Friday, March 19, 2010

In Defense of No Votes from the Left

I know this makes me an FDL-style dead-ender, but I for one was sad to see Special K flip-flop, and I'm happy that someone like Stephen Lynch is going to vote no. This bill is in fact the most leftward shift of domestic policy in my life time, but it ain't perfect. House liberals have been forced to swallow an awful lot of garbage just to pass something. Someone ought to say something about this on the House floor. Meanwhile, thirty-five conservative or moderate Democrats are going to end up voting against this thing. Some of them are retiring (Marion Berry). Some of them are not particularly vulnerable (Colin Peterson). Some of them are probably going to lose no matter what happens (Bobby Bright). The leadership should Lynch off the hook and get one more moderate to flip his vote (and they're practically all white dudes).

Likewise unions need to decide whether they are better off expending resources in Democratic primaries against people like Mike McMahon in outer-borough NYC, or instead focus on the handful of GOP-held labor-heavy seats that might be competitive in a general election. Jim Gerlach's seat, for instance. Or Frank Lobiondo's. Yes, health care is a big priority but these House Democrats are still your 90% allies.
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