Bob Shrum, November 4, 2010: “Long after the midterm stories have faded, and the predictions of the President’s political demise prove as facile and false as they were with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, history will accord Pelosi an unprecedented scale of achievement for a House Speaker.”
Bob Shrum, September 30, 2010: “Democrats will hold the House and Senate. ”
Shrum will no doubt mutter that he was right about Boxer, Murray, Reid, and Coons (while resolutely ignoring that he was wrong about Sestak and Conway, and avoided completely talking about Giannoulias, Ellsworth, Feingold, Meek, and Lincoln); but he completely miscalled the House results, mostly because Shrum is incapable of recognizing that the American people did come out en masse in response to the Democrats’ policies. It’s just that they came out en masse against the Democrats*.
And that leads us back to the Matter of Pelosi. I don’t really want to belabor the point, but trying to keep her as House Minority Leader is not consistent with the attitude that Pelosi’s accomplished something of lasting value by cramming Obamacare down the collective throats of the American people. If she had, they wouldn’t be so desperately eager to keep the soon-to-be-former Speaker in the fray. The reality of this is that Obamacare is unpopular, and it had been unpopular since it was forced into law, and it has been remarkably resistant to attempts to rehabilitate its public image. This is what distinguishes it from, say, civil rights legislation, Medicare, and/or Social Security; and since America was founded on the principle that you don’t have to simply accept that other people can pass damfool laws without checking with you first**, well.
Make no mistake: a quarter of the new House majority was elected on the explicit promise to get rid of Obamacare, and the rest of the GOP House caucus will be expected by their constituents to follow suit. Defund it, poison-pill it, throw the entire thing in regulatory and administrative knots until 2013; I’m not an expert in Congressional procedural minutiae, but the folks on our side who are and who are in government are going to have a busy couple of months coming up with something suitable. That the Democrats are even contemplating keeping on the thoroughly-rejected soon-to-be-ex Speaker to fight that says more about the weakness of their supposed contribution to the ages than anything that I ever could.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: “Tea-b*ggers?” I was unaware that Bob Shrum was a homophobe. Well, live and learn.
*And the Democrats in the Senate should be breathing a huge sigh of relief that we only elect 1/3rd of them at a time: extrapolate that ‘mere’ +6 GOP gain (with no Republican losses) over a hypothetical entire-Senate contest, and you get a shambles. In fact, +6 GOP is a pretty good shambles all on its own.
**Yes, we were founded on other principles, too. We’re a big country: we can accommodate multiple ideals at once.