Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 23, 2010

THEY DON'T WANT TO HOLD THE DAMN VOTES.... As legislative strategies go, this one seemed pretty easy. President Obama's tax policy -- the one he ran on in 2008; the one polls find to be popular -- wants to give a tax break to the middle class, while letting top rates for the wealthy return to their Clinton-era levels. Republicans have threatened to hold that proposal hostage unless Dems agree to extend tax breaks to millionaires.

The smart move for Democrats, it seems, would be to hold a vote on Obama's proposed middle-class tax breaks -- before, you know, the election -- and dare Republicans to reject it.

But Senate Dems apparently don't want to do the smart thing...

Democratic aide told TPM today there won't be a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts in the upper chamber before the November election, a blow to party leaders and President Obama who believed this would have been a winning issue. [...]

The aide said it's already a winning message without a vote since Obama and Democrats have framed the debate as the Republicans being for the rich and Democrats wanting to help the middle class. Others have made similar arguments, but several lawmakers have said they think a vote is the only way to score a political victory. The senior aide doesn't think so.

"We have a winning message now, why muddy it up with a failed vote, because, of course, Republicans are going to block everything," the aide said.

...and House Dems aren't inclined to do the smart thing, either.

If the Senate's decision not to address the Bush tax cuts until after the election is any indication, then the game is over. After a Democratic caucus meeting this morning -- but before the news broke on the Senate side -- there was still no answer to the question of the week: Will the House vote on President Obama's plan to extend middle-income tax cuts? Key legislators were mum, and aides pessimistic, that the House will do what Speaker Pelosi wants to do: force a vote on tax legislation that will put Republicans on the record backing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And with House Democratic leaders still insisting that they will follow the Senate's lead, it seems more and more likely that they too will drop the tax cut issue for now.

These reports, obviously, aren't official announcements, so I suppose there's still a chance Democrats will realize they're making a mistake, but all available evidence suggests both the House and the Senate will push the tax debate off until after the midterms.

In other words, Democrats could vote for a middle-class tax cut before an election in which they're likely to do very poorly, but they're choosing not to, preferring to have the vote after the election.

I was especially intrigued by the senior Democratic Senate aide: "We have a winning message now, why muddy it up with a failed vote, because, of course, Republicans are going to block everything."

I think I know what he/she means -- that Dems have already positioned themselves as champions of the middle class, and losing yet another vote would be disheartening -- but it's still a deeply flawed strategy. Holding a vote gets everyone on the record; allows Dems to boast of their votes on middle-class tax cuts; and offers Dems a campaign cudgel to use against Republicans who hold those cuts hostage.

It's an opportunity the majority is inexplicably willing to let slip by.

Steve Benen 12:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (71)

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Comments

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not amazed Harry Reid can stand upright.

Posted by: doubtful on September 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

There are only three possible explanations.
1. Democrats in Congress are just plain cowards
2.Democrats in Congress WANT tax cuts for the wealthy, but don't want to have to be forced to admit it.
3. Democrats in Congress would prefer to be a powerless, hence responsibility-free, minority.
I think all three are true.

Posted by: JMG on September 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

@doubtful: agreed. if reid's loony opponent doesn't do it for them, dems will seriously need to consider elevating durbin to majority leader. as my former youth hockey coach would put it: this kind of "pussy-footing around" just ain't gonna fly.

Posted by: ahoy polloi on September 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

I have the feeling they're letting it slip by because a great many Dems are every bit as beholden to the moneyed interests as the Republicans are. It's not the sort of generalized spinelessness the Dems are often accused of, and it's not even a fear of attack ads (which I'm sure they realize will come anyway), it's a more specific fear of ticking off their campaign donors - who, in the wake of Citizens United, are more powerful than ever.

It's not exactly surprising, but it is EXTREMELY disheartening.

Posted by: Severian on September 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah...THAT'LL motivate the base.

Posted by: slappy magoo on September 23, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why fight for something you believe in?

Got you.

Get lost.

Posted by: SteinL on September 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck those fucking fucks. They don't deserve to be in the majority anyway.

