Hey, DSCC: Quit whining about Republican obstruction

I have had it with e-mail blasts like the latest from J.B. Poersch of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

Republicans tried every trick in the book to block us, but Senate Democrats scored important health care reform wins in the past two weeks. We passed the Mikulski Amendment, to make sure every woman gets crucial cancer screenings. And we defeated the Senate's version of the Stupak Amendment - one of the biggest attacks on choice in a generation.

But these wins didn't faze the Republicans. A lot of what they are doing to kill the Senate's bill isn't making the headlines - but that doesn't make it any less insidious. We've pulled together facts on their latest heinous tactics in our new Obstruction Report.

The e-mail goes on about how the DSCC will save us from "roadblock Republicans":

We're tracking their each and every move so that they can't get away with it. Whether it's attempting to force the entire health care bill back to committee, bringing up inane amendments just to vote them down, or writing a manual devoted to killing the bill, Republicans will stop at nothing to derail health care reform - and destroy our Senate majority.

Click here to access the new Obstruction Report. We're tracking what they're doing - and we're not going to let them get away with it.

Yes, the Republicans are bad-faith negotiators, and that obstruction manual by Judd Gregg was a repulsive piece of work. (We dodged a bullet when Gregg didn't end up in Obama's cabinet.)

At the same time, it's been obvious all year that Senate Republicans would work as a bloc to kill any health care bill worth passing. That's why I opposed the pursuit of bipartisanship on health care and in particular the time-wasting "Gang of Six" talks on the Senate Finance Committee.

It's equally obvious that the the "roadblock Republicans" couldn't do a thing to block health care reform if there weren't a few Democrats willing to help them. In case J.B. Poersch hasn't noticed, we have 60 senators caucusing with Democrats now. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley aren't preventing a bill from passing. Our problem is people like Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Joe Lieberman. None of them will rule out joining a Republican filibuster, and because of them, an already watered-down bill is becoming worse by the day.

The Senate's version of the Stupak Amendment, which the DSCC is so proud of defeating, was the pet project of Democrat Ben Nelson. He's still threatening to block the whole bill.

Senator Tom Harkin is thinking about trying to change the filibuster rule because of "what he sees as the abuse of power by a couple members of his own party whom he said are threatening to join the minority party if their every demand is not met."

Why would I send money to the DSCC when they will turn around and spend it on behalf of senators who may block health care reform? Lincoln in particular is facing a tough campaign next year. But don't worry, the DSCC will spend millions to help her.

If I hear the DSCC promising to cut off any senator who doesn't vote for cloture on a major domestic policy bill, I will consider donating to the organization again. Otherwise, I have better things to do with my money than reward Senate Democrats who pin their own failures on "Republican obstruction." I'll donate to the individual campaigns of members of Congress who are not working against me.

Tags: 2010 elections, AR-Sen, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, DSCC, Filibuster, health care reform, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, obstruction, Republican Party, Senate, Tom Harkin (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Hey, DSCC: Quit whining

With the 60 vote threshold the only way the Dems are going to get enough votes is by ditching the PO and going with the Trigger ala President Snowe. It's sad but that's the reality.

Hopefully in conference the Trigger can be made to have some bite.

ya, Medicare buy-in is dead too.

by vecky 2009-12-13 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hey, DSCC: Quit whining

That's true if you take someone's stated bargaining position to be their actual drop-dead threshold, but that's a poor way to negotiate.

by Steve M 2009-12-13 05:00PM | 0 recs
taking that stuff out

this bill is probably no improvement on the status quo, and may be worse than the status quo. There is no cost control. We are just shoveling money to the insurance companies, who will be able to keep jacking up premiums and dumping people with pre-existing conditions into the high-risk pool for at least another 4 years.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-13 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hey, DSCC: Quit whining

" If I hear the DSCC promising to cut off any senator who doesn't vote for cloture on a major domestic policy bill "

I agree. Be aware that we're being generous. Normally it will be "if they vote against the underlying bill". But all we are asking is that they not be a road block.

by vecky 2009-12-13 04:31PM | 0 recs
Money is Power

and once spent it is gone. The argument you here about lobbyist donations is that they have bought the politician. That isn't true. Its the money yet to come that buys the politician. Industry is good for it.

Our money on the other hand is taken for granted and forgotten about. Until we set up a mechanism for deferred allocation our cash on hand is zero and so is our influence. Look at the "Carrots not Sticks" initiative. How much better would it have been if those donations were sitting in the bank right now waiting for the donors push the button on their prepaid debit card? How much better for us if the campaign committees looked at pending allocations rather then their cash on hand.

by Judeling 2009-12-13 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: taking that stuff out

Maybe, but the PO is not going to start till 2014 anyway.

A trigger that kicks in 2013 which says if in the period 2010-2013 insurance rate rise faster than general (or medical) inflation triggers a PO... I think that would work. Because we know it will be triggered.

by vecky 2009-12-13 07:47PM | 0 recs

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