Pelosi to House caucus: You can’t go home again

posted at 10:55 am on November 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Byron York and the Washington Post agree on Nancy Pelosi’s plan to vote on her health-care bill this Saturday — she can’t afford to let Democrats go home to their districts before the vote.  In fact, as John McCormack notes, she can’t even afford to keep her promise to have the bill on line for 72 hours before the vote so that their constituents can know what they’re doing.  If they went home to face their constituents, Pelosi knows that they would never vote for her massive spending:

Although confident of victory, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other Democratic leaders were working to limit defections to the roughly 25 Democrats viewed as “hard no” votes. There will be 258 Democrats in the House by the time the vote takes place, but to secure the 218 votes needed for passage — and with prospects dim for Republican converts — Pelosi can afford to lose no more than 40 members of her caucus. President Obama had been slated to head to the Hill on Friday to push wavering Democrats to get behind the measure, but he called off the trip after Thursday’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Tex.

For party leaders, setting a weekend deadline for passage represented a calculated risk, one that could backfire if the vote — now expected late Saturday or Sunday — fails or must be delayed. But they feared that if members were given more time to consider the legislation, new issues could arise, particularly as lawmakers digest the results from Tuesday’s elections. Most ominous for Democrats were their losses in gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia, although the party did prevail in House special elections in New York and California.

York says this puts the Democrats in a very difficult position:

The House is in the final rush toward passage of a national health care bill, and there’s one thing Speaker Nancy Pelosi absolutely, positively does not want her Democratic lawmakers to do: Go home.

“You meet constituents and get an earful from them — that’s the last thing she wants,” says a key House Republican aide. “If you were a Democrat, and you went home last weekend and were asked about the health care bill, you could say, ‘I’m still looking at it.’ Well, now you’ve had it for a week, the vote is any day now. What are you going to say?” Better just to stay in Washington and avoid potentially uncomfortable scenes. …

There are dozens of Democrats representing districts where a majority of voters have serious misgivings about national health care. And yet many will end up voting for their party’s bill. Why?

“The thing that Pelosi has going for her right now is that a lot of her members are more afraid of her than they are of their constituents,” says the GOP insider. He notes that Pelosi has plenty of weapons to make life miserable for members who cross her — “any benefits the member can have for the remainder of this Congress, the kind of support they’ll have going into next year’s election, and if they lose, what kind of post-Congress opportunities they will have.” All could be endangered by a vote against the health care bill.

So either they have to face down their constituents or their Speaker.  It says something about the power of Congress that a lawmaker fears a party boss more than the people who elected him or her.  Somehow, I’m sure that’s not what the founders had in mind for a citizen legislature and the people’s branch of government.

The solution for this is to have citizens call the offices of these Representatives and remind them who’s boss.

According to the latest news, the vote may now get pushed to Sunday.  That has more to do with the number of amendments offered on the bill and the expected debate on each than a fade from Pelosi on her whip counts.  However, as the Post reports, she has to hold the number of defections down to less than 40, and that assumes her entire caucus shows up this weekend.  Any more, and the bill will almost certainly fail and present Pelosi with a debacle on her number-one priority on the agenda.

Until now, we’ve assumed that Pelosi scheduled the vote because she knows she can get to 218.  Maybe she’s scheduling it now because this weekend will be the closest she can get to 218 — and hopes that her caucus doesn’t answer the phone or read the mail until Monday.


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Comments

These people have utter contempt for the American people that is unparalleled in our history.

rjoco1 on November 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM

altmire is mine….a somewhat sane demorat….and actually has one testicle left…ok..a 1/2 testicle….

JJKRN on November 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM

If they are such weak cowards that they can’t even stand up to Pelosi then they’re not fit for the job.

They’re members of the Democrat Party, by definition they are not fit for that job.

To be a member of that criminally corrupt cabal of ignorant incompetents, you have to have neither morals nor intelligence.

NoDonkey on November 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM

…Pelosi has plenty of weapons to make life miserable for members who cross her — “any benefits the member can have for the remainder of this Congress, the kind of support they’ll have going into next year’s election, and if they lose, what kind of post-Congress opportunities they will have.”

