Rats Only Abandon a Sinking Ship
By: Craig Chamberlain
I was disappointed to hear that Senator Chris Dodd(D-Ct) would not be seeking another term later this year. It’s not that I thought that Dodd was an American statesman, an honest man, or even a good politician. My reasons are entirely partisan. With Dodd no longer running for reelection it’s now more likely than not that the Democrats will retain that seat, whereas if he had run it would have certainly been a pickup for the GOP and another vote against President Obama.
But it must be giving Nancy Pelosi nightmares. There’s no way to put a positive spin on this. The Democrats are running away from these upcoming elections like the French army from a fight. Any Democrat with a brain or an ounce of honesty(an admittedly small number) knows that they are going to get flattened by the voters in November.
Now, the Republicans should avoid popping the cork on the champagne. Yes, they will be the beneficiaries in November, but it has nothing to do with enthusiasm for the Republican party. It has to do with the fact that the Democrats, in just four short years, managed to overreach and wear out their welcome. It took the Republicans 12 years to do that. The Democrats managed to convince the voters, in 2006 and 2008, that the Democratic party had a legitimate conservative wing, that they were a big tent party, and that they were a center right party. No really, they promised.
But as is so often the case there is a big difference between campaign rhetoric and governing. Once in power, the vaunted Blue Dog, the conservatives who acted as Cereus to guard the fiscal health of the republic, proved that they were noting but Speaker Pelosi’s loyal lapdogs. They barked a lot about their principles, but they didn’t have any teeth. Dick Morris, in his latest column, shows that there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat. You’re either a liberal or a Republican. The voters aren’t going to be fooled by Democrats who run as moderates or conservatives.
So it’s the Blue Dog Democrats who are going to be the ones taking it on the chin. The Democrats who belong to the Progressive Caucus are in safe, one party, districts and won’t be facing the anger of the voters. The Blue Dogs have some choices to make, they can announce as some already have, that they won’t run for another term. They can switch parties, or they can hope that the Democrats get a lucky break at some point during the year and they’ll survive the election.
But you can see that the Democrats aren’t betting on that. Senator Dorgan(D- ND) had been in congress since 1980. He was a Democrat who never should have been worried about being tossed out of office. He had the people of his state wrapped around his little finger. But the people of North Dakota had finally had enough. It was no to Obamacare and no to cap and trade, while Dorgan supported them both. North Dakota now looks like a sure pick up for the Republicans.
A much more infuriating case for the Democrats is the state of Colorado. The Democrats couldn’t stop crowing about how they were taking over the Rocky Mountain states, and were going to turn a bastion of Republicanism blue. Yet in just four years it looks like Colorado is going back to the Grand Old Party. Governor Ritter is not running for a second term, this will almost guarantee that former Congressman Scott McInnis is the next governor. Senator Michael Bennet, who was selected to take over the seat of Senator Ken Salazar when he became Secretary of the Interior, is looking like he’s going to be an ex senator soon. The GOP also looks to pick up several house seats and retake the State House and State Senate.
The voters have been angry for a while now. They were angry in 2006, and 2008, and they’re going to be angry this year. It’s always the majority party that suffers for that anger. But why are the voters angry? It’s really quite simple. No one in Washington listens. In 2006, the voters were fed up with the war in Iraq, wasteful spending, and corruption. The Republicans refused to believe that there was a problem and they lost control of Congress. In 2008 the voters were angry over Republican management of the economy and they lost the White House, and even more seats in Congress. In November the voters will still be angry, they will be angry at the contemptuous way the Democrats think of them. They will be angry over the passage of a health care bill that most people don’t want, they will be angry over attempts to pass cap and trade. They will be angry that, in just one year, the Democrats wasted more money than the Republicans did in all eight years of the George W. Bush Presidency. The Democrats don’t think there is a problem(or they don’t care, after all the only ones who will suffer will be the Blue Dogs, and they were always just pawns on Pelosi’s chessboard) and they will pay for it at the polls.
Maybe there’s a lesson here. Maybe the politicians should learn that they are the representatives of the people and are in our employ, and it’s not the other way around. Maybe they’ll listen from now one when we tell them to stop wasting money, and fix the real problems this country faces. Maybe they’ll be a little more humble…. nah, who I am kidding? It will all go on exactly as before. (If this isn’t a case for term limits nothing is.)
But at least it will go on without Pelosi and Reid running the show.