This confirms what FDL has been saying for months: forcing members of Congress like Tom Perriello to vote for the health care bill was truly a Paths of Glory move by House leadership and the administration. As our SurveyUSA polling indicated at the time, the health care bill was hugely unpopular in swing districts.
Contrary to assertions made by John Harris and Jim VanderHei, we have been very concerned about Republicans picking up House seats this in November (and for the record, I never wrote any navel-gazing pieces about Weigelgate). That’s why we went to the trouble of spending considerable money on polling, to sound the alarm about what would happen if Pelosi and Obama forced the caucus to pass the AHIP/PhRMA Bill of Rights.
I frankly don’t know how the Democrats managed to convince those dumb bastards in the House that public opinion would swing around and their numbers would go up if the voted for it, but the White House and the DCCC definitely knew better from their own internal polling. It’s no surprise that when the DCCC was ripping into our polling they wouldn’t release their own. They knew what voting for the health care bill would do to the Perriellos of the world, and they started firing on them in the trenches anyway. The only remarkable thing is that so many piled on and trashed their own credibility by echoing quite obvious propaganda without demanding that the DCCC release their internal polling, too.
Instead, members like Perriello were counseled to vote for the Stupak amendment as a sop to conservative voters in their districts. Well, looks like that didn’t work out so well, did it:
|591 Likely Voters||All||Gender||Party Affiliation
|Margin of Sampling Error: + 4.1%||Male||Female||Republican
|Robert Hurt (R)||58%||56%||36%||90%||17%||48%
|Tom Perriello (D)
|Jeffrey Clark (I)
|Composition of Likely Voters||100%||50%||50%||42%||27%||29%||55%||41%||46%||33%||13%|
Neither pro-choice nor pro-life voters appear to find Perriello’s position on abortion very compelling.
And in a not unrelated story:
Top 25 Lobbying Shops Bring In $227.5 Million
The lobbying practices’ dramatic numbers come out of a legislative frenzy on Capitol Hill, with K Street focused on health care reform, a financial services regulatory overhaul and climate change legislation. In total, the top 25 firms grossed $227.5 million in the first six months of this year.
Perriello voted for the bank bailout, climate change legislation and the health care bill. Voting for Stupak was not enough to pull his ass out of the fire.
The Democrats had the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress that were unprecedented in recent memory. Instead of even trying to do what the public elected them to do in 2008, they turned their backs on that agenda and decided to act like Republicans. They are finding out that if the public wants Republicans to run the government, they’ll vote for Republicans.
The Democrats joined our corporate overlords in an orgy of lobbyist greed that would make Dick Cheney and George Bush proud. Tom Perriello is just one of many who are already paying a price for that. At the very least, he has an uphill battle ahead of him.