Well, just off-hand, I’d say she has too much power. Maybe you twits should dump her as speaker, huh?

mojo on November 6, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Anybody else represented by Jay “Joe Isuzu” Inslee? Here’s the load of garbage his office barfed into my inbox today:

Under the agreement I worked out with my colleagues, the House health reform bill will transform the Medicare payment system for Washington state and the nation, ending decades of geographic disparities in payment. Washington state seniors will be more secure in their choice of doctors and hospitals because more will want to provide services in our state. In addition, Medicare, and by extension health care overall, will move to a reimbursement system that rewards doctors and hospitals for the health of their patients, not just the number of tests and procedures they perform. This change has the potential of saving taxpayers billions of dollars by encouraging other areas of the country to practice medicine like Washington state: efficiently. This reform will help Washington state attract and retain the best doctors and nurses in the nation, improving the quality of care for all patients in our state.

The pricetag isn’t here, nor the words “public option,” “galactic tax increases,” or “healthcare advisory board.”

Inslee will certainly vote for this thing. BUT although WA-1’s a fairly blue district, it has elected Republicans before and has a large military population who won’t be eager to vote for Dems next year.

Here’s hoping the GOP nominates someone this time who will actually try to beat him (over the head with Pelosicare).

fiatboomer on November 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

My rep is Michael McCaul, he’s definitely one of the good guys!

kg598301 on November 6, 2009 at 11:53 AM

I’m sure that Darth Obama is remarking “She’s as clumsy as she is stupid” right about now.

teke184 on November 6, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Way to go, Democrats. You selected the vindictive controlling bitch as your Speaker, you deal with the consequences.

Techie on November 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Pretty sad that so many people are moping about their congressman; goes to show just how many moonbats are in power right now.

Did I mention I’m a Michele Bachman constituent?

*rubs salt into the wounds*

Bishop on November 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Does that mean your Senator is Franken? (throwing some of that salt back atcha)

DocKen on November 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Melt the phones, people. Make it rain.

Red Cloud on November 6, 2009 at 12:01 PM

The solution for this is to have citizens call the offices of these Representatives and remind them who’s boss.

Click here for the list of all Blue Dog reps and senators with emails and phone numbers. [MS Word file warning] http://www.thewoodlandsteaparty.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Nov_2_call_on_HC_this_week1.doc

Or go here http://www.thewoodlandsteaparty.com/2009/11/04/operation-house-call-texas-representatives-needed/ and scroll down to the Healthcare Call to Action link for the same thing.

Troll Feeder on November 6, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Pelosi is a potent force to be dealt with, that’s for sure. There’s no telling what kind of underhanded trickery she’s capable of doing to make sure this boondoggle gets through. Closed doors? Check. Posting online for 72 hours? Uncheck. Bribery? Check. Punishment for not playing along? Check. She is by far the worst elected official we’ve ever had in this country, and is responsible for billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending. Yet here she is, year after year after year, inflicting more and more damage with the blink of an eye. Well, make that 80 blinks.

scalleywag on November 6, 2009 at 12:04 PM

My congresswoman is Michele Bachman.

Eat your hearts out.

Bishop on November 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

She’s on a roll lately…. any Presidential ambitions?

petunia on November 6, 2009 at 12:05 PM

But remember, the ONLY WAY that we could POSSIBLY pick up a seat in these districts is to have a total RINO as a candidate.

Just remember that. No matter how much Pelosi sucks or the Democrats betray the electorate, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to win a seat on conservative values in these districts.

At least, that’s what Newt Gingrich keeps telling me.

apollyonbob on November 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM

She is by far the worst elected official we’ve ever had in this country, and is responsible for billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending. Yet here she is, year after year after year, inflicting more and more damage with the blink of an eye. Well, make that 80 blinks.

scalleywag on November 6, 2009 at 12:04 PM

She is returned to Congress over and over again by people who practice public scrotum inflation.

We should be expecting what?

BobMbx on November 6, 2009 at 12:09 PM

If the Blue Dogs were smart (alas, we know they are not), they would approach John Boehner and work out a deal for a Blue Dog to become Speaker. It would save the country — and maybe their seats.

flyfisher on November 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM

It’s not just “you’re fired”. It’s “you’re a pariah here in our town

I was in DC yesterday. The Tuna Queen wouldn’t come out of her office; she was afraid of us. There were armed guards including one who illegally videoed us.

While I was there, I talked to the people around and we began to realize there’s a lot we can do if we organize. But we’ve got to organize quickly because we can’t just wait until 2010. We’ve got to put the networks and groups together in this country and have those beings (though that might be a slur on existence) face one monolithic reality that we will not let them get away with this. marklmail is absolutely correct – they must know it doesn’t end with being voted out of office.

http://heirsinhope.blogspot.com/

Drusilla on November 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM

if they lose, what kind of post-Congress opportunities they will have.”

