Dems Who Voted Against Obama: How Will They Fare?

A WSJ pundit posits that voting against the Obama Agenda will save some Democrats:

Troll through the voting rolls, and you'll find an exclusive club of three House Democrats running for re-election who voted against the more controversial pieces of the Obama agenda: the $862 billion stimulus, Mr. Obama's $3.5 trillion budget, cap and trade and, of course, ObamaCare. Troll through the polls today, and you'll find a near-exclusive club of three House Democrats who are beating every electoral expectation. Were history, incumbency and the economy the main factors this fall, Idaho's Walt Minnick, Alabama's Bobby Bright and Mississippi's Gene Taylor would be packing up. That they aren't is a resounding statement on a failed Obama vision.

First, you simply can not include Gene Taylor on this list where "history and incumbency" point to a GOP victory. Gene Taylor has held his district forever. He has voted against Dem Presidents (and even Dem speakers of the House) forever.But Minnick and Bright, from two decidedly GOP districts do present evidence that in heavily GOP districts, voting and talking like a Republican will be advantageous. But the list provided by the WSJ pundit is quite selective. There were many more Dems who voted Republican than those 3. Let's take, for example, the vote on the House health care bill (it passed 220-215.) The following Dems voted against it:

Adler, Altmire, Baird, Barrow, Boccieri, Boren, Boucher, Boyd, Bright, Chandler, Childress, Artur Davis, Edwards, Griffith (who switched parties and lost in a GOP primary), Herseth, Holden, Kissell, Kosmas, Kucinich, Markey, Marshall, Massa (who has since resigned), Matheson, McMahon, Melancon, Minnick, Murphy, Nye. Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Tanner, Taylor and Teague.

There are 220 Democrats who voted for it. Without knowing all the specifics, I am still pretty sure that the Dems who voted No are in greater political jeopardy than those who voted Yes in the aggregate. Not because of the vote itself. But because of the districts they represent, which are more Republican.

The reality is the health care bill is not going to decide a single race. So what of the energy bill vote? Basically the same names with the energy state Dems also voting No.

This election will not be decided on these votes. To coin a phrase, it's the economy stupid.

If the economy were better, less Democrats would be vulnerable. Of course each race is different. And in districts like Walt Minnick's and Bobby Bright's, it should be embarrassing for the Republicans that they do not have them locked up already.

Indeed, if President Obama and the Democrats had been bolder on economic policy, the economy would be in better shape now and less Democrats would be vulnerable. Democrats acting like Republicans in Republican districts is nothing new or novel.

This election is about the economy. And the economy sucks. And the ruling party will suffer for it. This is a dog bites man story. Nothing to see here.

Speaking for me only

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    Obama still stuck in 2008 (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:05:25 AM EST
    is what this suggests, if there are no repercussions for voting against him in Congress, since he has been in the White House -- because there certainly continue to be repercussions against those who did not campaign for him to get to the White House.  Example: the governor's race in my state, in which the Dem candidate who had been a Clinton backer was pushed out and replaced by a White House pick.  The payback for the latter was White House support, so Obama is coming to the state next week . . . but that will not do it, with so many out of work here, losing homes here, etc.

    And other examples in Congress, some of us suspect in previous threads, may be Rangel and Waters. . . .

    I'm sure (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:59:09 AM EST
    that Obama won't be coming here to GA. I think he hurts more than he helps.

    100% ON (none / 0) (#1)
    by cal1942 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 09:50:06 AM EST
    Put all the rest in a bucket and throw it overboard.

    Obama's meek approach to the economy will probably be his and the Party's downfall.

    As Harry Truman said 'given a choice between a Republican and a Republican.  People will vote for the Republican.'

    Since day one it's been pretty obvious.  These guys aren't very bright.

    Me (none / 0) (#2)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 09:57:11 AM EST
    Im still mad about the way that one Republican scratched his nose in front of that other Republican..

    How many of these were 'trifecta' Democrats? (none / 0) (#4)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:46:33 AM EST
    Voting 'No' on budget, cap and trade, and HCR.

    That's the thesis of to post you are attempting to refute.

    If you refute a substitute thesis of your own choosing, that's just bad crockery.

    So you think (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:16:43 AM EST
    the budget vote is the key?
    Crockery from RonK. How novel!

    Raising a straw man to defend a straw man? (none / 0) (#16)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 03:29:33 PM EST
    How tedious.

