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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Switchers

As you probably know by now, the House passed the revised financial bailout–excuse me! rescue–bill today by a surprisingly large 263-171 margin. Dems voted for it 172-63, while Republicans still rejected it, though by a smaller margin than before, 91-108. That means 32 Democrats and 26 Republicans flipped.
Looking at the results, which showed a very diverse and sufficient number of Democrats getting behind the bailout, you do have to wonder if a Dems-only strategy might have worked, at least in the House. A clear majority of House flippers were from the Progressive Caucus and (especially) the Congressional Black Caucus ranks, and those Blue Dogs (four by a quick count) who flipped despite the budget-busting Senate tax sweeteners, and perhaps a few others, might well have gone for a fiscally sound progressive alternative. Maybe such an alternative would have never gotten through the Senate, but you do have to consider the road not taken.

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