From the fire into the frying pan for Dems returning to DC

It's not going to get any easier for Democrats who were exposed to the fury of ordinary citizens at health care town halls across the country during the August recess. Now they face what is sure to be enormous pressure from their party leadership to support the president and pass a health care reform package that may cost many of them their seats in the 2010 mid term election.

Let's just say, I wouldn't want to be a Democratic congressman on the fence about reform once the full weight of Obama's presidency coupled with the substantial power of the congressional leadership falls right on their heads over the next few weeks.

According to Mike Soraghan and Michael M. Gleeson of The Hill, 23 Democrats have already said they will defy Obama and vote no on reform:

At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.

If Republicans offer the blanket opposition they've promised, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose only 38 members of her 256-member caucus and still pass the bill.

Most Democrats opposed to healthcare reform argue it costs too much, imposes a new tax and fines businesses that don't provide insurance to employees. Some fear that the bill would subsidize abortion.

Many other Democratic members, including those berated by protesters at raucous town hall meetings in August, are still undecided.

A lot could change before the vote, expected late this month.

That last is the key, of course. How successful will Obama be in convincing Democrats to take a potential long walk off a short plank and end up in Davey Jones Locker in 2010?

With the entire media proclaiming Obama's speech a smashing success tonight, the momentum will begin to build and, along with it, a tightening of the screws on reluctant Democrats both right and left. The considerable power of the presidency will be brought to bear in order to get comprehensive reform passed.

It is now believed that Obama will not drop the public option, although he may give Blue Dogs the fig leaf of a "trigger" on government run insurance that will be so laughably set up to submarine insurance companies, that it will be impossible for them to meet the requirements and we will have it anyway.

As for paying the $1.5 trillion price tag, that too will be finessed with smoke and mirrors.

Rich Baehr thinks that some kind of reform is almost inevitable and that a package that contains the public option in some form still has a chance of passing. Much will depend on how much pressure can be brought to bear on those Democrats who are uncomfortable with Obama's idea of reform but are reluctant to go against the party establishment.

This will be President Obama's first real attempt at executive leadership. Previously, he allowed Pelosi-Reid to move the ball on his agenda items while he went around the country making pretty speeches and trashing the opposition.

But there's no hiding behind campaign style tactics for him now. He will be front and center tomorrow night and in the days and weeks following. If the essence of leadership is getting people to follow, we will see if the former community organizer has any ability in this regard.

He's going to need it if he wants any kind of health care reform at all.


It's not going to get any easier for Democrats who were exposed to the fury of ordinary citizens at health care town halls across the country during the August recess. Now they face what is sure to be enormous pressure from their party leadership to support the president and pass a health care reform package that may cost many of them their seats in the 2010 mid term election.

Let's just say, I wouldn't want to be a Democratic congressman on the fence about reform once the full weight of Obama's presidency coupled with the substantial power of the congressional leadership falls right on their heads over the next few weeks.

According to Mike Soraghan and Michael M. Gleeson of The Hill, 23 Democrats have already said they will defy Obama and vote no on reform:

At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.

If Republicans offer the blanket opposition they've promised, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose only 38 members of her 256-member caucus and still pass the bill.

Most Democrats opposed to healthcare reform argue it costs too much, imposes a new tax and fines businesses that don't provide insurance to employees. Some fear that the bill would subsidize abortion.

Many other Democratic members, including those berated by protesters at raucous town hall meetings in August, are still undecided.

A lot could change before the vote, expected late this month.

That last is the key, of course. How successful will Obama be in convincing Democrats to take a potential long walk off a short plank and end up in Davey Jones Locker in 2010?

With the entire media proclaiming Obama's speech a smashing success tonight, the momentum will begin to build and, along with it, a tightening of the screws on reluctant Democrats both right and left. The considerable power of the presidency will be brought to bear in order to get comprehensive reform passed.

It is now believed that Obama will not drop the public option, although he may give Blue Dogs the fig leaf of a "trigger" on government run insurance that will be so laughably set up to submarine insurance companies, that it will be impossible for them to meet the requirements and we will have it anyway.

As for paying the $1.5 trillion price tag, that too will be finessed with smoke and mirrors.

Rich Baehr thinks that some kind of reform is almost inevitable and that a package that contains the public option in some form still has a chance of passing. Much will depend on how much pressure can be brought to bear on those Democrats who are uncomfortable with Obama's idea of reform but are reluctant to go against the party establishment.

This will be President Obama's first real attempt at executive leadership. Previously, he allowed Pelosi-Reid to move the ball on his agenda items while he went around the country making pretty speeches and trashing the opposition.

But there's no hiding behind campaign style tactics for him now. He will be front and center tomorrow night and in the days and weeks following. If the essence of leadership is getting people to follow, we will see if the former community organizer has any ability in this regard.

He's going to need it if he wants any kind of health care reform at all.