Posted by: Jeff on September 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

@JMG

4. Democrats in Congress are wealthy.

Posted by: SteinL on September 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. HOLD THE DAMN VOTES!

Posted by: TR on September 23, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is a sure fire way to close the enthusiasm gap. Yep. We need to start a new group, Democrats with Spines. I'm tired of a party that seems to operate out of fear. Control the damn debate. State your position and run on it. Reacting to what Republicans do (or, in this case, might do) is just weak. Republicans know it and, most important, VOTERS know it.

We. Need. Better. Democrats.

Posted by: KJ on September 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

there go the Dems snatching defeat out of the Jaws of victory yet again.

Posted by: Jamie on September 23, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Working in politics at the local level you frequently hear things like "don't people understand we're trying to X" where X is something the speaker finds so obviously beneficial they don't even need to justify it. What no one wants to recognize is that most voters either don't understand X or opponents are also claiming to support X; in either case, voter education has to be a key element of the strategy.

Even national leadership of the Democratic party doesn't seem to recognize this reality. Most voters don't really understand the issues surrounding tax policy. In addition, Republicans spend enormous energy trying to convince the public that tax cuts for the rich actually benefit the middle class. In the face of this reality it is absolutely vital that Democrats give voters some direct evidence on which to base their opinions.

Posted by: sven on September 23, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: Term. Limits. That's the only thing that will remedy this. Look at how those GOoPers not running now are speaking out and voting. They don't have to be reelected so they're not subjected to the right-wing lie machine.

We need term limits. Period.

And a real media.

Posted by: MsJoanne on September 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Smells like the Blue Dogs have pooped in the House (and Senate) again.

They really need to housebreak them or send the somewhere else.

Posted by: martin on September 23, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Never mind the politics, we can make this simple. Letting income taxes rise by $X trillion in the middle of a recession/depression is simply not acceptable. I've called my Senators and told them that until they pass some sort of tax cut for next year, they are not welcome in their state.

Posted by: ElegantFowl on September 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Remind me again why I continue to vote for the gutless pussies...

Posted by: Jilli on September 23, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, just dandy. Let the Republicans go to town on it's the Democrats who refused to let a vote on whether to reduce people's taxes take place. That will make such a good message. Honestly, I despair of the Democratic party. Why should I send good money to support such stupidity?

JMG seems to have the right idea. I vote for #2 as being their main motivation although the others also come into play.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on September 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I dare them I just dare them to phone me up and ask for money. I will cheerily respond GO FUCK YOURSELF
You should have HELD THE DAMN VOTE. You don't want to do what you are supposed to I ain't supporting you.

Posted by: john R on September 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Monumentally, soul-crushingly stupid.

Posted by: danimal on September 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

this is disgraceful and stupid, but i did ask myself, how long will it take for someone to blame harry reid.

and the answer was: the first comment did.

because, of course, there is some obvious way that reid stubbornly refuses to try to make ben nelson, evan bayh, blanche lincoln, and joe lieberman better people.

look: the problem is not harry reid. the problem is the large number of pathetic sellout hacks that populate the democratic caucus in the senate.

insofar as anyone could possibly have leverage - and that isn't very far - it's obama who could have forced the issue, but that would mean breaking a sweat and showing common cause with the hippies.

he'd rather be a centrist.

Posted by: howard on September 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I realize that morons can get jobs as congressional aids, but isn't the idea to hold a vote on tax cuts for the middle class and LET THE REP'S BLOCK IT?? We don't want to muddle things?? When did they legalize dope smoking? The Dems are beyond pathetic; they are dying to get anhilated in the mid-terms. Should be entertaining.

Posted by: smartelephant on September 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I've used this line a couple of times now, but here it goes again:

The Dem's got handed a Royal Straight Flush in 2008, and have spent the time since finding new ways to lose to a pair of Deuces.

