Imagine what the conservative grassroots reaction would be like if the GOP held the White House, both houses of Congress, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and still couldn’t get its core domestic programs passed. You think you hate RINOs? Wait and see how the nutroots respond to Blue Dog Democrats if they end up scuttling universal health care when all the numbers are in the left’s favor. Especially when Drudge has an item up about talks on climate change between Democrats having blown up last night and Gibbs is telling the White House press corps that the votes still aren’t there on amnesty, notwithstanding the fact that the Democrats picked up seats last year in both chambers and The One promising a Hispanic group today that it’s coming.
Too much, too soon?
The White House’s “big bang” theory of proposing a raft of landmark legislation all at once is giving way to fears of a “big chaos” backlash. Congressional chairmen saying that the pipes are overloaded between health care and climate legislation — and that was before this week’s arrival of the biggest overhaul of financial regulations in 70 years.
And don’t forget Congress needs to fit in work on all of its annual spending bills and take a month off in August.
This mad rush of legislation is posing fiscal and tactical problems for Democrats.
They simply don’t have the money to change the health care system, overhaul the energy sector and increase domestic spending as part of the appropriations process — without imposing big tax increases or exploding the deficit. Something has to give. Even if they did, the gears of Congress move slowly. Any or all of these proposals could easily jam them up.
Ace spots a plum quote from health-care veteran Rep. Jim Cooper declaring health care on “life support,” too. And yet, and yet, with Obama’s popularity still high and a bunch of GOP retirements looming, it’s still as likely as not that the Dems will pick up more seats next year, which means killing these measures now is no guarantee that they’ll stay dead for long. If The One is smart, he’ll table health care for the moment and make some moves towards fiscal conservatism to reassure voters about spending, then return to it after the midterms. Sure would be nice, though, to have some Republican leadership capable of winning votes in the meantime instead of waiting around for the Democrats to lose them. Exit question: To what extent will nutroots-fueled primary challenges to Blue Dogs next year strengthen the GOP’s hand? If they lash out and try to sabotage moderate Democrats by dragging them left, it gives us a sweet opening in purple districts.