Every cloud has a silver lining:
23 of the 54 Blue Dog members would bite the dust, decimating their caucus. That means that the Blue Dogs would make up 44 percent of Democratic losses, even though they only make up 21 percent of the caucus.
If the worst-case scenario comes to happen, we can enjoy this silver liming — the brunt of the losses will be felt by the very same people who helped obstruct the Democratic agenda, who fought middle class tax cuts and the Public Option, and who fueled the “Dems are divided” narrative.
One of bigger lies foisted off on the American public in 2008 was the myth of “the insurmountable Democratic majority”. It never was. FDR had 69 Democrats he could count on to pass SS. LBJ had 67 he could count on to pass “the Great Society”. Obama had somewhere around 50, and a Senate that required 60 to do ANYTHING.
The bigger the margin Republicans pile up next Tuesday, the less likely it is that the Democrats will be able to – or want to – do much when Congress reconvenes for a lame-duck session on November 15.
Rather, leadership aides tell me, they will want to do the minimum, pushing the toughest decisions on taxes, spending and debt forward to a newer, presumably more Republican, 112th Congress, which will convene for the first time on January 3, 2011.
Come January, the new Tea Party-infused GOP then would have to quickly confront the real-world consequences of its tax-cutting, budget-cutting, debt-reducing, anti-government rhetoric.
The one thing that can’t be “punted” is the Bush Tax Cuts. They expire in January. I hope the Democrats will insist that they are either extended, minus the cuts on dividends and incomes over $250K, or they can all expire and the tea-party congress can deal with it.