Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pelosi will let the Blue Dogs hang themselves...and us

Hello, Tipping Point
These are the numbers the 49 Democrats who sit in McCain districts are dissecting. The mass defection in the independent vote, the uptick in the angry-senior vote, the swing in suburban voters, the drop-off in Democratic turnout—the figures have even hot incumbent blood running cold. The White House can shout that this is not a referendum on the president's policies. What vulnerable Democrat wants to take that chance?

The White House and the congressional leadership saw this coming, and it is why Speaker Nancy Pelosi is force-marching her health bill to a vote tomorrow. She's not about to give her members time to absorb the ugly results, or to be further rattled by next week's Veteran's Day break, when they go home for a repeat of the August furies. If not now, she knows, maybe never.

Look for it, nonetheless, to be a squeaker. A lot of Democrats are getting a sneaky suspicion Mrs. Pelosi is willing to sacrifice their seats on the altar of liberal government health care. Combined with the election results and Mr. Obama's falling poll numbers, this is no recipe for loyalty. Hello, tipping point. Hello, even crazier Washington.