Posted by: SteinL on September 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately this will have a ripple affect in terms of low voter turnout. In my state of Illinois, low voter turnout is going to hurt the Democratic senatorial candidate. I voiced my opinions to Durbin's office, but for me, this is completely disheartening. I don't understand this strategy at all and for the first time, I see the enthusiasm gap. It doesn't mean I'm not going to vote, but I can understand some people thinking, what the hell, if I wanted Republicans in Congress, I'd vote that way or not at all.

Posted by: Joy on September 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Actually this will place the final nail in the coffin. Reid and Co. have , mercifully, capitulated for the last time. The GOP will fill those seats with loonies and we'll all go back into the ditch from whence we came. The stress of hoping the Dems do the right thing by their constituents will finally go the way of the Dodo. The irony is it could have gone just the opposite given the crazies the GOP/Teabaggers put up for election. Obama has fault in this too pandering for bipartisanship when he knew there would be none. A Speaker with no balls and Blue Dog Dems with GOP credentials made for a recipe for disaster anyway.

Let's just cash in our stocks for bonds and go quietly into the night till our health insurance is terminated and grab a handfull of sleeping pills...

Posted by: steviio on September 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Not holding the vote is pretty spineless. And probably plays into the Republican talking points more than having the vote would have. From the jaws of victory, indeed.

Having said that, let the damn tax cuts expire completely. Not being in a higher tax bracket, I didn't particularly notice the break I got when Bush had the cuts made. I doubt that it will be very noticeable when the cuts expire.

If the cuts are allowed to expire and this is part of what helps the deficit decline, how can those who now say the deficit is an issue complain?

Posted by: jcricket on September 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Bluffing yourself is pretty bad poker.

Posted by: SteinL on September 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

GAWD, I am soooooooo motivated to go out and vote on November 2.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on September 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is a deal-breaker for me, and I have been a loyal cheerleader and contributor for decades. I simply can not believe this. Good-bye, congressional Dems, it was a good ride while it lasted.

Posted by: danimal on September 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

We have two major political parties in this country. One is conservative. The other is insane.

You can decide which is which.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on September 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is good news. The chances of anything passing during the lame duck are slim. Let all the tax cuts expire on December 31, 2010. We simply cannot afford them. Even the middle class tax cuts will cost trillions of dollars. The Bush tax cuts helped nobody but the rich. Tell me how many lower-middle and middle class folks were saved by these tax cuts from 2002 to 2008. They didn't had a meaningful impact on the middle class. Middle class got screwed in several other ways. But under the 'tax cuts for everyone' banner the rich made off pretty well.

Our political debate revolves disproportionately around tax cuts. It is getting ridiculous given our debt and deficits. We simply cannot afford these tax cuts. For once, doing nothing is good thing. Let all tax cuts expire.

Posted by: TT on September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it seems Democrats can be just as selfish as Republicans.
If we all really wanted to do the right thing for the country and not just ourselves, we would let all the tax cuts expire.
That would take us back to the tax rates that was put in during the Clinton years.
I hear a lot of Democrats brag about the Surplus that Clinton created and Bush wasted.
I would think that the people who still have jobs, would be willing to pay an extra couple of percent in taxes to get this country back on track.

Posted by: Steve on September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

I am so disheartened by this type of thinking on the part of the Dems. I for one DON'T think they have a winning message now and the only "muddying" being tied to a failed vote would be the exposure of those Dems who are standing with the Republicans in this tax debate. IMO, that's why they are not going to hold the vote. Chickens, chickens, chickens...and corporate whores.

Posted by: whichwitch on September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

@howard: What are you talking about? The president wants a vote to extend middle class tax cuts & ending the tax cuts for the rich. He's stated that plenty of times over the past several weeks.

Posted by: JMY on September 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

And some wonder why there is an enthusiasm gap.

I could not be more disappointed in my party.

Posted by: ScottW714 on September 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. I'm sitting out this election. I can't see the GOP getting enough to override vetoes and I'm tired of supporting a party that doesn't stand for anything. Maybe a thorough ask kicking will whip some sense into the party in 2012.

Posted by: JPhillips on September 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think the democrats are making a mistake by not putting on the record who cares more about millionaires than the middle class.