So basically, Pelosi is saying, screw your constituents, we’ll promise you a government/lobbying position when you get thrown out by the voters. Sounds sort of like buying votes.

mbs on November 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Somebody needs to take a copy of the Constitution and shove it up Nancy Pelosi’s a%s…!

Seven Percent Solution on November 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

How would like to be a BLUE MUTT? If they vote for it,they are doomed w/voters,if they don’t they are doomed with dragon lady:):):)

ohiobabe on November 6, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Pelosi Plan = The Somme…Starring Botox Nancy as Marshall Foch and the House Dems as the French Army!

SuperCool on November 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Contacted the office of my Blue Dog Rep. Gene Taylor; his stance has been that he is against this bill and his office confirmed that to me just now.

GnuBreed on November 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM

My congresswoman is Michele Bachman.

Eat your hearts out.

Bishop on November 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM
//
Pretty lady and a Mom!! of what 4 or 5 boys?!!!Great job she is doing!

ohiobabe on November 6, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I don’t buy the idea that Botox has any real sway with the “Blue Dogs.” Otherwise a bill would have passed by now. The “Blue Dogs” realize that to vote for the bill is signing their political “death warrant.” Vote against it, they stand a far better chance to win re-election. And if the bill is never voted on by the next election, the “Blue Dogs” still win for they can still claim to be against it. The best move would have been to shelve “healthcare reform” and “crap and tax” until 2011 and most likely retain control of Congress. But by pushing these two abominations the Dems have all but guaranteed to lose a good number of seats in all but solid dem country. Over-reaching, the political version of a STD.

TQM38a on November 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Doug Lamborn here, last I checked, the most conservative voting record in Congress. But the problem is, nobody knows who he is. Needs to be more vocal.

kirkill on November 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Can’t you just get them all in there, and then pour a concrete sarcophagus over the whole damn building? It worked at Chernobyl.

OldEnglish on November 6, 2009 at 11:09 AM

You know, all those construction companies that are looking out their office windows at idle equipment just might be of the mind to oblige you.

jimmy2shoes on November 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Somebody needs to take a copy of the Constitution and shove it up Nancy Pelosi’s a%s…!

Seven Percent Solution on November 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Hasn’t she defecated on it enough?

jimmy2shoes on November 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM

My congresswoman is Michele Bachman.
Eat your hearts out.

Bishop on November 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

My Houston congressman is equally conservative John Culberson, a really good guy, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat for Michele. She is so nice to look at, I can watch her on TV with the sound off.

TXUS on November 6, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Just called my congressman (Frank Kratovil, Dem – Maryland). Shows as undecided on the lists but his staffer told me he is definitely voting No.

Trafalgar on November 6, 2009 at 1:11 PM

See, it just can’t be about firing them in 2010. They need to know that we will make their “retirement” a living hell where they live. We will torture these people who betray us, in restaurants, stores, malls, movies, walking their dogs, etc. They are sinking our childrens’ future and they will pay socially for years. It’s not just “you’re fired”. It’s “you’re a pariah here in our town”.

marklmail on November 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

I was in DC yesterday and when we went to pay a call on the Tuna Queen, she refused to see us (probably wasn’t even in her office). There were armed Capitol police though incuding one who illegally filmed us. Finally, they allowed us to leave notes.

Throughout the day, we spoke amongst ourselves and the one thing we kept talking about is the need to organize. I haven’t time to write more now, but will write about it later on my blog but we need to present them with one monolithic whole and send them the message that we will not accept treachery. It’s gotten to that – we speak, they don’t listen. But we elected them to listen and if they refuse, we don’t want them in our communities any more. Our reps are refusing to live under the Constitution and are passing unConstituional laws. We must organize and get them out of office ASAP. (Impeachments, resignations, 2010 – whichever works and is non-violent).

http://heirsinhope.blogspot.com/

Drusilla on November 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Seven Percent Solution on November 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

It would get lost in the voluminous void.I prefer hanging.

inevitable on November 6, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Mine is Joe “You lie!” Wilson, I am not bothering him just now.
I have a good idea how he will vote.

Open The Door on November 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Ha, ha, ha! The Wicked Witch of the West is keeping her flying monkeys in cages if they don’t behave!

Cybergeezer on November 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM

They’re going to Vote on this two days after a terrorist attack against US military personal on U.S. soil? How about the representatives go to some of the memorials & put off the Vote a few days at least until after the first funeral.

