Rick Klein of ABC.com surveys the landscape and concludes:
An obscure congressman is fending off odd allegations being vetted by the ethics committee and is creating yet another vacancy. Then there’s Gov. David Paterson, D-N.Y., apparently in this for the long haul, even as prosecutors close in.
All while a legislative agenda stalls, with the White House pinning its hopes for a political comeback on an uncertain vote with less certain consequences.
Beyond the specific Republican opportunities this bizarre series of events is creating — and you can put Rep. Eric Massa’s, D-N.Y., seat near the top of your likely takeover list now — Democrats are falling into what’s become the pattern of power.
That pattern of legislative excess, corruption, and incompetence is what brought the Democrats into the majority in 2006. But parties rarely internalize the lessons and errors of the other side — so the cycle repeats itself again and again. Chalk it up to hubris or the inevitable isolation that occurs when one is trapped in the Beltway bubble. But if the Democrats get swept from power, they will have only themselves to blame, in large part for thinking they were immune to popular will and insulated from scrutiny.
ABC’s Rick Klein reports that the Democrats are “game-planning a few different scenarios” if Scott Brown wins. Maybe they’ll stall on seating him. Or perhaps they’ll try to cram the Senate bill down House Democrats’ throats. It doesn’t appear that “Start over” of “Stop committing political suicide” is one of the scenarios. Maybe, however, by Wednesday, reality will sink in if Martha Coakley, the Democrats, and ObamaCare get a thumbs-down from Massachusetts voters. (What do you suppose is going through the minds of Blue Dogs and Red State senators who have many, many more Republicans back home than Coakley does?)
Meanwhile, Republicans are practically daring them to ignore the voters:
“I’d love for the Democrats to try to not seat him, and I’d like to see them rush through health care,” [Massachusetts Republican National Committeeman Ron] Kaufman told us from Boston, where he’s helping Brown’s campaign in its final stages. “If either of those things happens, we’ll have a revolution in the streets — not just here but in Washington. I think they’re smarter than that. … If you read the language of a special bill that they rammed through to get him appointed in the first place, it says that [Kirk’s] term is over tomorrow night,” Kaufman told us.
”I am convinced that if Scott Brown wins this race in a comfortable margin — in a fair margin — then the Democrats are not suicidal enough to try to prevent him from being the duly elected senator,” he said.
Perhaps. We know that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have been willing to sacrifice many in their ranks for the sake of the decades-old liberal dream of government-run health care. I don’t think that’s going to change. But what will, I suspect, is the willingness of their House and Senate colleagues to listen to political hokum (“The voters will learn to love it!”) and unsubstantiated spin (“Doing nothing is worse than passing a bill 60 percent of voters oppose”). At some point, those members at greater risk than Coakley — which, come to think of it, is virtually all of them — will say “Enough!” And then we might see the end of Obamaism — not necessarily the end of the president himself but of his experiment in ultra-liberalism in defiance of the majority of the electorate.
This isn’t going to help the White House spin effort:
President Barack Obama says creating jobs isn’t the goal of a coming White House forum on jobs and economic growth.
Yes, “job creation” is a touchy subject since the stimulus plan’s numbers went kaplooey. And it’s clear whose fault that is. As Rick Klein of ABC remarks: “The administration asked for this — dare we say, literally asked for this — with promises of actual job totals and new accountability and oversight mechanisms, all with Sheriff Joe Biden at the helm.” Indeed they did.
So what about the non-job-creating job summit? They want to find out “how to encourage hiring by businesses still reluctant to do so.” That’s a tough one. Hmm. Maybe not raise taxes on employers but cut them? Perhaps not slap new health-care mandates on businesses? One thing is for certain: the Obami need help with this problem. Plainly they are stumped when it comes to job growth.