It appears that moderate Democrats in Congress are getting nervous. The public doesn’t like the idea of wrecking the economy in the name of stopping warming, especially when the climate hasn’t actually warmed any for a decade. People aren’t responding any better to the idea of turning hospitals into the medical equivalent of the post office.
Call it the hangover effect.
Democrats who helped the sweeping climate change bill squeak through before jetting home for the July Fourth break got a surprisingly ugly homecoming, encountering a barrage of protests, attack ads and negative press. Police turned up at a local protest aimed at Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.), a leader of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition. Freshman Rep. John Adler (N.J.) told a local paper he got shoved.
The bruising endured by the moderates – along with serious substantive concerns -prompted them last week to derail the planned Friday rollout of the health care bill. And it presents a continuing challenge to leaders hoping to wrap work on the package this month. “They are completely and totally rattled,” one senior Democratic aide said of the centrists. “I’ve never seen them as bad as they are now.”
The lesson is simple. The American people need to maintain the pressure. Legislators need to be reminded that they represent the folks back home, not Nancy Pelosi & Co. The battle is winnable.