still, there must be some. She indicated they had $218 million in their campaign accounts and could help out their colleagues. Of course, those figures might have been compiled by the CBO at the same time as it calculated the savings to be achieved by ObamaCare. In any event, the Democrats had better use what they have because it appears from all credible accounts that the PACs and employees of the nation's biggest businesses have finally awakened from their stupor and are diverting their campaign money spigot from the Democrats to the Republicans.

What only yesterday had been touted as the party (and Obama's) "signature" achievements --ObamaCare and the stimulus package -- were now obvious handicaps to re-election. Bill Clinton who had earlier urged ObamaCare's passage to wavering Congressmen had the nerve to praise Rep. Mike McMahon for his independence and non partisanship in refusing to vote for that Act. Five Democrats who voted against ObamaCare were running on that fact. Not a single incumbent who voted for it was citing support for that "signature" achievement in a campaign ad.

As for the Stimulus throwaway, the party bosses directed candidates never to even use the word "stimulus" in their campaigns.

On the hustings, even Senator Feingold in fairly liberal Wisconsin was running from the President. You have to wonder if he hums "You'll Never Walk Alone" as Air Force One hits the tarmac on the campaign circuit. And Obama, who proudly called himself a "mutt" at his first press conference is now complaining that interest groups "talk about me like a dog."

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