Monday, January 25, 2010

Irony Alert

With all due respect for Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), I think he's mis-stating the conditions of the health-care debate for the Senate:
"[Senators] tend to see themselves as a House of Lords and they don't seem to understand that those of us that go out there every two years stay in touch with the American people," he said in an interview with Fox News Radio. "We tend to respond to them a little better."
I think the problem that the Democrats' version of health-care is running into is the fact that members of the Senate (and the House) are in touch with people. The current health-care proposal is very unpopular, and that unpopularity is making senators/representatives very leery about voting for it. It is not senators' obliviousness to public opinion but their attention to it that makes them unsure about health-care.

A bigger dividing line between the Senate and the House is that senators have to appeal to a whole state; they can't sit safe within the gerrymandered confines of an ultra-right/left district. Even Massachusetts isn't safe for statewide Democrats any more. With more and more state sliding in the Republican direction, expect Democratic senators to get more and more skittish. With poll numbers showing him losing to a variety of Republican challengers, is Evan Bayh (IN) likely to vote again for a monopartisan version of Obamacare?

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