House outlook for midterms: Pelosi would be smart to worry
In an exclusive interview on "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struck a confident tone on the electoral prospects for Democrats this November, despite predictions by many, including at least one top White House official, that Democrats could lose control of the House.
"I'm not nervous at all," Pelosi said. "I never take anything for granted. And our agenda now is ... we're not going back to the failed policies of the Bush administration. We're going forward," she said.
"So what does it make you feel then, when the president's own spokesman said that you might lose the majority?" Amanpour asked her.
"With all due respect," Pelosi shot back, "I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about what the president's employees say about one thing or another."
She's not nervous, but many of her colleagues are. Captain Ed points to recent pieces written on The Rothenberg Political Report. For example, there's this assessment written by Mr. Rothenberg:
Democrats now hold a 39-seat edge in the House. Yet the playing field continues to expand: The Rothenberg Political Report currently lists 88 seats as “in play.” Seventy-six of those seats currently are held by Democrats.
Many of the same places that helped build the president’s winning coalition in his race against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — states such as Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and Pennsylvania — could be the places where Republicans rack up the gains they need to take back the House.
In many of those districts, the Obama agenda has been widely unpopular. House members are left defending votes on items including the stimulus, bailouts, health care and cap-and-trade that have grown more unpopular with the passage of time.
It means that the president and his agenda will very much be on the ballot — while the president himself won’t be the best position to help Democrats play defense.
I said in January of last year that if the Democrats led as moderates, and kept their hard-Left ideology in check, they'd be successful come the 2010 midterms, and the 2012 election. I warned that if it wasn't kept in check, the people of America would do their best to bounce the problems from office. And no one can deny that the Democrats and their agenda is a problem. It's a serious one because they haven't addressed the problems facing the nation. They've exacerbated the recession, spent the nation into trillions of dollars in debt, and they've engaged in thuggish tactics that would've made Al Capone jealous.
Let’s be clear about where we all would be if unemployment were actually at 4 percent right now.
Most of the hand-wringing about jobs and the economy would be gone, stronger employment numbers would mean a more vibrant economy (which almost certainly would mean higher federal and state revenues and lower deficits) and polling undoubtedly would show the president with better numbers, Congress with a higher approval rating and the Democratic Party more popular than it is now. Because of that, the huge enthusiasm gap that now exists and is likely to fuel GOP gains in November would be much smaller or nonexistent. …
Actions, indeed, do have consequences. In this case, the combination of an aggressive Democratic agenda, a weak jobs recovery and a large deficit has created a political environment very different from the one 18 months ago, when Democrats won a special election in New York’s open 20th district by demonizing Republicans for waffling on, then opposing, Obama’s economic stimulus plan.
It’s very difficult to imagine Republican gains in the House of fewer than two dozen seats, and my own newsletter, after going race by race, recently placed likely GOP gains in the range of 28 to 33 seats, if not higher.
The nation has been waiting to see if the adults will step forward and deal with the economic problems we're facing, but they haven't. The children are still behind the wheel of dad's car with an open bottle of Jack Daniels held between their knees. The unemployment numbers haven't eased, and it's taken shady practices to make people think that the employment situation is getting better. (That was revealed when temporary Census workers reported being hired, then laid off, then rehired again, skewing the numbers for a couple of months leading up to summer.) The Democrats haven't taken care of our economic woes.
Instead of spending us into oblivion, the Democrats could have easily written themselves a ticket to success by lowering tax rates across the board, and suspending all non-essential government spending. Hell, if they really wanted to turn the economy around in record time, that would help, but a tax holiday for small businesses for a year would have greatly improved the economic situation in America.
But the Democrats couldn't set aside their ideology long enough to do what was right. As was revealed back in February of last year, the Democrats had a forty year wish-list that they wanted to implement immediately. Their own selfish desires for power and control have brought reality to their doorstep, and a lot of them are going to lose their jobs this fall. The House appears to be a lock, with the GOP taking as many as forty seats. The Senate isn't as rock solid, but the GOP will make some significant gains there.
And what are the Democrats going to do after the bloodbath in November? The rumors on Capitol Hill is that in their lame duck session, they're going to do their damnedest to ram through everything they couldn't get passed earlier such as cap and trade and card check. The small coalition of Blue Dogs in the House begging the president to back an initiative to extend President Bush's tax cuts beyond 31 December of this year lack the clout to push for the move. Pelosi has no desire to extend those tax cuts. The quote above in her interview proves it. She's blaming Bush, just like Barry does.
The simple fact is that the Democrats are obviously too stupid to figure out where they went wrong, and they're too bloody arrogant to admit they were wrong. Mr. Rothenberg finishes up with more wisdom, and reasoned analysis, than the Democrats (especially Nancy Pelosi) will ever come up with:
The House surely is at great risk, and anyone who asserts that Democrats are certain to maintain their majority after November is simply not worth listening to on the subject. The trajectory of this election cycle is clear. But don’t delude yourself. It didn’t have to be this way.
Hammer. Nail. Head. 'Nuff said.