BUT, how would this play out in the press? Usually I hear on NPR and read in the 'press' that "Congress failed to act...". While the Democrats might get the press that they tried and failed more likely it would just be a negative message that gets through in the media. Why give Fox more ammo?

Posted by: nerd on September 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Holy shit.... This is the best we have in leadership? Seriously? At some point, you have to stand up for what you believe in, not back away from every single fight.

Pathetic, simply fucking pathetic.

Posted by: Joe Greene on September 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Oh-bama, what a leader. The Dems really dance to his tune.

Posted by: sjw on September 23, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

How about the leader of party weighing in with a statement to the effect of "either now, or after the election I will not sign any bill that offers tax cuts to the top 3%"

it's called leading, and its long since past time Mr Cool got engaged.

Posted by: GaBuck on September 23, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Guess I'll be staying home in November.

Posted by: kw on September 23, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

I actually agree with the aide. If it was going to be a party line vote, then I'd go ahead and do it but if 30-40 Democrats are gonna go with the GOP, the Republicans will frame it as "we had a bi-partisan consensus on taxes and the Obama-Pelosi-Reid steamroller axed it".

Republicans are already on record for extending taxes cuts for the rich, a vote on it would only cloud the issue.

Posted by: Archon on September 23, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Now will the people who say we should fight hard for the current elected Democrats now agree that those assholes don't deserve our support?

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 23, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

i'm not sure if i can even hold my nose and vote democratic in november with a clear conscience anymore.
this sort of confirms my worst suspicions.

Posted by: sadly on September 23, 2010 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Until progressives EXPEL these spineless whores, the left is simply doomed to be forever in the minority, even when they hold all the power.

Posted by: getaclue on September 23, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

David Dayen over at Firedoglake nailed it. There's no such thing as the national Democratic party in Congress. There is ALWAYS a working majority in favor of policies favoring organized wealth at everyone else's expense. All Democrats can hope for are elections that make the ruin of our society go slightly more slowly.
It's not too surprising that doesn't inspire many people.
Not that this will EVER happen, but Obama should veto the inevitable all tax cuts for the wealthy bill or nobody else gets any. He'd blow the party to bits, which is what it needs.
Sometimes to get better, things must get much worse.

Posted by: JMG on September 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I was all set to be super enthusiastic after the failed vote. Now, I guess I'll move to Nevada and vote for Angle.

Posted by: apm on September 23, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad I'm not the only one.
For months, I've been reading blog posts and comments from both sides -- the "we must turn out the vote to keep the crazies from irreparably destroying our country (if they haven't already)" arguments and the "we must not support people and/or a party that clearly do not support us" counterclaims -- and thinking, "these are both completely, absolutely, totally right," even as they are utterly incompatible and mutually exclusive.
I've flipped and flopped dozens of times within a single hour as to what the "right" move is; I've spun and been spun til I'm dizzy (not that I wasn't before).
I am so glad it appears I'm not the only one to have been pushed over the line -- or maybe it's over the edge -- by this miserable failure, and betrayal.
(And yes, that's what it is. Given the impact on our country, and on us, her citizens, this is treason. It really is.)
And I'm glad the inevitable Tinkerbells I was expecting to find here trying to defend voting once again for these pathetic punks seem to have realized their arguments are, after all, entirely evitable.
Maybe it means we're even right this time.

Posted by: smartalek on September 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

And then they wonder why people aren't enthusiastic about voting for them when they won't stand up and fight minority-party nihilists. What the hell kind of alternative is that? We have a choice of madness... or nothing? Ptui!

Posted by: tomm on September 23, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I know how I'm going to respond to the next call for contributions.

"Why should I pour my money into a rathole? You guys aren't serious about winning; you can lose just as easily without my money. Which I'm going to need when the Republicans take over again and pound us further into the dirt."

Posted by: Jennifer on September 23, 2010 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

You know what's fucking disheartening? Having the stooges who purport to represent us show us that once again they can't even be bothered to try to do what we were promised.