    I'm hoping Bobby Bright gets re-elected. (none / 0) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:57:17 AM EST
    Can't remember, but I think his opponent's a tea partier. Not certain, though, not my district.

    I'm interested (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 10:58:16 AM EST
    on how this is all going to effect the state level. Here we have a GOP that is split down the middle and a candidate who was a congressman now running for Gov. The GOP here in GA can't even seem to get a budget in on time. I'm wondering if they'll get away with the fact that under the GOP has had a huge decline but are able to get people to buy it's Obama's fault.

    Roy Barnes is running against Deal and he his a fighter so it is one I will be watching.

    Didn't that article also point out (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:13:44 AM EST
    That those three were from districts that went heavily for McCain?  And didn't it point out that while these three voted against "the big 3", they also voted with the Dems on average 70% of the time?

    They may conservative Dems in Republican districts (because no liberal would ever get elected there), but they atere actually polling well and raising money where others of their Congress brethren and sistren are not having the same easy time, no?

    Here's the thing, for me, anyway: (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:23:58 AM EST
    the health whatever bill was bad policy (and yes, I know there were a few elements that were worthwhile, but they were the spoonful of sugar that disguised the taste of the poison that was the rest of it), and I don't laud the efforts of Democrats who decided to be complicit in legislation that would benefit an industry over the people these members of Congress represent - an action that was the template for almost every other major "reform" legislation: throw the people a few bones, and then breathe a sigh of relief that they haven't ticked off the special interests.

    We're playing that stupid game again where we wring our hands over the horror of a Republican majority, and try to think up reasons why Democratic incumbents who didn't act in our best interests should be returned to their jobs.

    "The other guys are worse," is not the standard we should be using, unless our commitment is to the lowest quality product possible.  Once upon a time, we used to marvel that anyone would ever vote against their best interests, so confident were we that only Democrats offered the best chance at being for and voting for us, but I think that particular belief has been pretty well shattered.  

    The answer is not to vote Republican.  The decline in the quality of Democratic representation does not correspondingly elevate the quality of Republican governance - they still suck.  But now the Dems pretty much suck, too, as does the usual campaign to make us all think that it is our duty to make sure that the people who've been running over us for the last however-many years get to keep doing it.

    It's insane, and the sooner people stop going along with it, stop being complicit in our own abuse, the sooner it stops.

    Unfortunately, (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 11:50:51 AM EST
    That's what it will come down to - "You've got nowhere else to go."

    "None of the above" - whether that (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 12:08:53 PM EST
    means an undervote (leaving particular contests blank), or staying home - is very much an option, and I think the Dems are going to be learning that lesson in November.

    I don't spend my money on shoddy products, don't eat in terrible restaurants, don't use the services of lousy contractors, and I will no longer vote for the (D) just because someone else tells me that the world will end if I don't and it will be all my fault.

    That's engaging in co-dependent behavior of the worst kind, guaranteed to perpetuate a terrible status quo, and I just won't play along anymore.


    But you actually pay attention (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 12:32:24 PM EST
    It's frightening how many people I talk to - even educated ones who do read papers and blogs, have still told me that if I don't vote for the Dem in 2010 (or Obama in 2012), then I must be a Republican - like it's a binary choice.  They have told me "The Republicans are worse - you can't possibly want them to get power!"  

    When I point out that this current crop of Dems hasn't done much for me either, they look at me as if I have three eyes and a horn growing out of my head.


    So (none / 0) (#14)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 01:15:35 PM EST
    you've met my family.

    Well, all I can say is that my (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 02:45:58 PM EST
    registered-Republican husband knows me well enough to know that just because I have expressed my extreme dissatisfaction with the Dems, that does not make me anything near to being a Republican.  Not even close.  

    Actually, I don't think anyone who knows me would believe for one minute I could be a Republican, and those who try the old, "but you HAVE to vote for Dems or WE'LL ALL DIE!!!" are getting a reaction, but it's me laughing out loud, which they truly just do not know how to deal with.  I tend to respond with some version of, "the Dems are broken and dysfunctional and working more against my interests than for them; you may be happy to help keep that going, but I'm not," which tends to shut them up, because there's nothing, really, they can come back with that then doesn't sound - even to them - like a big ol' lame excuse.

    It's not up to me to convince anyone what they should or should not do, and while I don't think continuing the charade that the Dems stand head and shoulders above the crowd is particularly helpful in improving the quality of their performance, it's each person's individual decision what he or she should or should not support and/or vote for.


