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Friday, April 20, 2012

Democrats Not Willing To Commit Political Suicide Again For Obama

By Susan Duclos

In 2010 Democrats suffered the worst defeat for a party in over 70 years, lost control of the House of Representatives, suffered a net loss of Senate seats (only a third of the Senate was on the ballot in 2010) lost state seats across the country and more than one study has pointed to Obamacare aka Affordable Care Act as being responsible for many of those losses. (Both studies linked to in a piece written here yesterday)

Browsing headlines today, it is clear that Democratic lawmakers are not prepared to sacrifice their political careers again by backing Obama on issues that have support across the political spectrum, where Obama finds himself on the opposite side of the majority of Americans, very reminiscent of March 2010 when Democrats and Obama passed the Obamacare law while all polling showed Americans were opposed to the law as a whole.

At that time Democratic lawmakers were told by the former Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi that they should be prepared to sacrifice their jobs to vote for Obamacare. (AP article published by Fox News)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue's massive role in this election year.

In December 2009 it was reported that Pelosi was willing to "lose 20 seats next year if that is what it takes," to get Obamacare passed.

Obama at the time insisted Obamacare should be passed and then voters could render their verdict. His exact words were "That's what elections are for."

They lost 63 seats in the House alone, handing control of the House of Representatives to Republicans.

Water under the bridge now, but Democratic lawmakers who did not lose their jobs then, are not prepared to sacrifice this election year and seem more than prepared to buck Obama on a variety of issues.

Since we started with the damage Obamacare did back in 2010, let's start with the headline today from The Hill which addresses that very issue.

Headline "Democrats expressing buyers’ remorse on Obama's healthcare law."

That headline speaks for itself and goes on to quote Democratic lawmakers criticizing Obama's handling of the passage of the healthcare law.

On to Obama's 2012 waterloo.... The Keystone Pipeline.

The New York Times provides the headline here with "Democrats Joining G.O.P. on Pipeline."

President Obama is finding himself increasingly boxed in on the Keystone pipeline fight as more Congressional Democrats are joining Republicans in backing the project, which has strong labor support and could generate significant numbers of jobs in economically hard-hit states.

On Wednesday, the House passed a short-term transportation bill that included a provision that would pave the way for the construction of the next stage of the oil pipeline, a measure that Mr. Obama has said he would veto. The bill passed 293 to 127, with 69 Democrats supporting it.

It is the fourth time the House has passed a measure to expedite the project; one failed narrowly in the Senate only after Mr. Obama personally lobbied some Democrats to vote no. With the House vote, Mr. Obama finds himself, for the first time in his presidency, threatening a veto on a significant piece of legislation that enjoys the support of an increasing number of Democrats, as well as the vast majority of Republicans in Congress.

With gas prices sticking near $4 a gallon, unemployment high in many states and demonstrable support for the project in numerous polls, many Democrats — especially those from states where pipelines are commonplace — are beginning to sound almost indistinguishable from Speaker John A. Boehner, who called Mr. Obama “increasingly isolated” in his opposition to expanding the project.

Once again, Obama finds himself standing on the direct opposite side of what the American people want. Only this time, many Democratic lawmakers, having seen what happens when they oppose the majority of U.S. voters in the 2010 midterm elections, are not prepared to jump off the political cliff again for Obama's agenda.

The next headline is from National Journal with "Manchin on the Fence About Obama Vote."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has done more than any other Democrat up for reelection this year to distance himself from President Obama, said he does not know if he will vote for Obama or presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in November.

When a Democratic Senator goes as far as to say he is not even sure if he will vote for his party's candidate and even entertains the option of voting for the opposing party's candidate.... there is a serious problem.