That's fucking disheartening.

Posted by: Rob Roser on September 23, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Dems make it incredibly difficult to vote for them. They adore losing far too much.

Posted by: Silver Owl on September 23, 2010 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

There is one thing one can do. Get on the phone to your rep and senators' offices and tell them what you're writing on this blog. Give it to them good. Who knows, you might even help get it turned around.

Posted by: JackD on September 23, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Reading these comments I can picture a social democrat saying in 1929 Germany, "I'm tired of the Weimar Republic do-nothings, I'm sitting this one out so the National Socialists can win, that way it teach these guys a lesson".

Posted by: Archon on September 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty disappointed by the comments here.

Yes, by all means express your displeasure to your Representative and Senators at their lack of spine.

But in choosing not to choose (vote) you have made a choice. If you do not vote and a right winger gets in office you have no right to complain.

Participate in your government or shut the fuck up.

Posted by: nerd on September 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems must be suffering from filibuster envy. They want their chance to be a minority that locks the Senate up for 2 years, and this might just do it.

I would love to see a correctly done poll from Nevada just about now. According to Electoral-Vote.com, Nevada law requires "None of the Above" as a possible choice on their ballots. Reid has another opponent.

Yeah, I'll get out in November and vote for Alexi G, because Kirk is a lying hypocrite, but I'm not going to shed any tears when Dems lose both their majorities. What else were they going to do in the next 2 years? Would they actually do it, or just cave again?

Posted by: Tim H on September 23, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

So... we put off the DADT vote until December so that we could hold the tax cuts vote. And now we're putting off the tax cuts vote until December. The Democrats seem to think this is going to be a REALLY BUSY December. Most productive lame duck session ever?

Posted by: mcc on September 23, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with nerd -- you don't get better Democrats by handing the election to Republicans. (Seriously, how would that work? All the current crop of schmucks has to do is wait for the R's to trash the country again, and then present themselves as the non-scary alternative, no need to vote for one of those bomb-throwing crazy blogger types, just elect an Experienced Sensible Liberal.) Ned Lamont had the right idea, we just need to keep trying. We also need to preserve the gains that we've got, small as they might be.

And Andrew Sullivan should have his writing license revoked. What an idiot.

Posted by: dr2chase on September 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ok. I posted about this a few days ago, and I am going to brag. I predicted this [let me brag - I am seldom right]. The blue dogs don't want to be pushed into a corner, and Nancy P needs some of them to win so Dems stay in power, pure and simple. Some of these MORONS [inc. Jim Mathewson, "D" Utah] want tax cuts for all; not sure about the others.... So the calucation / risk is between at least 4 options

1: hold the votes now, and risk losing both;
2not holding them until after election, when the various losers can do what the want,
3. no vote at all, and let them all expire, and wait for the fun of the next session - in some ways, assuming Rs control the house, that would be their just desserts.
4. Hold ONE vote now; ie, delay the vote on the cuts for the rich until later

Each has upside and downside potentials; ultimately, one has to figure out what has the best chance. I am plenty pissed off; but was there any chance at all of this passing the senate? There are 40+ lying sacks of shit there....

Posted by: bigutah on September 23, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the Enthusiasm Gap extends even to the people whose jobs are at stake.

If they aren't even willing to go vote, why should I?

Posted by: biggerbox on September 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

This kind of thing is exhibit "A" of why progressive are angry at Obama and the Democrats.

Yes, I said Obama. He could stand for this, clearly and unequivocally. He has the bully pulpit.

We see no fight. Just giving in. Just fight, and maybe lose.

But just freaking fight, for at least the pretense of progressive values.

And no, this doesn't mean that we will take our marbles and go home and vote Republicans in power just to prove a point.

We will vote for Democrats.

But the problem is, the Democrats know this. They know that they don't have to fight, that they can piss on progressives and even then we'll still vote for them.

We need a Progressive Party. One that will establish a "true Left" in this country, instead of the one that is always trying to be in the "center" which itself is on the right. Unconscionable.