    Does anyone here (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:09:21 PM EST
     have any up-to-date information regarding the price gouging taking place by the  pharmaceutical Co's?  

    Thank heaven I have a pretty decent health plan but some out of character things have taken place in the past couple of months.  Just as a point of reference my family of four is taking 22 prescription meds for various conditions. As an example of the strange things happening: the scripts that call for two pills a day have all been cut back to one a day. (by the insurance Co.) "Prior authorization" is now automatically called for and, in the past, when an appeal was necessary the company was generally o.k. in approving it. Now, they're fighting  every request tooth & nail.

    Another thing that is just inexplicable. The pharmacist is a personal friend of ours and he told us that four of the meds we're taking have just been doubled in price. We "only" have to pay the co-pay of $200 but he said the cash price, if we didn't have insurance, went from $2400/month to $4800. That's just crazy, what the He__ is going on? He said we ain't seen nothing yet. What's coming down the pike will blow your socks off.

    I mean, my co-pays are approaching a grand a month, I can't imagine what we'd do if we didn't have insurance.

    Has anyone here noticed anything like this in your family?


    Your Tax Dollars (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:20:28 PM EST
    Come back to bite you in the wallet...  The drug companies demand subsidies to develop drugs and then make them unaffordable.
    The single most profitable industry in the United States, the nine largest pharmaceutical companies generated profits of $30.6 billion in 2001. Over the past decade, drug company profits represented an 18.5% return on revenue, some 5.6 times greater that the 3.3% median return of Fortune 500 companies. And according to Fortune magazine, during 2001 -- a year in which the Fortune 500 reported the worst financial performance in the magazine's 48 year history (apart from 1992, which was complicated by a change of accounting rules) -- the drug industry ranked first on all three of Fortune's profitability measures, including return on revenues, return on assets, and return on equity.


    It may work out to be less expensive to buy your meds online from Canada...

    So, what can the individual consumer do about it? The most straightforward answer is that they can vote with their pocketbooks -- by buying medications more cheaply from online discount suppliers! A separate page discusses Buying Discount Drugs Online, including recommendations for discount pharmacies in Canada and in Mexico.

    Many people are now also using PPOs to help secure lower prices for prescription medications and for other aspects of their medical care.

    Sure, (none / 0) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:53:27 PM EST
     people can be quite resourceful when pushed into a corner. And the folks will scramble, search, collaborate, and do all those things. But, I guess my point was that the Rich suddenly don't have to go through even the slightest pretext of civility, and community. My family's medical needs are being met, but just barely. I've been very fortunate in my employment, but I now know that if my income was that of the large majority of our citizens, the actions of the Corporations and the Government in the last couple of years amounts to a death sentence.

    And that's not hyperbole; they have crossed an important threshold, from robbing us blind, with eyes averted, to robbing us blind, while flipping us the bird.


    Wow (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 06:00:57 PM EST
    Glad I am not on any prescription drugs.... even though I pay almost $700/month, I have no drug plan on my policy...

    Yes, and I've read on listservs (none / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 05:31:21 PM EST
    of folks with some of the conditions affected that they have been told by pharmacists that this is how the big companies are driving up costs now, so that when the federal health care plan finally goes into effect years from now, it won't be a setback at all to the big pharmas, insurance companies, etc.

    I also suspect it may have something to do with the crackdown by some medical schools on the unholy connections between their faculty and big pharmas, which also are losing that promotional connection.

    So by 2014, the problem of providing health care to those most in need may be solved.  At these costs, they won't be able to afford care, and they'll be dead.


    Welcome to the results of the WH backroom (none / 0) (#22)
    by BTAL on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 06:50:22 PM EST
    deal with Pharma.  That donut hole contribution has to be paid for sooner or later, looks like it is sooner.

    Donut Hole? (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 13, 2010 at 07:15:00 PM EST
    Pharmaceutical industry. According to IMS Health, a company which provides market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries; the estimated worldwide sales for prescription drugs was about $400 billion in 2002. Americans spent roughly 200 billion dollars on prescription drugs in 2002, accounting for approximately half of all sales world wide. Yet, as of 2006, the U.S. infant mortality rate ranked at 21st in the world (under Greece and South Korea and slightly higher than Poland). U.S. life expectancy ranked at number 17. [1] By 2008, IMS Health reported that sales for U.S. prescription drugs had reached $291 billion dollars a year.

    And the "doughnut hole" was a boon to the drug companies in 2006.. (PDF)