Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Always Hurt The One You Love

The DREAM act, which I discussed yesterday, went down in a procedural vote, as expected. There were a few surprise votes, and a bunch of Dem Senators ducked it entirely, but I get the impression no one thought it would go through.

Mickey Kaus, of course, is thrilled.  He notes some of the nasty arguments those voting no had to face--that they were destroying innocent children.

The Daily Kos gives a good example of the rhetoric.  Kos was a big supporter of Jon Tester, the Dem Senator from Montana.  He felt here was a new sort of Democrat who could help his party take over the West.  But now, with a recent election where Dems were destroyed for going too far left, and facing his own election in 2012, Tester understandably voted against DREAM.

Here's Kos's response:

There are Democrats I expect to be assholes. I never thought Jon Tester would be among them.

Anybody who votes to punish innocent kids is an asshole. Plain and simple. And while I expect it from Democrats like Ben Nelson and C-Street denizen Mark Pryor, I honestly thought Jon Tester was different. I was wrong. I am now embarrassed that I worked so hard to help get him elected in 2006. I feel personally betrayed.

Not only will I do absolutely nothing to help his reelection bid, but I will take every opportunity I get to remind people that he is so morally bankrupt that he'll try to score political points off the backs of innocent kids who want to go to college or serve their country in the military.

To me, he is the Blanche Lincoln of 2012 -- the Democrat I will most be happy to see go down in defeat. And he will. Nothing guarantees a Republican victory more than trying to pretend to be one of them.

While this is the kind of emotional reaction you'd expect, let's look a little more closely at the final sentence.  This is the sort of nonsense we hear from both sides after every election.  (Right wing analysts noted, for instance, that the moderate Republicans who ran for senator and governor in California lost.)

Tester, like every Democrat, is a fairly reliable vote for Democrat initiatives so it's silly to say he's pretending to be a Republican just because he doesn't vote your way every time.  But there's an obvious reason why it may seem that Dems who "pretend to be" Republicans often lose.  They're in fairly red states, where it serves them well not to appear too liberal.  That they've been elected at all should be appreciated by Kos, and if they lose an election, it's not because they failed to be too liberal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course its entirely possible that voters vote for candidates completely apart from the conservative/liberal dynamic the muddle headed media and parties constantly try to force down our throats

9:17 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I generally agree that voters aren't especially ideologically oriented. Further, when times are good they keep people in office, when they're bad, they vote them out. But they also have certain beliefs that support or oppose what are known as conservative or liberal values, as poorly as that axis may represent what different people believe.

12:05 AM, December 20, 2010  

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