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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Blue Dogs Have Shot at Redemption

by J.P. Green
Dems who opposed the health care reform bill passed last week blundered badly for a number of reasons — ten to be exact, according to TDS Contributor Robert Creamer’s post in the November 13 edition of HuffPo. In addition to the principle reason cited by Creamer and other pundits — that the bill’s key provisions, including the publlic option, were supported by majorities in their districts — Creamer adds some interesting contentions among the ten, including these nuggets:

2). Once the bill is passed it will become even more popular. Social Security, Medicare, and child labor laws were all controversial when they were first passed. Now they are all revered features of the American landscape. The same will be true of the health insurance reform that makes health care a right for all Americans.


4). If Democrats are successful at passing their agenda and nationalizing the Mid-terms – which would otherwise be terrific news for the most vulnerable Members – the Members who voted no on the health care bill will look like skunks at the garden party.


6). News flash to Democrats who voted against the health bill: not one of the “tea party” gang is going to support you in 2010. Whether you voted yes or no, they are all going to work their hearts out for your opponent. The “tea party” gang you saw at your town meeting in August does not represent swing voters in the district – they are the hardcore base of the Republican Party.


8). Voters like fighters…On the whole, swing voters – and certainly mobilizable voters – like fighters. They like candidates who have strong beliefs, and stick by their guns. That quality is an independent variable in deciding how persuadable voters cast their ballots.

Actually, all of Creamer’s points are both plausible and interesting. He concludes saying that all is not lost, even for those who voted against the legislation on the first lap, noting “each of the 39 Democrats – and all but one Republican — who voted against the health care bill have one more chance to redeem themselves. When the bill comes back from the House-Senate Conference there will be one more up or down vote on health care reform.”
To the average voter, the candidate who rides the tide of historic change that gives millions of American families a stronger sense of security looks a lot better than the one getting rolled by it.

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