I’d call my representative but it’s Pelosi so there’s really no point.

borg on November 6, 2009 at 2:08 PM

What a fitting picture of Mrs. Clown

royzer on November 6, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Don’t automatically believe what your representatives and their office staff tell you.
During Cap and Trade, Henry Cuellar of Tx repeatedly stated he was against the bill. He voted for it.
We need to ask how they are going to vote. In congressional speak, being opposed or against something is not the same as voting against it.

lonestar1 on November 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM

They’re going to Vote on this two days after a terrorist attack against US military personal on U.S. soil? How about the representatives go to some of the memorials & put off the Vote a few days at least until after the first funeral.

borg on November 6, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Pelosi figures it’s mainly Republicans who’ll attend the funerals.

lonestar1 on November 6, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Maybe “blue dogs” suffering retaliation will vote with Republicans to thwart Pelosi’s agenda if she tries that BS.

Keep hope alive.

exdeadhead on November 6, 2009 at 2:35 PM

no doubt there’s lots of $$$$ promised, arms twisted/broken, dead fish, etc.

just like the Dems are threatening people that go on FNC…we’ll make sure this hurts your business

r keller on November 6, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Why would DEMS fear their party boss? They’re going to lose the House next year anyhow. 2010 GOP landslide.

Jeff from WI on November 6, 2009 at 2:44 PM

John McCormack:

“But they feared that if members were given more time to consider the legislation, new issues could arise, particularly as lawmakers digest the results from Tuesday’s elections.”

Not so much a new issue but a chronic one now getting a dose of epinephrine. The 10%+ unemployment could be seen as an opportunity for the Democrats to pander for “free” health care for the non-working masses which I’m sure Pelosi will spin as an impetus for passage.

The public, however, I think will see this “new” issue via a spike and trend in the worse direction as an impediment to the health of the country. Jobs, jobs, jobs is what Americans want. Control over their lives is what Americans want. Pelosi-Obamacare does neither to address this worsening condition, and the force-feeding of bad policy while ignoring the most acute issues while expanding the intrusion of a failing government is not what voters want.

So yes, Ed. You, York, and McCormack have this one well pegged. Pelosi et al. have so much invested in this pathetic charade of legislation that they’ll screw it all up no matter which way they turn now when all they really wanted to do was screw the taxpayers.

AnonymousDrivel on November 6, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Bishop:

“My congresswoman is Michele Bachman. Eat your hearts out.”

Palin/Bachmann 2012

AnonymousDrivel on November 6, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Howsabout you use actual criticisms, and not sexist remarks, to slam Pelosi? There are plenty of really good insults that don’t comment on her sexual proclivities.
Meryl Yourish on November 6, 2009 at 11:10 AM
I enjoy sexist remarks and proclivities to describe P.Lousy. (What are proclivities?)

Colorado Anne on November 6, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Nasty Pelousi, Weasel Queen.
just trying out the new moniker

james23 on November 6, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Pelosi will continue to win her district until she’s ready to quit and some former SF supervisor even further left gets installed.

It doesn’t seem to me that she’s any more abusive of her power than half a dozen Speakers we’ve had in the past. It’s a job that lends itself to petty tyranny.

The problem with so many of these Congressional districts is that they’ve been gerrymandered to attach urban Dem votes to purple suburbs to ensure the whole district stays Dem. Think Pete Stark; there’s no reason west Oakland should be in that district other than making sure it stays hard left.

JEM on November 6, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I am toast. I live in Pennsylvania, State of Horrors. Now this state is worth apologizing for. Sent a fax to Kathy Dahlkemper (D)to both local office and her office in DC. Took me a while to get thru to the DC office.

Don’t have hope on her because she was leaning towards voting for it. Will check my local papers see if I see anything of the contrary.

ProudPalinFan on November 6, 2009 at 4:21 PM

I am toast. I live in Pennsylvania, State of Horrors. Now this state is worth apologizing for.
ProudPalinFan on November 6, 2009 at 4:21 PM

ProudPalinFan, I can top you: I live in the most corrupt COUNTY in PA. Lucky me. We just re-elected a jury commission who has been indicted in the huge corruption scandal.

SouperConservative on November 6, 2009 at 4:44 PM

My congresswoman is Michele Bachman.

Eat your hearts out.

Bishop on November 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

My congressman is Mike Pence. :=)

darwin-t on November 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM