I'm not familiar with the polling on this; but my recollection was that the Dem message in 06 was not Vote for us and we'll gum up the works real good.
But - perhaps that's what voters were voting for - and, if they were polled, but didn't admit the fact, perhaps that would have been a spiral of silence thing - folks thinking that voting for deadlock was unAmerican or something.
I seem to remember that recent polling has shown approval for Congress slide: if so, would that be because voters (deludedly) expected action that the Dems aren't delivering; or because voters expected deadlock that the Dems are delivering, but not on their #1 issue of Iraq, where the fubar goes on unabated, power of the purse notwithstanding?!
I had little doubt before the current round started that most of the FTAs would be greenlighted by Pelosi and Reid (Colombia gives them a figleaf) plus there'd be some warm words on fast track renewal and Doha, to cover the Dems in case the US's lack of fast track was blamed round the world for Doha's final demise.
It's not so bad.
What is bad is the way that Dem honchos have gone about it: the cloak and dagger stuff implies skulduggery that I don't think exists.
Would the current deal have been impossible if negotations had been more open? Perhaps.
Is there now any excuse for keeping the text agreed secret? Absolutely not.
For the very good reason that, in short order, it's bound to become public, because, despite its shady conception, it has to be executed in broad daylight.
Are Pelosi and Rangel a wee bit tipsy with power? Did they want to stick it to some allies (labor unions?) who they thought needed putting in their place?
The point is that such an ostensibly pointless proceeding invites questions about ulterior motive.
Not since the Hastings affair has Nancy gone so wayward.
Let's home right in on the graf that Jonathan mentions:
Reid faces two legislative hurdles. First, he must gain Republican support for a placeholder bill, so he can start negotiations with the House. Then he will have to strike a final agreement with Pelosi that can attract enough Senate GOP support to avert a filibuster.
The bit about the placeholder bill I don't quite understand: Mr Google says that there is such a thing, but precisely how one is necessary to allow Reid to talk to Pelosi is beyond me.
The usual scheme of things, of course, is that both houses have a go at producing texts that satisfy them severally; and then they conference and compromise (or not).
So reference to filibuster after House-Senate negotiations would usually be to a filibuster of the conference report.
But - I'm not clear what the Post guy means.
The GOP's best bet is to ensure that the Senate bill fails on a simple majority.
Now, I was completely wrong in my guess (it wasn't anything more) on the tally on the McGovern bill HR 2237 yesterday. And guesswork on whip counts is all I can manage!
But the downbeat statements we've been getting from Uncle Harry have led me to assume that there is not a simple majority for a short leash bill in the Senate.
If that turns out to be true, it's up to McConnell to ensure that no filibuster is necessary to kill the bill. (He obviously doesn't want to back weaker Dem brethren into a corner, but leave them exposed in the wide blue yonder with their anxieties!)
So - suppose there's a filibuster. As folk upthread having pointed out, the old-style Mr Smith filibuster is dead: it's still in the rules, and if Reid wants it to happen, he can.
So there must be a reason why it doesn't happen. And that reason is that there is an immense pile of stuff that Reid has to get through - enormous bills that will eat floor time like a swarm of locusts - and the CW that is that the value to the majority party of the footage of filibusters in action is smaller than the value of cracking on with viable bills.
The political reason from someone upthread that why should GOP senators give Bush cover I mostly buy.
But McConnell needs to keep something like control of his guys; in particular, he needs to keep responsibility for broad strategy; and having those guys degenerate into bands of francs-tireurs taking potshots at Bush is something he'd want to avoid.
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The House never got to vote separately on habeas corpus: the first go round (HR 6054) got reported out but no floor action; the second go round (HR 6166) was dealt with under a closed rule and passed the House 253-168 (that's the vote you mention).
Then the Senate took up S 3930, which then passed 65-34, was kicked over to the House and passed there 250-170.
In the Senate, there were shenanigans which led to the leaderships agreeing a straight vote on an amendment to excise the noxious habeas provision in the base text (the Specter Amendment): that was lost 48-51.
Thus, on a crude analysis of the Senate numbers, you would expect that sentiment in the House was such that, if there had been a vote on the specific question of habeas corpus, it would have been much closer than the vote on passage you mention.
And if your Rep. is reluctant, remind him or her of what their colleague, Jim Moran said about the last supplemental vote:
"The president is going to veto it anyway, so what difference does it make?" said Representative James P. Moran, Democrat of Virginia.
Two cheers for kabuki...
When Chris says
We want to avoid a "Democrats divided" narrative
that may be a bit tough if (as I assume - I've seen no count speculation) the Dems split 2:1 against the McGovern Bill.
(Would it better if the Progs attracted enough colleagues to boost the ratio to 50:50 or better? Harder to pass the vote off as just a lefty splinter if they take a majority of the party with them!)
But - the Progs have had squat for sitting on their hands so far, so they had to get something; plus - how much airplay is the McGovern bill vote going to get?
I suspect that the exposure there for the Dem sisn't too great - it comes under the heading of I voted for it before I voted against it which doesn't exactly grab Sixpack by the nuts. (I'm sure Fox and Rush will give it a go, though!)
However, the bigger problem with Dem dissent on the right will come in the Senate (my comments on Chris's thread yesterday), where Uncle Harry is evidently distinctly doubtful whether a short leash bill will pass.
I don't think you need think of yourself as anything, mark you: you won the seat fair and square, you didn't do anything to prevent anyone else running - what's to complain about?
The voters in your district, if I understand things right, have been abandoned by the machine, except that they treat it as a rotten borough for providing offices for their own hacks.
I'm no goo-goo; but breaking up this little game by working hard and playing by the rules doesn't seem to me reason for heart-searching.
You admit yourself that you're a write-in pioneer: well, if it turns out that your constituents prefer to vote for skin tone rather than competence, they know what to do, because you've shown them how.
And what's so wrong in a white guy representing a majority black district any way? After all, there is at least some chance that, in two years time, a black guy will be representing a majority white country...
Skelton is 75 (really), he's been in the minority for 12 years, and now suddenly he's HASC chairman.
And the defense authorization is the HASC chairman's annual Big Thing.
And this is Skelton's first Big Thing.
And they're asking Skelton to screw up his Big Thing - getting filibustered, drawing a veto, and so forth - all for a political stunt that will go nowhere, get loadsa folk press and kudos, and be the very polar opposite of government, which is the game that, at long last Skelton finds himself in.
As pants the hart for cooling brook, Skelton - and other chairmen with juicy-looking bills that bomb-throwers might target - want to be left to enjoy their spoils.
Like I said, all that's looking from Skelton's viewpoint...
But thought I'd mention this on the 'short leash' bill - vote as early as tomorrow - but how 'bout this:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would look at any supplemental that the House approves, neither reiterating his past criticism of the two-part "trigger" approach nor endorsing any House proposal.
"It's possible to do something on the House side that can get done with only Democrats ... [but] I can't jam something through with only Democrats," Reid told reporters.
Then there's this which has Pelosi threatening to sue Bush if he decides to sign the next supplemental he gets, but with a signing statement.