Posted by: terraformer on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, do they just not get that they should WANT the vote to fail? So they can spend the next 8 weeks out on the campaign trail saying the REPUBLICANS are responsible for raising your taxes???

Posted by: biggerbox on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't we do a mass call in? I have already called my Congress people, Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer and the DCCC.

Posted by: ted on September 23, 2010 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Morons.

Posted by: short fuse on September 23, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

The aide said it's already a winning message without a vote [...] -- TPMDC

Without the vote/votes, the only "message" I'm getting is that the whole pack of them are like a bunch of Hindenburgs -- full of hot air. How that translates to a *winning* message is a mystery, since everyone knows that "fine words butter no parsnips". Also, two can play that game -- I'll say all the right things too and then stay home in November. How's that sound?

Posted by: exlibra on September 23, 2010 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

It occurs to me that there's one thing even more stupid, that they could still do -- instead of letting all the tax cuts expire as scheduled, they could vote to either extend them all or make them all permanent. I wonder when Reid will get that one up for a vote...

Posted by: exlibra on September 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Even moderate republicans that I know (yes, there are actually one or two running around in NJ) think Dems are lousy at politics and are missing in action. Dems are simply spineless. It's pathetic. The only politician who has done a credible job at turning out the votes is Pelosi. But even she can't manufacture enough spines for this crowd.

Posted by: rramos on September 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

jmy, what i'm talking about is twofold: it is pointless for obama to say he wants a vote when he is unwilling to make the obvious point that the 60-vote requirement is not a constitutional requirement. it's his pathetic centrism that leads him to avoid facing up to this reality, so his claim that he'd like a vote is bullshit.

in addition, harry reid doesn't have any real leverage: obama might. to what extent has he even tried to exercise that leverage over ben nelson, evan bayh, blanche lincoln, joe lieberman? can you show me any examples of it?

on top of which, obama has made it very clear (krugman wrote about this the other day): he disdains progressive support. he reflexively condemns the "professional" left out or the arriviste's desire not to be associated with those unwashed leftists. the idea that he is a champion of more progressive taxation who would go to the mat for it? a non-starter....

Posted by: howard on September 23, 2010 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Good grief. It's now clear that the choice is between mind-numbingly stupid and criminally insane. I'll still pull the lever for stupid, but don't expect me to be enthusiastic about it.

Posted by: Mike Jones on September 23, 2010 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm disappointed to see so many people here talking about sitting out the election. Not voting is not the answer.

It's crystal clear that there is a strong minority of Democrats who are happy to sign onto the GOP agenda and toss the middle class over the side. Jason Altmire, from a district near my own in Pennsylvania, is a prime example.

The answer is to give to candidates who vote for you, not for the plutocrats. And then vote for them. Challenge them in town hall meetings. Lobby your friends to vote for them. Write letters to the editor calling them out for their votes.

And keep doing it until we get people in office who for us. We have to show that voting against the Democratic base gets you challenged, that we will hold them accountable.

Posted by: zak822 on September 23, 2010 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Again with the "un-named sources"! Has Sen. Reid announced there will be no vote? Has Speaker Pelosi? I didn't think so. The vote HASN'T HAPPENED, but because some "senior Democratic aide", probably carrying water for a conservaDem Senator or Blue Dog Representative, says there won't be one we commence one of the bigger tantrums seen yet this week.
There may not be a vote for several reasons and bigutah @ 3:03 PM has an excellent summary why that MAY occur, but until it has been announced I just don't understand the defeatist whining that goes on in some of these comments. Afterwards, should there not be a vote, I can understand, but now? Talk about "projection"!
Where are the posts urging calls/faxes/emails to Senators and Representatives? Or is the whole point of these comments simply to allow us a place to vent? If the latter, I have a perfectly good room for rent in my home with marvelous acoustics; makes me sound really fierce and violent when I yell.
It doesn't accomplish anything, but apparently MOST of the commenters here don't find that a draw-back...

Posted by: Doug on September 23, 2010 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

well said Doug

Posted by: tanstaafl on September 23, 2010 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK
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